The Project

Why Now

Today, the U.S. political climate is shifting backward. New legislation seeks to strip rights away from the queer community. Transgender rights are on the chopping block. Marriage equality could be next. Revisiting history and the people who led the fight to protect queer families in Utah and across the nation feels both urgent and timely. Laura and Jackie hope their story will inspire the next generation to rise up.

Gay couple


JL Productions Began

Before same-sex marriage was legally recognized, forming a family with equal legal protections was next to impossible for LGBTQ+ couples. 25 years ago Jackie and Laura fought hard to ensure queer families were protected through second-parent adoptions. JL Productions is working to tell this important part of queer history - and inspire new generations of activists in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Where We Have

The late 1990s was a pivotal moment in the history of gay rights. Support for the queer community was surging — the pushback was too. Tens of thousands had marched in Washington D.C. for equality. Celebrities like Rosie and Ellen came out. The battle for acceptance and equity at work, schools, church, and families was on. In response, the so-called moral majority rallied. Legislatures passed bills to limit rights and legalize discrimination, including barring gay couples from second-parent adoptions.  

Florida was the first to do it. Utah was next. The battle was bitter in the Beehive State. The Mormon church had excommunicated gays and was engaged in national efforts to ban marriage equality for the preservation of "traditional" families. Allowing gay adoptions would open the door to gay marriage, church leaders argued, and therefore must be stopped. When the state’s mostly Mormon legislature moved to do that though, Utah’s queer community rose to fight for their rights.

Laura, Jackie, and friends
Where We Are

The Fight for Family project will capture the voices of those on the ground during the fight for queer adoption rights in Utah and across the U.S.  The documentary project will shed light on the challenges faced by activists, allies and the brave queer couples who only wanted what others had: the right to form legally recognized families. The Fight for Family is a story of resilience and the sheer power of what love can do. The project is currently in development and production, with an expected completion date of 2025.

Help Us Tell The Story
25 years ago two Utah lesbians — a lawyer and a lawmaker — used “straight law” and grassroots politics to fight for the rights of queer couples to create families.
Let’s Connect

The stories of Jackie, Laura and the brave families they helped as they lay the foundation for what’s possible – and a road map for the battle ahead.

Rainbow for love