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South Florida couple credits long-lasting love to having "no secrets"

In spirit of Pride Month, South Florida couple reveals secret to their 40-plus yearslong love
In spirit of Pride Month, South Florida couple reveals secret to their 40-plus yearslong love 02:47

MIAMI - A South Florida couple credits their long-lasting love, now in their fourth decade, to having "no secrets."

It's the quiet moments, like sharing a gelato in the middle of the afternoon that Bob Johnson and Layne Tidwell love the most.  

Their story is more than 4 decades in the making."43 years, going on 44," laughs Bob. "And we meet in a bar in Salt Lake City," Layne recalls.

Their story may have begun at a bar.

"I took him to the most run-down all-night diner and bought him a cup of coffee," said Bob.

The rest just fell into place.

"That was our first kiss, we've been together ever since," Bob said.

But the years weren't always kind.

Layne lost a job in Ohio in 1990. "He said You're have two weeks," he remembered.

His employer thought, incorrectly, that he may have aids because he was losing weight on a diet.

"I started hearing rumblings about, I may have aids or Layne has aids.  It was devastating," he said.

While they won legal battles from this, they won in a bigger way.

"It makes you feel really good that your person you put your life and trust into, had their hand on your back," Layne said.

Realizing the need, Bob, as a Professor of Sociology at the University of Miami, worked as part of a team to create an LGBTQ studies program.  He finds it especially important now as more than 500 anti-LGBTQ laws were introduced across the county in 2023 alone, according to the ACLU.

"I actually think some of the bans that have been put in place here in Florida makes students who wouldn't normally be interested take another look," Bob said.

Layne and Bob celebrate pride every day going through life side by side since 1980, putting the needs of each other above their own.

"We just support each other in these little day-to-day things that we get involved in, trying to help the community," Layne said.

On their journey through life, with Layne retired and Bob still working, they make sure to take time for one another

"What's the secret?" CBS News Miami asked. "To tell each other everything," Bob said. "No secrets!" Layne added. No secrets is the secret." 

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