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Eugene Woodworth, who legally married partner of 60 years, dies at age 85

PORTLAND, Ore. – Eugene Woodworth, who married his partner of 60 years earlier this month, died Saturday after recently being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was 85.

Woodworth married Eric Marcoux at the Clark County, Wash. Courthouse, just across the Columbia River from their home in Portland. Oregon has not legalized marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but the State of Washington has.

The touching wedding ceremony was documented by SDGLN in an article titled “Love story will move you to tears.” The men had wed twice before in religious services that were not considered legal marriages.

The couple met in 1953 in Chicago, where Woodworth was a ballet dancer and Marcoux had just left a Trappist monastery.

They got married with the hope that Marcoux, 83, will be able to receive Social Security benefits as the surviving spouse. Woodworth got about $1,000 in Social Security benefits per month, while Marcoux only gets $189. This month, both Social Security and the Treasury Department issued guidances that advised surviving gay spouses to file for those benefits.