After being together for 61 years, they can now finally make respectable men of each other.
Richard Dorr and John Mace fell in love in the 1950s but it took until last weekend for New York state law to allow them to marry.
Late on Friday night, as the public gallery chanted “USA! USA!”, New York's same-sex marriage bill passed – just – by a 33-29 margin.
Four Republican senators joined all but one Democrat in backing the new law in a wily piece of politicking by new governor Andrew Cuomo, who made the legislation a priority of the first session of his first term.
One Republican who crossed the floor, Mark Grisanti, said he opposed gay marriage for religious reasons but could not deny equal rights to gay couples: “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage. Who am I to say that someone does not have the same rights that I have with my wife, who I love, or to have the 1,300-plus [State] rights that I share with her?"
Another, Roy McDonald from upstate New York, was more direct.
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing,” McDonald said.
“You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it; I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.”
New York City is already planning a marketing rollout to attract gay couples to the city to get married, a move Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims will boost the local economy.
Of course, not everyone is happy.
The Catholic Church said it was “deeply disappointed” while the lone Democrat to vote against the bill, Senator Ruben Diaz, said, “I will, never, ever, accept gay marriage.”
Many critics pointed to the bible and claimed marriage was the exclusive domain of a man and a woman. The same men and women who often lie, cheat, have children outside their marriage, and get divorced and remarry countless times.
But Richard Dorr, 84, and John Mace, 91, won't care about the critics. After all, for most of their lives they have been told their love is wrong. All 61 years of it.
"It was just that we had to be together,” said Dorr.
And amen to that.