Tuesday, May 21, 2013
OGUNQUIT -- Barney Frank and Jim Ready spent their honeymoon here at their home tucked on a wooded hillside, with the tourist-filled village churning below and a sliver of the Atlantic gleaming in the distance.
Congressman Barney Frank and Jim Ready are seen Monday at their home in Ogunquit. The two were married in Newton, Mass., on Saturday.
The Portland Press Herald
Frank married his longtime partner on Saturday in Newton, Mass., securing a spot in history as the first sitting congressman to marry a same-sex partner legally.
They spent Sunday and Monday at their modest bungalow, hanging out with friends and strolling to Bessie's for breakfast, before Frank returned to Washington on Monday evening.
"This is the one place where Barney can relax," Ready said at their home Monday morning. "There was no sense in going anywhere else."
The couple's decision to marry, on the threshold of Frank's retirement after 31 years as a U.S. representative from Massachusetts, holds special meaning for many in this gay-friendly town as Maine prepares for another referendum on same-sex marriage in November.
John Cavaretta and Randal Coulton, owners of the Village Food Market and the Cornerstone Restaurant on Main Street, were among several Mainers who attended the ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Cavaretta and Coulton have been business and life partners for 34 years and wear matching gold bands exchanged during an unofficial commitment ceremony. Seeing their friends pledge their love in a legal wedding ceremony Saturday fueled their hope that Maine voters will approve gay marriage.
"We're waiting for Maine," said Cavaretta, 61. "The wedding was wonderful. Randy and I would do anything to have the same opportunity."
Cavaretta said being married identifies Frank and Ready as a committed couple who are more than partners. It's an important distinction, he said, because most people have more respect for married couples.
"It's a huge thing," Cavaretta said. "It's historic. I'm sure there are other people in Congress who are sitting in the closet, wishing they could be open like Barney, but life can be difficult if you have to hide who you are."
Nearly 360 people attended the wedding ceremony held near the Charles River, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine and her husband, S. Donald Sussman.
Both Pingree and Sussman are major advocates for same-sex marriage; he contributed more than $500,000 to the 2009 campaign to allow gay marriage in Maine. Sussman is the majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which includes The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and the Morning Sentinel in Waterville.
"I think it's great that so many influential people were their to recognize their union," said Kathy Cammarota, owner of Roberto's Restaurant on Shore Road. "We look forward to welcoming Barney and Jim as a married couple into our community."
Ready, 42, is a Massachusetts native who has lived in Ogunquit for 18 years. A surfer and snowboarder, he was drawn to Maine's beaches and mountains. He makes custom awnings for businesses in Ogunquit and surrounding towns.
Frank, 72, grew up in New Jersey and began his political career in the Massachusetts Legislature. He and Ready met at a fundraiser in 2005 and started dating in 2007, following the death of Ready's former partner. Since then, Ready has been seen regularly around the nation's capital and Frank has become a fixture in Ogunquit.
"I think the majority of people in town think it's great that they got married," said Jake Bader, 34, an artist and musician who once waited tables at Hooch & Holly's with Ready. "They love each other. To each his own."
Frank and Ready's wedding is a step forward for many in Ogunquit's gay community, including David Giarusso Jr., 44, and Carlos Perez Jr., 29. They have been business and life partners for 11 years. Giarusso owns Angelina's Ristorante on Main Street, and they both own Pizza Napoli next door.
(Continued on page 2)