‘Tying The Knot’

At the recommendation of our pastor, we rented Tying The Knot, a documentary that deals with the debate over same-sex marriage. It was enlightening and disturbing at the same time.

The film dealt with the history of marriage, with the opening of marriage to gays and lesbians around the world, and with the twisted arguments of conservatives who oppose it.

I’m more convinced than ever that James Dobson from Focus On The Family is insane. They showed footage from his appearance on Larry King Live, where he stated that homosexuals really don’t want to get married, they just want to destroy marriage.

My heart broke for the two couples that were profiled in the film. One was a pair of lesbian police officers from Tampa, Florida. They had been “married” for ten years and everyone around them, including family and coworkers, knew that they were a couple and supported them. When Lois was killed in a bank robbery, the city folded and placed the flag in Mickie’s arms at the funeral, but denied her the pension normally given to surviving spouses. She sued, lost, and the pension was awarded to her partner’s family. The city is now suing her for the legal fees that they incurred as a result of her lawsuit.

Sam, a very brave older man from Oklahoma, recounted his 23 year relationship with his partner who had recently died. Although the partner has signed a will leaving him everything (including the house they had built together), the court ruled that they should have had two notary signatures instead of only one, and gave all of the property to the estranged sister of the deceased. The sister admitted that it was her brother’s signature on the will, but fought for the property anyway. She also made it clear that once she gained ownership of the home, that she would immediately place it on the market.

The court ruled in the sister’s favor, whereupon she immediately evicted Sam from his home, forcing him to move into a rundown shack that had been partially burned. She is now trying to get possession of that home, claiming that he owes back taxes.

Both cases reveal the paranoia that we must live with knowing that our relationships carry no legal weight. I often worry about how my partner would be treated by my family in the event of my passing. Would they allow religious views to get in the way of doing the right thing, or would they consider what I might have wanted? I certainly pray it will be the latter.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

8 thoughts on “‘Tying The Knot’”

  1. It is not religious views that fuel the conflict, but greed. These survivors will survive more than the loss of their partners. What will happen to the greedy. Well if one is to believe the teachings of Christ, they are to be pitied.

  2. WS,

    I agree that it is greed on the part of some family members, and maybe some government agencies; but for a large portion of the nation’s populace who oppose same-sex marriage it is religious views…and fear…and ignorance that fuels the conflict.

    Brian, thanks for an overview of the film. The stories are heartbreaking, and to know that similar stories could be told of by countless couples leads to anger, a righteous indignation and desire for justice.

    I’ve tried to find it at the local Blockbuster and Hollywood Video places in my region, but none have it. I wonder what would happen if churches around the country showed it in “small groups” and just opened up the topic for discussion?

    Hmmmm…

    JimT

  3. I wonder what would happen if churches around the country showed it in “small groups” and just opened up the topic for discussion?

    JimT,

    I was wondering the same thing.

  4. If anyone would like to purchase the movie online they could go to:

    http://www.tyingtheknotthemovie.com

    or order by snail mail and send check to:

    Match Cut Media/ Tying the Knot
    262 Tenth Street
    Troy, New York 12180

    SPECIAL OFFER!
    11.00 + 2.98 (s&h) = 13.98 (total)

    My copy is on the way!

    JimT

  5. Brian,

    My copy finally arrived by mail (gotta check into netflix online :)).

    Wow. I agree with you, “enlightening and distubing at the same time.”

    (An aside: The part about the Lovings, an interracial couple living in Virginia (my home) in the 1960s, was eye-opening. It amazes me how people and institutions use the Bible to defend their prejudices.)

    The whole film left me numb. It is powerful. The first scenes of the GAA taking over the NYC clerk’s office in 1971 really struck me. How would I feel if I called my local clerk’s office to inquire about getting married and the guy answering the phone asked, “Are you gay? No? Sorry you can’t get married.”

    I had never really stopped and thought how I would feel if the “shoe were on the other foot” like that–if I were the one being discriminated against because I’m straight.

    Thanks for the reommendation. I will be recommending it to friends. Also, still planning to have small group viewing/ discussion sessions.

    JimT

  6. JimT,

    I am so glad that you finally got the opportunity to watch this documentary!

    I was aware of the Lovings story, as I’ve read it before in relation to the gay marriage debate. When we look back on some of our old laws, they seem so quaint and unjust. I imagine we will have the same reaction to some of our current laws in a few years.

    Thank you so much for your willingness to learn about this issue and to share what you’ve learned with others. You are an awesome minister!

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