Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Long Beach Film Festival

Had some fun this weekend at the Qfilm festival. Susan and I went down for the screening and Q&A. We were joined by composer Douglas Romayne, who did the music for The constant Process. As it was mother's day attendance was a bit light, but the audience was very supportive. The Art theater in Long Beach is a wonderful venue and the organizers are putting on a serious festival. The Q&A was lead by a wonderful moderator who did a great job fostering discussion.

The Constant Process was screened with the feature length documentary For My Wife, a film that tells some heart breaking stories of Gay and Lesbian couples facing discrimination in critical situations such as when one partner lay dying in the ER and the hospital staff refuses to let the other partner into the room. Or after the partner has died and the funeral director refuses to speak with the living partner, or refuses to turn over the ashes. One story that was really remarkable was of a woman who's partner died of cancer and was cremated. The women had done everything right, legally speaking, the funeral director acknowledged as much but decided he would rather disregard the legality of the situation, rather than turn over the urn to a member of a same sex couple.

These are the sort of stories that give strength to the idea that communities with common histories of persecution and misunderstanding have a unique opportunity to empathize with and help one another. Its a given that most Mormons are against gay marriage. But this shouldn't mean that Mormons participate in a sort of de facto support of the kind of cruelty and discrimination that the film For My Wife chronicles, by working against gay marriage and being largely silent on domestic partnerships and other legal protections that can help same sex couples in these kind of situations.

Does our cultural emphasis on a certain type of family mean that we don't see or are not aware of families headed by single parents, interracial families, poor families, families with a father in prison, broken families, or same sex families?

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