April 29, 2015
Johnson State College, in collaboration with Vermont Public Television, will host a screening and discussion of the documentary Limited Partnership at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in the Cinema Room of the college’s Stearns Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Decades before The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, one gay couple fell in love and took on the U.S. government to fight for marriage and immigration equality.
Filipino American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan met in 1971 in Los Angeles. In April 1975, thanks to a county clerk in Boulder, Colo., they became one of the first same-sex couples in the world to be legally married. Adams immediately filed for a green card for Sullivan based on their marriage. But unlike most heterosexual married couples who easily file petitions and obtain green cards, Adams received a denial letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating, ”You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”
To prevent Sullivan’s impending deportation, and outraged by the tone, tenor and politics of this letter, the couple sued the U.S. government. This became the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for a same-sex marriage in U.S. history. Over four decades of legal challenges, the couple figured out how to maintain their sense of humor, justice, and whenever possible, their privacy. This tenacious story of love, marriage, and immigration equality is as precedent-setting as it is little-known — until now.
The screening is part of PBS’ monthly Community Cinema series, in which free monthly screenings and community discussions of films from PBS’ Emmy Award-winning series “Independent Lens” are held throughout Vermont and the nation.
For more information on Community Cinema, see http://www.vpt.org/engage/community-cinema. For more information on the Johnson State screening, contact Barbara Flathers, firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-635-1200.