Ellen Page’s new film Freeheld, in which she stars with Oscar-winner Julianne Moore, tells a very personal story of a lesbian couple who battle to have their relationship recognized by law. That recognition is no theoretical notion, floating above the hard realities of life. Instead it’s a grave matter of life and death — Moore plays a dying detective who wants to leave her pension to her partner. Page went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote Freeheld and explained, as a lesbian herself and advocate for LGBT rights, that “all we’re asking for is equality… a society that doesn’t make us feel less than, that doesn’t make us feel shame.”
Page’s words were poignant in the wake of Pope Francis’s widely praised visit to the US — a visit with a controversial denouement: the Pontiff had a private audience with Kentucky gay rights denier Kim Davis. That meeting cast the Pope’s cheerful and heartwarming sentiments about love and the importance of family in a new light — and saw some of his enthusiasts shrink away. That the Pope elected to meet with Kim Davis rather than Ellen Page probably says more about the evolution of his thinking on social issues than his humorous, charming remarks about how difficult mothers-in-law can be. In a month during which even reported homophobe Vladimir Putin called Elton John on the phone (the real call, not the prank) to discuss gay rights, Pope Francis made a decision that makes him look less tolerant than a Russian oligarch. The act stands out even more because Ellen Page was available, too. She’s making the rounds; she’s out and about.