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updated: 12/23/2012 2:37 PM

Richard Adams, early figure in gay marriage, dies

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Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Richard Adams, an early mover in the push for same-sex marriage both at the altar and in the courts, has died.

Attorney Lavi Soloway says Adams died last Monday at his Hollywood home at age 65 after a brief illness.

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In 1975 Adams and Tony Sullivan received a marriage license from a county clerk in Boulder, Colo., along with five other same-sex couples.

They then applied for permanent residency for Sullivan, an Australian.

The men received an official letter from U.S. immigration that not only rejected their marriage and petition but used an anti-gay slur.

Adams' attempt to overturn that decision was the first federal lawsuit seeking gay marriage recognition, according to the Advocate magazine and the Los Angeles Times, the first media outlets to report his death.

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