Fighting for the Family

Fighting for the Family

Release date:


Running time:

46.5 minutes


Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


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  • Audience level:
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  • General

A family is made up of a man, woman and children--or is it? At the end of the 20th century, the nuclear unit is still the norm, but alternative definitions of the family--gay, lesbian, blended and extended--are appearing. The reshaping of this sacred institution creates feelings of anxiety and chaos in some quarters. Fighting for the Family profiles a number of cohabitation and parental arrangements to show that it is love and respect, and not preconceived notions, that make a family work.

Keith and Gary are partners. They've both maintained close friendships and ties with their former wives and share familial responsibilities for their five children. Laura, a lesbian, chose James, a gay man, to father her child. Laura found the idea of a nuclear family very limiting so she worked to create an extended family that includes both her partner and also James and his partner, who all provide support and resources.

Members of the Coalition for Parental Rights and a teacher provide a counter-viewpoint explaining why they feel same-sex relationships should not be encouraged within the educational environment. A family therapist comments on what is needed to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child.

A sociologist from Simon Fraser University gives on overview of what family units looked like in the past and comments on their fluidity. She discusses how the family has become more of a political issue in recent years and points out that the mobilization of differing viewpoints will continue to lead to heated debates in the future.

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