The Gay Marriage Thing (2005)

The Gay Marriage Thing (2005)
 

Director Stephanie Higgins

Genre Documentary

Year 2005

IMDB : 6.4 (9 votes)


 

Description Lorre and Gayle were heartbroken when they learned their two great-aunts - sisters who'd lived together their entire 80+ years - were on the verge of losing their 1850's home because it was too big a burden to care for anymore. "Having to leave your home just because you're older?" Lorre asks. "After living there 60 years?" Gayle adds. "Unfair," they agree. So they did something about it. Lorre and Gayle broke their apartment rental lease and moved in with a very grateful Gertrude and Germaine, to be financial, emotional and physical caregivers for their elderly aunts. "We were the Golden Girls for a while there, and we still call ourselves that, even though we lost Auntie Gert last year," Lorre adds. "But Auntie Germaine is still feisty and we do for her because that's what we've both been taught. You take care of family." With that, the first few moments of THE GAY MARRIAGE THING paint a picture of what it means to be a family. Gayle and Lorre, thirtysomething college sweethearts who marked their 15th anniversary a year after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, form the heart of this documentary scrapbook. From the protests outside the Massachusetts State House, to the churches of the Reverends Rich Wiesenbach and Carlton Smith, to the historic chambers echoing State Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein's perspective, and to how all of these voices swirl in the air around Gayle and Lorre as they approach May 17, 2004, the first date same-sex couples could file for marriage licenses in Massachusetts. While eavesdropping on the emotional and spiritual toll this issue has taken upon all parties, the story carries forth to the everyday angst and anticipation of Lorre and Gayle's own wedding. THE GAY MARRIAGE THING is not some historical commentary on gay rights in the United States. It is instead a small story with big implications. By focusing on one suburban couple and the multitude of events that directly affect that couple's otherwise average life, THE GAY MARRIAGE THING strives to show a different side of this issue than documentaries or television newscasts have thus far. This tale is cinematic in its storytelling, rather than journalistic in its reporting. There are plenty of other worthy documentaries where "experts" abound. But this film is about the biggest experts of all, real people. With protesters and their colorful signs serving as a Greek chorus, and an array of opinions from church, state, and everyone in between, this is the film that family members can finally watch together. THE GAY MARRIAGE THING is the documentary that opens dialogue, fully expecting the audience to continue it.

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