GREENSBORO, N.C. — An impending ballot initiative considering an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment on marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships will serve as the backdrop of a documentary currently in the making.
Filmmaker Eric Preston and his producing partner Martin Rembert are hoping to chronicle the journey of LGBT community members and other North Carolinians as they navigate the next eight months’ political battle over the amendment. Their film, “Homophobia: An Insecure Truth” will tell the stories of politicians, preachers and citizens and their views on the amendment.
While Preston and Rembert are collecting footage for their film, Preston says he also hopes to tell the story of the amendment as it unfolds. Last week, he published a short clip of two September anti-amendment rallies in Raleigh and in Greensboro. It became a hit among LGBT community members on Facebook as users of the site shared it among their friends.
Preston, who is straight, is married with four “beautiful daughters,” he says. He thinks the question over LGBT marriage equality as no different from other human rights issues.
“I don’t feel like one person should be able to tell another person they’re wrong in this circumstance,” he says. “It just doesn’t sit well with me. One person doesn’t have any right to condemn another person and this crosses the boundaries of separation of church and state.”
The filmmaker’s short clip, entitled “We Are All Equal PSA,” includes speeches from community members and organization leaders, politicians, young people and LGBT-affirming pastors. Preston says he originally set out to shoot footage at the Sept. 12 equality vigil in Greensboro and wasn’t even aware of the next day’s Equality North Carolina rally in Raleigh until that night. Similar rallies and vigils were held in communities across the state, including Charlotte.
“I didn’t really know anybody there,” Preston says. “I went there on my own initiative, took my video camera and shot the footage.”
Preston’s legwork resulted in one of the first visual representations of the LGBT community’s fight against the amendment since it was approved for a May 2012 ballot by the legislature last month.
Preston says he’ll continue to document events and updates over the next several months.
“It makes for an interesting story,” Preston says of the impending ballot campaigns. “We plan to keep producing little videos along the way and do our film documentary.”
Rembert and Preston’s film on homophobia in politics isn’t their only project. The two have a movie on the life of Olympic God Medalist Picabo Street currently in development. A writer as well, Preston is also writing a book, “The Wizdom of Oz: Lessons from the Yellow Brick Road,” with Jane Lahr, daughter of actor Bert Lahr who played Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.” A second book, “How to be an Acorn in a World of Nuts!” is also in the works.
info: Learn more about Preston and his work at yourrightsaremyrights.org.