Rep. Mark Pocan’s husband, Philip Frank, has become the first same-sex spouse to receive an official congressional spousal ID card.
Frank, who had originally received the “designee” card granted to unmarried partners of members of Congress, was issued the spousal ID late last month, the Washington Blade reports. The ID is symbolic, since it doesn’t qualify for Frank for spousal benefits; the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the federal government from recognizing Pocan and Frank’s marriage, performed in Canada in 2006.
“We realize that symbolism is great and important, especially when it’s recognized by the House, but even more important is making sure that we get those full benefits for the thousands and thousands of folks who work for the federal government who aren’t recognized in the same way,” Pocan said.
Pocan was elected to the House of Representatives from Wisconsin last year, succeeding Tammy Baldwin, who moved up to become the first openly LGBT U.S. senator.