Cecil and Carl, In Sickness and In Health
Over a year ago, Cecil Bethea, 84, watched nursing home attendants hold back his longtime partner, Carl Shepherd, 72, as Cecil turned to go home, where the couple lived together for nearly 39 years.
The two talked about getting married three decades ago, but as gay marriage wasn’t an option, they concluded they were content to continue living together. Cecil said, “signing that lease was our marriage certificate I suppose… Then when we bought the house, we both signed on for that and a house does bring you close together, stretching out into the future.”
Cecil and Carl toast with a friend to celebrate Carl’s 72nd birthday at My Brother’s Bar in Denver. The couple agrees they met in a bar in 1969, but differ on the location. “There was a dispute we’ve never settled about where we met. I say it was in Mary’s Bar and Carl says it was the Backdoor,” Cecil said. “He came up and asked me a silly question. We got to talking and we spent the night together. We decided to see each other again.” (Photo By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post)