Forty-six years ago, before marriage equality was the law of the land and before gays could openly serve in the United States military, Lewis Duckett and Billy Jones met and fell deeply, madly in love with each other.
When Jones was sent to fight in the Vietnam war, the inseparable couple wrote letters to each other as often as they could, making sure to secretly code their letters so the Army did not discover he was a homosexual, which would have resulted in a dishonorable discharge.
They eventually moved in together, adopted a child and are now grandparents.
And their friends can easily see how deeply their love runs: “It’s almost as if we were considered one [by our friends],” the couple says. “For most of our 46 years together, I don’t know sort of where I stop and he begins. It’s been that kind of blending.”
In October, Lewis and Billy decided to get married and have a ceremony at Riverside Church in Harlem to celebrate the life they have spent together. “It’s an enhancement to the relationship we had,” says Jones.
The New York Times has documented their love journey and beautiful ceremony in a recent short doc, which will most likely result in some joyful tears!