Government Labeled “Faggot” Shares His Life Long Fight For Equality & Love in Outfest Interview by Kevin M. Thomas

Tony Sullivan & Richard Adams

Tony Sullivan’s story is one that is hard to believe. If he were straight, he would have had a fairy tale love story that was free of prejudice and a 40 year fight with the American legal system.

Sullivan, half of a beautiful couple with his partner Richard Adams, has spent most of his life trying to stay in the U.S. to be with Adams and is the subject of “Limited Partnership.”

Tony Sullivan & Kevin M. Thomas

Tony Sullivan & Kevin M. Thomas

If Sullivan and Adams were a straight couple they would have had no issues. Their love would have been recognized by all. But since they are a same sex couple and Sullivan is not a U.S. citizen, he has spent most of his life fighting being deported (sometimes not winning) because his marriage has never been recognized by the U.S. government. While they were married in every state that recognized same sex marriage, his U.S. citizenship was always declined by the Federal government as, in an early letter from the INS, the government doesn’t recognize “a marriage between two faggots.”

We caught up with Sullivan who was in San Francisco for the Frameline Film Festival and he was accompanied by director Thomas G. Miller, who spent years following this tale, filming every step of the way.

Besides learning how Sullivan had the fortitude to keep up the battle for so many years, we also learn of his long standing relationship with Clela Rorex, the clerk who was the first to approve their license to wed. She will go down in history as the first person to ever issue a marriage license to a gay couple.

Sullivan shares his 40 year journey with us and tells us how he has been able to cope with all of the obstacles thrown his way – being called “faggot” is the least of them.

“Limited Partnership” screens at Los Angeles’ Outfest on July 13. Get tickets and information at www.outfest.org.

More information can be found at www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com where you can sign a petition urging administration to do the right thing. The film will also debut on Independent Lens on PBS in June of 2015.