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LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (#insideout25 review)

Limited-Partnership-Poster_sLIMITED PARTNERSHIP

Directed by Thomas G. Miller

“Immigration & Nationality Act of 1952. Excludable at entry: a homosexual; one who is a sex pervert; a psychopathic personality”.

Other than those about celebrities, I tend to approach gay-themed documentaries with a little trepidation. I will either sob uncontrollably into a handful of already damp tissues or seethe at the injustices suffered by those whose only “sin” is that they love someone of the same gender. Not only did I experience both of these emotions watching the nicely executed and concise LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, it lifted my spirits as well. The tears of sadness intermingled with unexpected tears of joy and hope.

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Filipino-American Richard Adams met Australian tourist Tony Sullivan in 1971 at a gay bar in Los Angeles named “The Closet” and fell in love. In order to secure a green card for Tony to stay in the United States, they heard that an office clerk in Boulder, Colorado, was issuing legally binding marriage certificates to same sex couples. Once there, they got their license, married the same day it was issued and even had to publicly proclaim that their marriage was consummated. What should have been a happy ending was, in reality, the beginning of a 40-year battle to have their marriage recognized and to not have Tony deported back to Australia. Documenting their years of struggles, director Thomas G. Miller brilliantly encapsulates several other issues affecting gays during this period (Anita Bryant, the murder of Harvey Milk, AIDS, Proposition 8) without taking any thing away from Richard and Tony’s story. I am not prone to hyperbole but my jaw literally dropped when Tony shows a registered letter he received from the U.S. government calling him and Richard “faggots”.

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LIMITED PARTNERSHIP is a fait accompli and should be required viewing, especially years from now when the union of any two people who love each other will just be known as a marriage without the word “gay” in front of it.

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LIMITED PARTNERSHIP screens at the 25th edition of Inside Out, Toronto’s LGBT Film Festival, on Tuesday, May 26, at 5:15 PM, at TIFF Bell Lightbox. For more information and for tickets, please visit insideout.ca.

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