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Untitled (Bride and Groom), 1970, Arthur Tress, gelatin silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1983.63.1490.

Salem, Mass. - PEM will explore the personal and political aspects of same-sex marriage during an evening of engaging programming and dialogue.

The night begins with a viewing of The Gay Marriage Thing, a compelling documentary about the politics and the people involved in the gay marriage debate. With an array of opinions from church, state and everyone in between, this is a film that people of all orientations can enjoy together.

Following the documentary will be a lively and informative panel discussion of gay marriage. Politicians, authors and sociologists discuss Massachusetts' new marriage law, its effect on our communities and what impact the law has in furthering human and civil rights in America today.

In addition to the film and discussion, guests have an opportunity to visit PEM's exhibition Wedded Bliss. The exhibition galleries will be open prior to the lecture from 6 to 8pm. The Atrium Cafe will remain open until 8pm for light fare before the film and panel discussion.

Program Details
Thursday, June 26
Film | The Gay Marriage Thing
2004, 47 minutes, directed by Stephanie Higgins
6:30 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 24
Included with purchase of ticket to panel discussion at 8pm

Panel Discussion | Gay Marriage
8 pm | Morse Auditorium
Reservations by June 24
Members $10, nonmembers $15

Panel Members
State Representative Byron Rushing, an original sponsor of the gay rights bill and the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, Representative Rushing's priorities are human and civil rights and liberties; local human, economic and housing development; environmental justice; and health care.

Chrys Ingraham, author of White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture and chair of the Sociology Department at the State University of New York at Purchase. Ingraham also served as an adviser to PEM's Wedded Bliss exhibition and contributor to its catalog. Ingraham focuses on the role weddings play in popular culture constructions of gender, sexuality, race, social class and globalization.

Patricia A. Gozemba and Karen Kahn, authors of the new book Courting Equality: A Documentary History of America's First Legal Same-Sex Marriages. Patricia Gozemba is a professor of English and member of the Women's Studies Department at Salem State College. Karen Kahn is a former editor of Sojourner: The Women's Forum, an activist, community-based, feminist newspaper. She also edited Frontline Feminism: Essays from Sojourner's First 20 Years (1996). The two were married in September 2005 and live in Salem, Mass.

Robin Abrahams, author of the popular "Miss Conduct" social advice column for the Boston Globe. A Cambridge resident with a Ph.D. in psychology from Boston University, Abrahams has worked as a theater publicist, editor, stand-up comedienne and professor of psychology and writing. She is working on a book titled Mind Over Manners: Etiquette for a Diverse Society, to be published in spring 2009. Abrahams moderates the panel.

Related Exhibition Currently on View

Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony
On view through September 14, 2008
This exhibition explores the wedding as a source of inspiration for the creation of art in cultures around the world. Featuring approximately 130 objects, this ambitious exhibition presents work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Claes Oldenburg and Jacob Lawrence alongside historic and couture gowns, ceremonial items and rare jewelry. The complex beliefs and emotions surrounding the matrimonial experience are reflected in three centuries of art and culture from the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe. The full spectrum of the matrimonial experience - from courtship, engagement, and pre-nuptial arrangements to wedding rituals, ceremonies, and anniversaries - is richly represented.

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PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Manager of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3228  -  whitney_vandyke@pem.org

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