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    Governor Newsom and Marriage Equality Activists Mark ‘Winter of Love’ 20th Anniversary at Castro Theatre

    All Photos by Drew Altizer Photography

    An exclusive film screening event marking the 20th Anniversary of the Winter of Love was held at the Castro Theatre on February 1, 2024. Attendees included marriage equality activists, such as San Francisco Bay Times columnists John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney and Jeanne Rizzo and Pali Cooper, along with multiple notable leaders including California Governor Gavin Newsom. Rizzo and Cooper’s story is featured in the film, along with that of Christopher Bradshaw, who also attended the event.

    Sponsored by Salesforce and produced by veteran public relations consultant Mark Rhoades, the event included a showing of the 2005 documentary Pursuit of Equality, which was co-directed by Governor Newsom’s brother-in-law, Geoff Callan, and Mike Shaw. The private event was attended by over 700 guests and included a welcome reception, opening remarks by Governor Newsom, the film screening, a surprise performance by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and a post-presentation by the filmmakers and documentary subjects.

    Two decades ago, then San Francisco Mayor Newsom courageously issued marriage licenses to same-gender couples, sparking a nationwide movement for marriage emancipation. He teamed up with Callan and Shaw to document loving partners via film while they tirelessly advocated for equal rights during this historic moment.

    Pursuit of Equality originally premiered at the Castro Theatre during the 2005 San Francisco International Film Festival and has gone on to win multiple awards and accolades encompassing the film’s unapparelled storytelling surrounding the intimate lives of those at the forefront of the marriage justice movement.

    Pursuit of Equality is a testament to the enduring fight for impartiality and offers a powerful reminder of the importance of advocacy and solidarity in the pursuit of justness and equitability. The filmmakers plan to bring the documentary to audiences everywhere, with a second screening scheduled for February 29, 2024, at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and more to follow in the coming months. 

    Others who attended the February 1 event at the Castro Theatre included Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Partner of California;

    Hilary Newsom Callan, Producer (and wife of Geoff Callan); former San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Mabel Teng, who officiated San Francisco’s first same-sex wedding between Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon; Stephen Revetria, President of San Francisco Giants Enterprises; Jodi Goodman & wife Michelle, President of Live Nation, Northern California; Robert & Barbara Callan, Executive Producers; San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros; former City Attorney of San Francisco Dennis Herrera; former National Center of Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell; Joseph Cotchett & Nanci Nishimura, Supporting Sponsors; Tom Horn & Caesar Alexzander; the Honorable Richard Kramer; and international artist Bip Apollo.

    20 Years Later the Winter of Love
    Published on February 8, 2024