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Congressman from New York to marry same-sex partner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York will become the second-ever sitting member of Congress to marry a same-sex partner, confirming plans on Tuesday to wed his companion of 21 years.

Maloney, 47, a Democrat who represents a district about 70 miles north of New York City, got engaged to his partner, Randy Florke, on Christmas Day, according to the congressman's spokeswoman Stephanie Formas. They have three children together, she said.

The couple from Cold Spring, New York, issued a statement saying how exciting it is to take the next step in their relationship.

"For decades, we've fought to ensure that all families can experience the joys of loving commitment and we are proud to have our friends and family share this special moment with us in the near future," the statement said.

New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, and now is among 17 states plus the District of Columbia that recognize same-sex marriage.

In 2012, just months before retiring from Congress, former Democratic Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts wed his longtime companion, Jim Ready.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)

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