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Tying the Knot

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Jim de S?ve

One of the hottest topics at the 2004 Presidential election was the issue of gay marriage and whether it should be legalized. Jim de S?ve directs this fascinating look at the issue, taking into account two extremely important cases. The first involves … see full wiki

Director: Jim de S?ve
Release Date: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot - 2004

  • Jan 20, 2010
Pros: loads of information, good quality filming, distressing

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"Going to the chapel
And we're gonna get married"
~Barry. Greenwich, Spector

I recently spent a day watching two documentaries. The first was After Stonewall and the second was Tying the Knot. Both rather opened my eyes to an injustice that rages throughout the US involving the unequal treatment of same sex relationships. Coming from a rather bigoted family, I had grown up hearing all about ‘queers’, as many in my family still call them. Even when confronted with their own family members that are openly gay, they smile at their faces and call them queers behind their backs. This narrow minded bigotry is what I took away from both these documentaries.

Tying the Knot was directed by Jim de Seve. It carries no rating on IMDB and won one award. It starts in 1971, showing a group of gay rights advocates taking control of the New York City Marriage License Bureau and continues on through modern day. There are a few film clips of live coverage of several political stands, senators, congress, and even Presidents, touting their ideas. There is no line drawn in the political sands, the director follows both sides of the issue as well as both sides of the political landscape.

We are introduced to two couples and follow their stories. Lois and Mickie are police officers in Tampa. They had been partners for several years and finally sealed their relationship in a civil ceremony and were “married” for ten years. Lois was killed during a bank robbery, leaving Mickie to take on all the financial burden for both of them. As would have been the custom in a standard relationship, Mickie should have received the survivor benefits after Lois’s death and felt she had the support of Lois’s family … until she filed the papers.

Earl and Sam were country boys, no doubt about it. Sam had been married for 11 years to a woman, having two sons. When their marriage dissolved, she left the boys with him and moved on. Shortly after that he met Earl and they spent 25 years together. Starting with little more than a chicken shack, they built their farm into a thriving business, then Earl got sick and eventually died.

Earl had done everything right. He had a will and had deeded the property to Sam, his life partner. However, after his death, cousins who had been nonexistent before crawled out of the woodwork and fought the will, eventually putting Sam on notice of eviction.

Although de Seve does use a lot of religious and political information interspersed throughout the documentary, his main focus was on the story of these two couples. He never loses focus on the fact that we are discussing humans here, not an alien species. I think what we all forget is that love comes from out of the blue and it taps you on the shoulder when you least expect it. It doesn’t care if you are purple or Democrat or Republican or Catholic or Baptist. It is just love.

It is sad to realize that these same people that condemn same sex relationships and certainly abhor same sex marriages wouldn’t scoff one bit if the same couple was padding their re-election fund or dropping their tithe envelope in the church coffers. They preach equality but ignore one of the most basic human rights, the right of marriage. They speak of condemnation by God while at the same time say that they are loving Christian people. It simply boggles the mind.

For a documentary, the filming and sound quality were quite good. There were a fair amount of extras on the DVD but the only one I watched was the follow-up stories of Mickie and Sam.

It is certainly a film worth viewing.



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