Gustavo Archilla, who married his
partner in Canada after nearly 6 decades in 2003, died on November 27
on Marco Island, Florida. He was 96.
According to The
New York Times, Archilla died from complications arising form
an aneurysm of the aorta.
Archilla met his future husband, Elmer
Lokkins, in 1945 while strolling across Columbus Circle in New York
After 58 years together and well into
their 80s, they eloped to Canada in 2003.
Suddenly, their relationship moved from
the closet to the Gay Pride Parade, inspiring a generation of young
“Canada made it possible for us,”
Archilla told a crowd in 2007 gathered at New York City's annual
Wedding March. “I hope everywhere else it will soon be possible.
Maybe while we are still alive, though there is not much time left.”
“What we did was finally cap it all
up – make it seem complete,” he told the Times in 2003.
“It was about fulfilling this desire people have to dignify what
you have done all your life – to qualify it by going through the
ceremony so that it has the same seriousness, the same objective that
anybody getting married would be entitled to.”
Archilla is survived by his husband and
a brother, Eliel.