Daniel Barnz in Wonderland

Out filmmaker Daniel Barnz arrives on the scene -- attended by the likes of Felicity Huffman and Patricia Clarkson -- with his first film, Phoebe in Wonderland .

BY Kyle Buchanan

March 08 2009 11:00 PM ET

Phoebe in Wonderland Elle Fanning and Daniel Barnz x390 (publcity) | Advocate.com

Your partner produced this film, and you both live in
California. What has that Prop. 8 fight been like for you?

We've been together for 13 years, and then about 10 years
ago we had our commitment ceremony in New York that was not
legal or binding. Then we had our civil union in Vermont and
our domestic partnership in California. We did get married in
California [this past year], and everything that happened with
Prop. 8 was very upsetting because it revealed this antigay
sentiment in the world at large, but I don't feel like our
personal relationship has been invalidated. Where it became
really complicated was in figuring out how much to explain to
our children. I wanted them to be aware of what was going on at
this point in history, but also didn't want to open up a
Pandora's box of "By the way, here's this
homophobic world that you live in."

How old are your children?

Five and 7.

So how did you ultimately broach the subject with them?

We said that there were people who wanted to determine who
could get married and who couldn't get married, and we
thought that was unfair and wanted to fight that. We sort of
left it at that. We didn't really get into the same-sex
thing because the kind of beauty of their world right now is
that they live with us, they have lots of friends with same-sex
parents, they go to a school where there's multiple
same-sex [parent led] families per class, so it's kind of a
part of their world. Our feeling is, without putting them in a
bubble, let's let them build a sense of confidence and
self-esteem, and when it's age-appropriate, we can start to
talk to them about all the other people in the world who might
not be like the people they know.

Tags: film

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