Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Legally Wed in Colorado, 1975: Pioneering Gay Couple Anthony Sullivan and Richard Adams Didn't Just Get Legally Married 29 Years Ago; They Stood Up and Demanded to Be Recognized

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Legally Wed in Colorado, 1975: Pioneering Gay Couple Anthony Sullivan and Richard Adams Didn't Just Get Legally Married 29 Years Ago; They Stood Up and Demanded to Be Recognized

Article excerpt

AS they watched the thousands of same-sex couples line up at San Francisco's City Hall in February, Anthony Sullivan and Richard Adams couldn't help but feel that the past had finally caught up with them. "I would like to give every one of those couples a little kiss," Sullivan says.

Sullivan, 62, and Adams, 57, were one of six same-sex couples to receive a marriage license in Boulder County, Colo., in 1975 when that county briefly issued the nation's first such licenses, and their marriage has never been invalidated. They were also among the first to wage a public fight over the issue, at a time when many gays and lesbians rejected marriage as a heterosexist institution. The couple held press conferences, went on TV, took legal action, and unlike the same-sex couples of today, they did it with little help.

"There were a lot of people we expected support from, but we didn't get it," Adams says.

Adams and Sullivan met in 1971 at the now-defunct Closet Bar in Los Angeles and moved into an apartment together a few months later. But Sullivan, who's Australian, was in the United States on a tourist visa, and by 1974 deportation proceedings were imminent. …

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