FREEDOM TO MARRY
"Mr. President Why Do You Hate My Family? Love Hannah" was one of the
first signs I saw held in the hand of an 8-year-old girl when I showed
up in Sacramento on Valentine's Day 2004 for the Marriage Equality Rally
that my wife Molly and I co-produced with local marriage equality activists.
The day was unusually warm and everyone was on Cloud 9. San Francisco
Mayor Newsom had just married half of us and hundreds of other elated
couples surrounded San Francisco City Hall hoping to tie the knot, as we
took to the stage to talk about the inequality that same-sex couples have
endured. There were tears, humor, politicians, gay vets, children of
Lesbians and Gays, and Carmen Goodyear and Laurie York, two amazing
filmmakers who were there to capture it all and produce their gripping,
heart-warming documentary FREEDOM TO MARRY.
FREEDOM TO MARRY really is a "feel-good" movie, while at the same
time helping the audience understand on a very personal level how
same-sex couples and their families are short-changed by not being able
to access the 1,138 federal and hundreds of state marriage rights like
other American families. The impact of not having immigration rights,
inheritance rights, protections for children, and spousal benefits for
domestic partners of veterans are some of the topics that are explored
more in depth in this film.
FREEDOM TO MARRY works to make connections between this civil rights
movement and the Black Civil Rights movement and women's suffrage.
Also, when watching FREEDOM TO MARRY the audience has front row seats
to the wedding of Karla and Diana, who joyfully exclaim, "we never
thought we'd see this in their lifetime", only to have their marriage
voided by the California court.
I have seen FREEDOM TO MARRY shown in several cities and states and
the feelings are always the same. There is laughter and tears, gay
couples squeezing their same-sex partner just a little harder when they
watch Astrid and Gordie exchange vows after 20 years together,
brushing a tear from their eyes as Jeff Winkler struggles to speak
through his emotions about how moved he was when a straight fraternity
brother congratulates him on his marriage to Linton, and at the end many
of the non-gay viewers walk away with an "a-ha" experience. "I thought I
got it, but now I really get it", one non-gay viewer told me at a church
FREEDOM TO MARRY is an enlightening film. It has the power to
transform the viewer, opening hearts and minds. Purchase several for
your holiday gift-giving and this year, give the gift of freedom,
equality, and love.
We all deserve the freedom to marry!
~Davina Kotulski, Ph.D.
Deputy Exec. Director, Marriage Equality USA
and Author of
Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage.