A Mississippi Love Story now available on demand

Last week I wrote about the premiere of  A Mississippi Love Story, a new short documentary about the lives of Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson Outlaw in Jackson, Mississippi, during the months surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. It’s now available at Vimeo for on-demand rental and for sale. I received the notice on Friday, but saved it until this morning because I want as many people as possible to see this.

Mississippi-based film producer Robbie Fisher and Fisher Productions, LLC announced the release last week. The film introduces the viewer to Eddie and Justin, together living what might otherwise be considered an ordinary life during an extraordinary time in history. It provides a glimpse into the relationships the two have with one another, and with family, friends and their Deep South hometown. Against the backdrop of legal battles about same-sex marriage, Eddie and Justin share their personal take on what love really means.

“It was important to us, as Mississippians, to tell the story of this loving and devoted couple who are productive business people and well-liked members of the community, and who want their legal union to be recognized in their home state,” said Fisher.

The 13-minute film is available for a $1 rental fee or for purchase for $2.50. Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw. A second unit team captured footage in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Editor Azod Abedikichi employed an upbeat and whimsical style, which included animating original illustrations by Joy Abedikichi, to capture the essence and spirit of the subjects. Composer Chris Gibbons’ simple and beautiful Red Tango reflects the energetic and optimistic disposition of Eddie and Justin.

I have contact info if you’d like to get in touch; you can also tweet to @MSlovestoryfilm or @TheEddieOutlaw

Here’s the trailer in case you missed it last week.

A Mississippi Love Story

I can’t tell you how happy I was last Thursday to find this in my Twitter feed. I hope it reaches a wide audience.

Here’s the trailer:

The description: A short documentary that takes a poignant glimpse into the lives, relationships and politics of life-partners Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson, at a time when citizens in Mississippi and across the nation were watching and waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case. The time to leave Mississippi has passed for Eddie and Justin. They are committed to staying and making Jackson a thriving place for the gay community to live and, hopefully, in which to marry. @MSlovestoryfilm

If you are close enough to Jackson, MS, and interested enough to drive there and see it for free this weekend, you can find the address of the Mississippi Museum of Art here.

Here are a few more details, which I hope it is ok to share:

Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw.

A second unit team captured footage in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and on the Defense of Marriage Act.  Editor Azod Abedikichi employed an upbeat and whimsical style, which included animating original illustrations by Joy Abedikichi, to capture the essence and spirit of the subjects. Composer Chris Gibbons’ simple and beautiful Red Tango reflects the energetic and optimistic disposition of Eddie and Justin.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? You don’t want to miss it!

MS-LoveStory-web

Film Credits:

Director/ Cinematographer: Lauren Cioffi
Producer: Robbie Fisher
Editor: Azod Abedikichi

Cards on the Table

Here I am in Mississippi. I’ve been trying to get out for well and good all my life. Mississippi is like a cage for the soul, but that’s not to say it’s a bad place.

We have nice weather, except during hurricane season. People mostly leave you alone and let you do your thing – as long as you’re a white, straight, MSEqualChristian, well-spoken man. If you’re black, gay, don’t believe in Jesus, stutter, or happen to be a woman, well. Mississippi might give you a bit of trouble.

Earlier this year, we had a nasty fight over a bill in the Legislature that was basically an argument over whether businesses could turn paying customers away because of their sexual orientation. Mississippi said no to that. I know because I watched the debate on the floor of the state house of representatives, and the house couldn’t pass it as it was originally written.

Instead, there was some fast talking, the bill went to a conference committee, some language was changed, it was passed while no one was looking, and the governor signed it.

So, what’s the point of even having representatives if they’re going to pass things while no one is looking, is my first question. Where’s the democracy in that? It’s more a mockery, really. The way Tolkien’s orcs are a mockery of elves. This was a perversion of the legislative process.

But something good came out of it. Now we have these little stickers, and t-shirts to go along with them.

IfUrBuying

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SB 2681, again. Discrimination back on the table. (With only 13 minutes to spare).

NOSB

Remember that Mississippi Senate Bill I spent a whole week stirring up outrage against? The one that so many people opposed, the MS House of Representatives was afraid to just go ahead and pass it on the floor? The one they amended to create a study committee? Well, I have no idea what the status of the study committee is in the bill that was filed at 7:47 tonight (the deadline was 8 p.m.). But look at what’s going back to both chambers for an up-or-down vote, and thanks to our friends at Deep South Progressive for telling us something the local news might not mention at all.

Section 1 of the bill says, “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.”

In practical terms, for example, that would mean that a hotel or restaurant owner could refuse service to gay customers while claiming “exercise of religion” and government would have no recourse.

New to the bill is this, found in lines 16-18 of Section 1:

(b) Laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise; (c) Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

The target of this section seems to make it clear that the bill is meant to reach far beyond just attacking LGBT rights. In fact, it seems to hint at a case before the Supreme Court right now, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. In what could prove to be a landmark decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not corporations can refuse to provide female employees healthcare that includes birth control on the basis of religious belief (and thus whether or not corporations are people with all the rights people enjoy – including free exercise of religion).

The requirement that all healthcare plans include birth control for women may be one of those “neutral” laws that SB 2681 now mocks with quotation marks. This bill would make it clear that employers in Mississippi can refuse to comply with laws that don’t like on religious grounds. So if an employer who happens to be a Jehova’s Witness wants to deny employees access to healthcare that includes blood transfusions (which Jehova’s Witnesses are religiously opposed to), the government would have to provide a compelling justification before “interfering with” the employer’s “free exercise.”

If both houses agree to this travesty, it will land on the governor’s desk, and he will sign it. And since the senate’s already let us know how they feel, it’s time to contact your State Representative.

The towns that support Mississippi’s three largest state universities have all passed non-discrimination ordinances to ensure equality for LGBTQ Mississippians. This is about overturning those ordinances, and preempting other cities who are thinking about doing the same. Pure and simple.

Mississippi said no to this, State Legislature. This is not what we want. Get that through your thick skulls and move on. We want you to spend your time figuring out how to make the rest of us less poor, not overturning city ordinances we agree with.

Now I’ll say one more thing. Because if I can’t say this, what good is this blog? If you live in Wayne County, or Lamar County, and you are hanging your head in shame right now, you be sure you thank the Hon. Phillip Gandy and the Hon. Joey Fillingane for this disgrace. Their signatures are both on the conference report, and if it weren’t for them, the senate probably never would have taken up this bill to begin with.

 Note: Just found this out tonight. I’ll have more as I receive it. The ACLU and other organizations will have statements, and there will be a date and time for the vote. But do go ahead and scream at your representative, and if your senator’s name is on the conference report, find a way to let him know he just lost a registered voter forever. Gandy and Fillingane both represent counties where we have a lot of connections, and it doesn’t take that many votes to swing a state senate race. If you’re reading this and live in Mississippi, go take a look at your Facebook network and think about that for a minute.

Image via Campaign for Southern Equality on Facebook.