Tying the Knot

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  • Published : December 10, 2006
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Tying the Knot is a documentary that chronicles the issues of same sex marriages. It puts into perspective the question of what happens to a surviving spouse of a same sex marriage after their partner dies. The documentary offers emotional, as well as the financial troubles both men and women face as gay widows and widowers because of the laws in regards to marriage. It also places a human face on the struggle for equal rights and offers information from the past and into the present day meaning of civil marriage. The documentary places emphasize on two couples who both have lost their partners and have been denied their share of what their partner left behind. Mickie Mashburn, a Tampa police officer whose fellow cop spouse, Lois Marrero died in the line of duty when she was fatally shot by a robber in 2001, fights to receive Lois's pension as part of a benefits package for surviving spouses. Mashburn stays confident as she and her supporters make a case before a pension board. The hearings are always held in small, crowded rooms, where opposing sides appear to be sitting elbow to elbow and no one's voice is ever raised in anger. What I found interesting where the home videos that were shown, where they show the couple 10 years earlier, happy and full of emotion during their commitment ceremony. What I found ironic was that Marrero's sister was there for the ceremony but back ten years later to contest Mashburn's claim to her sister's pension. Mashburn ultimately loses her case and is not granted her deceased partner's pension. In Oklahoma, you're introduced to a rancher named Sam who built a ranch and raised a family with his partner Earl .When Earl, his spouse of 25 years, died, he left the everything including the farm to Sam. Soon there after a few of Earl's cousins who did not really talk to Earl felt that the land belonged to them, sued for it by challenging it on a technicality and won, which meant that Sam, who had not a cent to his name,...
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