“The Gay Marriage Thing”
The Human Face of Gay Marriage
Lorre and Gayle are a lesbian couple had several decisions to make. First, they were worried about their great aunts who had lived together for over 80 years were about to lose the place where they lived because it had become too much to care for. The girls took action and moved in with them because they believe that we should take care of our families. Together, the four women were a family in every sense of the word.
Gayle and Lorre had been lovers in college and they had been together for fifteen years right when the State of Massachusetts overturned the ban on same-sex marriage and ruled it unconstitutional. The new ruling and Gayle and Lorre are the focus of this documentary by Stephanie Higgins. We are privy to the controversy surrounding gay marriage—we see the protests, we hear the churches and we are with the supporters and we get a human picture on the issue. This is a small film with a small storyline about a very big issue (something I never thought I would see). The focus on Gayle and Lorre provides the backdrop for this very important film.
We meet Reverend Carlton Smith, an African American who tells us that religion really has little to do with marriage and that it is the state that is the backbone of marriage as it is a legal contract. There is also Reverend Richard Weisenbach (who I liked from the moment he spoke until…) who feels he cannot acknowledge the marriage of two gay men even though the guys are “great” but homosexuality is wrong. Kathi Anne Reinstein, pro-gay representative, relates the hate mail she received from her constituents and who have no contact with gay people or gay marriage.
The movie gives both sides of the issue and the antis come across as having very closed minds. Then there are the bigots whose mouths spew hate but with the wrong effect. Their hatred only makes us realize more that this is a human rights issue. Higgins used her technique of focusing on one couple and here we see just how people are affected by the entire argument. She mixes politics with faith and piety by showing us real people; we get a real look at gay marriage.
This is the fifth anniversary edition of the film so there are new extra features, a chat with director Higgins and a featurette, “First Came Love”.