Way back in 1947, John Morgan was studying for a master’s in international affairs at the Columbia Library, and when it closed each night at 10PM, he would take a subway downtown to the New Verdi.
Now, in those days, when gay men were silent and unseen for the most part, there were two kinds of gay bars: those for cruising, and those that a safe place to have a drink. That was the New Verdi. But, on May 17, 1947, Louis Halsey walked in and the New Verdi became more than just a friendly place for John Morgan.
“Love at first sight,” says Lou now.
“Was it?” John wonders. “For me it was slower.”
In any case, Lou and John spent that night together, just as they have spent almost every single night in the last sixty-four years together.
And, last month, John Morgan and Lou Halsey got married.The two men ignored domestic partnership when it came along--John called it a"halfway step”--but did invest in the complicated legalities that an unmarried gay couple--trusts, powers of attorney—needed to protect one another; they just didn’t see the point of claiming marriage rights until it became legal in New York.
“Just to see it in black and white,” says Lou. For John, “it was more like finishing something.”
And starting something. Starting to feel that the world now understands, and is forced to accept, that these two men, who have lived together longer than many people are married these days, are, in fact, now a married couple.
How anyone can read of the love and commitment that these two men shared over sixty-four years and not see that marriage equality is a must for this country, I will never understand.
Spout off about your religious convictions, but God is love, and so are John and Lou.
Spout off about how gay marriage ruins traditional marriage and then ask how this gay couple stayed together so long without it.
Spout off all you want.
John and Lou are married now.