Just a Sweet Lesbian Love Story in “Vows” You’ll Probably Like

Way back in 2002, the coveted status-conscious universe of The New York Times‘ Weddings section opened its doors to the homosexuals, even going so far as to rename the section “Weddings/Celebrations” to more clearly include same-sex couples. They acknowledged that although “society remains divided about the legal and religious definition of marriage,” that the Styles section considered “same-sex celebrations” a thing “meriting coverage in their own right.” The most coveted spot has been, and always will be, “Vows,” which devotes an entire story to one couple every week.

You may recall the omnipresence of “Weddings/Celebrations” in the popular television series “Sex and the City,” in which Carrie Bradshaw referred to the section as “the straight woman’s sports pages.” Gawker used to do a very humorous weekly column called “Altarcations” devoted to the analysis and ranking of each week’s chosen ones, who seem largely chosen based on how rich they are and what Ivy League  school they attended.

Anyhow, usually the entire section makes me want to take a nap, but when The Times “recommended” that I check out the story of  Gail Marquis and Audrey Smaltz, I most certainly did, because LESBIAN VOWS ARE THE CUTEST THINGS. This week’s lesbians are especially special.

Audrey Smaltz was a model when she was young — she’s six feet tall! — and was the first black woman allowed to participate in the Miss New York contest. She went on to be a commentator for the Ebony Fashion Fair and is now the founder and chief executive of Ground Crew, a business which provides behind-the-scenes support for fashion shows.

She met Gail Marquis in 1997 at a personal training and development program. Smaltz hadn’t ever dated a woman, she’d been married before and been in a 14-year relationship with musician Lionel Hampton, but Marquis was already totally gay.

Gail Marquis was a professional basketball player when she was young — she’s 6’2! — and won the silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, earning her a spot in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.

So how did these two tall women get together? Go read it yourself. This is the last line –> “She’s my life partner, my lover, my Sweetheart Gentle Giant.” RIGHT?!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. thank you for sharing this. wonderful story.

    wow they are tall.
    they are going to have some tall babies.

    18 year age gap!

    good for them.

    the “kiss you hello” line is dynamite.

  2. yeah they are cute. especially the “i wanted to kiss you hello” part but the article seems… odd.
    why did they mention the cost of the brunch?
    and the whole penthouse, i’m well off, friendly with the mayor, and other non subtle referrences to wealth –
    it seems tacky
    when i watched the episode of sex and the city i assumed the rich persons gossip column was classier,
    like with references to expensive places that only those who knew the true price would appreciate

    but yay for printing a lesbian wedding story!

    i also heard charlotte’s voice in my head while reading it

    • Yeah, as someone who grew up reading these, those are par for the course. Tacky and weird and totally elitist? Yup! No disagreement there. But its definitely a trait of the article- its for Rich People who want Other Rich People (and the blue collar people reading along at home) to Know How Rich They Are. :/

  3. “I was well situated. That’s what held me back”.

    Mmm, my heart bleeds in sympathy ;)

    It’s a cute story and I am happy for them! At the same time though, there were so many moments where I was giggling at it. Maybe I’m a just a horrible person. Like:

    ‘“I want to take you out on a date.”

    “What’s a date?” Ms. Smaltz asked.’

    Well, when a woman likes another woman, she asks her to an Ani Di Franco concert, and then they go home and process their feelings about what it is to be a wom*n living under conditions of patriarchy. The next day, a u-haul comes, and moves all their stuff into the same apartment. And that’s how lesbian babies are made.

    • I just reread my comment and concluded that yes, I am a horrible person. Making fun of someone’s cute first date story… who knows, maybe I’ll be stealing candy from babies tomorrow :p

        • I’ll check whether for the beginnings of an Alternative Lifestyle Haircut and let you know :)

          “Oh, it’s okay little baby, you can have your candy back. *I* only steal candy that is organic, gluten-free and vegan”

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