This is the final segment in a series centered on Michael McConnell and Jack Baker, two LGBT advocates.
It seems like the best love stories are those that involve struggle. Fiction has a tendency to portray love as two people fighting for each other and defying society’s expectations so they can be together (I’m looking at you, Nicholas Sparks.)
The story of Michael McConnell and Jack Baker bares one more quality to this recipe for romance: they’re real.
Their book detailing the struggle, “The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World” gives voice to how Michael and Jack used their love to question the law, fight for their rights and live their best lives despite the hardship they endured.
In 1971, Michael and Jack became the first legally married gay couple in the United States. Jack also made history as the first openly gay student council president at a university, and both men fought equally for the rights of the LGBT community.
They met as students in Oklahoma at a Halloween dance. From there, they pledged their love and commitment to each other. Jack promised to pursue law in order to find a way for them to marry. They eventually succeeded, and choose to now tell their story in their debut novel.
With all the history and law involved in their lives, Michael and Jack’s book keeps all the jargon without overwhelming the story. Michael, as the narrator, has a light, conversational tone that sounds as if he is telling the story through the pages.
As someone who knows nothing of the law, it was easy to follow the story throughout the novel as it went through the intricacies of their legal battle. This allows the audience, whether amateurs or professionals, to understand how Michael and Jack were able to achieve their historical marriage.
The authors do not spend too much time on one specific topic but choose to touch on everything briefly, to give the readers a better grasp of their overall story. With every aspect of their story, there is the underlying thread of love evident in their relationship.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the authors describing their intimacy and love to each other. I was expecting a somewhat dry and flavorless expression of their history without delving too deep into their love life. Michael and Jack didn’t spare describing their love, as it was a very relevant portion of their fight for their equality.
Overall, their story is one that would be enjoyed by everyone, despite their taste for nonfiction. Michael and Jack provide insight into identity and staying true to yourself.
Easy to read and good for a nice afternoon, “The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World” is definitely something to put on your must-read list.