Film Synopsis

One Wedding and… a Revolution Press Kit

One Wedding and... a Revolution

Reveals the inspiration, motivation and political challenges at San Francisco City Hall during the frantic days leading up to the first government-sanctioned same-sex marriage.

On February 12, 2004, the mayor of San Francisco decided to stop discriminating against lesbian and gay couples by instructing city and county officials to allow them to get married. Pioneering activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, celebrating their 51st anniversary, were invited to be the first couple to tie the knot.

Filmmaker Debra Chasnoff was also invited to document this historic occasion. With interviews with Mayor Gavin Newsom, Joyce Newstat (the mayor’s policy director at the time), City Assessor Mabel Teng, and Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, One Wedding and a Revolution takes you behind the scenes during the frantic days leading up to February 12 and this momentous ceremony.

“I called Del and Phyllis and I said, ‘I hate, to yet again, ask you to do one more thing for the movement. But do you want to be the first couple married in the country by the city and country of San Francisco.’ Phyllis responded by saying, ‘Well, let me ask Del’. She called me back about ten minutes later and she said, ‘OK, we’ll do it.'”

—Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, interviewed in the film

“I respectfully disagree that it’s not the right time –because there’s never a right time…it will not be the right day in two years…and in four years there’ll be a mayor’s race. And, in three years a governor’s race. And the Democrats will want to take back the Democratic seat in the state. It’s never right. It’s never the right time.”

—San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, interviewed in the film