In 1988 Rudy Giuliani met Howard Koeppel, and the two soon became close friends. They went to operas and baseball games together. They celebrated together on election night, and marched in gay-pride parades. They danced the tango. Koeppel, the owner of a number of car dealerships, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Giuliani's political campaigns. In 1996, after Koeppel witnessed a murder-suicide at one of his dealerships, Giuliani rushed over to console him. "Then he called me every day for the next four days. That's how you know you have a friend," Koeppel recalled in 1999. When Giuliani's marriage was falling apart in 2001 and he was thrown out of Gracie Mansion, he was taken in by Koeppel and his longtime partner, Mark Hsiao. "I'm a friend, a good friend," Koeppel said at the time. "This is what good friends do." Koeppel recently said that Giuliani once promised to marry him and Hsiao himself if gay marriage ever became legal in New York. On Saturday Koeppel and Hsiao did marry, but in Connecticut. A secretary called two days earlier to inform them that Giuliani couldn't attend, but wished them the best.
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