Price: $395.00

    Code: 2512

    Directed by Thomas G. Miller
    2014, 74 minutes
    Purchase: $395 | Classroom rental: $125
    Call us at 212-685-6242 for special non-profit, public library, and K-12 pricing.

    This award-winning documentary tells the poignant story of Filipino-American Richard Adams and his Australian husband, Tony Sullivan, who in 1975, became one of the first same-sex couples to be legally married in the world. Limited Partnership recounts their 40-year struggle to stay together, and parallels the history of the LGBT marriage and immigration equality movements.

    In 1975, thanks to a courageous county clerk in Boulder, CO, Richard and Tony were one of the first same-sex couples in the world to be legally married. Richard immediately filed for a green card for Tony based on their marriage. Richard received a denial letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating, "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots." Outraged at the tone, tenor and politics of this letter and to prevent Tony's impending deportation, the couple sued the U.S. government. This became the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for a same-sex marriage in U.S. history.

    Limited Partnership celebrates Richard and Tony's long path towards justice and citizenship as they challenge the traditional definitions of "spouse" and "family." This tenacious story of love, marriage and immigration equality provide both historical context and deeply moving and personal story that shows how social progress is achieved.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Winner, Humanitas Documentary Award, International Documentary Association Documentary Awards
    Official Selection, Los Angeles Film Festival
    Official Selection, Frameline
    Official Selection, Outfest
    Official Selection, San Diego Asian Film Festival
    Official Selection, Western Psychological Association Film Festival


    "An excellent film. This potent doc retrieves a fascinating chapter in LGBT history." – The Hollywood Reporter

    "The documentary serves as a relevant LGBT-rights history lesson and is equally a poignant love story. Adams and Sullivan come across as unsung civil-rights pioneers and inspiring examples of enduring love." – San Francisco Examiner

    "One of the year’s best documentaries. The film constantly educates its audience and offers perspective on the wider history of the fight for equality by LGBT community and same-sex bi-national couples." – The Independent Film Quarterly

    "Highly Recommended. The film is poignant, deeply moving and beautifully narrated, offering a new perspective on the equality movement from the unique viewpoint of these often-unrecognized pioneers.One of the additional merits of the film is its remarkable ability to chronicle our times, projecting a reflection of the social perception of homosexuality in American society from the 1970s to the present. As we journey through the narration of the couple's struggle, we witness events such as the AIDS crisis, the contention with numerous legislative changes, the Patriot Act's consequences for immigration law post 9-11, as well as the effects of DOMA, Proposition 8, and even the recent Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality. As such, this documentary can be used in the classroom in courses on contemporary American history, queer studies, sociology, or even in law schools. It is equally suitable for general adult audiences and as a conversation starter for discussion groups." – Educational Media Reviews Online

    Further Reading

    "How the Marriage Equality Movement Forgot Its Pioneers" - The Advocate