A documentary detailing the importance of marriage rights and wills in the absence of them recently broke a fundraising record. BRIDEGROOM:

An American Love Story will chronicle Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom’s six-year relationship and Bridegroom’s sudden death.

Crone was left to mourn without a will, no access to medical records and was unable to attend his partner’s funeral after Bridegroom’s family threatened violence if he attended. On the one-year anniversary of his death in May, Crone posted a YouTube video, It Could Happen to You, encouraging couples to take legal action to protect themselves.

Donations began on to create the documentary. In four weeks, $384,375 was raised to make the film, a record for the website, which has funded 7,400 films, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The film was expected to cost a minimum of $300,000, but the extra funds will go toward better music and wider release, GLAAD released on its website.

The film is scheduled to be complete in the fall. For more, visit

— Anna Waugh

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 27, 2012.