Playwright and Activist Larry Kramer Marries David Webster in Hospital Following Surgery

By Carey Purcell
25 Jul 2013

Larry Kramer and David Webster
Larry Kramer and David Webster
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Playwright and longtime gay rights activist Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart) married his partner, architect David Webster, in the intensive care unit of NYU Langone Medical Center July 24, according to the New York Times.

It was a case of life mirroring art, as Ned Weeks, the protagonist in The Normal Heart, also marries his partner, Felix, in the hospital. Kramer is recovering from surgery for a bowel obstruction and, Webster said, is feeling better with the hope of moving to a private room soon.

The Times reports that the couple had set a wedding date a few weeks earlier, planning to be married on the terrace of their apartment with two witnesses and the officiant, Judge Eve Preminger. Their noon-time hospital wedding was attended by two-dozen friends and relatives and led by Judge Preminger.

"I had been traveling when Larry went into the hospital," Webster said to the Times, "and when I was back and he was able to talk, he told me he had invited 20 people to the I.C.U. for the wedding. So it turned into a little party at his bedside."



The two men exchanged Cartier rings, speaking from the heart rather than exchanging vows. “Why would Larry need a script?” Webster said to the Times.

Kramer, one of the first prominent advocates in the early 1980s for government action against H.I.V. and AIDS, helped found the Gay Men's Health Crisis and Act Up and penned several plays about gay men and AIDS, including Just Say No, A Play about a Farce and The Destiny of Me, along with The Normal Heart, which won the Tony Award for Best Play Revival in 2011. In June Kramer received a Special Tony Award for humanitarian service.

A film adaptation of The Normal Heart began filming in Fire Island in June. 

Kramer, who had referred to state-permitted gay weddings as "feel good marriages" because they did not provide strong tangible benefits, decided he and Webster should marry after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Kramer, 78, and Webster, 67, dated in the 1970s and have been partners since the mid-1990s. Several characters in Kramer's 1978 novel "Faggots" are based on himself and Webster.