Clela Rorex, a hero in the history of marriage equality

Community Cinema [DC] audiences want to know more about the brave Colorado county clerk who issued Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan their marriage license in 1975. Limited Partnership has its television premiere Monday, June 15 on the PBS series Independent Lens.

Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan’s Marriage License form April 21, 1975. Courtesy of Tony Sullivan

Still 53 — Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan’s Marriage License form April 21, 1975. Courtesy of Tony Sullivan

“Limited Partnership” wins FilmfestDC’s Justice Matters award

"Limited Partnership" filmmakers brown bag lunch discussion participants. 2nd from left Michon Boston (CCDC), Thomas Miller, Tony Sullivan, Susan Barocas (moderator)

“Limited Partnership” filmmakers brown bag lunch discussion participants including (L) Linda Blackaby (FilmfestDC Justice Matters curator), (2nd from L) Michon Boston (CCDC), Thomas Miller, Tony Sullivan, Susan Barocas (moderator) – WeWork Dupont (Washington, DC)

Limited Partnership” was one of the featured documentaries in this year’s FilmfestDC film festival in Washington, DC. Filmmaker Thomas Miller and LGBT activist Tony Sullivan (featured in the film) have been in Washington, DC for the festival and to witness today’s opening arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on whether gay and lesbian couples have the constitutional right to get married.

During a filmmaker’s luncheon presented by ITVS and FilmfestDC for Tom and Tony, Tony talked about the irony of being inside the court for this high stakes case. The ruling against Tony (a widower since 2012) and his spouse Richard Adam’s marriage in 1975 was written by Anthony M. Kennedy who was a circuit court judge at the time. Kennedy’s final word forced the couple into exile. The marriage didn’t grant Tony, an Australian, citizenship as it does for marriages between a man and a woman. Since joining the Supreme Court, Kennedy has authored some of the most important rulings on gay rights including States v. Windsor which struck down the key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Kennedy’s record may hint at a complete reversal from his position when Tony and Richard appealed to the court to protect their marriage, but the “Limited Partnership” team is not taking that for granted. Tom and Tony believe love always triumphs, but today Tony, who was part of an historical marriage, will be a witnesses to history today at the Supreme Court.


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Community Cinema [DC] presents “Limited PartnershipSunday, May 24 at 5 PM at Busboys and Poets. Filmmaker Thomas Miller will join the Q&A via Skype. Other speakers are TBA. Reserve on Eventbrite. There is no admission fee.

Read a Washington Post feature story about Tony Sullivan by Robert Barnes published April 18, 2015

“American Denial” speaker Dr. Mark Bolden’s recommended readings

Todd S. Burroughs, Ph.D. and Dr. Mark Bolden

Todd S. Burroughs, Ph.D. and Dr. Mark Bolden. Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies

The Q&A of Community Cinema DC’s presentation of “American Denial” was one of the rare moments when the entire audience remained in their seats after the film and yielded most of their questions and comments time to the speakers — Trinity College’s Dr. Mark Bolden and historian/journalist Todd S. Burroughs, Ph.D. Both speakers gave contrasting yet complimentary analysis of Gunner Myrdal’s study “American Dilemma,” the film and its potential to move a conversation on race forward. “It’s a step,” said Burroughs.

Attendees were interested in Dr. Bolden’s recommended readings about the original “American Delimma” study:
a review written by sociologist E.B. Reuter, and NAACP co-founder, writer, and sociologist W.E.B. DuBois, published in the Clark Atlanta University Phylon Journal in 1944. And a second review and analysis written by sociologist Oliver C. Cox in the Howard University Journal of Negro of Education“An American Delimma: A Mystical Approach to the Study of Race Relations” — published in 1945.

It’s always good to leave a Community Cinema event hungry for more.