The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 15, 2013

After 40 years, it was time to get married

The Daily Star

---- — This newspaper publishes lots of wedding announcements, but one that appeared prominently in Monday’s edition was especially heartwarming.

It concerned a couple that has been together for about 40 years. One of them is 75, and is in O’Connor Hospital in Delhi because a bad fall caused a spinal column injury that will necessitate moving into a nursing home.

The other is 59, and already had medical proxy for the 75-year-old, but getting married will help ease the way through whatever bureaucracies will present themselves in the future.

The Rev. Bert More presided over the ceremony at the hospital last week and asked the couple if they would love, honor and cherish each other.

Bill Warren, 75, and Renard Latour replied in the affirmative.

“You have found the gift and the grace to share together and to be together,” More said. “I just think it’s remarkable and amazing that the two of you have found each other and stayed with each other.’’

There were happy guests, punch and marble cake trimmed with blue frosting, all in all a wonderful occasion, made not less so _ and possibly even more so, by the fact that both of those who exchanged vows are men.

It was a gay marriage, and we would like to think that it is the embodiment of what the New York Legislature had in mind when it legalized same-sex marriage in 2011.

Before passage of the law, and in the controversy still argued about in other, less-enlightened states, opponents of gay marriage insist that it somehow is a threat to traditional, heterosexual unions.

If any other marriage — gay or straight — has fallen apart in the last week as a result of the Warren-Latour union, we haven’t heard about it.

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

Like most weddings, the preparations were the most difficult aspects of the nuptials. But one of the betrothed being in a hospital presented special problems. Those were dealt with adroitly by Dr. Alberto Gaitan, according to O’Connor Director of Operations Edward McGrath.

Gaitan reached out to the staff and the community and took care of details that included procuring the marriage license and finding an official for the service. Circle of Life, a privately owned ambulette service in Delaware County, provided transportation from the hospital to the Delhi town clerk’s office so Warren could sign a marriage certificate.

The ceremony made it legal, but the union had held strong for four decades.

“We were as married as anybody,’’ Latour said.

More probably put it best.

“It’s like any wedding.” he said, “It’s about the couple getting married,”