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Middlebury College to screen film on marriage equality

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Posted on April 17, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



nState of Marriage.jpg

MIDDLEBURY — When Vermont wrote civil unions into law, it led the way for marriage rights in the U.S. “State of Marriage,” a documentary film on the efforts of Vermonters to bring about the changes in marriage equality, will be screened on Wednesday, April 19, at 4:30 p.m. in Middlebury College’s Dana Auditorium.

This will be the first Addison County screening of the documentary, hosted by Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives. The film draws on archival footage and more recent interviews to tell the story of the remarkable men and women who pioneered the national marriage equality movement through their groundbreaking efforts in Vermont.

The work of Susan Murray and Beth Robinson, then attorneys in Middlebury, is featured as they work through the legal system and create a grassroots movement, all the while facing stiff opposition to the idea of gays and lesbians marrying legally. There will be a question and answer segment following the film with the filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross of Floating World Pictures and key participants in the Vermont Supreme Court case, Baker v. State, including attorney Susan Murray and plaintiffs Lois Farnham and Holly Putterbaugh.

In 2015, Middlebury’s Special Collections & Archives became the official repository for the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force’s archives, an important source of material for the film. The nonprofit task force, formed in 1996, was instrumental in passing both Vermont’s landmark civil unions law in 2000 and subsequent same-sex marriage law, which took effect in 2009.

The Huffington Post wrote that “The State of Marriage” is, “Gripping. Audiences will cheer” and the Hollywood Reporter described it as, “Indispensable. A suspenseful nail-biter right up to the feel good ending.” Free and open to the public. Popcorn will be served!

The event is cosponsored by Chellis House - Women’s Resource Center, the Film & Media Culture and Political Science Departments, and Middlebury College Queers & Allies.

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