It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when singer/songwriter Michael P. Coughlin married his partner, theatre manager Tim L. Carpenter on April 22, at a private residence in Sherman Oaks.
Their union was witnessed by family members and friends—some who flew to the greater Los Angeles area from San Francisco, Chicago, and Kansas, where TLC is from, and New York, where MPC was born.
The couple has been together for well over four years.
Then TLC proposed.
“He proposed to me like a day before our anniversary,” says MPC. “I came home that evening and he was dressed up in a sweater and jeans and shoes. He’s a t-shirt and jeans type of guy, so I thought, ‘What’s going on here?’
He walked out of our bedroom and he bent down on that knee and he said all three of my names, Micheal Patrick Coughlin, ‘will you marry me?’
‘Are you sure?’ I asked
He said, ‘yes.’
And I asked, ‘for reals?’
It all happened in our home. We talked about marriage before, but it was still a surprise. It was lovely.”
This is the third same-sex marriage I have witnessed in my gay lifetime.
The first was when my friends Marko Tomassetti and Brandon Tomassetti tied the knot in 2011. They are still married and are now the parents of two beautiful children.
The second gay marriage made headlines. I witnessed Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis marry my friend Johnny Chaillot in 2013. They are still going strong as husband and husband.
The impression I got from those two weddings was that they were more about the celebration of love and not so much about sending a political message about LGBT rights.
It was no different at the the union of MPC and LTC who didn’t just look happy at the ceremony, but they also looked like they were having fun.
“We didn’t get married to make a statement about gay marriage,” says MPC. “We were already committed to each other. We were already in it to win it, but the thing that did cross my mind is that yeah, we do want to visit each other in the hospital if something goes down. We don’t want someone to be able to run one of us away. And we’ve been paying taxes for over 30-some-odd years, so yes, a tax break would be nice. Thank you.”
What started out as a party that was supposed to have the exchanging of vows somewhere in the mix, turned into something bigger and more meaningful.
“It was a full-on wedding ceremony,” said MPC. “I don’t know if my show mentality kicked in, but I said, ‘this is happening here. The music is going to be on point and I don’t want to hear it.’”
It was a catered affair by Love Catering. There were live singing performances. There was dancing and the stacked wedding cakes baked by my better half Kevin Chase, consisted of a marble yellow and fudge with cream cheese frosting, a dark chocolate with white chocolate frosting and raspberry filling, and a French vanilla with vanilla bean butter cream frosting.
“Regarding our rights, we thought we just want what everyone else has who gets married,” MPC added. “I think in our heart of hearts we thought, if we do it, then that’s it. That’s the statement. We did it fearlessly. If getting married was a political statement, we didn’t mean it to be. I think taking the action was our way of saying we deserve what everyone else deserves.”
It’s a powerful statement considering Texas GOP governor Randy Weber (R-TX) pulled a Jimmy Swaggart with tears running down his face when he asked God to forgive the U.S. for legalizing same-sex marriage at a so called “Washington Man of Prayer” event this past weekend.
I originally planned to post photos on my Facebook page to congratulate these newly hitched guys, but I decided to post about their wedding on this here Hiss Fit because it’s important to document these tiny chunks of LGBT history.
Oh yeah, and making Rep. Randy Weber cry a little harder with a same-sex marriage post makes the icing on the man-on-man wedding cake that much sweeter.
CONGRATULATIONS to the newly wedded husbands.