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Flashback: Rudy Said He Would Personally Marry His Gay Roommates

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From the New York Times, 8/4/01:

For the past two months Rudolph Giuliani has been coming home at night to one of the happiest marriages in New York.

That's how long the mayor, in flight from his own marital wreckage at Gracie Mansion, has been a frequent sleepover guest at the home of Howard Koeppel and his partner, Mark Hsiao. Mr. Koeppel, who is 64, is a Queens car dealer who has been both a close friend and prodigious fund-raiser of Mr. Giuliani's since 1989. The 41-year-old Mr. Hsiao is a Juilliard-trained pianist who works at the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. They've been together almost 10 years -- are registered with the city as domestic partners -- and in happier times for the Giuliani marriage, double-dated with the mayor and Donna Hanover on New Year's Eve. Now they are doting hosts to Mr. Giuliani as he juggles his raucous divorce, his recovery from prostate cancer treatments, his waning months in office, his romance with Judith Nathan, his post-public-life future and, last but hardly least, his search for an affordable Manhattan apartment rental of his own.

The mayor's progressive record on gay civil rights notwithstanding, he has not endorsed same-sex marriage. But, says Mr. Koeppel, ''He did tell us that if they ever legalized gay marriages, we would be the first one he would do.'' Mr. Koeppel and Mr. Hsiao are in favor of the right to marry -- which, among other things, would give gay couples the same protections as heterosexual couples in legal and fiscal matters ranging from immigration and adoption rights to veterans' and Social Security benefits.