For My Wife Exemplifies the Need for Marriage Equality

January 14, 2009
The story of Charlene Strong's journey after the tragic death of her wife gets the documentary treatment in For My Wife, screening at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Thursday. The drowning death of Kate Fleming, and the discrimination that followed against Charlene, led her to help change domestic partnership law in the state of Washington. Utilizing haunting archival news and CSPAN-like TV footage, the documentary first tells the story of Kate's tragic death during a freakish Seattle flood in 2006, Charlene's gut-wrenching testimony before the state Senate that humanized the struggle for equality, and ultimately an emotional signing of a domestic partnership bill by Washington's governor. That alone makes for a compelling documentary, but Charlene (right with Kate) did not stop there and went on to work with GLAAD to tell her story on a national level. The film concludes with the California Supreme Court's decision last spring to grant marriage equality in that state, which has since been taken away by the state's voters. With things moving so quickly, there is plenty of room for updating and For My Wife may very well go through further incarnations before it screens at a theater near you. It was just a year ago that Freeheld won an Oscar for best documentary short. That film followed the final days of New Jersey police detective lieutenant Laurel Hester as she fought to give her pension survivor benefits to her partner Stacie Andree. The story is now being developed into a feature film starring Ellen Page as Andree. Likewise, Kate and Charlene's story — and lasting legacy — deserves the big screen treatment as well. Are you listening Hollywood? Official Website: Screening at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Thursday, January 15, 3:30 PM Palm Springs Regal 9 Friday, January 16, 12:30 PM Palm Springs Regal 9

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