New Republic: The Intimate Story of a Gay-Marriage Pioneer

Michael McConnell and Jack Baker applied for their first marriage license 40 years ago, beginning a lifelong battle.

The Wedding Heard 'Round the World (Michael McConnell and Jack Baker)In John Waters’s film Female Trouble, Aunt Ida (played by ex-barmaid Edith Massey) reveals a sentiment that, I suspect, she has in common with many queer people: “the world of heterosexuals is a sick and boring life.” It’s not so much that marriage is incompatible with being queer, so much as it seems to interfere with all the fun parts: prolific sexual relationships negotiated outside an established set of mores, staying out late instead of running home to pick up children, living with your friends and lovers until everyone had died or moved away, the wholesale rejection of Red-State America. The world of John Waters is, after all, vivid portrayal of queer life as the antithesis of the neat, moral, and prudish side of America.

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Published in: New Republic
By: Malcolm Thorndike Nicholson