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December 23, 2012
Decades before gay marriage started to see major popular breakthroughs, there was Richard Adams (left) and his partner, Anthony Sullivan. The duo made history in 1975, when they applied for—and received—a marriage license from a liberal-leaning county clerk in Boulder, Colo. (They were one of six couples on hand that day.) The licenses were invalidated by the state of Colorado, and Adams and Sullivan found themselves in a series of legal battles, as Sullivan, an Australian national, was denied a permanent resident petition. The letter they received from Immigration and Naturalization Service read as such: “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two f———.” A series of appeals later failed for the couple, but after a stay in Europe, they returned to the U.S. and laid low for more than two decades. Adams, who died Monday at 65, lived to see same-sex marriage increasingly accepted legally and culturally. He is survived by Sullivan, his mother, and a number of siblings. (Los Angeles Times file photo)
14:54 // 11 months ago