I recently blogged about Steve Sansweet, the Star Wars toy expert and Lucasfilm alum whose 37 year relationship with another man was recently featured on the Gay Family Values YouTube channel.
Sansweet has now posted a terrific piece on StarWars.com about the people behind Gay Family Values, in particular an adopted boy who recently wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of the United States in advance of the US Supreme Court's deliberations on gay marriage. Sansweet starts like this:
You never know how you’re going to meet and make new friends throughStar Wars. It could be standing in line for a week waiting for the next movie. Perhaps it’s at a big Star Wars Celebration convention. Or maybe it’s someone you’re marching next to at a 501st Legion parade. In this case, it was a viral video of a really smart and articulate 12-year-old boy reading a letter he wrote to Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts after he heard that Justice Roberts and his wife had two adopted children.
You see, Daniel Leffew and his sweet eight-year-old sister Selena were adopted six years ago by Jay and Bryan Leffew, then domestic partners who got married in that brief period in 2008 before California voters overturned a court decision allowing same-sex marriages. With the Supreme Court’s hearings about to start on the legality of California’s Proposition 8 and the incongruously named ‘Defense of Marriage Act’, Daniel decided to write the Chief Justice a letter pointing out the similarities shared by both families — but also a huge difference in the way the law treats them....
I couldn’t help but be intrigued, not only by Daniel’s well-thought-out missive, but also the fact that there was a huge display of Star Wars toys behind him, and Bryan was sporting a retro shirt from The Empire Strikes Back. Now, as you may know, I’ve got a few Star Wars toys on display, too. And while Bryan and Jay have been a couple for a mere 18 years, my life partner Bob Canning and I will celebrate our 37th anniversary next Sunday.
Follow the link to read the rest of Sansweet's post. Daniel's video is embedded below.
I've got to hand it to Lucasfilm--and, I suppose, Disney--for giving Sansweet the freedom to speak his mind. Gay marriage and gay rights generally remain very controversial in the US. The easy decision would have been to tell Sansweet to express himself somewhere else. I rather expected that Disney would take a 1950s approach to "family values" issues. It looks like I was wrong. I hope so.