40 years ago, two men married for immigration benefits in the US
April 18, 2015 7:27 PM   Subscribe

40 years ago, a clerk in Boulder, Colorado let 6 same sex couples get married. One of them was a couple with an Australian national facing deportation. This is their story. Imagine falling in love and then being told that no, your relationship isn't good enough to qualify to keep your partner with you. Now imagine that this takes place 40 years ago and you're a gay man. This actually happened, and the decision from immigration was effectively 'f***ots can't have a real marriage.'
posted by NotATailor (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
They went to Boulder, got a license and were married that day in a gay-friendly church.
In Colorado in '75? Anyone have an idea which church that would be?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:51 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


What a nuanced story. I was intrigued by the story of the clerk, Clela Rorex, and have just looked her up. There's an interesting Story Corps recording with Rorex, relating some of the stories mentioned in the WP article.
posted by wintersweet at 8:21 PM on April 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anyone have an idea which church that would be?

My best guess would be a Unitarian-Universalist congregation...
posted by jim in austin at 8:26 PM on April 18, 2015


It saddens me that the man who wrote that letter is now a Supreme Court justice.
posted by jferg at 9:14 PM on April 18, 2015


It wasn't clear to me that Kennedy wrote the letter; I thought that was the immigration official, and Kennedy later ruled against the appeal.
posted by jb at 9:18 PM on April 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


"we'll live out a version of marriage where it's about consenting adult love, romance and care giving, but the consenting adults get to set the terms."

I never thought I would agree with the Heritage Foundation.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:21 PM on April 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


"we'll live out a version of marriage where it's about consenting adult love, romance and care giving, but the consenting adults get to set the terms."

I never thought I would agree with the Heritage Foundation.


I see my comment on that was deleted.

What Ryan T. Anderson is saying, in the next video that plays after one in the article in the FPP is that they're objecting to that very idea. Methinks he doth protest too much.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:20 PM on April 18, 2015


Imagine falling in love and then being told that no, your relationship isn't good enough to qualify to keep your partner with you.

I don't have to imagine it; I immigrated to Canada as my partner immigrating to the US was impossible, and this was a hell of a lot more recent than 40 years ago- I got my permanent resident visa in February 1997. The US is no place for a same-sex binational couple even today, not compared to Canada and many other countries.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:28 PM on April 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


>Anyone have an idea which church that would be?

My best guess would be a Unitarian-Universalist congregation...


My immediate assumption would be MCC, and while the MCC existed at the time, I don't know if it existed in Boulder.

It wasn't clear to me that Kennedy wrote the letter; I thought that was the immigration official, and Kennedy later ruled against the appeal.

Yeah, they were unclear. I'm pretty sure the letter came from the INS.
posted by hoyland at 4:38 AM on April 19, 2015


In Colorado in '75? Anyone have an idea which church that would be?
It looks like it was a Metropolitan Community Church minister named Rev. Robert Sirico, from the comments on the article.

I don't have to imagine it; I immigrated to Canada as my partner immigrating to the US was impossible, and this was a hell of a lot more recent than 40 years ago- I got my permanent resident visa in February 1997. The US is no place for a same-sex binational couple even today, not compared to Canada and many other countries.
I'm hoping to have my interview to move to the US to be with my same sex partner in June. Things have changed, but I'm still very uncertain about many things.
posted by NotATailor at 5:48 AM on April 19, 2015


There was an MCC in Denver, and while I am not sure if they were involved in this particular wedding, they were involved in several of the other ceremonies for couples married in Boulder in 1975.
posted by heurtebise at 8:08 AM on April 19, 2015


I can't believe I've never heard this story before now. Just astonishing. Looking forward to seeing the documentary.

"But Rorex had prepared. She asked how old Dolly was, and when the man answered that she was 8, “I laid down my pen and said: ‘I’m sorry. Dolly’s underaged.’ ” This story was like several punches to the gut, personally, but that was my laugh out loud moment.

Thanks for the post, NotATailor, and best wishes to you and yours.
posted by wallabear at 10:28 AM on April 19, 2015


There is everything in my eye.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:52 PM on April 22, 2015


I'm way late with this, but I worked on a doc about them. Limited Partnership, should air on PBS.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


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