Tuesday, March 11, 2014
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and her husband, S. Donald Sussman, were on hand this past weekend to witness the first wedding of a sitting member of Congress to his same-sex partner.
Pingree and Sussman, both of whom are vocal advocates for same-sex marriage, were among the 300 or so guests invited to the private wedding ceremony between U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, and his longtime partner, Ogunquit resident Jim Ready.
Frank and Ready were married in Newton, Mass., on Saturday during a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Pingree estimated that about 20 other members of Congress – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – were also in attendance.
“She and Donald went and had a lovely time,” Pingree’s spokesman, Willy Ritch, said on Monday. “She said there were a lot of people from Washington and a lot of people from Maine there.”
Both Pingree and Sussman are well-known in Maine circles advocating for allowing gay couples to wed.
A billionaire hedge fund manager who is a major donor to progressive and Democratic causes, Sussman contributed more than $500,000 to the 2009 campaign to allow same-sex marriage in Maine.
Sussman is the majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which owns The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and other media outlets in Maine.
Pingree was active in the 2009 referendum on the issue and has already spoken on the floor of the U.S. House in support of the this year’s effort to make Maine the first state to use the ballot box to legalize same-sex marriage.
Frank, 72, was the first openly gay member of Congress.
“They have a close personal friendship and a close professional relationship,” Ritch said of Pingree and Frank.Tweet
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John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
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Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or email@example.com
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or email@example.com