Washington (State)

‘Bearded Love’ — Everyday couples is what marriage equality looks like

Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd.
Photo © Meryl Schenker, ZUMA Press Staff Reports

When the first same-sex weddings in Washington state commence on Sunday, among them will be Seattle-area residents Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd.

Duncan, 56, and Shepherd, 48, caught the eye of photographers in the early morning hours yesterday when King County, Wash., officials began issuing the first marriage licenses to eager gay and lesbian couple.

Larry Duncan and Randell Shepherd.
Photo © Meryl Schenker, ZUMA Press

Seventy-two couples down the line were Duncan, a retired psychiatric nurse, and Shepherd, a computer programmer, of North Bend, Wash. They wore matching duck hunter hats (“a fashion statement,” Duncan joked) and matching shoulder-length white beards. They’ve been together 11 years, reported NBC News.

The photograph (above) of Duncan and Shepherd taking their oath before obtaining their marriage application was snapped by Seattle photojournalist Meryl Schenker, and went viral on numerous blogs and the sharing website Reddit, with the all too familiar caption of simply, marriage equality.

“We were at a party and we met eyes and fell in love,” Duncan said.

“He came up and asked me out, and I said yes,” Shepherd added.

“Enough people have told me, ‘God hates fags,’” Duncan said, who described himself as ‘Old South.’ “I want someone in a church to say, ‘God loves fags,’ to have that stamp on it.”

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