A documentary film presented the 2009 battle for same-sex marriage in Maine on Monday night. The screening is part of "Documentaries in the Greek," a film festival sponsored by the University of Richmond chapter of the Roosevelt Institute.
"Question One" is a documentary that looks at same-sex marriage from both sides of the fight, said sophomore Erik Lampmann, the president of the group. "The film is basically summarizing the movement and then letting you form your own conclusions," he said. According to the Pew Research Center, 29 states have banned same-sex marriage in their constitutions.
A panel discussion followed the screening of the movie in the Greek Theater to question the state of homosexuality in Virginia and throughout the country. About 35 people went to the panel discussion, and 75 came to the "Question One" screening.
"It's a really hard issue to work on because somehow it keeps coming up and getting shot down," said Zac Brown, the events and fundraising director of the group. "And this keeps restricting people's rights in the Constitution." Brown's mother, Adele, spoke on the panel discussion afterwards. She works as a senior organizer for Jewish Community Action in Minnesota.
"She is working on the one side that is for same-sex marriage," Brown said of his mother's work. "There is currently an amendment in Minnesota that defines marriage between one man and one woman, so they are working to defeat that."
Lampmann said the purpose of the documentaries is to engage the campus in a dialogue of pressing issues, particularly those relating to the progressive community. Monday's film focused on marriage equality, and subsequent films will highlight the justice system, education and the environment.
"We're trying to brand ourselves as multi-issue and coalition based," Lampmann said. He said he perceived a void in discussion of political issues, and founded the Roosevelt Institute to combat the problem.
"It really is a student-run thing," Brown said, "and I that is what makes it a unique and new experience."
A major part of putting the event together was partnering with a lot of different campus organizations, Lampmann said. Amnesty International, the University of Richmond Law School and the Office of Sustainability comprise some of the screening partners.
Junior Shelby Longland, president of GreenUR, said she moved the group's meeting time on Monday so that members could attend the film screening. GreenUR will act as a screening partner for the April 19 showing of "The Last Mountain."
"It's about coal and mountaintop coal removal," Longland said. "I think it is important issue everyone should know about because it is pretty close to us." Given that there is a coal plant on campus, she said it was good for people to be aware of energy issues.
In addition to the "The Last Mountain," the documentaries "Hot Coffee and "The Experiment" will be shown on March 26 and April 2 respectively. More information on "Documentaries in the Greek" is available at the film festival's website.
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