Leave a comment

MEUSA Remembers Long-time Member and Leader Elmer Lokkins

Long-time MENY/MEUSA member and leader Elmer Lokkins

Long-time MENY/MEUSA member and leader Elmer Lokkins

The Marriage Equality USA family lost a wonderful friend and powerful advocate this week in long-time member and leader Elmer Lokkins.  Elmer and his husband Gustavo (Gus) Archilla became for many symbols for our organization’s marriage equality movement in New York State. They were together for over six decades before Gus’s death in 2012.

Elmer was a decorated Army veteran of World War II, earning multiple honors and acclamation before being honorably discharged and moving to New York City. There, in 1945, he met the love of his life and worked at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.

As the fight for the freedom to marry grew, friends and advocates at Marriage Equality New York (MENY) convinced them to become a face for our movement in New York.  They began to do interviews and make appearances.  They were the leaders of the MENY Pride contingent in 2007 – riding in a rented pedicab at the head of the march.  The image of them together that day was wonderful, especially watching them lead the march with a rainbow umbrella covering them from the Sun.

In 2010, they moved to Marco Island, Florida, to be close to their niece and to enjoy the warm weather.  Gus died in November of 2012 and Elmer spent the last several months being cared for by his niece and several caring home health aides.  Even though he was suffering from a rare disease with no cure, he was always smiling, laughing, and treating friends and strangers kindly.

All of us at MEUSA (and formerly MENY) owe Elmer and Gus a tremendous debt in bringing our movement to where it is today.

About these ads

About Marriage Equality USA

Marriage Equality USA is a volunteer-driven national grassroots organization whose mission is: "To secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships". We are a registered 501(c)3.

Your Voice

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 109,279 other followers