Writer Patricia Cornwell speaks out for gay marriage

Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:18am EST
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By Belinda Goldsmith

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - Crime writer Patricia Cornwell is a master storyteller but had shied away from telling her own tale, until this year when uproar about same-sex marriages in the United States prompted her to go public.

Cornwell, 52, has been married for two years to Staci Ann Gruber, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School whom she met while researching neuroscience for one of her thrillers about forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta.

The author said she always used to feel uncomfortable with the focus on her personal life, but she has accepted this comes with her success as a writer.

After all, there aren't too many motorcycle-riding, scuba-diving, helicopter pilot alpha female authors who delve into the minds of serial killers.

Cornwell, who has just released her 16th Scarpetta book called "Scarpetta," said the heated debate on same-sex marriages in the United States made it time for her to talk about her own.

"At my age, I have been around a while now and I am less uncomfortable with those sorts of revelations than I used to be," Cornwell told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"Maybe it is a function of getting older but I think it is important to stand up and be counted. When you're not in a relationship your sexual orientation is more theoretical but it becomes more real when you are with somebody and you are not going to hide that."

Cornwell and Gruber live in Massachusetts, one of two U.S. states where single sex marriages are legal. The other is Connecticut.   Continued...

<p>A lesbian couple hold hands as they look at a wedding photo at their home in San Francisco, California June 11, 2008. REUTERS/Erin Siegal</p>