Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Follows seven gay and lesbian couples who prepare to marry as it becomes legal in Massachusetts.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2006
Duration: 89 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Henry Corra
Starring: Matthew Cummings, Eliza M. Skinner

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Same Sex AmericaNovember 18, 2003 – The Massachusetts Supreme Court hands down a landmark ruling: ‘to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry is to deny them dignity and equality under law.’ Marriage is legal in the state of Massachusetts, but this is just the beginning of constitutional conventions, amendments and turmoil over the issue.

Starting on May 17, 2004, gay and lesbian couples in the Bay State get married in droves, and this documentary follows seven twosomes in the process, many of them with children. It’s quite an emotional ride, as the political struggles and anti-same sex marriage activists’ views frame the wedding joys. As one woman in a lobbying crowd notes, ‘These are our lives they’re talking about, not just some abstract principle.’

We see the thousands of people on hand at midnight at Cambridge City Hall to celebrate the first licenses, and then follow individual couples as they deal with families, ceremonies and other intimate details. It’s a very touching film that is also quite energizing and full of pride. The Massachusetts example, in particular showcasing the longtime activism and leadership of Arline Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, shows what hard work can accomplish and what the rest of the US has to work towards.

Same Sex America originally aired on Showtime. (AB)