The Team

A photo of Jackie Biskupski in front of the Salt Lake City City & County building

The Legislator

Jackie Biskupski

Even as a kid growing up in Minnesota Jackie Biskupski had an activist’s heart. She didn’t know how or when it would happen, but she felt called to fight injustice and protect the rights of others. Fast forward to March 2000 and Jackie is standing to speak on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives. She is the first openly gay person ever elected to serve in the Legislature. Up for debate: a bill to bar adoptions for any unmarried persons, queer or straight. “I am not less than human, and therefore, do not deserve to have my liberties taken away from me,”she implored. “This is truly reminiscent of the days when the Jews, the African-Americans and even the Mormons were categorized and persecuted unjustly.”

The Lawyer

Laura Milliken Gray

Prior to 2000, Utah State law didn’t prevent gay couples from adopting; in fact, it didn’t mention them at all. So Laura rolled the dice. To her surprise, it worked. For four years, judges quietly made some 100 gay families legally whole. “I was flying under the radar, trying not to attract attention,” the attorney and accidental activist said. Then, the Utah Legislature found out. Jackie and Laura joined forces to fight the effort to ban adoptions on Capitol Hill. They would not win that particular battle, but they worked tirelessly over the next 10 years and found creative ways to protect gay couples and their children.

Jackie and Laura’s early advocacy launched a new era of queer activism that ultimately allowed those gay families to thrive – and paved the way for same-sex marriage to become a reality in Utah.

Laura Gray in her office

The Producer/Writer

Jennifer Dobner

Jennifer was an award-winning reporter for The Associated Press and for newspapers across the West, including The San Diego Union-Tribune and The Salt Lake Tribune. As a freelancer she worked for Reuters, The New York Times, Outside Magazine Online and others. She co-wrote and produced Anchor Point (2021), which won multiple US and international Best Documentary Awards and was a writer and story consultant for the award-winning Church & State, (2018).

The Producer

Sam Heim

Sam has produced more than 30 films from profile pieces to technical gear videos for Petzl America. She finds joy in the dirty, chaotic moments with the shy stranger and convoluted logistics. Sam has visited more than 15 countries and is comfortable in the uncomfortable. She has a quiet fire, and will fight to share truth, beauty – and strength of the human condition through documentary films.

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