Tragedy inspires awareness

This article was corrected on 4/6/15.

By Danielle Gittleman

Shane Bitney Crone has faced a number of struggles. Crone, a homosexual, lost his lifetime love and partner, Tom Bridegroom, in a tragic accident. As a filmmaker, Crone used his trials and tribulations to produce and star in Bridegroom: A Love Story, Unequaled, to show the world just how unequal same-sex marriages really are.

Rider’s Spectrum Pride Alliance will be showing the film to students on April 2. Crone will be in attendance for the presentation of the film, and will host a discussion and a Q&A afterwards.

The film discusses what Crone had to go through once his partner passed away. Because of marriage inequality, Crone wasn’t allowed to see Bridegroom when he was in the hospital. When it came to Bridegroom’s funeral, Crone was forbidden to attend.

Crone made this documentary to show the world how same-sex couples still don’t have the same rights as heterosexual couples do.

“This event is important for students to attend because it shows the messier side of what people can go through in the LGBT community,” said Spectrum President and junior human resource management major Ashley Virzi. “It’s important to recognize that not everyone is accepted for who they are even though our community has come so far. Thirty-six states may have legalized marriage equality, but that’s only a stepping-stone. There is so much more support for the community needed.”

The Spectrum Pride Alliance hopes that this documentary will show students just how important marriage equality is and that, even though society is slowly getting there, same-sex couples still don’t always have the rights that they deserve.

“We chose it because it was not just a movie about inequality. It showed the major impact that the lack of marriage equality had on Tom’s and Shane’s life, and the resulting discrimination that Shane faced before and after Tom’s death. He was not even allowed to be with Tom while Tom was dying as he was not a family member,” said Michael Rutkowski, advisor of Spectrum Pride Alliance.

The film shows what Crone had to go through after his partner’s death, and how he was denied the basic rights of heterosexual couples. The Spectrum Pride Alliance is hoping that students will see this during the film and discussion.

“I hope they take away the fact that, while marriage equality has been in the news a lot, it is not just a lot of talk,” said Rutkowski. “There are real negative impacts on people’s lives who are not allowed to marry. The rights and privileges that come from being married should be afforded to all individuals and the person that they love, not just the majority of the population. Love is love and it should be respected.”

The film will be shown on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the BLC Theater. 

Printed in the 4/1/15 edition.

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