In twenty-five years, Barney Frank, democratic U.S. Representative of Mass., has pioneered two monumental achievements for gay men and women. In 1987, Frank achieved profound notoriety when he became the first sitting U.S. congressman to come out as openly gay.
This past Saturday, July 7, Frank became yet again the first sitting congressman to take a new step in the plight for human equality (and, of course, in his own journey for personal happiness): Frank got married to Jim Ready, making him the first active member of congress to engage in a same sex marriage.
The New York Times reports that Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, met and became friends during a political fundraiser in 2005. At the time, Ready was involved with Robert Palmer, former adviser to Michael Dukakis during his term as Massachusetts governor. Palmer passed away in 2007, after which time Frank and Ready developed a romantic relationship. Ready is a carpenter and a surfing enthusiast.
The wedding took place on Saturday evening at the Boston Marriott Hotel in Newton, Mass. Representative Nancy Pelosi and former presidential candidates John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich were among those present for the ceremony, which was officiated by Gov. Deval L. Patrick.
Hollywood.com reached out to GLAAD President Herndon Graddick, who stated, "For decades, Representative Frank has blazed trails in tireless pursuit of equality for every American," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "It's only fitting that he's now become the first sitting Congressman to wed his same-sex partner, once again reshaping the texts of history and personifying the opinion shared by a majority of Americans who believe everyone should be able to marry the person they love. We extend our warmest congratulations to Rep. Frank, his husband and their families."
Below are the wedding vows of Frank and Ready, as read by wedding officiant Gov. Patrick, as provided to Hollywood.com via a representative for Rep. Frank:
"Do you promise to love each other and be each other’s best friend,
In sickness and in health,
In Congress or in retirement,
Whether the surf is up or the surf’s flat,
For richer or for poorer,
Under the Democrats or the Republicans,
Whether the slopes are powdery or icy,
Whether the book reviews are good or bad,
For better or for worse,
On MSNBC or on Fox,
For as long as you live.”
Reporting by Lindsey DiMattina
[Photo Credit: HBO]
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Those who’ve watched MTV’s Spring Break and wished for its undulating crew of debauched partiers to be devoured wholesale or who’ve witnessed Girls Gone Wild’s shameless exploitation of drunken college girls and longed for its smarmy founder Joe Francis to receive a grisly dose of karmic justice or who’ve seen any of Eli Roth’s films and hoped for the “torture-porn” impresario to receive a dose of his own vile medicine will find their catharsis in Piranha 3D. What they will not find is much in the way of a plot quality acting or anything remotely resembling restraint. But you weren’t really expecting that in a film about killer fish were you?
In Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja's (High Tension The Hills Have Eyes remake) overriding concern is with his relentless onslaught of T&E — tits and entrails. He often groups them together in the same scene — presumably for efficiency’s sake — as when a busty topless parasailor (an IMDB search reveals her to be a porn star named Gianna Michaels) is bisected during a brief dip below the water’s surface or when a similarly-endowed party girl is separated from her bikini top — and then much of her upper torso — by a stray cable from a tumbling platform. Indeed Piranha DDD might be a more suitable title for the film given Aja’s Russ Meyer-meets-Faces of Death sensibility.
Given the ridiculous subject matter Aja has little choice but to wholeheartedly embrace the camp of it all and Piranha 3D is nothing less than the Avatar of B movie schlockfests. In addition to its array of grotesquely violent set pieces the film boasts a gleefully wicked sense of humor the primary vessel of which is Jerry O’Connell who plays internet sleaze merchant Derrick Jones an obvious stand-in for the aforementioned Francis. In search of fresh meat for his co-ed porn site he combs the fictional Arizona resort town of Lake Victoria at the height of spring break for new prey. Unbeknownst to him his prospective talent pool is about to be decimated by a swarm of piranhas recently freed from their undersea prison by a timely earthquake — this despite the heroic efforts of the town’s pair of hardy but laughably impotent sheriffs (Elisabeth Shue and Ving Rhames).
These razor-toothed piranhas may seem like mindless predators but they are not without their share of admirable traits. Before beginning their feeding frenzy for example they’re considerate enough to allow the lake’s doomed revelers one last hedonistic hurrah the highlight of which is an extended sequence in which Jones’ two most prized fillies played by softcore titans Kelly Brook and Riley Steele frolic naked underwater to the tune of “The Flower Duet” from Delibes’ Lakme. (“They’re like fish with boobies!” their director shouts ecstatically.) The fish clearly possess a taste for the ironic and perhaps a bit of a feminist streak as well as we witness when O'Connell's character is literally emasculated during an ill-timed dive. (Fittingly he gurgles “Wet t-shirt” as his final blood-drenched words.) As his severed manhood sinks toward the bottom a piranha arrives and snaps it up but it doesn’t quite agree with the creature and the penis is quickly burped up in disgust. Even the fish can’t stomach him it seems.