Last Friday, according to an email I received from Center Advocates, Richard Taylor passed away at the age of 81. I never met Mr. Taylor, but I’m sure I would’ve liked him. He sounds like he was my kind of guy.

Last December, Mr. Taylor and his husband,Ray Vahey, testified for the rest of us by coming out of their nearly 50 year closet to tell their story of love. They have been together since 1956. With the divorce rate at 50% and the added stress of being closeted, I can’t imagine how to make a marriage last 50 years. It is quite a shame that Mr. Taylor and Mr. Vahey never got to stand up as a legally married couple in this state — or any other. We have a real problem in this country when we don’t allow loving couples to “marry”.

According to the email I received, “Richard was indomitable and free-spirited, walking his Lower East Side neighborhood in his trademark britches, argyle knee socks and stylish hat fit for the season. He survived the Depression, naval battles in the South Pacific in World War II, and decades of blatant homophobia with Ray’s companionship and his trademark saying “think nothing of it;” but I’ll always remember him for his advice to younger activists: “Agitate, agitate, agitate!””

Godspeed, Mr. Taylor, I’ll keep you and Mr. Vahey in my prayers.

The rest of us should hang our heads in shame for keeping up this sham that we are a “Christian” nation when we deny rights to anyone else.

God Bless