After Getting Hitched In Every Marriage Equality State, “Married & Counting’s” Couple Reflects On DOMA, Prop 8

Three years ago, Pat Dwyer and Stephen Mosher decided to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a couple by getting legally married in every state that would allow them. The concept was to get as much protection under the law as possible, though at the time, they couldn’t even get wed in the state in which they lived — New York. Narrated by George Takei, the documentary Married and Counting mirrors Pat and Stephen’s journey towards equality with that of the nation’s. And it couldn’t come at a better time. The doc came out just a day before the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional in a double whammy for gay civil rights. We sat down with Pat and Stephen and director Allan Piper to discuss the fall of DOMA and Prop 8 and what it means to them, as well as the tidal wave of change in the years since they first decided to say “I do” and “I do” and “I do”…

QUEERTY: How did you react to the SCOTUS rulings? What were your first thoughts?

ALLAN: I was thrilled. I thought of what Pat says in the movie “I feel like we are part of something so huge that we won’t know how big this moment in history is until it is history.”

STEPHEN: Well, I Facebooked them immediately! Then I sat down to watch the news unfold on TV with the same excitement I had when New York’s Marriage Equality bill passed. It was like Christmas, New Year’s, the release of the movie and a Barbra Streisand concert all in one fell swoop. I was most excited to see the televised results in California when Prop 8 fell. I knew it would be a sight to see. Somewhere in there, while watching, the tears started to fall…

PAT: I had thought all along that the rulings would go the way they did, with SCOTUS declaring Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional and that they would kick Prop 8 back, so I had one of those “told ya” moments. I was pleased that we took a step forward but I had wished that it was a bigger step. 37 states can still deny their gay residents are married so I also knew this journey of ours was not over.

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  • James

    Isn’t it illegal to get married more than once? You can have as many celebrations/ceremonies as you like but surely only one legal marriage to the same person? (at least without a divorce in between)

  • Gorecky

    I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45 to 85 per/h. Without a doubt this is the easiest and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started 6 months ago and this has totally changed my life. Here’s what I do Going1.C0M_

  • yaoming

    Can you really get “more protection” by getting married more than once?

  • davegun2

    Hey, it wasn’t all Pity Party all nite that Wednesday in WeHo! *see earlier, riveting story* I walked around, checking out the entire venue (that’s how we Hollywood types talk, you know) … the bars, main stage, that sort of thing.

    Everywhere I went, someone … hell, even some whole groups! … would recognize my other persona, the fabulous Fortuna Monsoon.

    So, making his way towards me through the crowd outside was a (very) handsome older gentleman with a huge smile on that (very) handsome face. (The bars in WeHo almost all have very large outdoor patios for their patrons. This IS the tropics, after all.) Kissing me on the lips and shaking my hand a couple of times, he gushed, “You are the most genuine, real, unaffected (don’t forget authentic, I thought, adding to the redundancy) person I have ever seen on tv! I loved you and Jinkx!”

    More xxx’s and ooo’s ensued, after which I managed to sputter out something like:

    “Well, thank you! …You really know me? (It still manages to surprise me)I feel honored.”
    And then …
    “Oh, thanks for talking to me.”
    (I was doing fine up until then. That last one, a little too desperate.)

    This sort of thing had became the norm since my appearance on RPDR. Here at last Wednesday’s celebration it was amplified.

    It started with about seven “twinkles”.

    Really, 21? An insane thought, the only kind, came into my head. “What is this? It’s not time for the release of the new Not-gonna-be-Hostess-Anymore Twinkie’s yet. I don’t need this much sweet stuff.” I know insane.

    One really hot, short, adorable little twink popped up, shrieking, “YOU’RE HIM! OH MY GOD, YOU’RE THAT GUY! YOU GUYS, OMG, LOOK! IT’S HIM!” A chorus of answering shrieks chimed in. Lots more OMG (OH EM GEE, in this generation’s vernacular. It has to be said properly for the full effect) and OH MY GOD, YOU’RE RIGHT, IT SO IS! followed. What exactly is the age-appropriate response to that sort of reaction to your mere (but fabulous) presence?

    What’s an old queen to do?

    I smiled and let them hop around me, taking pictures of themselves and their friends with me. Cute. Adorable, even.

    When they were done squealing over me and taking their pics, (I have a feeling I was being shown off on Instagram that nite) I strolled away, the voice in my head (not THAT kind of voice … the inner dialogue we all have with ourselves. We DO all have that. Right?) “Not a chance, Dave. You’re too old to be thinking things like that about boys like them.”

    … But damn. They WERE cute …

    Seriously. I was recognized by an awful lot of people. Even ended up in what they call a “Hollywood altercation” these days. (More like a battle of the wits with an unarmed person, honestly) This drunk Mexican (which I can say, being part Espanish myself) decided to argue with me about what a transsexual was (School me? Oh no sweetie.) as well as spouting off some ridiculous opinion that RuPaul “always dresses the same, just different colors of the same thing.”

    Sure, guy. “Honestly, RuPaul … you really need to update your tired, boring old wardrobe and find a sense of style.” Says the Mexican in the ugly dirty sweatpants.
    I’m ashamed to say that the last comment got to me, and suddenly, there I was, having a complete PTSD meltdown, yelling at a perfect stranger in the middle of a club on the biggest night in WeHo. It all having started because he recognized me and had really loved me on the show. I went high dudgeon.

    Before the cerveza bottles started to fly … if you lived here, you’d understand. (And if you don’t, trust me, it happens) … I split and high-assed it down the street.

    Finally, the evening was winding down. I stood outside another fine local drinking establishment, smoking a little doobie I’d brought along just for this occasion. (Ahhh, CA … land of medical marijuana) Oh, for God’s sake, people. Don’t judge me. I’m a child of the 60s. Hell, in 1960, I was hanging out with beatniks at The Fifth Estate on Sunset Blvd.

    ( Historical reference here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Estate_(periodical)on where the name of a periodical “The Fifth Estate” came from. It references the bar. )

    As I was enjoying my smoke, I look over to see this short, mixed race guy with a big, dumb grin on his face. His eyes were wide as saucers and popping out of his head.

    Remembering the earlier encounter at the club, I smiled. “Don’t tell me. You know me, right?” He was already too close to me, and now he stepped forward, too far into my personal space. His breath smelled of yesterday’s sun-ripened garbage and he whispered, “Why? Should I?”

    I felt it was very polite of me not to hurl on his shoes.

    That was it.

    My fifteen minutes were up. (Officially!, as Detox would say)

    This guy did NOT know who I was.

    And his face was in mine.

    He spoke in a whisper, “I don’t know you man, but you are SO hot. Gimme a kiss.” I resisted the urge to urp.

    He started licking his lips and moved closer to my face, his eyes slightly closed. Oh, what the fuck. Dave!? Just get it over with.

    Thank God he didn’t tongue me, I guess. You see his lips were wet, sticky with some thick, viscous-like spittle. “Nite!” I yelled, already running across the street.

    Don’t think me mean. I’m just the teller of this story. But as I turned back to look at my new friend, his entire body had shrunk down into the posture of somebody with an obvious spina bifida condition.

    His eyes? Still had that “I just saw a Hollywood star!” bulge, the grin staying wide and contorted. Again, it was obvious to me now that he had extensive nerve damage as well, from the spina bifida.

    He turned away from me, and Quasimodo”d down the block a short distance.

    He stopped. Reached in and searched through a city trash can, found something to eat, and continued his shuffled down the street, our paths having briefly crossed, two strangers lives having intersected one fascinating night in WeHo, CA, USA, Planet Earth.

    And how did YOU spend the most important evening in this country’s history?

    Dave Lara

  • Harley

    @James: you can’t get married more than once to different partners without divorcing the first. But one can marry the same person more than once. Take a couple together for 50 years wanting to renew their vows. This is the same thing here.

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