Limited Partnership

DIRECTOR: Thomas G. Miller

Expected to attend: Director Thomas G. Miller, Cinematographer S. Leo Chiang, Subjects Tony Sullivan, Lavi Soloway, Clela Rorex

Filipino American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan met in 1971 at a Los Angeles bar called The Closet, fell in love, and spent the next 40 years fighting the system in order to stay together. In 1975 they became one of the first same-sex couples to be legally married—and the first to be denied legal immigration status. Long before the current battle over same-sex marriage was even a twinkle in a modern gay activist’s eye, Richard and Tony were boldly suing the U.S. government for the right to be married, and then for the right to have that marriage recognized so Tony could get a green card and not be deported.

But in the age of Anita Bryant, the backlash to their love-story-turned-legal-challenge proved to be something fierce. First came an utterly shocking response from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, then an unexpected outpouring of hate and bigotry from the general public, and then the ludicrous choice to either live apart or leave the country together (of course, they had to choose the latter—but with great consequence). Director Thomas G. Miller takes us back and forth through the decades with this pioneering and persistent bi-national couple, two unsung heroes who paved the way for the eventual defeat of DOMA.

— Joanne Parsont

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D317

Co-presented by:
GLBT Historical Society

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