In March 1986, The New York City Council passed a law which made sexual discrimination an offense. It took fourteen years of debate before this decree was finally made law. Rights and Reactions portrays the supporters and the opponents of Intro 2, popularly known as "The Gay Rights Bill," during the final days preceding the decision on this bill.

When Phil first approached me in '86 to work with him on Rights and Reactions, the main draw for me—even beyond our friendship and past collaborative hilarity—was to contribute something more tangible than just attending funerals for close friends with whom we expected to grow old.

On a lighter note, said collaborative mirth continued in full force as we labored away "chez Phil," our jollity undaunted by severe budgetary restraints.

Without intending braggadocio, Rights and Reactions seemed to make a difference, of which we were proud. Once, when Phil and I were at the Berlin Film Festival, during a post-screening Q and A, a member of the audience, weeping openly, announced that she (and other kin) had renounced gay relatives, that the family remained fractured and estranged. But, having just seen Rights and Reactions, she was heading right back to her hotel to lunge for the phone, to seek forgiveness, to attempt reconciliation. (Similar things happened on numerous occasions.)

Woefully, ignorance, hatred and bigotry are not on the wane, hence Rights and Reactions message remains timely and germane.

Rights and Reactions
A film by Phil Zwickler and Jane Lippman
Total Running Time: 56 mins.

    To view the film clips, please click on the images below. The clips will launch in a new window as MOV files, which will require the Quicktime Player. To download the free Quicktime Player, please click here.

Rights and Reactions Part 1
Running Time: 22 mins.

Rights and Reactions Part 2
Running Time: 19 mins.

Rights and Reactions Part 3
Running Time: 16 mins.

Then and Now: 20th Anniversary of NYC's Gay Rights Bill
New York City Council
June 13, 2006

We are proud to have been a part of the New York City Council's celebration honoring the 20th Anniversary of NYC's Gay Rights Bill. The celebration included a tribute to Betty Santoro (In Memoriam) who appeared in Rights and Reactions, and several clips from Rights and Reactions were shown during the event. Please click on the images below to view the program.

  Screening on WNET Channel 13
June 2006

Rights and Reactions was recently screened on WNET Channel 13 during Gay Pride Month, June 2006. The air date was June 23, 10:30pm and June 29th at 1:30am.
  Berlin Film Festival

Rights and Reactions was recently showcased in the Berlin Film Festival 2006 Archive series. It was originally screened in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in 1988.

  Original Press Release and Synopsis for Rights and Reactions
  Reviews from Rights and Reactions
  "Documentary Immortalizes Passage of Gay Rights Bill"
New York Native Review
by Mike Salinas
June 29, 1987
  Variety Review
by Hitch
November 25, 1987
  New York Native Review
by Ed Sikov
November 30, 1987
  "Gay Rights and Story of Wilde"
New York Times Review
by Vincent Canby
June 15, 1988
  "Gays: Then and Now"
Daily News Review
by Chris Chase
June 15, 1988
  L.A Weekly Review
June 15, 1988
  "How NYC's Gay Rights Bill Came to Be"
The Guardian
by Dan Cohen
June 29, 1988

A review of Rights and Reactions

  "Emmy Nomination Marks 4th Anniversary of Gay Rights Law"
  National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Honor for Rights and Reactions
June 20, 1989