"We Do": After Marriage Equality

Event Date

JHU Pride (LGBTQ) Affinity
JHU Arts, Entertainment, Media and Entrepreneurship (AEME) Affinity
LGBTQ Life


What does it mean for LGBTQ couples to finally possess full marriage rights? Why does it matter? What happens next?

Rebecca Rice is an independent filmmaker whose recent documentary feature film is the winner of the QCinema 17 Shawn A. Moore Award. “We Do” reveals the stories of three LGBTQ couples, their journeys for legal recognition of their relationships and the impact that the pursuit of marriage equality has on their lives before and after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015. Based in Dallas, TX, we are fortunate to have Rebecca join us on Homewood campus to discuss the film and will participate on the panel discussion.

Lisa Polyak , JHU Eng. & SPH and long-time marriage equality activist, author, and public speaker with multiple Civil Rights awards and recognitions, will add her personal experience and expertise to the panel. Since 1998, she has been an online Moderator for Families With Pride, a Baltimore-area support group for LGBT parents and their children, and has served in leadership roles  in the fight to achieve legal equality for LGBT citizens.

Laura McMahon DePalma is a Staff Attorney at FreeState Legal; a legal advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Marylanders. A significant portion of Laura’s cases involve representing FreeState Legal’s transgender and gender non-conforming clients seeking name changes and decrees of legal gender identity in state circuit courts. Laura also handles the organization’s family law and estate planning matters, an essential part of this evening’s discussion.

Mike Bernard, JHU Carey, is a long-time supporter of civil rights and social action. He was an active volunteer for Marylanders for Marriage Equality; a coalition of advocacy organizations that led the effort to defeat a referendum against the Civil Marriage Protection Act that was passed by the Maryland legislature in 2012. Mike co-founded and still administers the "Marriage Equality Information Exchange - Maryland" Facebook group to motivate group members to participate in advocacy for the act in their areas of the state. The membership has grown to over 1600 people. He continues to share stories of advocacy for equal marriage in other US states and around the world, as well as efforts by opponents to block or repeal such rights to foster awareness and advocacy.

This event is open to all current JHU students, all Hopkins alumni, and our Hopkins "circle of friends"  - please feel free to invite people you know who would be interested in, could benefit from, or add to this important conversation.

Light after-dinner refreshments will be served.

View photos here!