The Liberal Lawyer And The Conservative Writer


Here’s Chris Geidner’s profile of Evan Wolfson and me – who were once the only two gay activists of our generation who, despite core philosophical differences, made the once ludicrous idea of gay marriage the cause of our lives. It was a thrilling time in a way – because it seemed simply impossible, yet to us, utterly irrefutable as a logical and legal argument. We used to joke, as we toured the country, went on every cable show, spoke on campus after campus, agreed to talk-radio grillings, and wrote essays and legal briefs and books and strategy sessions, how funny it was we were so busy fighting for marriage that we didn’t have time to have a boyfriend.

And then the big surprise. We both became the victims of our own arguments:


Sullivan met his now-husband nine years ago at a gay circuit party — “which is not exactly where you think traditional marriage begins: semi-naked on the dance floor at 4 a.m. in the morning,” he joked.

Looking at his phone, which occasionally lights up with a text message from his husband, Sullivan added, “But, we just said goodbye, he’s walking the dogs, and we’re still living together and sharing our lives together.”

“Even me, I was shocked,” Sullivan said of the experience of getting married. “I think there were two moments in my life when I was really shocked by the way I felt. The first was how much shame I felt when I found out I was HIV-positive. And the second was how much joy I felt when I got married. I didn’t anticipate either of those things. And that’s the arc. That’s what we’re really talking about. We’re talking about the human heart here, and its ability to heal.”