An ongoing chapter in the history of gay rights is expertly told in two men’s personal story for love, acceptance and legal rights. “Limited Partnership” chronicles the 40-year love story between Filipino-American Richard Adams and his Australian husband, Tony Sullivan.
In 1975, thanks to a courageous county clerk in Boulder, Colorado, Richard and Tony were one of the first same sex couples to be legally married in the world. Richard immediately filed for a green card for Tony based on their marriage. But unlike most heterosexual married couples who easily obtain legal status for their spouses, Richard received a denial letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating, “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”
These gross insults set the couple into motion, and to prevent Tony’s impending deportation, the couple decided to sue the U.S. government, initiating the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for a same sex marriage in U.S. history.
A film by Thomas G. Miller, Limited Partnership premieres on Independent Lens Monday, June 15, 2015, 10:00-11:00 PM (check local listings) on PBS.
During a lifetime filled with health issues, money woes, and legal challenges, Richard and Tony never wavered in their love, lost their senses of humor, or gave up their quest for justice. Their personal trajectory parallels the history of the LGBT marriage and immigration equality movements, from their 1971 meeting at an L.A. gay bar called “The Closet,” to the 1975 signing of their marriage license in Colorado, through the era of AIDS, to the historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage in June 2013.
A poignant love story, Limited Partnership celebrates Richard and Tony’s long path as they redefined traditional concepts of “spouse” and “family.”
Visit the Limited Partnership companion website (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/limited-partnership/) which features information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker, preview clips, and more.
Thomas G. Miller (Producer/Director) has worked on documentaries and in public television since 1994. He associate produced the Sundance award-winning film Licensed to Kill (POV, PBS), and co-produced the recent award-winning film Code Black. He co-produced and edited Fender Philosophers for PBS and Camp Out for Logo TV. He edited the feature documentary films, Good Kurds, Bad Kurds and Home of the Brave. He produced and directed the award-winning feature documentary, ONE BAD CAT: The Reverend Albert Wagner Story (Ovation). Other credits include producing television films for Discovery, and WNET’s series on disabilities, People in Motion. Miller is also on the board of the International Documentary Association and has been teaching editing, documentary filmmaking, and mentoring the Sloan Science films at the USC School of Cinematic Arts since 2004. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Writer’s Guild of America, West. He is also a pediatrician and has served as medical consultant for Sesame Street and other film and television series. He graduated with a BS degree in zoology from The University of Michigan, an MD from the Medical College of Ohio, and an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Kirk Marcolina (Producer) has worked in television and documentary filmmaking for nearly 20 years. Most recently, he produced and directed The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, an award-winning documentary about an 80-year-old jewel thief that premiered at Hot Docs in 2013. He also produced and directed the feature documentary, Camp Out (Logo TV) about the first Bible Camp for gay teenagers. Marcolina’s television work includes co-executive producing Boy Meets Boy (Bravo), Gay Weddings (Bravo), Switched (ABC Family) and That Yin Yang Thing (TLC). Marcolina also directed the Disney Channel documentary series Bug Juice and has edited many reality-based and documentary series. Marcolina has taught Documentary Production at California State University, Long Beach and was a Trustee of the International Documentary Association. He received his MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of Southern California and his BA in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.