Shall Not Be Recognized - portraits of same sex couples
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About the Exhibit

Photography by Jeff Pearcy / Text by Will Fellows

In recent years, the battle surrounding legal recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions has grabbed headlines. Voices from the political and religious arenas have had their say. Often lost in the debate have been the voices of same-sex couples themselves.

In 2006, voters in the state of Wisconsin approved an amendment to the state constitution banning legal recognition of same-sex unions: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”

In the United States, the average duration of heterosexual marriages that end in divorce is approximately seven years. On that basis, we invited same-sex couples who had been in relationships for seven years or longer to be interviewed and photographed for this exhibit. The 30 participating couples had been together for periods ranging from seven years to 50 years.

Here are portraits of couples whose committed relationships are considered by many to be unworthy of recognition. We invite you to look, read, and decide for yourself.

Shall Not Be Recognized is available as a 72-page hardcover book, which may be previewed and purchased at www.blurb.com.

View a slideshow of the photos with music.

Ray Vahey    Richard Taylor     died July 2006  Ray Vahey  Richard Taylor
 died July 2006 Roger HansenJohn Payton Roger Hansen
John Payton
Loree Cook-Daniels 
michael munson Loree Cook-Danielsmichael munson Gregory and Ryamond Konz-Krzyminski
Raymond Konz-Krzyminski Gregory Konz-Krzyminski Raymond Konz-Krzyminski
Sherrie Howe Joanne Andreshak Denise Cawley and Anne Hefterwith Aidan Denise Cawley and Anne Hefter
with Aidan
Diane Banach
 and  Jolene Konieczny with Amanda Diane Banach and  Jolene Konieczny with Amanda Pauline and Melissa Emerson-Froebe
Melissa Emerson-Froebe Pauline and Melissa Emerson-Froebe
Tim Greene and Michael Karl Paul Mandracchia and Gary Hollander
Debbie Lang  and Donna Plaski Debbie Lang  and Donna Plaski Garth Wangemann and  Roy Badger Garth Wangemann and Roy Badger
 Brendan Barrett and Vance Skinner with Ashlyn and Bailie Brendan Barrett and Vance Skinner with Ashlyn and Bailie Mary Thoreson and Wendy Pologe Mary Thoreson and Wendy Pologe
Paul Aschenbrenner and Winston Sephus, Jr. Paul Aschenbrenner and Winston Sephus, Jr.  Britt Brown and Noel Rosado-Brown with Truman Brown  Britt Brown and Noel Rosado-Brown with Truman Brown
Gerry Coon and Stewart Dempsey Gerry Coon and Stewart Dempsey Mark Hagen and Todd Richards Mark Hagen and Todd Richards
Craig Larrabee and Michael Bernklau Craig Larrabee and Michael Bernklau Jeffrey Margenau and Peter Duncan Jeffrey Margenau and Peter Duncan
Peggy Morsch and Kathy Herson Peggy Morsch and Kathy Herson Elaine Morberg and Pat Stepanski Elaine Morberg and Pat Stepanski
Brenda Coley and Sandra Jones Brenda Coley and Sandra Jones David Jones and Anthony Balistreri David Jones and Anthony Balistreri
Craig Bodoh and Mark Trevor Ranum Craig Bodoh and Mark Trevor Ranum Ardyth Cope and Kerri Balliet Ardyth Cope and Kerri Balliet
Barbara Murray and Sara Trampf Barbara Murray and Sara Trampf Wendy Slusar-Mischler and Sue Mischler Wendy Slusar-Mischler and Sue Mischler
Jack Pike and Vance Baker Jack Pike and Vance Baker Jan Hill and Paul Toonen Jan Hill and Paul Toonen