For decades, gay civil rights leaders battled what seemed to be an insurmountable challenge to have the right to marry, to publicly express an oath to another person, and to live life on their own terms.
On June 26, 2015 that long struggle paid off. That’s the day the U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, legalized same-sex marriage across the nation, ruling in a 5-4 vote that gay marriage bans were unconstitutional.
“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, explaining the court’s decision. “This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.”
The Supreme Court’s decision was well-publicized, but the behind-the-scenes story of how same-sex marriage was legalized was only known to a few—until now.
The Freedom to Marry, a powerful, moving documentary which screens at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on March 7, gives viewers an inside look into the long, arduous struggle for marriage equality, following Evan Wolfson, considered one of the leaders of the same sex marriage movement, and civil rights lawyer Mary Bonauto.
Filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein reacquaints viewers with the history of the movement, then chronicles the battle that led all the way to that unforgettable June day in 2015.
All movements in history are led by people willing to stand up and fight despite the odds. And for those who succeed, like the leaders of the marriage equality movement (even though the fight continues), it’s important to remember not just the defining moments, but the small victories, setbacks and the perseverance along the way.
Rosenstein will also be making an appearance in person.