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Operation Marriage

Women and the Right to Vote
Akira to Zoltán

“But Mama Lee and I are married,” she said.

“But Zach’s family doesn’t think so,” I said.

“You’re right.” Mama Kathy said. “We had a commitment ceremony, but we couldn’t get a marriage license back then.”


Eight-year old Alex has a fight with her best friend, Zach, who says he can no longer be her friend. Why? Because "her parents aren't married."


Set in the San Francisco Bay Area months before the passage of Prop 8 (which banned gay marriage in 2008, now overturned by federal law) this picture book looks at what Alex and her younger brother, Nicky, undergo as they convince their parents to get married.


Based on a true story, the book reveals some of the real implications of the struggle for equality. It is beautifully illustrated with watercolors by Lea Lyon.


This story has been made into a short film!

Directed by Quentin Lee

Screenplay by Cynthia Chin-Lee & Brad Stocking

Produced by Alan Reade & Quentin Lee

Starring Mindy Cohn and Tamlyn Tomita

+ information on the cast and crew:

 Operation Marriage [2014] (IMDB)

This story has been made into a rap!

Written by Vanessa Pan and Cynthia Chin-Lee

Performed by Cynthia Chin-Lee

This rap mentions several milestones in civil rights in the U.S. including Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Richard and Mildred Loving’s Supreme Court case overturning the ban on interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia 1967), and the quest for the  legal recognizion of same-sex marriage (2015).

Awards received

- Moonbeam Book Award 2012Operation Marriage has received a Gold Medal in the annual Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, in the Spirit/Compassion category, for dedication to children's books and literacy and for inspired writing, illustrating and publishing.


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