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May 13, 2013

Doctor, hospital help gay couple marry

After almost 40 years together, a couple from Roseboom has tied the knot. 

Bill Warren, 75, and Renard Latour, 59, were married Wednesday at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi. The Rev. Bert More led the couple in their vows as about 25 employees and friends watched. 

“It is a privilege for me and a privilege for all of us here to be part of this day,’’ More said. 

New York legalized gay marriage in 2011. Warren and Latour said they were glad the day had come when their relationship could be recognized legally, and Warren said being married was “sweet.”

“We’re regular people — always were regular people,” Warren said. “We’re not running around in the shadows any more.” 

Edward McGrath, director of operations for O’Connor Hospital, said the wedding the was result of efforts by Dr. Alberto Gaitan, who reached out to the staff and the community and arranged for everything from procuring the license to finding an official for the service. McGrath said he knew of “probably two’’ other marriages at the hospital that were conducted at a bedside. 

Gaitan, who recognized that the couple faced some challenges in arranging the wedding, credited teamwork among hospital employees with making the event happen. Also, Circle of Life, a privately owned ambulette service in Delaware County, provided transportation from the hospital to the Delhi town clerk’s office so that Warren, who is disabled, could sign a marriage certificate, he said. 

Warren said that he is weak from a fall that injured his spinal column, and that he and Latour are looking for a nursing home for his continued care. 

Latour said he is Warren’s proxy regarding medical care. But though the records are clear and they have been partners for almost 40 years, Latour said, he still faced some questions and challenges. With married status, the relationship is clear and will help in efforts to seek care for Warren, he said. 

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