I BECAME DEEPLY ANGRY when the amendment to Wisconsin's Constitution
was approved. My wife, Jerilyn, and I had given money to the
effort to defeat the amendment, and she was also an active
door-to-door canvasser on the issue. We considered getting
a divorce as an act of civil disobedience, thinking that rights
denied to some should not be enjoyed by any.
Instead, I returned to my photojournalist roots. I have
long known the power of pictures and words to precipitate
change. For 10 years, as a young man, I was chief photographer
at a daily newspaper. More recently, I created an exhibit
of portraits of panhandlers, showing the worth and dignity
of these marginalized individuals.
The same motivation inspired this project. It seems that
many people simply do not know same-sex couples, beyond the
often distorted view provided by television and other mass
media. I believe that if people were to really know same-sex
couples, they would not fear or hate them and would be less
likely to deny them the right to marry
I am humbled by the 30 couples' willingness to participate,
and by their candor. This project is their project, and it
is a political action. I believe that this exhibit can make
a positive difference in the attitudes of people who see it,
and in how they vote wherever this issue is raised.
Jeff Pearcy, photographer