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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations to Meredith Baxter and Nancy Locke
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 11/12/13
Last updated on: 11/12/13
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Meredith Baxter.

Congratulations to actress Meredith Baxter and building contractor Nancy Locke on their engagement. The women have reportedly secured a marriage license and sent out invitations to their wedding.

The entertainment website TMZ reported on November 11, 2013 that Baxter, who is best known for her role in the 1980s sitcom Family Ties, and Locke, who owns a construction company, applied for a marriage license at a courthouse in Beverly Hills on November 8.

As Linda Rapp reports in her glbtq.com entry on Baxter, the women entered into a committed relationship in 2005. At that time, Baxter introduced Locke not only to her own family but also to some people in the entertainment industry, notably the cast members from Family Ties, who held a reunion dinner in 2008. All of them responded favorably, but Baxter remained reluctant to acknowledge her lesbianism publicly then, fearful that it might cost her opportunities to work.

In April 2009 Baxter and Locke attended the Dinah Shore women's golf tournament, an annual event that attracts massive numbers of lesbian fans. Baxter told Tracy E. Gilchrist of The Advocate that friends helped them "slide in" essentially unnoticed because her "goal was to stay under the radar" since she "wasn't prepared for anything at the time."

Later that year the couple took a Caribbean cruise on the lesbian-centered Sweet line. Baxter was moved by a call from stand-up comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, who was on the voyage as an entertainer, for everyone who was not out to come out, both for the good of the community and for their own peace of mind.

Although inspired to take action, Baxter also found her hand somewhat forced: before the ship even returned to New Orleans, word of the couple's presence on the cruise was spreading.

She did not want to be outed by the tabloid press and was, with the help of her business manager and a publicist, able to come out on her own terms in a dignified manner through an article in People Weekly and an interview with Matt Lauer of the Today show in December 2009.

Baxter admitted to some trepidation about coming out, but that was quickly succeeded by a feeling of relief. "If somebody's gonna say something, I don't care," she declared to Zuckerman. "For the first time, I'm where I want to be."

In the video below, Baxter discusses her 2011 autobiography Untied with QTV's Jian Ghomeshi.

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