Pursuit of Equality

Last night an eclectic group of people packed the Herbst Theater for a screening of Geoff Callan and Mike Shaw’s award winning documentary, “Pursuit of Equality.” The film chronicles Gavin Newsom’s decision four years ago to allow same sex marriages to take place in City Hall, a move that made international headlines and may have changed GLBT history forever.

The mayor’s pre-screening presentation served as an opportunity for him to publicly endorse Mark Leno for a state Senate seat, as SFist.com had said he would earlier in the day. The announcement was met enthusiastically, especially since Leno had just given a presentation to the crowd himself.

Jennifer Siebel arrived with Gavin, looking absolutely beautiful as usual, as you can see in these photos by Bill Wilson. They were color coordinated, in the manner of Angelina and Brad, Tom and Katie, Posh and Becks.

Most newsworthy on the fashion front was Gavin’s lack of a tie. Shall we say that Jennifer’s influence is bringing us a more casual yet confident Gavin? In the political world, the only romantic couple who matches them in style would be Barack and Michelle Obama. Can you think of anyone else?

I was pleasantly surprised to meet writer Laura Albert on the red carpet with her two fabulously fashionable friends: Rudy Rivera from Hair Of The Gods (on Fell Street), and Joshua, from Lucas. Ms. Albert, known best for the books she wrote under the pseudonym of JT Leroy, is a fascinating, lively and utterly charming woman who is entering an exciting new phase of her career. San Francisco is lucky to have literary talents like her around!

It was so nice to see some of the major figures in the film at the screening, such as Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Jeanne Rizzo and Pali Cooper, a lesbian couple who arrived at City Hall on their wedding day, full of joy and hope, only to find out that a court ruling had just put an end to the marriages. Captured in raw detail in the film, it’s a moment that had many audience members in tears.

If you haven’t seen “Pursuit of Equality” yet, you can order a DVD from www.pursuitofequality.com. It’s a vibrant, moving film, and really puts all this recent turmoil over gay marriage into perspective.