The U.S. House of Representatives for the first time recognized a same-sex marriage of a lawmaker by issuing U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan’s husband a congressional ID Friday.
According to statement from Pocan, the identification is only issued to spouses of federal lawmakers.
A congressional ID was issued once before in 2009 to the same-sex partner of another representative, but the representative was later notified it had been issued in error and he should have instead received a designee ID specified for unmarried partners of Congress members.
Pocan and Philip Frank married in Canada in 2006. Their marriage is not recognized by the federal government under the Defense of Marriage Act. Frank has carried the designee ID until it was recently replaced with the congressional ID.
Pocan said in the statement the I.D. is symbolic in meaning, and Frank still doesn’t receive spousal benefits awarded to other congressional husbands or wives.