By National Memo

Weekend Reader: Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories Of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples

February 16, 2013 12:15 am Category: Memo Pad 38 Comments A+ / A-

On Thursday, the state of Illinois found the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – passing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. For the first time in American history, same-sex couples in 10 states will now be able to marry those they love.

A recent book by Rodger Streitmatter details the stories of 15 powerful same-sex couples. The following is excerpted from this book, which you can purchase here.

Walt Whitman & Peter Doyle, 1865-1892: Revolutionizing American Poetry

Communicating Their Love In Letters

Whitman and Doyle began writing to each other in 1868, the first time they were apart after beginning their outlaw marriage. The men were separated because Whitman visited his family in New York, while “Pete the Great” had to stay in Washington to work. Their correspondence continued, off and on, whenever they were apart, for almost two decades.

In the first surviving letter, Doyle exclaimed, “I could not resist the inclination to write to you this morning it seems more than a week since I saw you.” Whitman then responded, “I think of you very often, dearest comrade—I find it first rate to think of you, Pete, & to know that you are there, all right, & that I shall return, & we will be together again.”

In the six weeks that the men were apart that first time, Doyle wrote at least seven letters and Whitman wrote at least 11.

During that period as well as during later ones, Whitman routinely began his letters with the words “My darling” and ended them with phrases such as “Love to you, my dearest boy” or “So long, dear Pete–& my love to you as always.” Doyle ended his letters by writing “Pete the Great” or “Pete X X,” using the X’s to represent the kisses he sent his partner.

Outlaw Marriages by Rodger Streitmatter, © 2012 by Rodger Streitmatter. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.

Weekend Reader: Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories Of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples Reviewed by on . On Thursday, the state of Illinois found the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day -- passing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. For the first time in Ame On Thursday, the state of Illinois found the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day -- passing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. For the first time in Ame Rating:

More by National Memo

Former Connecticut Governor Rowland Guilty Of Violating Federal Campaign Laws

Another one-time rising GOP star comes crashing down.

Read more...

Will Chris Christie’s Career Survive?

Read more...

Obama Threatens To Veto Any New Iran Sanctions Bill

Washington (AFP) – U.S. President Barack Obama made a powerful plea Tuesday to give diplomacy a chance to resolve a decade-old standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, as he vowed to veto any new sanctions bill. Addressing foreign policy in the annual State of the Union speech, he also warned that “the fact is,

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • Pingback: Weekend Reader: Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories Of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples | PROGRESSIVE VOICES

  • billbear1961

    I love a good romance, especially between two chaps bucking a hateful system!

    And a hundred years ago—and longer—that really took GUTS!

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    I am inspired by the histories of loving committed couples who lived their loves despite the laws that put them in physical and legal jeopardy. Over the years, these have included inter-racial couples, inter-ethnic couples, inter-religious couples and same-sex couples. Most of those barriers have fallen, and now an increasing number of jurisdictions offer equal protection and recognition of same sex marriage before the law.

    I am glad that my 25+ years same sex relationship has been recognized as a marriage since 2005, but I won’t be fully content until it receives protection and recognition before US federal law and institutions. I also hope it will be recognized and protected before the law at the state level everywhere across the US. To crown it all, I look forward to the day when discrimination in employment and housing, as well as all other aspects of our lives, simply because of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, is made illegal nationwide across the US.

  • billbear1961

    It doesn’t discriminate, you filthy, psychotic FUCK.

    May the devastation you blithely wish on others befall you!

    What goes around comes around.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Sadly, so is stupidity. Though in the long run, it’s just as deadly.

  • metrognome3830

    What a nice thing to say! That is less than intolerant. And in the process of being a total jackass, you give everyone over the age of 65 a bad name. Stupidity can sometimes be cured with a little education. Ignorance, however, is willful and usually incurable.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    Less… You don’t care about the 300,000 infants who got infected through mother to child transmission in 2011, a majority of whom originally got it via their heterosexual husbands in their so-called traditional marriages? Why am I not surprised?

  • lessthantolerant

    I beg to differ, it affects those who desire to participate in deviate sex, drug dealing and sharing your diseased life styles.
    Enjoy you sick f*ck!

  • billbear1961

    What goes on in gay bedrooms that does not take place in straight ones at roughly the same rates?

    How do you explain overwhelmingly heterosexual transmission in the third world, from the start and still today?

    You are a grotesque INSULT to the Danes, one of the most enlightened and progressive peoples on this planet!

    You know NOTHING about my “life style,” except that I’m not a drooling, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal like you.

    Crawl back to the dark confines of Breitbart, mouth-breather!

    Don’t worry—I won’t tell your troglodyte pals about the Viking muscle mags under your bed—for now.

  • lessthantolerant

    My goodness but you think highly of yourself. A Floridian who fancies himself a swordsman. How very childlike. Turn off your video games and get out of your mom’s basement.

  • billbear1961

    The psycho would piss his pants if there were a revolution (of any kind).

    Well, he probably pisses his pants, pretty much regardless.

  • leadvillexp

    You started out with a good comment, but ended it badlywith your edit. Yes he is an idiot. I am 61, a Republican and a Life member of the NRA. I believe same sex partners have the same rights as the rest of us. I march to no ones tune. No party, religion or organization tells me what to believe in. I voted for President Obama and support some of his ideas but not all. It would be better for the country if we got away from this all or nothing attitude and started working together. I also heard, sometime ago, about an old lady, (80?) in a wheel chair that was mugged. She was on her way to the shooting range and pulled out her hand gun and shot her assailant. It’s to bad more gay people don’t carry.

  • lessthantolerant

    Again you dribble mundane statements which indicate little to no intelligence. Third world transmissions? Please what do you think happens in countries of parasitic unwashed?
    I care nothing of your “life style” I simply state I am glad aids is incurable.
    Viking muscle mags?

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Just count yourself fortunate that you can’t impregnate your right hand . . . though you probably cheat on it with your left hand when your right hand isn’t looking.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    I’ve been competing in swordplay in heavy armored combat, equestrian combat, and full contact renaissance fencing for over 25 years. Have the scars and knitted bones to prove it (they won’t let me post links or pics here).

    I don’t play any video games at all, and I live on an island in the Gulf. We don’t do basements here. Oh, and I own my home outright, and paid it off 16 years ago. So, how are the payments on your singlewide?

  • billbear1961

    Your “goodness”?

    There’s no goodness in you.

    Back to Breitbart with the other limp dicks, limp dick.

  • lessthantolerant

    still dreaming of that tube steak I see, you silly lib men have real issues, are none of you interested I human actions, is it always deviate sex with each other? Sad.

  • billbear1961

    You’re the one who can’t stop fantasizing about sex, you limp psycho.

    Now why does that NOT come as a surprise to me?

    Back to Breitbart with you! GO!

    The disciples of limitless Greed and Hatred are waiting for their incontinent pal!

    What’s one more?

    They’ve got plenty of Depends!

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Actually, what’s amusing is that I was counseling a T*girl last night and advised her that if she was serious about transitioning and starting HRT, to get a CCW permit and get qualified with a weapon she was comfortable with, as T*girls are exceptionally juicy targets for ill-bred predators. My late wife was a pre-op MtF, and carried a .357 Python with a 5″ barrel with her at all times, and had to draw it twice. Never had to fire it, though.

    To me, weapons are last resort tools. If I ever have to pull my piece (I carry a Walther PP), I intend to empty the magazine, then vomit (that virtually precludes any possible prosecution – it indicates extreme duress, which by legal definition constitutes justifiable cause). I’m a Marine vet, O&R recon – I’ve had far more than my fill of blood & guts, and don’t want the nightmares again, I’m finally over them. A gun is a tool, same as a drill or a saw. You use it when you need it, and not before. It’s just there.

    My point was that a great many of the bagro-americans who live in fear and wax vociferous about how they’re going to take on the federal gov’t are filled with bluff, bluster, and like to pretend that their weapons make them all Rambos . . . in their minds. In all too many cases, weapons are penile prostheses for the insecure and vulnerable.

    A gun doesn’t make you safe. You make you safe. It allows you to defend yourself in extremis, but you have to have the will to know when it’s needed, and to use it when required. Thinking a gun makes you invulnerable will just get you killed, and thinking that your gun will let you stand up to the federal gov’t and professional soldiers is just stupidity in the worst form.

  • leadvillexp

    I agree with 99% of what you say and thank you for your service. Many of my best friends were advanced recon in Vietnam. If you are not ready to use it don’t own it and this includes being trained. If you are not ready to shoot it will get you killed. I don’t agree you can’t stand up to a modern army. look at Vietnam, Afganistan, Syria and a host of other nations. Many died and are dying but they started with small arms. All gay, tran or lesbian people are vulnerable. Society is learning but it is slow just like civil rights in the 60′s. Carry on to a better future.

  • SueTX

    Hear Hear! Thank you for your service, sir and the benefit of your experience and wisdom.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Thank you. But we here are comfortable; a revolution in this country lacks the desperation one finds in a place where you’re fighting for your life. I was in Iran training troops when the revolution there occurred, and the rage and fear that the Iranian people felt towards Savak and the Shah were several orders of magnitude greater than the minor miffs we have towards our elected officials. I could sympathize with them – the regime there was brutal like we can’t understand here. I saw it, but wasn’t a part of it, if you understand what I’m saying . . . and got out of there before it all hit the fan.

    We don’t have our relatives dragged off the streets and shot, or vanished, never to be heard from again. We’re not warned that if we ask after our vanished family members that if we keep asking, we can vanish as well, or our kids or our parents, so shut the hell up and get beaten for asking. We don’t hear of the town a few clicks away that were everyone was slaughtered to the last man, woman, and child because they posed a threat to the regime. We don’t find out that the town in the next county was shelled by artillery for a few days because they killed some government officials. Oppression? Get real. We have NO idea what that really means. You get out there and risk your life fighting a professional army because you can’t take it any longer.

    The guys carrying on about a repressive government here haven’t the faintest notion of what that really means. They’re upset about trivialities. When you have to worry about your government killing you, your family, your town, every one who shares your ideals, everyone in your clan, THEN you have enough motivation to take up arms and risk your life. Because you don’t agree with the outcome of an honest election? Because you think that maybe you’re going to possibly be oppressed by some nebulous policy at some point in the future? Give me a break . . . what you have are loudmouths who are pretending they’re badasses. If it came to a shooting battle, they’d piss themselves and run like bunnies.

    Here, gays and TGs have protections under the law, and can protect themselves through force of arms if they need to. And for the vast majority of people, being gay or TG isn’t a big deal any more, There are always assholes, but you’ll have them no matter where you go. But with each generation, we’re progressing, we’re getting better, and contrary to the whiners and snivelers, getting freer.

  • leadvillexp

    I agree with you 100%. Just a last suggestion. Look up Dan Greenfield from the Canada Free Press “And This is Revolution”. Let me know what you think.

  • lessthantolerant

    You poor lobbies continue to entertain me. I see you don’t like be treated like you all treat people. I guess I have found a recipe for success. Looks like this will be the way to go from now on.

    Let’s see, now that you all have the porch monkey of your choice in the white house for another four years, the question remains, who does Mooshelle pimp out her two little breeders to when she needs attention?
    I wonder who in the media has had their share of those little breeders just for a good news story.

    As for greed and hatred, I don’t suffer from either,I have done quite well for myself and live a life very comfortable, now hatred, nope, I find all of you fudge packing liberals simply disgusting.
    Keep trying billybear, its funny.

  • lessthantolerant

    Doofus, let me help you. First, it’s “lessthantolerant”, yes I am intolerant of liberals and weak kneed conservatives who want to play nice, second, I am not over 65 and could care less what you think of the name such age group shall garner.
    Finally, since I do not suffer from your perceive lack of compassion, your insult of stupidity could have little effect.
    Watching these sick deviates take over the education, media and entertainment industry to brainwash children simply so they can garner more young boys to abuse and destroy is unacceptable.
    Thankfully nature corrects her mistakes and hence Aids shall remain illusively incurable.
    Go whine somewhere else.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Read it – he makes some valid points, but the conditions required for a revolution are simply absent. The revolutionary movement in this country has an outlet that is lacking in others – the vote. If enough people get pissed enough, they can radically change the direction of government. Though I will concede that it’s a big if. The right tried and failed miserably to take control of the government in the last election, but the people spoke. They made their institutionally revolutionary choice and soundly rejected them. And that’s a process which will only accelerate over time.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the conservative base is woefully out of touch with the reality in which the rest of the country dwells. They’re confused and in disarray, split between fighting a civil war internally for control and the soul of the Republican party and trying to shut the government down in an effort to prove that government doesn’t work and is the source of all the nation’s woes. Their entire ideological and legislative agenda has been reduced to a single sentence – “Whatever Obama proposes, we oppose.” They are no longer a constructive force, they are committed to the destruction of the government with an eye to rebuilding the wreckage the way they want after the destruction has been completed. Somehow thinking that after they have burned down the house, the owners will appreciate their efforts and allow them to do so.

    However, the people outside their echo chamber have profoundly rejected them, a fact which is utterly lost on those within. Their base is shrinking; the angry, frightened old white people are dying off faster than they can be replaced (there will always be angry, frightened white people, but as a voting block, they are in steep decline). The conservatives have alienated the entire next generation and every demographic in the nation. They are both hoist on their own petard and spit roasted on the horns of their own dilemma.

    If they expand their base, their current base will rend them limb from limb. If they don’t expand their base, their base will decline to insignificance. This is the problem with the revolutions that Dan Greenfield was talking about – they are always more concerned with the purity of their movement than with the success of their movement. And that has doomed them. Conservatism has lost all of its intellectual foundations, and is now reliant on emotion and animus to propel it. It has ceased to be a constructive force and become destructive. And as such, it is doomed to irrelevance unless it can undergo a renaissance, which the base will never permit.

  • leadvillexp

    I believe you are correct. I am a Republican and the last two elections I have voted Democrat because I believe in many of their polices. I am sorry to say though that I think the Democrats have shot themselves in the foot over the gun debate. You saw what happened to Clinton and the Democrats after his deal with guns. President Obama was smart enough to stay away from that issue in his first term. Because he can’t run again he decided to address it now. Watch the next election. There is going to be a huge backlash. They have galvanized the Republicans with many firearms owners. There could be a lot of future problems after President Obama leaves office.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Maybe – it’s one of those ‘wait and see’ things, though. Personally, I think they’re chasing after chimerae and not addressing the real issues, but that seems to be the norm any longer all the way around. But seriously, it’s hard NOT to do anything when you have schools full of 6 and 7 year olds massacred. The public demands action, even if it really doesn’t help . . . the TSA as a prime example. The people wanted to feel safe while flying, so look what they wound up with. People hate the TSA, but if the TSA wasn’t there and a plane got hijacked / bombed, the public would be screaming that ‘Something Has To be Done About This!!’ and asking why the gov’t permitted this tragedy. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  • metrognome3830

    Well, let me restate it. You admit to “lessthantolerant,” but your message is even less than intolerant. For you to label anyone a Doofus only shows your total disconnect from the real world. For starters, you don’t recognize the difference between gay people and pedophiles. My perception of your lack of compassion? If you have any compassion may I congratulate you on a masterful job of concealing it. I expect that makes you feel like a “real” man. Aids is “illusively” incurable? “Illusively” would relate to “illusion.” If you think it’s “illusively” incurable, perhaps that’s just your “illusion.” But you probably meant to say “elusively” incurable. That would fit in more with your intolerance. I’m not surprised that you’re not over 65. I would place your mental age at about 15.

  • lessthantolerant

    Boring!

  • Guest

    my but you are sad.

  • lessthantolerant

    Oh how clever, this kind of drivel just reinforces my belief you liberals are pathetic fudge packing whiners.

  • lessthantolerant

    actually I am quite happy! I enjoy watching you silly libs get upset.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Awwww . . . id ums widdle wingnut having a post pwn pout . . ? Go kick your dog, it’ll make you feel all better.

  • lessthantolerant

    No I do not, can you understand why? These people who would claim have developed HIV/Aids are usually from some third world hellhole where they behave like animals anyway, so, good riddance to bad rubbish.
    Aids is natures way of fixing its errors.

  • lessthantolerant

    Like I said, childish responses just reinforce my beliefs in how sad you are. you actually think making stupid statements to me affects my self esteem?
    how pathetic.
    like I originally stated, thank goodness aids is incurable and remain elusive to eradication.
    You and yours will eventually die out and thankfully in a horrible manner.

  • billbear1961

    Hasn’t fixed you—YET.

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    In other words, I just got pwned again, and so in response I’ll say something both stupid and offensive that will make people mad so they’ll pay attention to me. Pathetic Troll is Pathetic.

scroll to top