Film screening explores and challenges Alabama homophobia

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A film director, born in Ireland, educated in Alabama, is in the Rocket City for a screening of his film The State of Being Human.

Featuring Alabama residents on both sides of the issue, David Merriman talks with members of the lesbian and gay community as well as strong opponents, including Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.

"Being the leading anti-gay voice in the state, I felt it was right that Justice Moore be in the film," said Merriman.

Starting from discomfort he felt listening to a drag queen speech on homophobia, Merriman's film is a journey that he hopes can affect his viewers.

"Come to the film with an open mind," he said. "This is not just a film for the gay and lesbian community. Really, I made the film for straight people to come and question their own inner prejudice."

'You're taught that feeling this way is not natural, that it's not what God wants,' said an emotional woman featured in the film's trailer.

Huntsville's Free2Be requested to be part of the mini-screening tour, bringing it to The Flying Monkey at Lowe Mill for two screenings Sunday.

Merriman spent years in Alabama, but was born, and currently lives, in Ireland; so the film director has ties to two places adjusting to new marriage equality laws.

"I started filming before marriage equality came to American and my home country of Ireland, and before we finished, both of these things had happened," he explained.

Merriman plans to host additional screenings with the Southern Poverty Law Center, as well as Troy University and other groups/organizations.

Follow his screenings here.

Watch the trailer to the film here.