That’s Stephen and Pat at their wedding on the steps of the Supreme Court.
Why Stephen and Pat choose to get married there is part of the cross-country journey the movie Married and Counting documents. I saw this independent film last night here in Atlanta. (The movie was shown here last year also, but the director and Stephen and Pat couldn’t attend that screening; last night, all three were there to answer questions from the audience afterwards.)
Having been together since they met in college, Stephen Mosher and Pat Dwyer, both from Texas but who live in Manhattan, decided to celebrate their upcoming 25th anniversary by getting married in every state that allows its gay citizens to marry.
(At the time the director began filming Married and Counting, New York was not one of the states that allowed its gay citizens to marry; by the time the movie was completed, New York’s legislature – narrowly – approved a law allowing gay marriage in New York; director Allan Piper added footage of Pat and Steve’s final wedding – on the beach at Coney Island. As of today, however, Pat and Steve aren’t considered married whenever they cross the river into New Jersey – and they won’t be unless New Jersey’s legislature passes its own marriage equality law, or until the U.S. Supreme Court rules that all state laws forbidding gay marriages violate the equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.)
This movie was so much more interesting, so much more informative, and so much more engaging than I expected. What I assumed would be a semi-tedious piece of commendable (and timely) propaganda is instead a brilliantly-structured, always-fascinating love story. In addition to pointing out how absurd it is that most gay people in the United States can’t get married wherever they happen to live, the movie repeatedly provoked hoots of laughter as well as more than a few tears.
Married and Counting is an important movie. You won’t see it advertised, as there is no money available to market it. But I urge you to make an effort to see it. Once you do, it may dispel any residual questions you may harbor about the sensibleness and the rightness of equal protection for gay citizens, emphatically including the protections available to married couples.
The movie will be available for downloading from iTunes later this month; by the end of the summer, you’ll be able to get it via NetFlix.
Meanwhile, you can find photos and lots of other information about Married and Counting at its website. Here’s the trailer: