- € 2,49
“One of the greatest love stories I have ever heard played out right here, under this beautiful dome. But it was a secret. . . . Penny and Terry just wanted what so many people want—to express their love through marriage.”
—Illinois Representative Ann Williams
Under This Beautiful Dome tells the true story of journalist Terry Mutchler's secret five-year relationship with Penny Severns, an Illinois State Senator who mentored Barack Obama. Forced to engage in an elaborate ruse to keep their relationship a secret, the two women constantly fear discovery in their conservative town. Denied legal access to the altar, they face even greater hardships when Penny is diagnosed with cancer and begins undergoing treatment.
Set in the political arena, Under This Beautiful Dome reminds us why the march to legalize same-sex marriage is both personal and political. This vivid, beautiful story paints an intimate portrait of a loving relationship and the vast impact gay marriage legislation has on couples and families in America today.
Former Associated Press writer Mutchler shares the transformative tale of her clandestine five-year marriage to Illinois state senator Penny Severn and its devastating aftermath following Severn's death from cancer in 1998. Despite owning a house and living together, Mutchler and Severn went to extreme lengths to hide their relationship, fearful of its impact on Severn's political career. Unexpectedly, Severn's family did not acknowledge their relationship after her death, and due to a misleading will and a betrayal by Severn's twin sister, Mutchler lost her home and possessions. More disturbing is the author's passivity during these ordeals, which she attributes to a childhood defined by fundamentalism. She endured years of depression and alcoholism. Though this memoir deserves a prominent place on gay rights bookshelves (and Mutchler's frank self-analysis is admirable and moving), readers involved in the gay rights struggles of the 1990s may be mystified by the subtitle's lack of historical reference, and both sympathetic to and frustrated by Mutchler's response to injustice.