This very month the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments on the future of marriage equality for same-sex couples â€“ an unprecedented step in the forward march of LGBT rights. Married couples and marriage activists from all states can take to the seas while exploring the outcomes with one of the most recognized figures in the fight â€“ activist Michael Crawford of Freedom to Marry, the Washington DC-based nonprofit leading the national campaign.
By the time you set sail with us up the Pacific Northwestâ€™s Inside Passage to Glacier Bay, watching our array of ground-breaking films, we will already know the Supreme Courtâ€™s conclusions. Decisions are due in June on the vital challenges both to Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in that state, and to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage under federal laws.
Your Pride of the Ocean film festival will examine the outcomes of this historic event, through the lens of our artistic medium, by hosting a screening of the multiple award-winning film â€œI DOâ€ followed by a special discussion led by Crawford.
â€œI DOâ€ presents the story of a British gay man forced by discrimination to make an impossible choice, when left to raise his brotherâ€™s daughter with his sister-in-law Mya after his brother is killed in a car crash. The film examines the families and couples often split apart, especially those with bi-national makeups. Among the myriad of inequities the denial of marriage perpetuates, the immigration laws most heterosexual couples can take for granted complicate same-sex relationships further, even in states where marriage is already legal.
Written by and starring David Ross, directed by Glenn Gaylord, â€œI DOâ€ is produced by Stephen Israel. Israel will take part in Crawfordâ€™s panel after the screening of the film, along with lawyer Michael J. Shilub, a leader in the legal fight challenging Proposition 8.
Crawford will lead the panel in exploring exactly what the June decisions will mean to the LGBT community â€“ whichever way the gavel descends. As Crawford responded after receiving his invitation to join us on the Norwegian Pearl, â€œThe Supreme Court decisions could potentially have a transformative impact on LGBT equality in the US.â€
Pride of the Ocean is delighted to bring together this coterie of active leaders and filmmakers on our cruise, offering you the opportunity to meet and discourse with them. Marriage activists everywhere will enjoy the company of Crawford, the co-founder and co-chair of the successful D.C. for Marriage campaign, a grassroots group that engaged in thousands of conversations with D.C. residents about gay people and marriage, with a particular focus on building support in the African-American community. He introduced digital and new media tools to support the fight, in innovative ways that some consider to have swayed opinion decisively.
Of all of his considerable body of legislative and organizing work, Crawford states, â€œI am most proud of the work I am doing on marriage. I truly believe that the winning of marriage nationwide will have a transformative effect on the LGBT community and the larger American culture. For me, the best part of that work is seeing amazing couples that are now able to marry, in part because of my work.â€
Sail with the Pride of the Ocean this August, and be a part of the array of amazing couples from around the country.