Chapter 2: To be Let in, not Just Left Alone

It was the mid-1970s in Seattle when a twenty-something radical named Faygele Ben Miriam dragged his boyfriend Paul to a King County office to demand a marriage license. They never managed to get one, but if they'd walked into the office of Boulder county clerk Clela Rorex, she'd have defiantly handed one to them on the spot.

These pioneers were the first vanguard of a new post-Stonewall marriage equality movement, and the overwhelming consensus was that they were nuts. Marriage for homosexuals was too ludicrous an idea to take seriously, and those few activists who spoke out for the cause were shunned and ridiculed.

Decades later, the auditor who rejected Faygele Ben Miriam’s license later became one of the state’s leading voices for marriage equality (on behalf of his lesbian daughter). Clela Rorex’s successor, forty years later, led the charge for equality across all of Colorado.

Everyone thought that early vanguard was crazy. It turns out they were visionaries.

Here are some of the clips discussed on the podcast of the 1971 New York marriage counter zap:

In Your Arms Kevin MacLeod ( 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0