Richard Adams, gay marriage advocate called “f*ggot” by INS in 1975, has died

An amazing piece of gay history has just died, and it’s someone I don’t think I even knew about: Richard Adams.

The Advocate has the story, and there’s also a wonderful video looking at Adams and his partner Tony Sullivan, and their battle for recognition of their “gay” marriage a good 30+ years ago. Amazing footage:

Limited Partnership Trailer 30 July from Kirkym on Vimeo.

And here’s the Advocate:

Adams and his partner, Tony Sullivan, met in 1971 in Los Angeles and were legally wed in Colorado on April 21, 1975, by a Boulder city clerk with five other same-sex couples. Later that year Adams filed a petition with the government to make Sullivan a permanent resident as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. According to reports, the couple received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service on November 24, 1975 that read, “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”

Here’s a snapshot of the immigration document:

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 10.16.51 PM

Simply amazing to imagine that this is (was) our government. Note that our government recognizes gay marriages now.  They just use nicer language to deny us our rights. :)  Still, a lot has changed.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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