Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Open
AARP Real Possibilities

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

A Minority Within a Minority

While some same-sex Hispanic couples enjoy new benefits, others fight for legal equality and acceptance

En español | On the day New York passed its marriage equality law, in June 2011, Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte lay in a Manhattan hospital bed with an intestinal infection. That scenario, says his partner, Humberto “Tico” Torres, convinced them to take advantage of the new law and get married.

See also: Defying the macho culture.

Despite 27 years of devotion and commitment to each other, they had no legal standing as a couple. Without being married, neither the hospital — nor any other institution — would recognize them as next-of-kin or allow one to make medical decisions if the other were incapacitated.

Two men embrace behind a rainbow flag, Same Sex Rights

— Photo by: Corbis

“We realized that we really had no rights, that anything could happen to us at any time and we weren’t protected,” says Torres.

After Rodriguez-Duarte, 49, recovered, he and Torres, 50, signed up for a lottery to determine which gay and lesbian New Yorkers would be the first to legally marry in the Empire State. They said, “I do” on that historic first day: July 24, 2011.

Only New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. When it comes to the rest of the country, gays and lesbians do not have the choice — or the newly acquired benefits that come with it — that was presented to Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres.

“It was a beautiful day,” says Torres, “but bittersweet because [same-sex marriage is] a right being rejected across the country.”

As gay Latinos, photographer Rodriguez-Duarte and fashion stylist Torres consider themselves a minority within a minority. While some gay and lesbian Hispanics believe that Americans are more accepting of same-sex unions than people in their native countries, the couple isn’t so sure about tolerance in the Land of the Free.

Next: The right to decide. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Today's News

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members save 20% on digital hearing aids with AARP® Hearing Care Program from HearUSA.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.