One thing “The Gay Marriage Thing” won’t do is change any minds on the subject. Supporters will still support it. Opponents will still oppose it. The film adds absolutely nothing to the debate, but does put a very human face on it. And in case you’re wondering, the bias of the film is very pro gay marriage.
The documentary focuses on the countdown to the marriage of a totally mundane lesbian couple (a blatantly political move done so that general audiences won’t be put off by “fringe” lesbians who may make mainstream Americans uncomfortable). They lament the fact that they only have a civil union, and their families lament along with them. On the other side of the coin, you have clueless protesters talking about how this will lead to people marrying animals and men of the cloth saying it’s against God’s plan, though Reverend Carlton Smith is extremely sympathetic to the plight of gays who want to marry. All of this sounds like a perfectly acceptable film, but the problem is that it doesn’t go far enough.
The only way to protest gay marriage is to invoke the word of God and the doctrine of the Church, and it is here that the protesters are actually correct in their assertions. The Church doesn’t approve of it. But so what? That’s the right of the Church. Homosexuals and lesbians are wrong to even try to sway them. It’s a waste of time. The fact that people are being discriminated against based solely on the dogma of organized religion (which, in turn, has affected laws) is the stuff of powerful lawsuits. If homosexuals and lesbians really want gay marriage to be legalized (and there are some who don’t care one way or another), they need to be more demanding and unapologetic. (If gays really wanted to push the issue, why not concede that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry if organized religion doesn’t want them to — but only after the Church makes equally outrageous demands that divorce be illegal, too, since that also destroys the sanctity of marriage?) That doesn’t happen here. The arguments are so watered down that they become ineffective; the documentary should be angry and not so passive that it will never inspire change.
I’m a heterosexual, married male whose marriage would not be threatened by gays tying the knot. I think it’s ridiculous that this is even a debate. It’s not a religious issue. It’s a civil rights issue. Unfortunately, this documentary chooses to take the middle road on the pro end of things and comes out fighting with both hands tied behind its back.
A bumper sticker I once read said, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Neither do well-behaved homosexuals and lesbians, a fact this documentary totally misses.