Suffolk Law’s Queer Law Alliance hosted the producer of the documentary A Mississippi Love Story, and screened the film, which looks at the lives of one Jackson, Mississippi, couple throughout the months surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8 cases.
The producer, Robbie Fisher, took questions from the audience about the film-making process. Fisher told the group that while the film had not been the target of backlash, it opened a dialogue for southern families to realize and understand what their LGBTQ family members faced.
A Mississippi Love Story focuses on Eddie Outlaw and his partner Justin McPherson Outlaw, together living what might otherwise be considered an ordinary life during an extraordinary time in the history of gay rights. 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, the Outlaws share their take on the meaning of love.
“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, who also works as an attorney.
Students and panelists, including Bruce Bell from Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Elizabeth McCain, Interfaith Minister; and Suffolk Law Professors Renée Landers and Sarah Boonin, discussed the legal situation for same sex couples in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage and the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear circuit court cases on the matter.
A Mississippi Love Story is available on Vimeo. Cinematographer Lauren Cioffi spent months, beginning in March 2013, documenting the day-to-day lives of the Outlaws. 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.