Utah filmmaker and photographer D'Arcy Benincosa makes her living photographing weddings across the world. "I am really good at telling love stories," she says, "and to me, when people love each other that is... the pinnacle of what we can feel as a human being."
Gay weddings, straight weddings, Benincosa photographs them all because she knows that love is love. But during her travels, she says she became acutely aware of the fact that not all love is treated equally.
When a judge in her home state of Utah struck down the state's constitutional marriage discrimination amendment and couples flocked to county clerk's offices across the state to secure marriage licenses, Benincosa's photographer instinct told her to get down to the office of the Salt Lake County Clerk to help document the couples' weddings.
The footage she captured that day became a YouTube video that garnered a lot of media attention in Utah and helped shape the story around same-sex marriage during those 17 days when it was legal in the Beehive State.
And now D'Arcy wants to tell an even bigger story: the story of marriage equality across the country.
Benincosa believes that we are in the midst of the final push that will ultimately deliver marriage equality all across the United States. But she says that despite the monumental shift in public support and momentum we've experienced in the past few years, no one has yet documented the story of marriage equality across America in a feature-length film. So she decided to do it herself.
"A culture is made up of stories passed from one generation to the next. The foundation of the way we define our lives is expressed through stories told in movies, social media, news media, and books written at a given time in history. It's time to make a change in the stories we've passed on about the LGBT community.
"The trend in our culture has [historically] been to portray our LGBT neighbors as misfits, always on the outskirts of normal society, often so eccentric that we are unable to relate. Rarely do you see a movie featuring gay couples sharing a simple kiss, holding hands, or looking at each other with expressions of everyday love -- these simple actions are the foundation of everyone's love story. They make art, art and love, love."
Benincosa says she wants her film to tell the story of America's embrace of marriage equality by telling the love stories of same-sex couples all across the country. "I believe that the thing that connects us to each other, regardless of our differences, is our personal story," she writes. "Our stories are our lives. They are fleeting. They are precious. They are worthy of being documented."
For more information about her project, click here to visit her Kickstarter page.