Due to the “subject matter” of the civil rights film Freeheld, Ellen Page and Julianne Moore were banned from shooting their lesbian love scenes inside a Catholic boys’ school in New Rochelle, New York.
Originally they were given the okay, but after seeing still photographs, producer Michael Shamberg said they were told their permission was retracted “because of the subject matter.”
Though Shamberg wrote to principal John Flaherty and explained the movie was not about gay marriage, but about “recognizing the dignity of a woman who was a brave civil servant,” he didn’t respond.
“I believe the theme of the movie is what Pope Francis recognized when he called for the church to welcome and accept gay people,” he said. “I respect their right to say no,” Shamberg said,” But it’s sad.”
Page expressed her views, tweeting, “religion to justify bigotry makes me sad. Sending my support 2 the LGBT students at the school who I hope r able 2 find acceptance”
Mayor Paul Rosenberg of Rye Brook, a town nearby, allowed the scenes to be shot in his town’s city hall.
“The mayor personally came to the set and greeted us and introduced his teenage daughters to Julianna,” Shamberg said. “Clearly, there are a lot of different attitudes in the area.”
Freeheld, based on the 2007 Oscar-winning documentary, centers on a lesbian couple fighting for domestic partnership benefits when one discovers she has terminal lung cancer.