28, 2008 Together: 5 years
On May 16, a day
after the California supreme court ruled to legalize
same-sex marriage, singer-songwriter David Clement proposed
to his partner, Pulitzer Prize–winning
playwright Doug Wright, on a Post-it note. The note,
attached to a wooden Hello Kitty picture frame bearing a
Halloween snapshot of the couple, said, “Marry me
quickly! Love, David.” Wright said yes.
“It was a
mutual decision we had both been talking about for a
while,” Wright says, sitting with Clement on
the terrace of their apartment in Lower Manhattan.
“But we also both wanted to propose to each
other—we each wanted to have a story to
tell.” So this summer, while dining at a
restaurant overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome, Wright
presented Clement with a hand-blown Venetian glass
Hello Kitty figurine and turned the question around.
On August 28,
joined by their parents and a few intimate friends, the two
men were married at the Casa Del Mar hotel in Santa Monica,
Calif., by Metropolitan Community Church minister Neil
Thomas. As befits a marriage of writers, passages from
James Baldwin, Simone de Beauvoir, Oscar Wilde, and
even Dr. Seuss were part of the ceremony. Afterwards there
was dinner and dancing to their favorite song, the
Andrews Sisters number “Bei Mir Bist Du
Schoen,” in the hotel lobby.
While the wedding
day was momentous, other days stand out as poignantly.
For instance, when Clement became teary eyed as the two went
to pick up their marriage license a few days before
the ceremony, or when the owner of the jewelry store
in Provincetown, where they bought their rings,
snapped a Polaroid of the couple and posted it on the wall
beside photos of other newlyweds.
Now that vows
have been exchanged, Wright can’t seem to shake the
word “partner.” “To me it
connotes a shared enterprise, and that’s what this
feels like,” he says. Clement has no such qualms.
“Not me. I really like the word
‘husband,’ ” he says, “I
use it all the time now.”