‘Freeheld’ is based on Cynthia Wade’s Oscar-winning documentary, which tells the true story of lesbian couple Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, and Hester’s battle to assign her pension benefits to Andree in 2005.
The new film stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page (who is also a producer on the film), with Moore playing the New Jersey detective dying of lung cancer, and Page playing her New Jersey mechanic girlfriend.
In one scene, the couple applies for a civil union, and the production team needed a building that could pass for a town hall.
Salesian high school in New Rochelle was to provide as a location. However, after review the Catholic high school informed filmmakers that it had changed its mind initially after approving a shoot and allowing still photographs to be taken because of the ‘subject matter’.
Producer, Kelly Bush, said:
“Freeheld captures the inequality and bigotry that one couple faced while coping with cancer and the end of life. That our film was denied access to a location because of the subject matter — a same-sex couple fighting for their legal rights — illustrates just how important it is that this story be told.”
Ellen Page tweeted:
Using 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.
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) October 21, 2014