Former U.S. representative Gerry Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress, quietly married his longtime partner last year one week after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, according to a just published report.
Studds, a liberal Democrat who spent more than 20 years in Congress, married Dean Hara in Boston on May 24, 2004, the Patriot Ledger of Quincy reported Sunday. Studds, 68, and Hara, 47, declined to comment for the Ledger's story.
First elected to Congress in 1973, Studds built a loyal constituency that returned him to Washington with an average of nearly 70% of the vote over 12 elections. That loyalty was tested in 1983 when it was revealed that Studds had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male congressional page. He publicly acknowledged being gay and was censured by the House for sexual misconduct. Studds admitted an error in judgment but did not apologize and in 1984 was reelected with 56% of the vote.
Tuesday is the one-year anniversary of legal gay marriage in Massachusetts. More than 6,000 same-sex couples have gotten married in the past year. (AP)