Friday, December 28, 2012

Same-sex marriage pioneer

Richard Adams (left) with Anthony Sullivan in 1984. 
I just saw this obituary about the fascinating life of Richard Adams. I don’t usually just repost news stories but this is too interesting. On December 17, 2012, Richard Adams passed away at the age of 65. He is survived by his partner of over 40 years, Tony Sullivan.

What makes this story truly fascinating is that this couple was dealing with marriage and immigration equality back in the mid-1970s.

The NY Times obituary shares his and his partners amazing story:
In April 1975, Mr. Adams and his partner, Tony Sullivan, wed in Colorado, one of a half-dozen gay couples granted marriage licenses there by the Boulder County clerk’s office. Though Boulder County stopped issuing such licenses almost immediately, the couple’s marriage, which lasted until Mr. Adams’s death, was never legally voided. 
Their case, in which a marriage between same-sex partners is recognized on the state level but not the federal, prefigured the current national debate over gay marriage by almost 40 years.  
The two men had leapt at the chance to marry in the hope of securing permanent resident status for Mr. Sullivan, an Australian citizen.
But when, after the wedding, they submitted an application to the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, as the agency was then known, they received this official reply:
“You have failed to establish,” the letter read, “that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”

To learn more about Immigration Equality visit

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