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As Charlie knows, when I was a teenager, my mother, then in her fifth traditional heterosexual marriage, decided she didn't want a teenage daughter complicating her life. I went to stay with a very loving, very happy, very successful gay couple who met while they were both serving in the army in 1942. Despite knowing that homosexuality was a court martial offense back then, they kept their relationship quiet but wore wedding rings. Everyone assumed they had wives back in the States.

When I lived with them, they had been together more than thirty years. They had a nice three bedroom home, one which was mine and from which they politely ignored the mess and Alice Cooper/P-Funk/Rudolph Nureyev/Star Wars posters. Except for taco day in the cafeteria, I always found a nice bag lunch waiting for me before I went to school. They attended my school performances, taught me how to drive, would not let me out of the house unless I was dressed properly ("You are not going outside my home dressed like a French hooker!"), played poker with their old Army buddies once a week, paid their bills on time, squabbled on occasion like any old married couple, came down on me when I deserved it... in short, they were a normal family.

These wonderful gentlemen should have been allowed to marry legally. They did everything married people were supposed to do, including raising me (for which they deserve major bonus points). They were in a committed, monagamous relationship until 1987, when one passed away. That was forty-five years of togetherness.

If you ask me, they did not make a travesty of marriage. In fact, they were the most married couple I've ever had the honor to meet.

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