Rainbow Theatre Project Presents The DOMA Diaries

Nov 28, 2016
The DOMA Diaries

Rainbow Theatre Project's next reading, The DOMA Diaries, which was a resounding success at this past summer's Fringe Festival, examines The Defense of Marriage Act and the effects it has on the lives of three LGBTQ couples. The DOMA Diaries will be performed on Sunday, December 11 and Monday, December 12 at 7:30pm at Source Theatre.

The Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) was a controversial law that was passed by the US congress in 1996. It was specifically designed to limit the legal rights of LGBTQ married couples. For almost twenty years, DOMA created untold suffering for thousands of LGBTQ couples all over the country. On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court finally struck down the worst parts of the DOMA legislation as unconstitutional. Exactly two years later, the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nationwide, and DOMA was finally history.

Written by LGBTQ playwright Kevin Michael West, The DOMA Diaries is the story of three LGBTQ families and their struggles against DOMA over the course of a decade. Audrey is an elderly lesbian widow and veteran who sues the government for the right to be buried in a military cemetery next to her spouse. Janice and Sophie are a lesbian couple who face losing custody of their children when Janice is diagnosed with cancer. West is one half of a bi-national couple, and DOMA prevented him from sponsoring his spouse for a marriage-based green card.

"My life partner (now husband) is a foreigner. And although we were legally married in Massachusetts, DOMA prevented me from sponsoring him for a green card. We spent lots of money on lawyers, extending his visa. And for years, we lived in fear that he might have to leave the US, and we would be split apart forever. Although my partner and I were understandably offended at how the law was treating us, our suffering was still relatively mild when compared to other gay couples. The horror stories we were hearing from our LGBT friends made us shocked and angry," West stated in this summer's Fringe Festival program notes. "As a playwright, I wanted to give a voice to those victims, and to dramatize their struggles, their hopes, their setbacks, their dreams and, ultimately, their victories. The result was The DOMA Diaries. Although a work of fiction, the play is inspired by all too real struggles of actual LGBTQ Americans."

The reading will be helmed by West and the cast includes Renae Erichsen-Teal, Joy Gerst, Nell Quinn-Gibney, Garrett Matthews, Christian Rohde and Steven Wolf.

The DOMA Diaries is about the history of the "Defense of Marriage Act" and its impacts on the gay community. It's the story of three different LGBT couples and the ways in which they struggle over the years to overcome the obstacles that DOMA created in their lives. "The DOMA Diaries" captures the grand sweep of American history by depicting the lives of ordinary gay Americans.

The DOMA Diaries will be performed on Sunday, December 11 and Monday, December 12 at 7:30pm at Source Theatre. Tickets are general admission and can be purchased for $20. For tickets please visit:


The Rainbow Theatre Project is committed to being the premier theatre for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community in the Nation's Capital by presenting plays and musicals that reflect the unique experiences, interests and history of the LGBTQ community.