Ralph , 79, and Richard , 87, Together 41 years
In the 41 years since they started dating, the two men, both railroad enthusiasts, have traveled more than 30,000 miles together by rail — as far north as Alaska, as far south as Mexico — and said their vows aboard the Queen Mary 2, out on the Atlantic Ocean. But for most of their time together, they never talked seriously about marriage.and Gail, 56, and Audrey, 74, Together 12 years
“It was just an inconceivable thing,” Mr. Goneau said.
Mr. Goneau, who worked in retail and owned a hardware store in town for 10 years, and Mr. Wilhelm, who was part of a CBS camera crew, first met in a gay bar in Woodstock, where Mr. Wilhelm owned a weekend house. They are old enough to recall slurs hurled at gay men and to have confronted the legal issues that accompany aging with a partner who is not a spouse.
“I had an experience of not being able to visit him in a Westchester hospital because I was not a relative,” Mr. Goneau said.
The two women briefly considered filing for a civil union in New Jersey but decided against it.Joyful day!!!
“It just seemed so medicinal, like you put on rubber gloves and a guard and fill out papers,” Ms. Marquis said. “I wanted to be married in our home state. It’s a form of acceptance.”
They have plans for a 2011 wedding, probably in the fall, and are already fussing over details — how many of their more than 500 friends to invite, where to have it, what made-to-order couture dress Ms. Smaltz will wear.
“I’ll tell you one thing: I am not going to wear a tuxedo,” Ms. Marquis said. “We’ll probably have two of the most fabulous dresses around. Of course, Audrey’s will probably be more fabulous than mine, because that’s who she is.”