‘Freedom To Marry’ a moving argument for marriage equality

By |2005-06-23T09:00:00-04:00June 23rd, 2005|Entertainment|

Let’s get this out of the way up front. “Freedom To Marry” is not the most sophisticated documentary I’ve ever seen. It certainly could have been a little more polished, a tad more tightly edited. But less than halfway through the 55-minute film I was bowled over by the sheer emotional intensity contained within and prepared to forgive Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear for any of the technical shortcomings in their auspicious first film.
“Freedom To Marry” features in-depth interviews with seven same-sex married couples. Each of their stories is compelling and as each couple sits together, often holding hands and on occasion even wiping tears from one another’s cheek, the viewer cannot help but see the love and tenderness abundant in each of these long-term relationships. It is this visible love that so eloquently and powerfully makes the best possible case for marriage equality for gays.
Watching this film, you can’t pretend that you don’t see it, can’t make a convincing argument that anything is wrong with it and can’t deny that these same-sex couples emit a glow of devotion toward each other as deep and as bright as any of their heterosexual counterparts could ever be capable of.
Discriminating viewers may take issue with the verbal and visual comparisons to the African-American civil rights movement featured in the film. This may be more acceptable in the liberal haven of California than it is in the perpetually racially tense Motor City. But the points made are all valid, even if at times disconcerting.
In the end, there’s no better way to describe “Freedom To Marry” that to simply say it’s quite moving. It’s the perfect tool to pass along to friends or family members still straddling the fence (or sitting firmly on the other side of it) on the whole marriage equality issue. As Davina Kotulski, one half of one of the couples interviewed and author of the book “Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage” says on the film’s website, “If seeing this film doesn’t melt your heart, your heart is made of stone.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.