Nicholas Cardello and Kurt English’s love most certainly marches on. The Florida couple, who met nearly 25 years ago, have been attracting massive support from the internet after recently sharing their inspiring love story on Reddit.
In 1993, while attending Washington, D.C.’s LGBTQ rights march together, Cardello and English posed for a sweet photo, one of many in the decades to follow. The two decided to recreate the heartwarming moment at this year’s Equality March for Unity & Pride—and the side-by-side snaps quickly went viral.
Reddit users went crazy for the adorable duo, but what’s most inspiring of all is their love story. Since 1992, the two have worked hard to maintain a solid foundation. “The structure of our society is set up to pull us apart,” Cardello told Mashable. “[We’re] keenly aware we cannot take what we have for granted. A loving partner can be a difficult thing to find. Once you do, you must protect it and nurture it.”
Cardello and English both participate in annual Pride events and are intent on promoting positive societal changes. Their aim is to honor “all those who came before us and paved the way for the rights we have today.”
In 2008, the couple married in Boston, and they wed once again in 2015 when same-sex marriage was legalized following the groundbreaking, historic Supreme Court ruling. As a result, their lives changed.
“We were able to go back and re-file taxes as a married couple,” Cardello said. “I was able to get health insurance on my husband’s health plan. We were afforded all the rights which are automatic with marriage and didn’t have to incur the expense of jumping through the legal hoops to replicate those rights. We also could not be denied access to each other if we were in the hospital and would benefit from each other’s Social Security benefits.”
Cardello acknowledged the need for further change. “In spite of these amazing successes, there [is] no federal or state workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals,” he explained, before noting the prevalence of suicide among LGBTQ youth and the “proliferation of Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws as a backlash to these hard won gains.”
People might not realize that the seemingly simple acts of posting photos, publicly holding hands and kissing require difficult, ongoing decisions for many LGBTQ couples. “I realized that this was just another closet we had to come out of,” Cardello shared. “We need to get more images like this out there so the youth today can have positive role models.”
Cardello and English are proud to participate in Pride festivals and encourage others to rally with them. The concluded, “It allows all of us to come together, to learn from each other and embrace our differences.”
To celebrate #PrideMonth, we want to hear how your Love Marches On. Share your story using #lovemarcheson.