Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Older Gay Men & the New Same-Sex Marriage Laws

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times. MANHATTAN, AUG. 2 Jacques Beaumont, left, admiring the grooms on the cake, with Richard Townsend, also in white.

I have not commented on the recent civil union law in Illinois and the same-sex marriage law in New York because I have mixed feelings about the institution of marriage. While same sex marriage might bring us closer to equality, it is not the only route. Paradoxically, marriage could take us, queer folk, back to where oppression started.
But I found the story of Jacques Beaumont, 86, and Richard Townsend, 77, poignant. They are pre-Baby Boomer generation. They met in 1972 in Manhattan and since then have been together as a couple. Now they are in poor health. As it happens with many older adults, regardless of their sexual orientation, their health deteriorated and they became secluded. They ended up in the hospital. They got married there. Both in their wheelchairs.

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