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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Forty-year Couple Were Called Faggots by the U. S. Government

A little-known gay-marriage pioneer, Richard Adams, died Monday at age 65, leaving his bereaved husband, Tony Sullivan, to carry on a struggle that began when they were married in Boulder, Colo., nearly forty years ago. The Advocate reports:
Adams and his partner, Tony Sullivan, met in 1971 in Los Angeles and were legally wed in Colorado on April 21, 1975, by a Boulder city clerk with five other same-sex couples. Later that year Adams filed a petition with the government to make Sullivan a permanent resident as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. According to reports, the couple received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service on November 24, 1975 that read, "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots."

The couple soon filed a federal lawsuit, Adams v. Howerton. In addition to Adams's years of activism against apartheid, nuclear war, American intervention in Central America, and in favor of gender equity, Adams dedicated several decades of his life to marriage equality, especially for binational couples. The couple is featured in the documentary Limited Partnership, about their life as a binational couple and the fight for equality.

The Limited Partnership trailer:

Read a poignant in-depth profile of the couple here. And you can make a contribution to the filmmakers here.

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