campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College to Host Filmmaker and Screen “Love and Marriage,” a Documentary Exploring Same Sex Marriage

NEW LONDON, N.H., Oct. 17, 2007 — Colby-Sawyer College will host a showing of “Love and Marriage,” a documentary that details the pros and cons of gay marriage, followed by a question-and-answer session with director Robert Wagner and editor Nick Martin.

The 2007 documentary will be shown at Clements Hall in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. The event is part of the college's Human Rights and Social Justice Film Series, sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee. Admission is free.

“Our intention in making this documentary is to explore the controversial issue of same sex marriage,” said Wagner. “Is it a legitimate civil rights issue or does it mark the end of civilization as we know it?” The documentary was an official selection for both the Rhode Island and Oklahoma film festivals this year.

Robert Wagner attended the Pratt Institute in New York City and after graduation, began his career as a freelance production assistant. He went on to contribute to several feature films and documentaries including “Home Alone 2” and “Speed Merchants” as well as work in commercial advertising.

“Love and Marriage” came into being when a producer friend approached Wagner with the idea for a new documentary. “We were looking for a subject that was either controversial or had a civil rights aspect to it. Same sex marriage appealed to us because it had both,” said Wagner. “It was an issue of public debate three years ago when we undertook this project and it remains so today.”

The film looks at same sex marriage through the eyes of those who have a personal stake in the issue. “We hear from spokespeople both pro and con who feel very strongly about the issue of gay marriage,” said Wagner. “We visited with gay couples who are creating families and having children without the 1,800 or so protections routinely granted to those who are legally married.”

Footage of same sex couples illustrate how their lives, and those of their children, are complicated by the restrictions on same sex marriage. The film also gives voice to those who oppose same sex marriage, and believe that it is unconstitutional and would reshape the nation's social values.

Wagner's intention is to present both sides of the issue as fairly as possible. “I consider same sex marriage to be a civil rights issue,” he said. “I hope the film does not say that, however. It was my intention to present both sides as fairly as possible. Of course, as soon as you make that first edit your personal bias comes into play.”

After making the documentary, Wagner found that many people have simply accepted same sex couples as a fact of life that society will eventually have to come to terms with. “What we discovered after all the smoke had cleared,” said Wagner, “is that gay relationships and gay families, for better or for worse, are a fact of life that will not be argued or debated away.”

-Amber Cronin '11

Amber Cronin is a Colby-Sawyer College student who writes for College Communications.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 25 states and five foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000