If not for the political turmoil of the last few years, Eric Ostrow and Scott Linder would probably not be planning to celebrate their 28th anniversary in December as a newly married couple. “I always used to tease Eric: We’ll just be like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn — no need to get married,” Mr. Linder said. But the threat they felt was strong enough that they decided to reconsider their position. “The past four years were terrifying for us,” said Mr. Ostrow, the director of client services at the law firm Harmon Linder & Rogowsky in New York. “I did not feel safe as a gay man.”
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year, he added, was particularly upsetting. “It hit us both really hard.” As the composition of the Supreme Court changed, they worried their rights — rights they had helped fight for — might be curtailed or even eliminated. “Unfortunately, anything is possible in this country nowadays,” Mr. Linder, a Syracuse University graduate, said.
The pandemic, and all the anxiety and stress it created, also contributed to their decision to move forward with getting married. “We’ve had such a horrible past year and I felt like I wanted to share some joy and love with people that I love,” said Mr. Ostrow, who also hosts a live theater podcast, “Live At The Lortel,” with Joy DeMichelle and John-Andrew Morrison.
It wasn’t a difficult pivot to make. Neither of them had been opposed to making their partnership official or celebrating their union with friends and family. But they were happy and saw no reason to make a change when gay marriage finally became legal in New York in 2011, almost three decades after their first date. “We felt we had such a fantastic relationship, such a fantastic life together,” said Mr. Linder, who recently left Omega, the luxury watch company, where he was an operations manager, to start his own investment business.
Given their long-term success as a romantic unit, a dramatic, surprise proposal was out of the question. Instead, they discussed how they wanted to move forward in the same way they try to approach everything else, through open conversations. Their first thought, Mr. Ostrow said, was to “go down to the courthouse and just do it and not make a big deal out of it.” They quickly expanded their plan to include their families when Mr. Ostrow’s mother and Mr. Linder’s sister-in-law made it clear they did not want to miss out. But that, too, turned out to be too narrow. For the couple, family extends beyond blood relations to include friends.
“Those people have pretty much been in our lives since 1993 when we met so they are literally, you know, our brothers,” said Mr. Ostrow, 53, who has an M.F.A. in theater from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Before they knew it, the guest list had expanded to more than 100.
The wedding was held July 31 at the home of a friend in Watermill, N.Y., with Jonathan Comisar, an ordained cantor, officiating.