“Devotion,” a new video released by Freedom to Marry, delves into seven decades of Bill Campbell and Jon Hilton’s relationship together.
“I saw this fascinating looking person and I was totally taken by him and I thought this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me – and sure enough it was,” said Campbell in the video.
Their story illustrates the love that is possible in a same-sex relationship. Part of the Devotion Project from April 2011, this version is the second in the series of collaborations between Freedom to Marry and the organization.
“We’ve been together in the 50s the 60s the 70ths the 80s the 90 the 00s and now we’re in the 11s…7 decades,” said Hilton in the video.
He tells of the letters that Campbell wrote to him while he was away at war in Europe.
“He would write me every several days these wonderful letters about how he couldn’t wait for me to come back.”
One of the letters says:
One year ago today! I’m remembering the birth of my greatest and completed happiness on this day. I am the happiest and most grateful man. I have tried to tell you at so many times and in so many ways what it all has meant to me and I must say it again today. That the joy I have known in being your friend has never been surpassed and it brightens every prospect for the future. I can only wish fervently that all these future days we can celebrate together and weld our affections in an ever strengthening bond. Jon, I think of you and cant wait to be with you.
Letters were always signed “MTE, Bill,” standing for “More Than Ever.”
The pair were registered as domestic partners in New York when the filming took place April 15 and 16, 2011. Just seven weeks before legislation was passed in New York to end the same-sex marriage ban, on May 7, 2011, Bill passed away from Parkinson’s.
Their story is one that can inspire generations, and hopefully change minds regarding the endurance of love.