Michael Crawford

61 Year Long Engagement

Filed By Michael Crawford | May 04, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, gay couples, gay marriage, Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans, marriage equality, New York

Richard Dorr, 83, and, John Mace, 91, are seriously the most adorable couple ever. And, after being together for 61 years, haven't they waited long enough to get married in New York?

This video featuring Richard and John is one part of comprehensive campaign to win the freedom to marry in New York this spring.

Leading organizations including Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry, Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York, and New York Log Cabin Republicans have joined to form New Yorkers United for Marriage, an unprecedented alliance with the goal of enacting a bill before the end of the current legislative session.

While the issue of marriage has an added urgency for Richard and John because of their advanced age, they are just one of the thousands of couples wanting to marry in New York. Couples like Farid and George who are expecting their first child later this year. They want the protections accessed through marriage as a way to care for their family.

In 2009, a marriage bill was unexpectedly defeated in the state senate after passing the assembly. Things have changed since 2009.

A super-majority of New Yorkers now support ending marriage discrimination, LGBT and progressive groups are united as never before, several "no" votes from 2009 were booted from office, and popular Governor Andrew Cuomo has made passing a marriage bill a key item on his legislative agenda.

This week, the campaign kicks into high gear as the legislature returns from recess. Major business leaders have voiced the support for passage of a marriage bill, volunteers across the state are talking to friends, neighbors, and family to generate supportive messages to legislators, and key lobbyists in the state are working hand-in-hand with LGBT activists.

This is our chance to win marriage and end the long engagement of Richard and John. You can help.

If you live in NY, contact your legislators in support of the marriage bill:

If you live outside of NY, share Richard and John's video to help others understand why marriage matters to same-sex couples.

Disclosure: I am Director of Online Programs for Freedom to Marry.

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C'mon New York... they're adorable. Let them get married!

Regan DuCasse | May 4, 2011 7:10 PM

It was about time for them to marry, 60 years ago! What a sweet pair, and think of all the lives they've touched through their profession!


I bet the most vigorous opponents to these two marrying don't even have THAT kind of storied contribution to boast of, nor relationship for that matter.

I wish them the very best. I live in CA, and it was an outrage to see how long Phyllis and Del had to wait to marry after 55years, and who worked to divorce them involuntarily after 6 months!.

With regard to Phyllis and Del: As I recall - and there are articles and even video footage of them asserting this,unless I'm thinking of an entirely different couple, in which case I stand corrected - they did not actually want to get married. I don't know if they had any set mindset against marriage, or if it was simply something they never thought too much about (I seem to remember it was really more the latter), but I recall their decision to get married taking a number of people by surprise.

This post - and the ad campaign - while perhaps meaning to do the opposite, is really quite insulting to such couples by implying that their entire lives are effectively rendered meaningless because they're not married. It also turns two strong, mature men who have, I'm sure, seen worlds and worlds of amazing events and understood things the rest of us can barely yet conceive of into juveniles who are perennially "engaged."

I have no doubt they volunteered to do the spot, as did the others and, yes, they want to get married. But can the rest of us stop acting like people's lives are so completely worthless just because they could not/did not get married? Do we forget about all their millions of accomplishments? Why is marriage the capstone of their lives?

They did want to get married. We ran the photos of their nuptials when it happened and the surviving spouse often talks about the marriage and how important it was to them.

This indicates that they once had stated they would not get married, and I distinctly recall (now that I'm sure it's the same couple) a much later film, closer to this millennium, with one of them talking about not wanting to get married. I'll rustle through my memories/archives and see if I can find it.