Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chris Hughes & Sean Eldridge Marry

After a year-and-a-half engagement, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge married in a civil ceremony on Saturday, June 30 before 75 guests at their 8o-acre estate in Garrison, NY. William J. Corbett, a retired village justice, was the officiant. The subsequent reception at Cipriani, an ultra- posh Manhattan restaurant, included 400 guests, among them House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), actor Kal Penn, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), TV host Gayle King, Huffington Post publisher Arianna Huffington, Facebook’s first president (and Napster founder) Sean Parker and freshly-married Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Guests were entertained by a big band jazz orchestra before a blue and white multi-tiered cake topped by two grooms, one blond and one brunette.

Just like Zuckerberg, the couple announced their marriage with a Facebook Life Event update along with a set of photographs. The moment must have been particularly sweet for Eldridge, who until a year ago was political director of the same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry.

Mr. Hughes (holding leash, above), 28, works from New York City, Garrison NY and Washington DC as the publisher and editor in chief of The New Republic magazine (est. 1914), which he purchased last November. TNR is a highly-regarded Washington DC-based politics and arts magazine with a liberal bent. Hughes graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in history and literature before taking a job in California with Facebook, which he had co-founded with Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin. Hughes’ stake in the value of Facebook is today estimated to be $650-750 million. Mr. Hughes also led the online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr. Eldridge, 25, is the founder and treasurer of Protect Our Democracy, an advocacy group based in Garrison that seeks campaign finance reform. He is also the president of Hudson River Ventures, an investment firm. Eldridge graduated from Brown University.

Note: On the same weekend that Hughes and Eldridge married, Facebook rolled out two new timeline icons that show two little grooms (above) and two little brides, to better represent the reality of gay marriage. Previously, all Facebook marriage announcements were represented by a little cake topper icon that depicted a bride and groom. Wedding photos by Mel Barlow, posted on the Facebook page of Mr. Hughes, naturally.

The couple met in November 2005 through a college acquaintance of Mr. Eldridge’s at a brunch in Harvard Square in Cambridge MA. Mr. Eldridge was working as a customer service manager for a moving company in Somerville MA, and Mr. Hughes was a senior at Harvard. At the time Hughes was already a founder of Facebook.

“He was very intelligent and charismatic,” Chris said of Sean. “He was very kind and politically engaged, and he cared about the world around us. All of that was very attractive to me.”

Eldridge was equally attracted. A week later, he asked Chris out on a date.

“I think we shared a lot of important, common interests,” Eldridge said. “We have a love of philosophy, politics and literature. He was one of the most intelligent and ambitious people I had ever met.”

Their first date was at Temple Bar in Cambridge. Sean said that he and Chris “had a great time. It all happened very fast.”

In this YouTube clip filmed two weeks after he became engaged to Hughes, Sean Eldridge delivers a short speech about the urgency of working for the right of same sex couples to marry. Inspiring.

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