“Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing And The Fight For Fairness” is a documentary from award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, that connects the Black Civil Rights Movement with the Lesbian and Gay Marriage Equality movement.

I had the opportunity of working with Thomas back in 2009, when I interned alongside one of his cameramen, Anthony Phillips, on a project called the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) Roadshow, which involved interviewing members of the black community about their family photographs. Among the people we interviewed was Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing, who was a central figure in the Massachusetts State Constitutional Convention on same sex marriage.

As told by Thomas himself, the interview served as an inspiration and foundation for producing “Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing And The Fight For Fairness”. Highlights from the interview were used as part of a 2010 crowdfunding video when the documentary was first being developed…

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“Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing And The Fight For Fairness” was commissioned by the Tribeca Film Institute’s ‘All Access’ Program in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and premiered back in 2010. Since then, it’s been screening at a number of national and local organizations in African American communities as well as Gay communities. Today, in response to the momentum building behind marriage equality, it was released for free on YouTube.

The film is 16 mins long, and offers a renewed focus on presenting the national Gay Marriage movement as a Civil Rights issue, while providing visibility into the role African Americans have played in the marriage equality movement and challenging stereotypes that label African American communities as being homophobic. It’s a great little short I’m proud to have contributed to, and an enlightening one at that, especially for those who may struggle in understanding the connection between Marriage Equality and the Black Civil Rights Movement…

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