A Strategy to Change Minds: Focus on the Gay Family

BY Advocate Contributors

November 08 2011 11:43 AM ET

Neither of them knew much about the future, but it looked
bright when Jay Foxworthy and Bryan Leffew decided to register as civil
partners in the state of California. It was Leffew’s birthday that clear night in
1998, and Foxworthy took him out for a night on the town, under the starlight,
as two people in love do in San Francisco.

The following morning at breakfast, Foxworthy officially
proposed with a birthday card slipped across a tiny table inside an IHOP
restaurant. “I was not expecting it, so I cried, which made our waitress worry,”
remembers Leffew.

Right then and there, beside a wide selection of eggs and
pancakes, they felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The only thing
that stood in their way was a quick trip to the city clerk’s window where they
would sign a white piece of paper. “I felt like I was married even before we
signed,” Leffew said. “And I didn’t give a damn what anybody else thought about
the legality of it.”

Today, stories like these of two people invariably in love and
now raising children are helping to fight against discrimination and hate
through home videos posted on their YouTube channel, "Gay Family Values." And
with a little help from Jaye Bird Productions, those same videos and values
will make their silver screen debut in 2012 in a feature-length documentary, The
Right To Love: An American Family
.

“We hope the film can help people see the issue of marriage
equality and same-sex families in a new light,” they wrote about the project in
response to questions from The Advocate.
“It’s so easy to only think of these issues as ideas or concepts that you agree
or disagree with. It turns into something else when you know these are matters
of life and love for real people who have names. You probably know many of
them.”

Watch a trailer below and follow some of the moments from their videos on the following pages. 

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