Tying the Knot is not the typical documentary
laced with arguments and set with intentions on changing the
minds of the viewers. This is no Fahrenheit 9-11. It is, however,
is a film that makes use of real human stories to evoke emotion
Sam’s story is typical of many gay couples across the country.
Sam isn’t, however, your typical gay man. He’s a
trucker hat wearing, shot gun toting, and a plaid and overall
dressed redneck—entirely absent of what he considers “nelly” characteristics.
Earl’s family dispute is that he and Sam were never in
a union at all. Moreover, since homosexuals may not enter into
legal unions Earl’s will is null and void.
Tying the Knot pulls on heart strings in other ways as well.
Personal stories are constantly interrupted by montages of anti-gay
protesters and visual image of gay bashers. One man in the video
is shown shouting at the top of his lungs that “God hates
fags.” The saddest image in the video was when a 10-year-old
girl is interviewed in a crowd of anti-gay protesters. Directly
to the camera she says she was “taught well” and
proceeded to chant, “Hey. Hey ho. Homos have got to go.”
Arguments for gay marriage, in the video, are as inadequately
backed up and irrational as the arguments are against it. For
instance, EJ Graff, author of What is Marriage?, argues that
love is the most important criteria for marriage. However, if
that is the assumption, then people could also marry children.
Graff does make important historical points that contradict
the conservative argument that marriage is somehow stagnant,
and “traditional.” According to Graff, historically,
marriage has gone through many changes including people of different
classes, social status, and races being allowed to marry. She
points to the 1960’s when interracial marriages were being
attacked by conservatives who said it would lead to the “demise
of society”—remarkably similar to the arguments made
against gay marriage.
The personal stories in Tying the Knot may make some people
more compassionate to the gay struggle. However, Graff’s arguments
are as strong as they get in Tying the Knot and no person who
is against gay marriage will be converted after watching the