Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, a Massachusetts Democrat who was censured in 1983 for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old congressional intern, died on Saturday at Boston Medical Center, an official said.

Christian Kiriakos, the hospital’s central administrator, said Studds, 69, died Saturday morning but did not provide details on the cause of his death.

Studds was the first member of Congress to acknowledge he was gay. When he was censured by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1983 for his relationship with the male page, Studds stood defiantly on the floor with his back turned to his fellow lawmakers as the charges against him were read.

Studds was re-elected and went on to serve a total of 12 terms. He did not seek re-election in 1996.

That scandal has been compared to the one surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican who resigned last month amid news accounts of lurid Internet communications sent to former pages.

© 2006 Reuters