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The Anniversary Party

One decade into the Freedom to Marry Day gay-nups movement, who’s still with his partner?

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When Attorney Evan Wolfson created the first Freedom to Marry Day ten years ago this month, “we didn’t have gay marriage anywhere on the planet,” he says. Not only that, but Wolfson, a Harvard Law buddy of Eliot and Silda Wall Spitzer, was terminally single. (“I’d always say, ‘Those who can’t do, litigate.’ ”) A lot has changed: Gay marriage was one of Spitzer’s campaign promises, and Wolfson has been with Cheng He for five years (they met on gay.com). We checked in with guests at the Chelsea loft party fêting the anniversary and Wolfson’s 50th birthday on changes in their conjugal status since February 1997.


Lisa Jones
Developer of “tolerance programs” for gay and straight kids
Ten years ago, you were … ? Partnered and wishing I could have a marriage bond.
Same partner you’re with today? No. Sonya and I are going on our fifth year.
What’s the biggest difference between your old partner and your new one? Sonya’s very honest—not that the other person wasn’t.
Who cooks? We both do. Lots of veggie burgers.


Matt Paco
MTV producer
Ten years ago, you were … ? Single.
And today? In a relationship for over a year.
What does he do? He’s a chef.
Does he cook for you? Not really. He’s a pastry chef.
Would you marry if you could? We want to live together first.
Do married people annoy you? All they talk about is their kids. Even though I used to work at Nickelodeon and totally adore kids. Especially chubby ones.


Lynda Hansen
Documentary producer and sales agent (“I’m straight”)
Ten years ago, you were … ? Divorced.
And today? Still divorced.
Do you think marriage is overrated? I don’t really believe in marriage.
Are you dating right now? Yeah.
What do you like best about this new guy? He’s funny, smart, and accomplished.
Like least? Nothing yet. It takes time to find the holes.


Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Leader, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah
Ten years ago, you were … ? With the same partner I’m with now. She’s also a rabbi.
Will you marry if Spitzer comes through? We’re waiting for federal marriage rights.
Would you marry yourselves? [Laughs] I hadn’t thought of that. I don’t think so.
What’s the division of labor in the relationship? She does everything. I’m the slob.


Danny Bendavid
Bartender at the party and an actor-model (“I’m straight”)
Should gays be allowed to marry? If two people are in love, they should do what they want.
So, ten years ago, you were … ? When I was 16? I think I was single.
And today? I just moved here eight months ago. I’m kind of seeing some girls.
How many? You’re going to use my name? [Pause] There’s just one I’m really into.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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