Partners’ 50 Year Anniversary Coincides With Gay Marriage Ruling

Posted at 10:55 PM, Mar 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-22 17:21:09-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (March 21, 2014) – Inside West Michigan Catering on 28th Street in Grandville two milestones were celebrated.

The reason for the gathering, a 50-year anniversary celebration for Ed Ladner and Milt Lennox.  The couple told FOX 17 the party just coincidentally happened to take place the same day a judge ruled in favor of gay marriage rights in the state.

Ladner said it’s been an emotional 50-year journey with his partner but through all those years the topic of marriage rarely came up.

“We didn’t really think a lot about it,” he said.

They didn’t discuss it, he said, because it wasn’t really an option for the two until now.

“It’s amazing that it happened on our 50th,” Ladner said of the court’s decision to recognize a marriage between two men or two women as legal.

50-years-ago, when the couple were first introduced, Ladner said he was still trying to figure out who he was in the world.  He said in the last few years however, he’s watched the country transform.

“(We) have really changed a lot within the eyes and the laws of the nation,” he said.

He’s now optimistic for a day when he can feel completely comfortable being himself where ever he goes.  He admits that courts ruling on gay marriage is an emotional step in that direction.

“We are no different than any other couple,” he said choking back the tears.  “Or persons out to build a life and a future.”

So as he celebrates with his partner, he’s dishing out as many ‘congratulations’ as he is getting in return.

The couple said despite never discussing marriage they plan to be among the first to make it official as soon as they can.