Pat Dwyer and Stephen Mosher decided to make a political statement about the fact that same-sex marriage remains one of the nation’s most debated issues — so they got married in every U.S. state that allowed two men to do so.
The result of their ambitious road trip can be seen in the heartwarming “Married and Counting.” Screening at the Roxie Theater on Sunday and Nov. 14 in the 11th annual San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, the film is part social commentary and an all-out love story.
Featuring some scenes shot in the Bay Area, the film, directed by Allan Piper and narrated by George Takei, chronicles the two men as they say “I do” in eight states.
“We had plans for a standard wedding in 2009, but political circumstances made it evident that it wasn’t really going to happen,” Dwyer says.
At that point, he and Mosher, who live in New York City, had wanted to do something special to commemorate their 25-year relationship.
“So, we eloped quietly to Connecticut,” Dwyer said. “One night, Stephen joked at a party, that perhaps we could just go to all the places in the U.S. where same-sex marriage is legal and get married. Suddenly, we sat back, and thought, ‘Hey, that’s something that we actually could make happen.’”
Like most love stories, “Married and Counting” is filled with challenges. In this case it was the couple’s quest to make each ceremony — particularly in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Massachusetts — unique.
To protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8, the couple held a commitment ceremony in the Berkeley hills.
One of the film’s brightest moments finds the men surrounded by friends and family on the steps of nation’s capital for another wedding on their 25th anniversary — April 26, 2011.
When asked what he’s learned about love (and loving) along the way, Mosher is reflective: “There’s a line in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ where Juliet says of Romeo, ‘The more I give to you, the more I have to give,’” Mosher says. “I didn’t really understand that until the last few years which, with almost every passing day, I am amazed at much more I can love this person. It made me realize that when the poets say that love is an indefinite well … they are not lying.”