- Hey, I'm Darius Rucker.
Coming up on Reel South.
- [Darius] From Mobile to Birmingham, Alabama's gay community is no longer silent.
- [Searcy] You know, my roots are definitely southern.
- [Darius] And the struggle to change state laws and attitudes has gained ground.
- [Patricia] For somebody like me who's a political junkie and an activist, this is the front lines.
- [Darius] But in many cases, families' lives have been upended.
- [Kinley] Once again, our life is put on hold.
- This is about the whole state.
This is about every single gay person who's been denied rights.
- [Darius] Witness "A labama Bound" on Reel South .
- [Female Narrator] Support for this program is provided by South Arts, sponsors of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
[bluesy guitar rock] ♪ [dramatic music] - [Man] A very high percent of opposite-sex people don't have children, and everybody knows they can't, and if they're in a high or certain percentage of same-sex people get married do have children.
- [Man] Right now, today, those hundreds of thousands of children don't get the stabilizing structure and the many benefits of marriage.
You have a minority of states in which gay couples will be relegated to demeaning second-class status, and I don't know why we would want to repeat that history.
[dramatic music] - [Man On Phone] As a business owner, I took my money, and I started a business.
I bought the license, I put the product in there, I wanna have the right to look at you, I don't care what you're gay, pink, purple, or you wore a red shirt, and say, "You know what?
I just don't want to do business "with you today."
That's my right.
- [Man] I just want to do my thing, leave me alone.
Christians are really saying the same thing, here, in that case.
They say, "I just want to make cakes, "and I don't wanna participate in all that stuff.
"I'm sorry, I love y'all, long time, "the bible tells me to love you, "but I don't wanna participate."
[dramatic music] [ambient neighborhood sounds] - I was born and raised in Richmond, Kentucky, a small town, went to the University of Kentucky.
I've lived in Alabama since 1984, and really never thought about leaving.
Jennifer and I have been together for eight years.
We met online.
She's from Massachusetts, born and raised.
When we first started talking, she didn't even know where Alabama was on a map.
- [Television] 10, 5, touchdown!
- We started planning the wedding last year.
Now, I'm real big into the environment, so I wanted to have a green wedding.
Jen's a romantic.
I'm an activist.
So sometimes those two things don't go well together.
[laughs] - Patricia, you knew that I left my world to find my life with you.
- Well, and Jen says to me last week, she says, "You know, I know you're an activist, and everything's "gotta be about movin' an issue forward, "but this is our wedding, okay?
"Can we at least have printed programs?"
And so I've had to finally concede and say, "Okay, okay.
We'll have printed programs.
"But let's collect 'em all, so we can recycle 'em."
[cheering] When I first got elected, every time I was mentioned in the press, it would say "Patricia Todd, "first openly gay member House member "for the Alabama legislature."
- [Woman On Phone] Hey, how are you?
- I'm good, how are you?
- [Woman On Phone] Good, excellent.
So I'd love to do a story this morning.
You know, I read the Alabama articles.
- [Woman On Phone] But I want to get some detail from your perspective.
I'd really like to do the article kind of from your eyes.
You know, it's just, part of coming out and being openly gay in the legislature is having people understand the journey, and also they get to know me as an individual, not just as a gay person.
And when you live in Alabama, [beep] happens.
You know, you gotta figure out how to deal with it.
You know, so I will move on and try to get back to the work of my district.
I decided to run because in 2005, the Alabama legislature, along with many other states, were considering the ban on same-sex marriage, and the way we were treated and talked to by legislators was appalling to me.
[chattering on floor] They were rude, hateful, I mean, just...
It was awful.
We said, "You know, we're never gonna "change this conversation unless one of us is "sitting at that table."
For somebody like me who's a political junkie and an activist, this is the front lines, the hardest place to do this work.
See, I get to be the voice for the voiceless.
People who can't stand up and fight this fight.
And so I have to be in the most conservative state in the country to do that.
- [Man] Let's pray together.
Thank you, God, for this blessing.
Thank you for this great steak, thank you for each person, not only here on the floor, but in the gallery.
And here's the promise: He will make your paths straight.
In Jesus's name we pray, amen.
- [All] Amen.
[school bus brakes squeaking] - [Kinley] You need to let me know when you get to Cortland's house, and you need to let me know if y'all go to the park.
- [Autumn] Well, he wanted to ride his bike.
- I'll open it up somewhere.
- Ask him, he got to walk-- - That's not his bike.
- Knock on the door.
- What is it that you are waving your hands and trying to tell me, over?
[walkie talkie sounds] Why don't you just knock on the door and see if he's home, over?
- There you go.
- [Walkie Talkie] He's home, but he cannot come outside.
- [laughs] He's home and cannot come outside.
Are you all going to the park, or are you coming back here, over?
- [Walkie Talkie] We're going to the park.
- Okay, let me know when you get to the park, over.
- [Walkie Talkie] Okay, over.
- I love Alabama.
It has a lot to offer.
I try to expose my son to a lot of different things.
I've never hid my lifestyle from him, or anything.
He'll, like, "My mommy's a lesbian," and that's just what he says.
And I'm like, "Well, it's not a bad thing, like, "that doesn't have to be your introduction."
- Are you at the park yet?
- [Walkie Talkie] No, not yet.
- What are y'all doing?
- Fiddle faddlin'.
Right, that's so guilty.
That is so guilty.
- What are y'all doin'?
- [laughs] My son was born in 2006, so around 2007 I was just like, okay, so I'm gay.
[laughs] That's when I finally accepted it, to me, and realized that's what it was.
We were married November the 29th at Niagara Falls, New York, because I have family there, and it's legal there.
- I just really wanted her to walk to me.
That was my big thing, as far as getting married.
If you're walking to me, that means you're always gonna be there to support me, no matter what, through thick and thin.
- I almost cried when they kissed.
[laughter] - Most African-Americans were heavily brought up in church.
The church, which should be your safe haven, is one of the most judgmental places that you can go.
- [Kinley] Hi.
- So, like, I can use my father, for example.
Besides my parents, I didn't care about anyone else's reaction, but my mom was fine, my dad wasn't.
I didn't know how hurt he was to find out that I was gay.
Like, how they hell does me being gay affect him so much?
Like, he was so affected.
And when sat down and spoke, I said, "Well, there's "something that I need to tell you, "so you can hear it from me."
And he looked at me and he was like, "I don't wanna know."
And that was the last conversation we had for three years.
I have no idea why he was so hurt.
- He had a grandson.
So the bloodline was still there.
- I mean, it was hard for me to adjust myself to it, for a minute there.
- Now that I am grown, and now that I am actually happily married, I know that the way I was crying at that altar when I married that dude was not natural.
Before I'd ever been with a female, I married my best friend.
We'd been friends since we were little kids.
He started not being so honest, and he ended up having an affair.
I didn't know about it.
We separated after that, because not only are we married, at this point we had a baby.
We had a little baby.
- They got all these attorneys, which we couldn't afford, and they did low-down, dirty things, and we lost custody, and that was very devastating.
I'm also angry because her father did not support her.
I think that would have made a world of difference had he not sided with the husband against her.
- Her ex-husband's lawyer attacked her in court because she's a lesbian, and I guess a lesbian can't have a family.
[dramatic music] [laughter] - We get asked all the time, "Why?"
You know, "Why Alabama?
You must be crazy."
You know, my roots are definitely southern, and to me, there's so many more beautiful, great things about being a Southerner than the little bit that people outside see.
- [Khaya] Lifeguard on duty.
Lifeguard on duty.
[children playing] - All of our neighbors, they have families.
We all just get together and cook and hang out, and kids play.
- I'll be telling them something, and they're like, "You're so normal.
"You're just like us."
- They think we're... [laughs] - We're just good people here in the South, you know, and that's what we come from.
[dramatic music] [children playing] - She was just glowing, so happy being pregnant.
I mean, it was the easiest pregnancy, I think, ever, 'cause, you know, people would tell us these horror stories.
That's the job today.
- That's been the job for two weeks.
He was late coming, of course, 'cause I was like, "Oh, I want him to be a Sagittarius!"
And he was late, so he's a Capricorn.
[dramatic music] Everybody was there.
Our friends met us, we had the cigars and the champagne.
Eight hours after he was born, the doctor came in and said that he has a very large hole in his heart, and he may not make it.
- [Searcy] Hey.
- Hey, there.
Don't get me.
- [Searcy] Why not?
- 'Cause I've had a crazy morning.
- [Searcy] Crazy morn.
- It was a tough time for us, because lack of sleep, and then you add a sick child onto it, who could pass away at any moment, he's not gaining weight, he is so skinny, he has to have this tube, it's not looking good.
[dramatic music] - [Hospital Intercom] All nurses to the nurses' station.
- So we go in, they take this long tube out.
And they were like, "You've gotta stick it in his nose.
"Shove that thing up his nose, down his throat "and keep feeding him, and feeding him, and feeding him."
Here's your son, who's crying, who's dying.
I can't stick that in his nose.
I'm not able to do that.
- They're trying to force her to do it.
And I was like, that's when I said, it's like, "Teach me.
Teach me, I could do this."
And everybody just kind of stopped and got quiet, and it was awkward, and one nurse made eye contact with me, and she was like, "Well, where's your paperwork?"
Just like that, and I was like, "I don't have any paperwork."
This child cannot go home unless parent learns this procedure, but you're not the parent.
Only the parent can do this.
She was grabbing the phone, she said something to the other nurse about a social worker.
I felt totally helpless in that moment, you know, because this is my son, this is my wife, this is when, you know, you step up, and you protect, and you help your family.
I mean, that's what you do.
A fire was sparked in that moment, for me, because it was like, "Okay.
I need to get this paperwork.
"How do I do that, so I'm never in this situation again?"
[crowd noise] [applause] - Thank you so much for coming and being with us, Judge Moore.
It is such an honor to meet you.
I remember hearing the story, and for those of you who don't remember this, there was a fantastic story about this judge in Alabama who refused to stop acknowledging God.
- They have taken the words Separation of Church and State, those seven words or so, wall of separation between church and state, and confused them to mean that God and state, God and government, must be kept separate.
[applause] You can't separate God and our constitution.
- In 2003, he was removed from office for refusing to remove a monument of the ten commandments from his court building.
Moore staged a comeback, and was elected again in 2012, yes, in 38 states, judges on the high court are elected in some fashion.
[dramatic music] - We in Alabama will always be challenged by the fact that Roy Moore is our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- We've given up our righteousness for a life of indulgent sin.
For when abortion is no longer called murder, when sodomy is deemed a right, then good is now called evil, and darkness is now called light.
- Most people think their bible, their religion is the right one.
I remind them that we're a country of diverse religious beliefs, and that we should respect that.
- Today, they have two men getting married in chapel.
So excuse my fervor.
- A lot of people go to church, they can quote the bible, they bless you, everything they believe is based on a biblical principle, but yet they treat other people so poorly.
- Hello, Jordan.
[laughs] How are ya?
- Good, good.
- [grunts] Well, we got a lot of work today.
- Do we?
Well, we're gonna drop the bill today.
- The anti-discrimination?
- It's going to which committee?
- I don't know, I got to talk to the Speaker.
On social issues, Alabama's never gonna be the progressive state.
Right now, we have no non-discrimination laws, we are not included in the hate crimes bill, as far as adoption laws, they leave it to the judge to make that decision, which can be good or bad, depending on what county you're in.
Hey, Kit Mills.
- Here's soda for you.
- I love that Kentucky blue you have on.
- Thank you, I do, we got the memo today, didn't we?
- We did, look at them shoes, too!
Now the Republicans, interestingly enough, like me.
I actually spend almost all of my time in the legislature when we're filibustering or, you know, going on and on about something, I will go and sit with a Republican legislator, and, "How's your family?
What'd you do this weekend?
"Where you goin' on vacation?"
I know all their kids' names.
To me, that's what I'm there for.
I sort of feel like I'm a missionary.
This is my missionary work.
- That a cigarette?
People caught you yet?
[laughs] - God they're drivin' me nuts!
It's like, "Yes, what do you want me to do?"
As I traditionally do, I go and meet with the speaker and sort of tell him what my legislative priorities are.
How are you, my dear?
- You got a haircut.
- I did!
- It looks nice.
- I'm working with Mike Ball on this bill.
He, of course, like many other people, thought we were already a protected class, and I've lost a job because of being discriminated against, and I talked to him about that, and he said, "Well, I think I could probably support that."
And I said, "I need for you to repeat that again."
[laughs] "I want to make sure I heard you right, "that you would support non-discrimination."
He said yes, but he wanted it restricted to state employees.
So that's fine, that's a first step.
Starts the education process with, you know, people who really don't understand this issue, and it's gonna be carried by a Republican.
[dramatic music] - [Kinley] He's back.
Come with the green one.
The Monster, the Monster one.
- No, I don't know, he's a little blue boy, right there.
- He's that beast boy.
[dramatic music] - My son would always come home on the first and third weekends.
He always had a bruise or a bump or a scratch, and he's very rambunctious, so I never, it was never anything major, until last year.
It was a Friday, my day to get him, and it was storming really bad that day.
- We were all sitting around, having lunch together, and we get this call with my baby crying.
My grandson's just bawling and screaming.
- He was five at the time, and he said, he was like, "Mom, my penis is big!
So I called my ex-husband's wife, and she says, "Well, we had a little accident.
"I was flipping him, and..." And I don't even know the rest that she said, I just cut her off and said, "I'm on my way."
We rushed him to the hospital.
- We get there and... - He has whips all over the front of him.
He's just red, he's swollen.
I threw up.
Like, it was horrible.
That Wednesday was the court date.
We get to court, my ex-husband's lawyer was saying, "Hey, well, tell me about what happened that day.
"Tell me about the condition you found your son in.
"what made you take him to the hospital?"
And the very last question, she said, "And, yes, do you still live with your girlfriend?"
[dramatic music] All right, you need to get over there.
I was on the stand for 25 minutes.
Just because of my lifestyle, only we were in family court for the abuse case, and the stepmother, the lady who abused my son, was on the stand for seven.
- It's stuck.
- What'd I tell you?
Don't touch it with your hand.
You have to get a knife.
Go get a butterknife and then you have open it up that way.
We're going to court for the shelter care hearing, just to see, you know, what DHR wants to do in the interim of them scheduling a trial date.
My ex-husband's lawyer will tell the judge that I'm gay, and try to get him to remove my son from my care until we go to trial.
I'm so tired of feeling like I'm the one that has defend myself and answer all these questions when I'm in court because the stepmom abused my son.
I'll do this part and then you just the meat in here.
And then you'll be able to say you did dinner.
If you're placing a child back in a situation that's unhealthy, just because the other parent is a homosexual, that's just not safe.
And it's just not safe for the children, it's not safe, and it's scary, and I don't want that to happen to anyone's child.
[dramatic music] - [Kim] Hey, big daddy!
Here we are, two days after our surgery, and look at you waving!
Say, "Hey, everybody!
I am doing great!"
- We were preparing to go to Atlanta for his surgery when I met with the lawyer the first time.
- It does say on there, "I am the natural mother, "and I give consent for Cari to adopt."
- She told us about second parent adoptions, and how that was being done in some states, and that that was a possibility, and so I was like, "Yeah, let's do that.
Let's try that."
- [Searcy] Wow.
- Gonna get me dirty holding you.
I really felt like we had a chance.
I was like, "Well, if they just interview us, "or do whatever they do in regular adoptions, "of course.
This is our family.
"This is my son, too."
[laughs] - [Kim] Hi, handsome devil.
[ominous music] They called us into the room and Judge Davis said a couple of things, never looked again, never looked me in the eye, and so I kinda felt like this wasn't going good.
Couple weeks later, we got the decision in the mail that said our petition was denied, that only a single person or a married couple can adopt in this state.
- I'm looking to see if there's a parent-child relationship, and what's in the best interest of the child.
Those are the two things I'm supposed to cue on and be satisfied in every case.
In every case.
- [Interviewer] Legally, you can't have a second parent adoption with someone who's not a spouse.
- Not in Alabama.
Not as I understand the law.
- Judge Davis says his ruling followed the law set forth by the state legislature, and adds, "This case will set precedent."
- She called and she told me that, "If you want "to get your adoption done, we could get it in three months.
"We'd go to Florida and get it done."
And then she paused, and she was like, "Or we can make history.
You could stay here in Alabama, "and we could fight this.
- [Woman] That's fantastic!
- This is no longer about us.
This is about the whole state.
This is about every single gay person who's been denied rights throughout history.
- Is it okay if I run on the couch?
- [Kim] No way.
- [Searcy] No.
And so we made a choice, and we went forward.
- [Reporter] A local couple challenging Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage is now asking a federal judge to rule.
- We feel like this is our only option.
- The couple is seeking relief in federal court, asking that it force Alabama to recognize their marriage, so Searcy can proceed with the adoption of their son.
- What's being decided in our case is whether or not the Alabama marriage amendment is unconstitutional or not.
[dramatic music] - [Interviewer] What do you fear most as a possible outcome?
- After eight years of battling and going for it and being rejected numerous times, that it won't happen.
[dramatic music] - The day of court.
Always the same nerve, the same stomachache.
What do you think about court today?
- [Autumn] [mutters] - I understand.
You don't know.
I don't know either, baby.
[laughs] Now we have a new judge on the bench, and the very first thing when she took the bench in January was have a priest come bless her courtroom.
You know, the separation of church and state?
She's already showing me she's not following rules.
And she makes her own rules.
I don't trust the courts, and the judges I don't trust at all.
And depending on who's sitting on the bench determines the outcome of our situation and my entire life.
[dramatic music] [laughter] - [Reporter] From a federal judge in Mobile, Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage has been overturned.
The ruling was issued today by federal judge Callie Granade.
She ruled in favor of Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand, two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama's refusal to recognize their legal marriage performed in California.
- [Blonde woman] One, two, three.
- It's been crazy.
I mean, you know, we weren't really expecting the ruling, so... [laughs] It was very unexpected.
- [Reporter] Christine Hernandez and David Kennedy are representing Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand.
Hernandez says she was pleased.
- It's wonderful that all of these people are gonna benefit from what Cari and Kim have struggled through and fought for for the last eight years, and I think it's great that everyone's gonna benefit from it, but what we have finally reached is equality.
- [Patricia] I'm pretty ecstatic.
I didn't think I'd ever see this in my lifetime.
- [Reporter] For the past few hours, state representative Patricia Todd's cellphone has been ringing nonstop, since a federal judge that both our state's Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act were unconstitutional.
- The opposition started responding, and some of the comments were very troubling to me, about family values and immorality and all that stuff.
On my Facebook page, I just happened to post, "Be careful before you throw that first stone, "because some of your family values "maybe questionable, too."
And I put up that I knew a couple people that were having an affair, and that maybe I'd start naming names.
The media started developing a story around this, and it went viral.
- Representative Patricia Todd is fired up about the ongoing legal battle for same-sex marriages in Alabama.
- Representative Todd, is this a bit of sort idle boasting on your part?
Is this an actual threat?
Are you actually going to do this?
- It wasn't that I was ever gonna name names, it was really because I've met so many gay families with children, I've been so touched by them, and the love and commitment they have for their kids, that it really made me angry that somebody would question their family values.
And that's why I decided to stand up and say that.
You know, but it's very difficult when you're different, down here.
It's really gotten people talking about hypocrisy, and that's the point I was trying to make.
[drum line music] [cheering] - [Searcy] Since we've got our decision back in January, it's just been a total rollercoaster ride.
We're going at 8:00 in the morning to file our petition for adoption, which every time we've done that in the past, it's been denied.
After talking to Chris and David, our lawyers, I really don't know what to expect.
It should be treated like any standard stepparent straight adoption, where we just go in front of the judge, and he asks a couple of questions, and it's done.
- [Answering Machine] Wednesday, 2:45 AM [answering machine beeps] - [Caller] Yes, I'd just like to point out to Patricia Todd that all those [mumbles], and go to hell.
[answering machine beeps] - [Caller] You need to learn how to mind your own business, you lesbian freak.
- It's been very difficult.
I mean, Patricia was threatened several times with physical harm, and one of the very first times it identified her and her family, and it was very specific.
- We have a deck on the back of our house.
She went out and built this cabana thing.
She got all new furniture.
And I said, "Why are you doing that?"
She says, "'Cause I don't want you to be "where everybody can see you.
"I want you to be in the back of the house."
[dramatic music] Now, did I think about my personal safety, after my life was threatened?
The reality is everybody knows where I live, 'cause it's public information, and all it takes is one or two guys having too many beers one Saturday night, decide they're gonna make a statement.
And you think of this day and time, that's very possible.
I got this probably about six weeks ago.
You know, I just have to go forth, it's never gonna scare me or stop me from doing what I believe in.
- Late this evening, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered every probate judge in this state to not issue any same-sex marriage licenses tomorrow.
This latest move by Justice Moore makes tomorrow's outcome something of a mystery.
- Let me just tell you what we expect.
We're gonna walk up to that window, we're gonna file your adoption, and I'm gonna write that check.
And we're gonna celebrate.
That's what I expect to happen.
- And here's the window we're gonna be at?
- [Reporter] How's it feel to be about four feet away from ending a nine-year journey?
- It's incredible, you know, that it could finally be over.
- All the marriages are gonna be down at the end, okay, the adoption's going to be done right here.
- [Reporter] And the confusion has begun in Tuscalossa County.
Several couples there were turned away.
- [Man] Some counties are saying, "We are gonna issue licenses."
But some counties are saying, "We're not."
[applause] - [Male Reporter] Wedding bells are ringing in, get this, Alabama.
- [Female Reporter] This is total confusion.
A sign went up on the doors to the Shelby County Courthouse stating that no marriage licenses would be issued because of conflicting orders from U.S. District Judge Callie Granade and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
- Still, the windows have not opened, the first couple in line has still not been married.
- [Reporter] No one here in Alabama knows what is going to happen next, Scott.
It is a case of judicial chaos.
- Judge Davis is upstairs holding court, and these windows are still closed.
We're still waiting for an order, and this is the information that we have.
- We're straight, we want to get married.
- It's Attorney Christine Hernandez.
I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
- Who are you wanting to see?
- Well, there's a couple out here that wants to get married, and they're heterosexual.
- We're not issuing any license today.
- You're not issuing any heter-- - Marriage license are not open.
- You're not issuing any heter-- - Marriage license windows are not open.
- I'm sorry, folks, they said that the marriage license windows are not open, and no one can get married today.
[audience mutters] They told us through the door.
- [Man] That would be the right thing to do, but I don't think they're interested in doing the right thing down here.
- [Christine] No, she just said through the door she wasn't gonna open.
All right, as of right now, it does not appear that Don Davis is gonna open these windows.
He has not made any statement that indicates that he's not gonna be issuing any type of license, however, his refusal to open the windows, his inaction speaks louder than words at this time.
- We'll wait here.
We'll sit here until 5:00 when these doors lock, and at that time, we'll leave when they lock this building.
But we will be right back here tomorrow morning, first thing in the morning.
We will be first in line again.
- I have been back to court 10 times this year.
We went today expecting the trial that got delayed to take place today.
Once we got there, I was informed by my attorney that the judge wasn't even there.
He called off sick.
They gave us a new date of August the 27th.
So, once again, our life is put on hold until next season.
[laughs ruefully] The new court date is in the back of my mind, and it's like a constant countdown.
We can't make any plans.
We can't plan any family trips.
We can't even plan a family trip for next summer, even if we wanted to start paying on it now, because we don't even know if we're gonna have him next summer.
- I mean, the longer we have him, the better chance we have to keeping him.
He already been with us two years, I mean... - Three months and two days.
- Three months and two days, as well.
I mean, don't cry, baby.
It's real hard to say he's in an unfit environment when we done had him, we had DHR coming and remind...
It would have been great to get it settled and been done with and over with, but things don't always go as planned.
- But it sucks for him.
- It does suck for him.
All's he know is he loves his mommy and daddy.
He shouldn't have to choose.
That's why the court is here.
To put him in that situation.
- She's my rock.
She's my everything.
- You're my rock.
- She's my everything, like, if she wasn't here, I wouldn't be able to do this, and I damn sure would have not been able to do it this long.
She's at every single court proceeding.
She takes off work every single time, even when she knows it's gonna be continued, or they're gonna bullcrap us through it, or they're gonna just give us some kinda stupid conclusion, she comes.
- When I took vows to spend the rest of my life with you, I meant that, through the good, the bad, the ugly.
We have each other.
When you need somebody, a shoulder to cry on, you have mine.
We will get through it.
We just take it one day at a time.
- [Kinley] Okay.
- [Autumn] Stop crying.
- [Kinley] I'm working on it.
- [Autumn] No.
I'm still wiping tears.
- [Kinley] [laughs] I'm still working on it.
- At the stroke of midnight, on February 9th, Alabama had to recognize the fact that you and Kim were married in California in 2008, and it's March 2nd, and we're still going, but of course we're not gonna stop, but... - She said, "It is further ordered by the court "that this decree is qualified in nature, "and the court will not issue a final adoption order "until a final ruling is issued in the "United States Supreme Court on the Marriage Act "cases before it."
Your case is not presently pending before the United States Supreme Court, and the issue before him is not an issue that has direct on point before the United States Supreme Court.
- He could do this if he wanted to.
- Issue the adoption?
What it appears that he's doing is still working under the guise that he will not recognize that you and Kim are married.
[dramatic music] - [Reporter] Indiana governor Mike Pence signed a law protecting religious freedom in his state.
- With the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect the freedom of religion of every Hoosier, of every faith.
- What's happened in Indiana in the last couple weeks, where they introduced a bill that blatantly allows anybody to discriminate against LBGTQ, we were concerned Alabama was gonna introduce one.
- [Woman] This is House Bill 56, it has a public hearing by Representative Hill.
[dramatic music] - What is the problem that we are seeking to fix, here, that is not currently on the books?
- This bill gives to the individual who is asked to perform the ceremony the right to say yes or no.
- It's about the judges, that they have taken a sworn oath.
You have a choice on becoming a judge or not.
I was a schoolteacher.
I didn't have the option of saying, "I don't want this child."
- If this bill is passed, we will descend Alabama into chaos.
This violates the 14th Amendment.
It's against your process, it's against equal protection, and we do not need to discriminate.
- I've worked with many of you all in this chamber for eight years, and you know me.
And I think you respect the work that I do.
I've spent time talking to you about your families, and this is the first time in this chamber that I'd have to stand up here and defend my community and myself.
And people say to me, "Don't take it personally."
This is personal.
This is extremely personal.
Alabama, we know, in June, the Supreme Court's gonna make a decision on marriage equality.
And almost everybody I talk to agrees that they're gonna rule that it is legal throughout the land, and has to be recognized.
I beg you to abstain or vote no on the BIR.
Let's don't be on the wrong end of history again.
[crowd mutters] - [Barry] You know I love you, right?
And I respect you a great deal.
So, I want you to know that.
My sister-in-law came up here and got married to her partner in Montgomery the day after we cleared everything.
And I love her, her son stays at my house, I love her-- - [Patricia] This is pandering, Barry, you know it's pandering.
- [Barry] It is, but we got so many people that are so worried about it-- - [Patricia] Well, read the First Amendment.
- [Barry] Look, my life is in as much disarray as anybody's, and all we can do is seek the Lord and try to do what we think is right.
We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
- [Patricia] Exactly.
- [Barry] But I love you, right?
You know that, okay?
- [Patricia] I appreciate it.
- [Barry] And I respect you probably as much as anybody in this body.
- [Patricia] I know that.
- [Barry] I just want you to know that.
- [Patricia] Thanks.
- [Barry] Keep your chin up.
- [Patricia] I am.
- [Speaker] The motion before us now is final passing of the House Bill 56, by [mumbles].
[Patricia sighs] If you're in favor of that motion, your vote is Aye, we'll post your vote as noted.
We're gonna walk through the numbers we'll vote.
All the members voted.
Won't you record the votes, 69 Ayes, 25 Nays.
House Bill 56 has passed.
- [Woman] I'm so sorry.
- It's okay.
We lost the battle, we're gonna win the war.
- [Woman] Well, you look hot.
- Well, thank you.
[laughs] - Thank you.
- Thank you.
- You are a hero to us.
- Oh, no.
- [mumbles] I just really appreciate you.
- I'm just fighting what I believe in.
September 14th last year, Jen and I were married in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Jennifer and I have split.
She has moved back to Massachusetts.
We've been together for eight years, so the reason she was leaving is because I had picked politics over her.
This is hard work that I do, and it demands a lot of emotional energy, and time, and commitment.
It's hard to have a partner and be this high-profile in a state like Alabama.
I'm not gonna be able to pass legislation I want to, but I can sure work every day to change the hearts and minds of the people who sit in that chamber who've never really worked with an openly gay person.
- We've already won four times, pretty much, you know, in court after court, and they keep delaying it until the Supreme Court ruling, so hopefully a positive ruling from the Supreme Court will put an end to it all.
The main question for us, at this point, is our adoption.
Right now it's in front of Judge Roy Moore, and we all know where he stands on it, and kinda scared that he may, you know, try to make a political stand with our adoption.
I hope not.
[laughs] But it is possible, so... No marriage equality ruling today.
Stay tuned to see if the court adds another decision day this week.
- Molding, the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.
So that means we won, right?
[laughs] And to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when a marriage was lawfully licensed and performed by the state.
It's five to four.
[laughs and sniffles] Mmm.
[laughs] I'm sorry, I didn't know I'd be this emotional.
[laughs] Oh, wow.
I gotta call Kim.
[laughs] It came down.
[laughs] Yeah, both, both.
Yeah, we won.
[laughs] Yeah, so come home.
[laughs] All right, bye.
- No, no, no, you need a hug.
Oh, my God.
We gotta do the happy dance!
Oh my God!
I can't even believe it, I can't even believe it!
Oh my God, we did it!
We did it!
We did it!
[laughter] - I'm squished.
- So welcome to the new world.
It just changed for you Christians.
Now, if you don't believe you're going to be persecuted, if you think I'm making that up, let me quote the Supreme Court.
And Justice Alito said this, "It will be used"-- talking about this opinion--"to vilify Americans "who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy."
He said, "They will be exploited by those who are "determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent."
[dramatic music] - The problem is, you get married on Saturday, get fired on Monday, because you got married on Saturday.
So we've to change the law, we've got support to do it, we've been doing a lot of work that we need, and we've still got work to do, y'all.
Got a lot of work to do.
- [Kim] You're so handsome!
You're so handsome!
- My mama is becoming my legal parent.
After we get done with the court, then we're gonna go to the party.
- [Searcy] It's hard to think about, because this case has taken up so much of our time for the last 10 years.
I mean, it's been going on Khaya's whole life.
- The time that we were going through the custody case, it felt like time was standing still.
The case is now closed.
It's officially closed.
We were able to win our case.
I have sole custody.
DHR is now out of our life.
He gets to have visitation with his father, unsupervised.
With the stepmother, he can see her, but it has to be supervised at all times.
He is never to be left alone with her, and she is not to discipline him in any way.
- [Kyle-Bailey] You're losing, you know that, right?
- [scoffs] My attorney handed me that final custody paper, and on the top of it, it said, "Closed."
It was the most exciting thing.
I won, Mommy!
- I see.
Like, I was so happy.
We were really, really happy.
We're just really happy it's over, and we're really happy that it's safe.
- How you doin'?
- [Kyle-Bailey] Good.
- My dad is a great grandfather.
Once he got a chance to see the family unit as a family, and see how it functions, and see how well and healthy it is, his ignorance was gone.
- This is like, something you gotta adjust to.
I adjusted pretty good.
I'm all right now.
It don't bother me.
You know, everybody do their own thing, now.
- I wanna go to Coldstone again.
- You wanna go where?
- To Coldstone.
- [Kinley] He just went to Coldstone.
We took him to Coldstone last night.
- Y'all really go to Coldstone last night?
I wanna go again, though.
Ice cream is so good.
- Ice cream make ya fat, man.
- But we can go to the Weight Loss Solutions place next to Coldstone.
- [Kinley] There is a Weight Loss Solutions place right next door to Coldstone.
[laughs] - [laughs] That's cute.
[laughter] [dramatic music] - It is the day we've waited so long for.
It's the day that our family is legally protected.
- It is official, and here's the official paperwork.
- [Kim] It feels greater than our wedding day.
It's Christmas in July for us.
[laughter] It is a time to celebrate.
- It is, it is.
- We are toasting to the long haul, and paperwork.
- And family.
- And to this whole family.
- Family, family, family.
- [Patricia] When I look over my years as a political activist, the change we've made in this country is significant.
I thought marriage would be the hardest obstacle to overcome, and it has become now, probably, the first major victory we will have.
And we've still got a lot of work to do.
Non-discrimination is what we've gotta fight for.
That's the next frontier, and actually affects almost every person in this country.
It's gonna be tougher.
It is gonna be tougher.
They're gonna fight that every way they know how to.
It doesn't happen overnight.
Sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back, but we're moving in the right direction.
And I wanna make sure every kid feels safe, and that they're loved, and they're empowered to live their life out.
[crowd cheers] ♪ [bluesy guitar rock] ♪ - [Female Narrator] Support for this program is provided by South Arts, sponsors of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.