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Content about U.S. House of Representatives

March 12, 2014

'The hate-mongers in America who have been repudiated here have found a place where they can bring their message'

Barney Frank, the first openly gay man to serve in the US House of Representatives, is blasting anti-gay Americans for spreading their message in Uganda.

'These people have been repudiated in America, they’re very unhappy,' Frank said in a radio interview this week.

'The American people have moved and are moving, every day toward the position that, if two people want to show attention to each other, two adults, that’s their business.'

June 9, 2013

Long Island Democrat Steve Israel has announced he will put forward legislation repealing the dishonorable discharges of gay and lesbian military personnel under the policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and before homosexuality was legalized

Long Island Democratic member of the US House of Representatives Steve Israel has announced that he will move legislation that would see the repeal of dishonorable discharges of gays and lesbians who were drummed out of the military when their sexuality was revealed.

Military veterans are afforded a range of benefits in the US, however those are not available to personnel who have been dishonorably discharged and over 30,000 gay and lesbian veterans are believed to be excluded from receiving those benefits because their sexuality was discovered.

May 12, 2013

Husband of Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan, Philip Frank, has become the first ever same-sex spouse to receive a spousal ID for the US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives has issued its first ever spousal ID to the same-sex partner of a member of Congress.

Democratic Representative Mark Pocan’s husband Philip Frank received the ID on April 26 after the House of Representatives Sergeant At Arms informed Pocan that his husband was now eligible to receive a spousal ID.

Previously Philip Frank had had to use a ‘designee’ ID which merely recognized him as a guest of Pocan’s in the House of Representatives.

May 4, 2013

2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has announced he is comfortable with the idea of gay people adopting children despite voting against it in the past and his opposition to same-sex marriage

2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has said that he would vote in favor of the rights of same-sex couples to adopt despite voting against that right in the past.

Ryan made the comments while speaking to a town hall style audience in Wisconsin on Monday where he was challenged by a member of the public about his anti-gay voting record in the US House of Representatives.

Ryan had voted against adoption by same-sex couples in the District of Columbia in 1999 but said his thinking had evolved since then.

January 3, 2013

Wisconsin Democrat has previously served in House of Representatives

Tammy Baldwin made history Thursday (3 January) by becoming the first openly gay person to be sworn into the US Senate.

Chuck Wolfe of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund hailed the moment as 'real progress – a victory for us all.'

'LGBT Americans have finally broken through a glass ceiling that held firm for more than two centuries,' Wolfe said in a statement. '... This is a moment to smile, celebrate and raise a glass to toast a record number of out federal lawmakers.'

December 27, 2012

New York Rep. Richard Hanna has become only the second sitting Republican in the US Congress to back the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) following comments that same-sex marriage was inevitable by failed Republican presidential race candidate Newt Gingrich

A second sitting House Republican has publicly broken ranks with the mainstream of his party on the issue of same-sex marriage, announcing that he will co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that currently bans federal benefits from going to married same-sex couples in the US.

December 27, 2012

Charles Bass of New Hampshire wants Defense of Marriage Act repealed

Already defeated for reelection, US Congressman Charles Bass of New Hampshire became the third Republican in the US House of Representatives to break ranks with the party by supporting gay marriage.

Bass has agreed to co-sponsor the the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that currently bans federal benefits from going to married same-sex couples in the US.

December 20, 2012

'The momentum is clearly now in the direction'

When he was campaigning for the Republican nomination for US president, Newt Gingrich took a hard line against same-sex marriage.

But now the former speaker of the US House of Representatives sees that marriage equality is gaining ground. After voters in three states made history by voting to legalize gay marriage last month, Gingrich thinks his party will have to find a way to adjust.

December 17, 2012

'I’m hoping to get paid well to do what I do now for nothing'

As Barney Frank's days as an elected official come to and, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives has hired an agent.

The outspoken Frank, 71, has been one of the more colorful personalities in Washington DC over the past three decades and a frequent guests on network and cable political shows.

December 14, 2012

Democrats livid over 'wasting taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible'

The Republican leadership of the US House of Representatives, currently locked in a major budget war with President Barack Obama, has quietly raised the limit it had set for itself to defend the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court to $2 million.

The 1996 law that keeps the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages will be reviewed by the US Supreme Court next year. Obama asked the Justice Department not to defend the constitutionality of the law in courts last year so the Republicans stepped in and hired a private law firm to handle the appeal.

December 11, 2012

 ‘We all need to make sure Washington hears us on this one'

The showdown over the federal budget between President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership of the US House of Representatives has been dominating the headlines ever since Obama’s re-election last month.

While much of the focus has been on automatic tax hikes for all Americans as well as automatic budget cuts if a compromise is not reached, singer Cyndi Lauper wants people to know that homeless LGBT youth will also suffer.

Lauper says this group, who ‘need our help to stay safe,’ depends on federally-funded programs to survive.

November 15, 2012

John Perez tells Gay Star News: 'It's going faster than most people imagined but it's not going fast enough'

When John Perez became speaker of the California State Assembly in March 2010, he was only the second LGBT person to be elected to lead a state legislative chamber in US history.

He now finds himself with lots more company - especially after last week's US elections where 118 LGBT people were elected nationwide.

'It was a phenomenal election across the country,' Perez tells Gay Star News.

November 12, 2012

Race had been too close to call but Sinema emerges with 6,000-vote edge

After holding a narrow lead on election night, Kyrsten Sinema has been declared the winner of a congressional race in Arizona making her the first openly bisexual woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Her victory comes during the same election when and at least five openly gay Democrats were elected to House seats and and lesbian Tammy Baldwin was elected to the US Senate.

November 8, 2012

But he downplays significance of his race and sexual orientation

California's Mark Takano who not only won a seat in the US House of Representatives this week, he also made history.

Takano, a Democrat, is the first openly gay person of color to be elected to the congress. He beat Republican candidate John Tavaglione in the race to represent California’s newly created 41st congressional district which covers Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris and Jurupa Valley.

A public school teacher for 23 years, the Japanese-American had twice before run unsuccessfully for congress in 1992 and 1994.

November 7, 2012

First time in history gay member of congress is succeeded by another gay member

Wisconsin State Assemblyman Mark Pocan has won a seat in the US House of Representatives and made a little bit of history along the way.

Pocan, who is openly gay, succeeds Tammy Baldwin in the US lower house just as he had in the State Assembly. This marks the first time that one gay legislature follows another for the same seat. Baldwin on Tuesday (6 November) became the first openly gay member of the US Senate.

Pocan, 48, defeated Republican challenger Chad Lee in an electoral district that has been reliably Democratic in the past.

November 7, 2012

Democratic candidates defeats Republican Tommy Thompson

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin made history Tuesday (6 November) by becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to the US Senate.

Baldwin, who has represented Wisconsin in the US House of Representatives for seven terms, defeated Republican Tommy Thompson who is opposed to gay marriage. She replaces retiring Democrat Herb Kohl in the Senate.

'I am honored and humbled and grateful, and I am ready to get to work - ready to stand with Barack Obama, and ready to fight for Wisconsin's middle class,' Baldwin told supporters at her victory party.'

August 29, 2012

Democrate Kyrsten Sinema could make history by becoming the first openly bisexual member of the U.S. House of Representatives  

A former female Arizona state lawmaker has won a democratic primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives, putting her one step closer to becoming the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

The Arizona Republic called Kyrsten Sinema’s race at around 12.30am on Wednesday (29 August).

She defeated former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherny and state Senate minority leader David Schapira, taking 42.5% of the vote with 64.5% of precincts reporting.

June 2, 2012

Recalls it was two Republican senators who were the first to show support but says GOP has since 'regressed'

It was 25 years ago today (1 June) that Barney Frank became the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives.

He talked with MSNBC's Laurence O'Donnell about the milestone and remembered a time when he was afraid that after coming out, people wouldn't vote for him.

Frank persevered and is retiring at the end of the current session after more than three decades in the U.S. House. During that time, he has seen a shift in the public's views on homosexuality.

May 21, 2012

Explains the congressman: 'It would ruin the party to have the Secret Service'

Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, is getting married this summer but he will not be inviting the first president in history to endorse same-sex marriage to the ceremony.

The Massachusetts congressman is marrying his longtime partner Jim Ready and explains to C-SPAN why President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama did not make the guest list.

May 9, 2012

US president's historic stance is praised and criticised

Reaction was quick to flood in Wednesday (9 May) after Barack Obama became the first sitting US president in history to publicly support gay marriage.

April 25, 2012

'He is for a discrimination that would dissolve all the existing marriages'

Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, blasted presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for a 'willingness … to switch and become very anti-gay' in order to win votes.

Frank also called Romney 'despicable' an interview with the Washington Blade following his keynote speech at the National Stonewall Democrats’ Capital Champions reception in D.C.

April 5, 2012

Constitutionality of federal ban on gay marriage being challenged for first time

With a federal courtroom in Boston packed with more than 100 inlookers, opening arguments took place Wednesday (4 April) in a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for the first time.

DOMA defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. It was passed by both houses of Congress by wide margins in 1996 and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton.

A three-judge panel on the First Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in two separate cases that test the law as never before.

March 29, 2012

Court hearing next week in Boston to focus on constitutionality of the statute

The constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the US federal law that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, will be challenged for the first time in a federal appellate court next week.

A three-judge panel on the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston will hear arguments on DOMA on Wednesday (4 April).

February 23, 2012

Barney Frank's fiancee in the audience as he also handicaps Republican field

Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives, appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday (22 February) and showed off his engagement ring to the host and his audience.

Kimmel asked Frank, a congressman from Massachusetts, why the ring is black. Frank explained that it was made by his fiancee, 42-year-old Jim Ready who counts welding among his skills. Ready was in the audience at the show.

'It's just a reminder of the real world,' Frank said of the homemade ring.