When married couples reach their 50th wedding anniversary, we throw them huge celebratory parties, and rightly so. It’s quite an achievement to spend 50 years together with one person and to continue to be happy together. They’re definitely role models for us all.
Since same sex marriage has only been around for a handful of years in the U.S. and Canada, we don’t have “officially wed” gay and lesbian couples with longevity to admire. That’s not to say that we don’t have our own role model couples though who have shared long term “wedded bliss” in the larger sense of the term.
Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine are one such pair and a pretty high profile one at that! Shayne is a retired President of Warner Brothers Television, a former “big name” casting director, television actor and Broadway star. Sunshine is a celebrated illustrator, painter, sculptor and Emmy Award Winner (for advertising). His artwork is on display in museums around the world. He previously headed an ad agency where he coined the enduring advertising slogans; “What Becomes a Legend Most?” and “Danskins are Not Just for Dancing”. They’re quite the power couple and they have been for more than 50 years!
Alan and Norman were finally married in Massachusetts in 2008. They were free to be themselves after years of hiding their relationship. They’ve chronicled their 50+ year journey in their jointly authored book, Double Life: A Love Story from Broadway to Hollywood published by Magnus Books in November of 2011.
If you read the synopsis of this book and some of the other reviews you’ll see that it’s both an interesting look inside of Hollywood when being gay would get you blackballed, not only for roles, but out of the film industry, and that it’s also a timeline of the times; where we were and how far we’ve come. This book is absolutely fascinating in both respects. These two gentlemen have quite a story to tell.
Their work history and relative fame aside, their main point here seems to be this: Their marriage is no different that a heterosexual marriage. Their life together is much the same as the life forged by a long term male/female couple. They believe we all should have the same rights under the Constitution. To that I say, Amen gentlemen, Amen!