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First Same-Gender Couple Listed in Variety’s ‘Hitched’ Column Looks Back

In 1989, Anonymous Content exec Adam Shulman met Mark Litwin. Five years later, they had a commitment ceremony, a rarity at the time. Now, they’re married … with children.

You made some Variety history…

On Nov. 9, 1994, Mark and I were the first same gender couple listed in Daily Variety’s “Hitched” column, for our commitment ceremony. (Mark was ID’d as Dr. Mark Litwin, though he also was defined as a non-pro … ) No major publications at that point listed gay unions. The New York Times didn’t list them until 2002. We were very happy; our relationship felt as valid as any other, and felt it should be recognized.

Where were you working?

I was in the motion picture literary department at UTA, where there was only one other out gay person. Some agencies had none. And you could count on one hand the number of out studio execs.

Do you have children?

We have a son and daughter, born in June 2000. We had a surrogate, plus a separate egg donor, and we provided our material (I’m trying to make this G-rated). That process was fairly new for couples, gay or straight. We had to petition for a pre-birth judgment, to say both of our names would be on the birth certificate.

The children were born at UC San Diego, where the surrogate lived. Mark and I went to the front office to fill out forms for the birth certificate, and the woman there gave us a hard time about having both names on the form, even though we had a court judgment. It took a couple of days, though it was supposed to take five minutes. They were supposed to issue a certificate saying “parents,” but issued it “mother and father.” In addition, Mark and I had a room, since they were born premature, and the surrogate was in another room. One custodial staff member asked our relationship. We explained, and she said, “That’s disgusting!” and walked out. But everyone else was terrific.

You’re now married?

In 2008, California said gay marriage was legal, so we went to Beverly Hills City Hall and got married that day. The marriage has stayed valid, even though Prop. 8 subsequently banned same-sex marriage (until it was overturned).

(Being married has) made things much easier, if only from a social standpoint. I used to introduce Mark as my spouse or partner, because there wasn’t a word for it. Now I can simply say “this is my husband.” In the arguments, Justice (Anthony)Kennedy talked about dignity. Someone asked me why marriage, instead of a domestic partnership? It’s

hard to explain until you’ve done it. Being married makes a difference. You feel like a first-class citizen.

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