The issue of marriage equality — whether same-sex couples should be allowed to wed legally — won’t be disappearing from conversation, or from ballots, anytime soon. In upcoming elections, four states will vote on some form of marriage-equality legislation.
With emotions running high on the divisive issue, is it possible for folks grounded in their own points of view to see where their opponents are coming from?
The documentary “Question One” explores the debate by looking at both sides. Filmmakers Joe Fox and Joe Nubile focus on controversy in Maine, where a 2009 state referendum asked citizens whether they wanted to repeal a recent law allowing same-sex couples to marry — a battle similar to the one in California, where voters the year before had approved Proposition 8 to overturn same-sex marriage.
Fox — the gay son of an Orthodox rabbi — will be on hand for a Q&A following a screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at San Francisco’s Vogue Theatre. The event is co-presented by Keshet, the national advocacy nonprofit for LGBT Jews; the Swig Program for Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco; and the JCC of San Francisco.
Fox, who previously covered the Middle East as a journalist for USA Today, said in an interview with the JCC (http://bit.ly/TA2XGU) that his experiences in the region and, ultimately, his Judaism played a role in how he approached the film, which seeks to capture both sides of the debate by giving viewers an inside look at the campaign “war rooms” and major players in the battle.
He added that while it was personally challenging to listen to those who wanted to pass legislation to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples, he worked to stay “open” in an attempt to understand.
“I did a great deal of soul searching in terms of, ‘How do I connect with the other side?’ ” he told Laura Paull, the JCC’s community and curated content producer. “I looked at my own background, and how I grew up as gay, Jewish and adopted, with the sense of always being isolated and on the outside, and through that [lens] came to understand that these were people who grew up in a certain world and feel that the larger world is passing them by. They feel that they’re shouting into the wind.”
“Question One” runs nightly (except Oct. 31) through Nov. 1. The Vogue is located at 3290 Sacramento St. For information, visit www.voguesf.com or www.jccsf.org.