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Political Animals (Educational Version)

A Film by Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares

53 + 86 minutes

Grades 9 - Adult

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
Item #:POL-1118

Select DVD License (limited PPR included)

K-12 Schools, Public Libraries - $125
K-12 DVD + Digital File - $175
Colleges, Universities- $350
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $450


Political Animals chronicles the ground-breaking LGBT civil rights victories of the first four openly gay elected California state legislators -- all women -- who took the fight for equality from the streets and into the halls of government.

Documenting the tough struggles they endured, the film highlights their pioneering success and hard-fought political victories that helped pave the way for significant change at the national level, including marriage equality.

Before Sheila Kuehl's run for office, no out gay person had even won a primary in a state-wide election in California. A former child TV star who later became a Harvard-trained lawyer, Kuehl made history as the first openly gay member of the state legislature. Jackie Goldberg was a leader in the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley before she became a teacher and the first openly lesbian member of the LA City Council. Carole Migden was a feminist activist who worked with Harvey Milk, and after his assassination was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Raised Irish-Catholic, Christine Kehoe cut her political teeth opposing a statewide ballot initiative that would have quarantined people with HIV.

As the films shows, once in office, these articulate and determined women became true political animals, working tirelessly over many years to overcome entrenched opposition and pass historic legislation for LGBT equality. Bills they authored and fought for included the first domestic partnership registry enacted by a state legislature, the first anti-bullying bill protecting gay students, and others. The film features excerpts from some of the lengthy, heated debates over their proposed legislation, including the insults they endured.

More than just a film profiling pioneering legislators for LGBT rights, the film highlights the unique and inspiring political impact of four women, as well as the critical importance of individuals taking any campaign for social causes into local, state and national legislatures to fight for and enact laws that insure real, lasting change.


Screen Political Animals to illustrate the history of winning LGBTQ rights and the role women played, to galvanize support for defending and expanding basic rights, to encourage a new generation to run for local or national office, and to inspire people to get politically active, among other possibilities.

Former California State Senator Carole Migden, featured in the film, is also available to speak at screenings of the film.


Political Animals (Educational Version)
Political Animals (Educational Version)

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