“Legalize Gay: The Civil Rights Movement of a Generation”

A New Documentary

Amos Lassen

We have been struggling for equal rights for years now and now public opinion seems to be moving in our direction. Now we share our fight with straight allies and in “Legalize Gay”, documentary film maker Christopher Hines gives us a look at the struggle with both the successes and the failures. What we see here is the courage and convictions of the new activism as they campaign—sometimes in places of hostility so that we can be rewarded by receiving the rights we should have—the right to marriage, on discrimination in athletics and at work, sex education and inclusive college campuses.
“Legalize Gay” follows several young activists “as they put their words into action”: 

“I believe I am responsible for any history I am a part of” said Hudson Taylor — an All American college wrestler who wore the HRC equality symbol on his head gear and started Athlete Ally to end LGBT discrimination in sports
“We are willing to fight for it, we have the energy and we feel we don’t have anything to lose” said Jeshawna Wholley — who brought the first LGBT pride to a historically black college and was honored by President Obama.

“When young people speak up, it makes the possibility of change even greater, said Daniel Sparks, a student in Parma, Ohio, who shook up his school district with a campaign demanding the teaching of same-sex relationships in sex-education classes.

“People coming up to me now and saying ‘I really respect you and you’ve made change some of the perceptions I had,’” said Daniel Hernandez, who came to the rescue of U.S. Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords during a shooting rampage in Arizona.

“There were people who wanted my family not to exist,” said Zach Wahls, the son of a lesbian couple who grabbed national headlines when he spoke before the Iowa House of Representatives against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“It’s a sense of justice, it’s a sense of fairness,” said Brian Sims, the first openly gay college football captain who is running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“I’m advocating that you accept anyone who is different from you, and give them the respect they deserve,” said Miss New York Claire Buffie, the first contestant in Miss America’s 90-year history to make LGBT equality her platform in the competition.

“I don’t care if two men are madly deeply in love, and are happy, because that’s what life is all about,” said British rugby player Ben Cohen, who started his Standup Foundation to combat bullying.

“Legalize Gay” also captures the energy and passion of an annual event called “Camp Pride” – a boot camp of sorts for young activists, giving them the skills and support to promote equality on college campuses, including speakers such as Mara Keisling, founding executive director, National Center for Transgender Equality. “We are just at the point now to get into people’s mindset that they also have a gender identity,” Keisling said. “These kids are still the pioneers.”

Other featured experts and commentators:

Robin Brand — deputy executive director, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, national organization dedicated to get LGBT candidates elected to public office.

Beverly Guy-Sheftall — founding director of the Women’s Study Center at Spellman College, the most prestigious black women’s college in the country.

Troy Price — executive director of the LGBT advocacy organization “One Iowa”

Patrick Davis — president of Davis Brand Capital, a gay-owned branding company behind some of the most successful product marketing campaigns in the country.

Judith Pindell — director of public policy, AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland.

This is a movie that we should not only want to see but that we must see.

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