Olympian Gail Marquis and Her Wife for Marriage
Tuesday, in light of oral arguments pending in front of the Supreme Court that will affect the treatment of same-sex couples in the U.S., Freedom to Marry and the Devotion Project released an online video featuring Gail Marquis, an Olympian basketball player, and her wife, Audrey Smaltz, a fashion editor, businesswoman, and former model. The video, featured in an exclusive story by the Grio, is the first in a series of collaborations between Freedom to Marry and the Devotion Project spotlighting the importance of marriage for committed same-sex couples.
“Anyone can see that Gail and Audrey are a great match and, moreover, that they are committed to spending their lives together and taking care of each other,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “As with so many other loving couples, their wedding day was one of the most beautiful and memorable days of their lives. Videos like this show why marriage matters to gay and non-gay couples alike, and why all couples should have the freedom to marry and the ability to protect the families that they build together – in every state, and with full recognition by the federal government.”
Marquis won a silver medal as a member of the 1976 USA Olympic Basketball Team and was recently inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. She grew up in Queens, New York and is now a broker operating her own financial company. Smaltz, who grew up in Harlem, is a former model, commentator for Ebony Fashion Fair and contributing editor forVoguemagazine. She is now chief executive and founder of the backstage fashion management company Ground Crew. The couple divides their time between New York City and Jersey City.
The pair met at a seminar in 1999 and went on their first date a few months later. They have been together since, for a total of 14 years, and were married in November 2011 in New York City. The video is a snapshot of Gail and Audrey in their current life, with interviews of them discussing their individual pasts and footage of them taking their vows in front of family and friends. “We’re leaning on each other,” Marquis says.