Daniel O'Donnell and John Banta
By Evan Lambert
And they’re still getting along pretty well these days: The couple was recently married on January 29, in a ceremony of about 400 people at Guastavino’s.
According to O’Donnell, the idea to get married didn’t occur to him and Banta until 2004, when a lawyer friend pushed them to participate in the fight for marriage equality in New York. After all, O’Donnell—a former lawyer (and 2011 Out100 honoree)—had recently been elected to the State Assembly, and thus had some influence up in Albany. Although he didn’t think that he and Banta were right for the job, he still decided to bring it up over dinner at a Greek restaurant in Morningside Heights.
When he mentioned the idea, however, Banta said it was out of the question. When O’Donnell asked him why, Banta told him it was because O’Donnell had never proposed. After some thought, O’Donnell said, “OK, fair enough. Will you marry me?”
Banta, of course, said, "Yes." And the rest is history.