Marriage Equality is a Civil Rights Issue

Now with the political agenda becoming increasingly more sympathetic to the Gay rights movement, we can revisit some of the contributions made by those that had helped bring progress to a struggle that fought for far too long.

Thomas Allen Harris’ short documentary film, “Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness”, connects the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th Century with the same-sex marriage equality movement of today through the story of Massachusetts State Rep. Byron Rushing, a veteran Civil Rights organizer. Rushing in coalition with communities of color throughout Massachusetts challenged religious and political opponents to define marriage as a ‘human right.’

Byron Rushing in Boston, June 14 2007. Final Constitutional Convention at which the the amendment to ban same-sex marriage was voted down.

The seventeen-minute documentary interweaves archival footage and photos with contemporary interviews to illuminate events surrounding the pivotal Massachusetts state constitutional convention on Same Sex Marriage which gave new momentum to the national Marriage Equality movement as a Civil Rights issue. Harris’ documentary includes the stories of everyone, from political organizers to preachers to people on the street. At the center of our story is Massachusetts Representative Byron Rushing, who took the campaign for Same Sex Marriage into African American communities directly challenging many religious leaders, and defining the right to Same Sex Marriage as a Civil Rights issue on par with the liberation movements of the 1950s and 1960s. An unlikely Gay Rights hero in some respects, Rushing, a heterosexual man of strong faith, has spent a lifetime championing the causes of the underserved, overlooked and oppressed.

Joseph Reed and Arnold Sapenter, together for 45 years, during production of "Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness"

Still of Mattie Hayes and Cambridge City Councilor E. Denise Simmons at their wedding, from "Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness"

The New York Times

Same-Sex Marriage Polls and Political Savvy

By Andrew Rosenthal

March 19, 2013

“Anyone wondering why Republicans such as Jon Huntsman and Rob Portman are suddenly announcing their support for gay marriage (and why the anti-gay marriage forum at the Conservative Political Action Convention last week was empty while the pro-marriage forum was packed) should take a look at this poll from ABC News and the Washington Post.”

“A significant majority of 58 percent (way more than it takes to be elected to any public office, and almost enough to kill a Senate filibuster) say that gay men and lesbians should have the right to marry. That number was at 37 percent in 2003 and just barely over 50 percent two years ago.”

Bob Sodervick waves a rainbow flag outside the U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco on June 5, 2012 Courtesy of Robert Galbraith/Reuters Via New York Times

“The more the issue is debated – the more anti-equality forces air their arguments in public and in court – the more obvious it is that denying gay men and women the right to marry is purely discriminatory. Gay marriages are not a threat to straight marriages. And children raised by gay parents, by any objective measure, are just as well-adjusted.”

Mrs. Clinton said she supports gay marriage both ‘personally and as a matter of policy and law,’ suggesting that she views state bans as unconstitutional. President Obama also took that position recently, but his Justice Department is still curiously reluctant to go quite so far. Don’t the president’s lawyers realize it’s now safe to endorse marriage for all Americans, no matter what state they live in?”

To read the complete article, please visit “Same-Sex Marriage Polls and Political Savvy“.

Thomas Allen Harris' covering an interview with Rep. Byron Rushing, a veteran Civil Rights organizer.

2 Responses to Marriage Equality is a Civil Rights Issue

  1. clair estelle April 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    i agree


  1. Marriage Equality at the 2011 NEWFEST – July 22 - September 18, 2013

    […] Allen Harris‘ new film, “Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness.” Harris’ short documentary connects the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th Century […]

Leave a Reply