‘Question One’ chronicles hope and heartbreak in Maine’s 2009 marriage campaign
October 02, 2012
In 2009, people across the state of Maine were engaged in intense conversations about why marriage matters and why same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry. That's because in May 2009, after Maine became the first state to legislatively grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry, anti-gay groups began working to overturn the marriage law. Those anti-gay groups pushed through the referendum in November 2009, once again excluding same-sex couples from marriage. It was a tough blow for marriage advocates across the state and a sneaky win for our opponents.
Now, a new documentary called Question One tells the story of the 2009 marriage campaign in Maine. The film takes viewers behind the scenes of both sides of the campaign, giving a full picture of what happened. It was directed and produced by Joe Fox and James Nubile, award-winning documentary journalists who founded their own production company, Fly On the Wall Productions, in 1997.
The film's website explains some of the similarities between the Question 1 campaign and the Proposition 8 campaign in California's 2008 election. The website reads:
For three months, the filmmakers shadowed the foot soldiers, the volunteers of the campaign as they knocked on countless doors, made endless phone calls and through deeply personal and revealing interviews bared their souls of hope and heartache as they fought to the finish for an issue framed and anchored in passion and purpose. Dignity and civil rights. Morality and beliefs.
The film also documents the controversial leading role of California based campaign consultants Frank Schubert and Jeff Flint as referendum proponents. Schubert-Flint Public Affairs headed the 2008 campaign for Proposition 8 in California, and have since taken the lead in a nationwide effort to outlaw samesex marriage in other states.
The film illustrates how the same tactics, strategies and issues (in particular the claim "that same-sex marriage would be taught to children in public schools") that were used by Schubert and Flint with success in California were also employed in the campaign they ran in Maine.
On Friday, October 19, New Yorkers will get a chance to see Question One when it is screened at the Chelsea Clearview Theatre in New York City. The screening begins at 7:00pm and will be immediately followed by a discussion and "talk back" session with Freedom to Marry's founder and president, Evan Wolfson. The event, "The Road to Saying I Do," is being hosted by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Broadway Impact, and the Center for LGBT Social Science & Public Policy at the Hunter College Roosevelt Public Policy Institute. Find out more about the screening and buy tickets HERE.
The film will be shown at the Chelsea Clearview Theater October 19 - October 25.