It’s a love story made for the movies; after 50 years of common law partnership, lesbian couple 74-year-old Bonnie Foerster and 82-year-old Beverly Grossaint of Salt Lake City, UT, were finally able to call each other wife. The happy moment, unfortunately, was granted permission by the courts mere months after Grossaint passed away.
Last week, according to the Associated Press, Judge Patrick Corum made the legal declaration of the marital union between Foerster and Grossaint official on Tuesday, August 21.
“I’m numb from happiness; I’m married,” Foerster said through waves of emotion outside the courtroom after the ruling. “I’m a married woman. I’ve waited 50 years.”
Better known as Bon and Bev, the couple was introduced in 1968 and quickly fell in love. Foerster, having just left an abusive relationship when she met Grossaint, admits that it was a very different time then, and they were not accepted.
Foerster told Judge Corum of how the couple walked in the first gay pride parade in New York City in 1970, and she can recall the hatred and violence they received.
“We had people throw garbage at us,” Foerster told the judge during the petition.
While Grossaint was Foerster’s caretaker for much of the past 30 years, after multiple surgeries and cancer treatments, it was Grossaint’s emphysema and chronic heart failure that ultimately caused her death in May.
Corum commented that the effective date could be pushed back to 1968, when Foerster and Grossaint began to live together.
Regardless of the date chosen, Foerster, shed tears of joy after the decision was officially made. “I can finally start healing.”