Freeheld (2015) Script

My boy said you could hook me up.

I don't know you.

Come on, bro, I could use an ounce if you got it.

I don't know what you're talking about, man.

How about... no the ocean would be nice, but let's give the first room a shot. Come on.

Hey, how long you been dyeing your hair?

Come on. Put your arm around her.

Come on, smile Hester, with teeth.

What you doing Saturday?

Now grab her tit. Knock it off.


Damn it! Relax, Dane can handle himself.

Who are these two punks? Let's go.

I don't want a 50, I need an ounce.

That's too much, I don't carry that.

What's wrong with you?

I'm strung out. Strung out?

You playing with me?

'Cause you smell like a cop. Nah, man.

Police, don't move!

Drop the gun, asshole!

Stop moving, you hear me? Get off of me!

You alright? Get off me!

Yeah. Grab his gun!

Got it.

Okay, hey, listen up buddy, here's the deal, when a police officer tells you to stop moving, you stop moving!

Oh, shit, county police! Get down on the ground!

On the ground now!

Put your hands behind your head.

Dane? Yeah?

Hands behind your head!

Oh, boy.

Yeah, shut up. Let's go.

You're cut off, buddy.

Cheers, partner, good work.

Cheers, Dane.

Looks like every politician in the county's here tonight.

They like cops when we make headlines.


Fan of yours?

She's just after me for a ride on my Harley.

Is there any female in the Ocean County PD who hasn't gotten to ride on your Harley?

Just one.

Hey, Dane.

Good work. Thanks, chief.

You met Bryan Kelder? He was just elected freeholder.

Ah, congratulations. Thank you.

The board of freeholders is proud of our excellent police force.

Well this is my excellent partner, Laurel Hester.

How do you do? Nice to meet you.

My daughter here wants to be a detective.

Good for you, it's a good job, but it's not what you see on TV.

I know.

It was good to meet you. Good to meet you.

That low-life you busted, you think he might give us a lead on a double homicide in Brick?

It's possible, he certainly ran his share of coke through Brick.

Why don't you give us a crack at it?

We'll tail him. It's your case.

To Ocean County's finest!

Get it, Stace, come on.

Come on, Stace!

Nice serve. Oh, oh, whoa.

That's what I'm talking about!

You almost had it, it's okay.

It's okay at least you're trying.

I haven't played since high school. I know.

Alright, chin up, alright come on. Round two!

Let's go right here.

Who's the um, the new girls, the one with the hair.

She can't play for shit.

That's your hole, okay? Make her eat it, make her eat it.

Go, go, go, go, good!


Whoa, what kind of bullshit serve was that?

Point time, ladies, point time.

We suck this year.

Well, there goes the princess.

Hey, it's now or never. Shut up. Shut up.

Hey. Hey.

Hey, you leaving?

Oh, yeah, all kinds of work to do, it's a long drive home.

Where's that? Ocean County, New Jersey.


You drove all the way out here to play volleyball and you don't even like it?

Every now and then I think you should go out and...

Try and meet someone? Yeah.

They don't have girls in Jersey?

It's not that.

People know me back home, it's hard to go out and have privacy.

I should go.


Can I have your number?

I don't have any paper. Just write it on my arm.

I'm Stacie.

I'll give you my cell.

If I'm working, probably won't answer.

And if anyone asks where we met, please don't mention it.


You have a lot of rules, Laurel.

Yeah, I've been told that.

What, what, what? Hey!

This still get you going? Spying on junkies?


Come on, he's never gonna lead us to the shooters.

Maybe his girl will.


It's Stacie from volleyball.

Listen, I can't talk right now.

Go right ahead, we're not doing anything important.

Just your run of the mill double homicide investigation.

Shut up, I can't hear.

Maybe I should get out of the car, give you some privacy.


Can I call you later?

Okay, bye.

You got a date?

Yeah, I do.

Something serious?

I'll let you know, I'll call you after.

Here's a soda and a straw... Thanks.

Let me pay you for that. Oh, no.

Thank you.

You look great. You look great.

You know, I'm significantly older than you.


Do you dance?

Not to this, I hate country music.

I guess this was a... No.

A Bad idea. No, sorry.

That came out wrong, I, you know, I don't date much so I don't know how to be smooth or whatever.

You don't, you don't have to be smooth with me.

But if you're really sorry, and you want to make it up to me...

Oh, come on. No, I'll make a fool of myself.

No, you won't, trust me, trust me.

Take my hand, put your other hand on my shoulder.

Shuffle, step, step.

Shuffle, shuffle, step, step.

I don't like going backwards.

I'll guide you.

You hate giving up control, don't you?

Yeah, I hate it.

We'll have to work on that.

I need a break. You want a beer?

I'll get you beer. Sure, yeah.

Hey! What's the matter?

Oh, it was just hot in there, I wanted to get some air.

That was weird. What are you, are you trying to ditch me?

No. Of course not, no.

Want to go look at the water?


I always... I always feel better if I can look at the water, day or night.

That's why I live at the ocean, just to be near it.

Oh, does this bother you? No.

You want a drink.

Oh, no thanks. You don't drink?

Not much, my mother was an alcoholic.

Was? She passed away.

I really miss her. Sorry.

My... my father just died.

I'm sorry about that.

He was cool.

He... taught me how to take apart an engine, it was so nice just working, being...

Why'd you stop?

Suddenly felt stupid. You're not stupid. Not at all.

I just meant, that's what it's supposed to feel like, you know, with another person.

Trusting that person.

So hard. Yeah.

Sorry, I get a few beers in me I sound pretty ridiculous.

I don't think so.

Hey, what's going on here? Yeah, we love us some dykes.

We don't want any trouble, so.

Who gives a fuck what you want?

I want your money.

Hey, get out of here!

Take it easy. Get out!

Take it easy. Go, get out, get out!

Take it easy!

You okay?

What's going on? I'm a police officer.

You're a cop? Detective. I should've told you.

You always carry a gun? Most the time.

On a date!



I think you should come home with me.

Martha Stewart has a new worry, an assistant to her stock broker has pleaded guilty to a charge of keeping quiet about alleged insider trading...


Laurel, your phone's ringing, do you want me to, do you want me to get it?



Oh, hi, Lindy, I thought you were the office.

Can I call you back?


Never answer my phone, okay?

That could've been my partner or my boss.

Sorry I yelled at you, but it's important.

And I'm over it.

Do you want some coffee or some toast?

What, you're a cop so you think you can yell at people?

Is that... I have to be careful.

In law enforcement women don't get important cases, they don't get promoted. A gay woman, forget it.

Yeah, well, I have to drive all the way to Pennsylvania, it's like an hour.

I'm going home.



That's what you're gonna say, okay?

Got a lot of work to get through this afternoon, so.


Hey. Hey.

Remember how you said that none of Jeeter's buddies would help us with that double homicide?

Yeah. Look.

Christie Miller, Jeeter's girl.

So? Same high school as Debbie Cherico.

Signed the year book, "Best friends forever."


Let's find her and bring her in.

She works at that coffee shop in Beachwood.

You have been working hard. All night long.

I'll make a call.

I guess I owe you $10. No, I think it's 20.

Hey. What's up Belkin?

Hey, Belkin, I want those... on my desk.

You were at the club Saturday night, right?

Okay, but, uh, we're good right?

I mean I just made detective I can't risk anybody...

We're good, Belkin. You don't have to worry.



Hi. Hi.

I screwed up.

I had no right to talk to you the way I did.

I ruined our date and I really enjoy being with you and...

I'm nervous...

Maybe I am too old for you.

Will you stop saying that?

If anything you're too smart for me.

No way, you're smart, funny, and you're honest and... basically, I think you're amazing.

You there?

So you called to say I'm amazing?


Can I see you again?


Yeah, you can.

Great. Great.

If you could have anything, what would it be?

What's your dream?

What do you mean, like, be rich or famous?

No, I mean, your big dream, dream for your life.

My big dream's kind of small. Oh, yeah?

A woman I love loves me.

A house, a dog.

Mm, me too. House, yard, dog, partner.

What kind of dog?

I don't know maybe one of those little ones?

You know, that you carry around with you with long, white hair, what're they called?


Oh, shit. Shit, no, no!

There is no way!

There's no way I'm living with a little dog!

I'm kidding! That's a deal breaker!

And the one-two, swung on, driven deep right center field...


Made you a baseball fan, huh?

Detective Hester.

Christie Miller's manager just called, she's leaving town, it's now or never.

I'll be there in half an hour. Go to home you idiot!

You having a party?

My sister's over, I'll see you.

I got to go.

It's Saturday. Yeah, something's up.

We're working the right lead.

You want to put money on it?

Give me a minute.

Christie, can I talk to you for a sec?

What about? Your friend, Debbie Cherico.

You're not in trouble, okay?

I just want you to come down to the station and talk to me for like 30 minutes.

Christie, stop!

Come on. Stop the car!

Stop! Laurel!

Get away, bitch!

You okay, you hurt?

I'm fine, I'm okay.

Come on, Christie.

Let's stop playing games right now, okay?

You and Debbie were best friends, went to high school together.

You must've went by Tommy's place at some point or another.

Now, Tommy was moving dope for these guys.

They were in and out of his apartment all the time.

You expect me to believe you never saw him?

I told you, I don't know anything.

I don't believe you!

I don't believe you.

Can I talk to Christie alone?


Come on, Belkin, let's let the ladies chat for a few minutes.

I'm gonna turn this off so it's just us.

What the hell's she doin'?

No one needs to hear.

I know you're scared.

Nothing's gonna happen to you here.

It's my job to protect you.


I know what it's like to be afraid. It's not a nice feeling.

You don't know anything about me.

You're 19, right?

When I was... when I was a few years younger than you, like 16, there was something in my life that I was, I was really scared of and trying to hide.

And after a while I couldn't take it anymore and I, um, I went to my mother and I told her that I needed help.

And I ended up in a psychiatric institution.

I was so scared I made myself sick, gave myself a nervous breakdown.

And I thought I'd never survive it.

But I did.

I did survive it.

And I learned that being afraid and hiding things is a horrible way to live.

And I don't want that for you.

I want you to help me find Debbie's killer so I can protect you from them.

'Cause I don't want you to spend the rest of your life being afraid.



Hi. Hi.

I hope my directions didn't confuse you.

Get ready, here come the dykes.

The backyard is very private.

Just like you wanted.

And it's a sweet neighborhood, all families.

Which one of you is Ms. Hester?

I'm detective Hester. And you are a friend?

Yeah, she's my friend. Oh...

Yeah, I'm her friend who's also gonna live here.

I'll just wait outside.

What a bitch. It needs a lot of work.

There's plenty of light!

Need more closet space, though.

The garage is attached!

And there's enough room for your car and my truck, and my dad's Harley.

You can't bring you dad's motorcycle.

What? No, it's too dangerous.

I don't want to worry about you every time you go out.

But... I'll let you get a dog.

You'll let me, you'll let me?

You like it? Yeah, a lot.

There's no way I can afford this mortgage.

Not even half. Yeah, I'll take out the loan.

I mean, I can do the renovation, I can paint and dry wall.

You can dry wall? Hell yeah.

That's sexy.

So, we have a house? Yeah, we have a house!

You're... the shit at that.

Thanks, Mom. Of course.

You two are a long way from home.


Got your three forms of ID, proof of common assets and common domain, a shared bank account, a deed.

Give me a second here.

This domestic partnership thing is new.

Take your time.

When people get married they don't have to go through this whole ordeal.

Well, that's it.


Happy domestic partnership day.

Thank you.

I got something for you. Yeah?

Looks like the beach.

Thanks. I got something for you too.

Yeah? Yeah.

It's a card from the police union, got your name on it, it says we're family.

So, if you're stopped while you're driving, and let's face it, you do drive fast, just give this to the officer, you won't get a ticket.


Guess that makes it official, huh?

Official, baby.

I have a certificate in computer diagnostics and I can do engine work and electrical and...

You're like four feet tall.

How long is your fastest tire rotation?

Eight minutes, my guys are good.

Well, I can beat that.

Derek's our rotation champ. You can't beat him.

Do you want to bet?

This is a waste of time.


Tire weighs as much as you, sweetheart, sure you can handle it?

Done! Wait, what?

No way.

Seven minutes, twelve seconds. That's gotta be a record.

So I got the job?

Oh, so she can change tires, so what?

We need a real mechanic in here, Jake!

I can do my job, thanks.

See you tomorrow morning at eight AM.

You better be good!

Congratulations on the job. Thanks.

I'm gonna make a contribution to the mortgage every month.

You don't have to do that. Yeah, I do.

I kind of like the idea of you as a kept woman, it's sexy.

Kind of makes you feel like you're in charge, huh?

I know I'm not in charge of you, sweetie, it's impossible.

Doesn't stop you from trying.

Oh, God. What's the matter?

Oh, I think I pulled a muscle. Yeah?

How long have you had that? A couple weeks.

Couple weeks?

Yeah. Will you get it checked out?


This week? Sure.

Tomorrow? I will!

Don't look so worried, I pulled a muscle on the job, I'm a cop, that's what happens.

I know, you're a superhero.

Laurel, want to come in?



Can I... can I help you?

Yeah, I dropped by to see Laurel.

Laurel Hester, this is her house?

She here? Yeah.

Is that, is that a rowdy?

That's what the fellow at the nursery told me.

You doing the landscaping?

Hey. Hey!

I dropped by to give you a housewarming present, figured it was kind of overdue.

Hey, thanks. Did you meet Stacie?

Yeah, he thinks I'm the, thinks I'm the gardener.

No, oh, Stacie's my roommate.

Oh, great.

Yeah, it's great.

Well, I didn't mean to...

I just wanted to wish you good luck with the house and...

Thanks. I'll see you Monday.

I'll see you Monday, thanks for stopping by.

Nice to meet you. Yeah.

Roommates don't sleep in the same bed.

He's my partner. No, I'm your partner.

That is the person you work with.

And he's got a total crush on you.

No he doesn't. Yes, he does.

Hey! Wait a minute!

Sorry, it's a bad cop habit, showing up unannounced.

Stacie's not my roommate, she's my girlfriend.

Why the hell didn't you tell me?

Never came up. Never saw any reason to talk about it.

Remember when I found out I had a daughter?

Yeah. Yeah.

That wasn't my proudest moment, but I told you about it, you know why?

Because you count on me, right?


When things are happening, we get in a situation, people are reaching for their guns, you need to know what's going on with me.

Am I up, am I down, am I distracted, in love?

Whatever, your life depends on it!

And all these years you been holding back this part of yourself because, what?

Because you didn't trust me enough to say anything.

Come on! You think I could've... Thanks a lot!

I could've been out at work and gotten anywhere beyond back office filing reports?

You don't get it, you know, you're straight, you're white, you're male, this is not...

Don't give me that bullshit. No, no, it is not bullshit.

Things are handed to you I have to fight for, that's the way it is!

Oh, boo-hoo. So you're the oppressed minority now, is that it?


Are the other cops' wives gonna be there?

Yeah, probably.

We, you know, all have to go, it's the chief's birthday.

Yeah, well, it kind of sucks, doesn't it?

Yeah, it does.

It does suck, but that's how it is right?

You know that.

Look, I don't have to go. I could stay home.

You want me to stay home, babe?


I mean, you want to make lieutenant, right?

First woman in Ocean County. That's the plan.

Go. Okay.

This is Laurel Hester, please leave a message.

Laurel, it's Dr. Tonner, please call me back as soon as you get this message.

Hello, it's Laurel Hester.

I'm waiting for Laurel, it's been hours.

You're waiting for Laurel Hester?


You're her sister? Partner.

Oh, I was expecting a family member.

She's my partner!

Or my wife, or whatever, and I know that something's wrong!

Okay, please, calm down, I'm sorry.

The results of the bronchoscopy are very concerning.

Laurel has three masses in her right lung.


You mean cancer?

It's not definitive until we get the results back from the lab.

But, yes, it's probably late stage cancer.

Now, we do have treatment options...

Where are you going?

They told you everything?


But we're, we're gonna fight this.

We're gonna get the best treatment and I'm gonna take off work and help you and my mom can come stay with us.

Right, but I think that... It'll be okay.

We need...

I can't pull up, Christ!

Did the doctor tell you about the su*ival rate?


Yeah, but, you know, we're gonna beat this.

We're gonna beat this.

We will.

How you doing?


You know, start my treatment next week, so...

I'm sorry. Nah, it's okay.

You've seen me playing at compromised situations drunk off my ass.

Listen, I know it's a cliché, but if there's anything I can do.

Yeah, you know.

If something happens, I want my pension to go to Stacie

'cause it's the only way she can afford to keep our house.

But that's for married people, ain't it?

Thanks for the support.

Laurel. It's alright, man.

Sweetie, sweetie?

I don't want you to see this.

Alright, here.

Pass that around.

Alright so this is from Detective Laurel Hester who's currently on medical leave of absence because, unfortunately, she has stage four cancer.

And she's asking that in the event of her death, her pension benefits be assigned to her partner, Stacie Andree.

Stacie Andree is a woman, correct? Correct.

I'm just trying to wrap my mind around her being a lesbian.


Well, she's so not like a lesbian.

The contract we negotiated with the police union doesn't give Detective Hester the right to assign her benefits to her roommate, end of story.

Alright, so motion to deny Detective Hester's request?

Well, actually, the Domestic Partnership Act passed by the state legislature extends benefits to same sex partners of state employees.

Hester's a county employee.

But the law says we can assign benefits to county employees.

Right, and bankrupt the county.

Come on. No, come on, what?

People can make anybody their partners and get benefits?

It's really very hard to form a domestic partnership, actually, harder than marriage.

Nothing's harder than marriage.

Bryan, the law you're talking about violates the sanctity of marriage.

It offends traditional values, and in this county, that's political suicide.

She's dying.

Yes, and that's a personal tragedy and we deal in public policy here.

But I move that we deny Detective Hester's request, we should wish her the best and tell her she's in our prayers.

Alright, all in favor? Yes.

Brian? Oh, abstain.

We like our decisions to have the authority of unanimous vote.

It's been our tradition for 150 years.

Yes. Good.

The technician said that you just suck in and hold the medicine in your lungs as long as you can.


You okay?

We're in the middle of treatment, so...

Hey! It's okay, come in!

That's my sister, Lindy. Lindy, that's Dane.


Well, they turned you down Laurel and then they buried the decision in the back of the paper.

Yeah, I saw.

So, I just wanted you to know I'm not happy about it.

Yeah, thanks. Laurel, treatment.

There's one other thing we could try.

What's that?

These guys are terrified of controversy.

If you go to one of their meetings.

You mean, in person, make a speech?

Make a request. Laurel.

They have a public meeting every two weeks.

In front of everyone?

Yeah, so then everyone knows our business?

I mean, who are these people?

They're the local government, they run Ocean County.

It's gonna be a lot harder for them to shoot you down if you go in there face to face and ask for what you got coming to you.

You deserve it.

Laurel, do the treatment, I gotta go to work!

Okay, okay.

This whole pension thing is a waste of time, okay?

She's not gonna need it 'cause she's gonna get better, can you stop bothering us with this bullshit?

This is so hard for her.

Laurel, you gotta go to one of these meetings.

It's the only thing that could work.

My relationship to the patient is partner!

I've been through this with you...

This bill from Sloan Kettering for $900.

I know that some members of the public have questioned the cause for the parking meters, but after careful review, we think it would be the best thing for the community.

So, motion to approve the new meters.

So moved. How do you vote?


You okay? Motion's passed.

Don Bennin is here. Hey, sis.

Who's that? He's a reporter.

Is he gonna write about this?

Yeah, probably.

Well that takes care of all the items on our agenda and unless anyone has anymore questions, we will call this meeting to a close.


Good afternoon, freeholders.

You have a question about the parking meters?

No, my name is Detective Laurel Hester.

Hopefully you remember me from...

Of course, I'm sorry, I didn't recognize you, hello.

I've worked for the Ocean County Police Department for 23 years.

I'm here today with my partner, Stacie Andree.

In my career I've been shot at, dragged by a car, clubbed, beaten, punched, and kicked, but I've always come out on top.

I've never been afraid of injury or death while performing my duties, that's the job and I love my job.

Recently I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Although radiation has shrunk the tumors, my chances for survival remain less than 10 percent.

It's possible I've finally met an opponent I can't beat.

Please reconsider your decision and grant my request to assign my pension benefits to Stacie.

Making it possible for her to stay in our home when I'm gone.

When my heterosexual colleagues die, their pensions go to their spouses.

But because my partner is a woman, I don't get to do that.

In my 23 years as a police officer I've never asked for special treatment, I'm only asking for equality.

Thank you.

We commend you for your service to the county, you're a valuable and trusted employee.

Agreed. Thank you.

My colleagues and I, we've anguished over your situation, but benefits for county employees are part of a negotiated contractual settlement and we just can't re-open negotiation at this time... She gave you 23 years of service!

You're out of order, Dane.

God bless you, this meeting is adjourned.


Detective Hester, how about an interview?

Not today. Please leave us alone.

Listen, I'll set up an interview if you promise to put her story on the front page.

Done. Did you see those guys squirm?

No one ever questions them about anything.

Well, they should.

My partner spends her life fighting for justice, they deny justice to her.

That, that is great.

Dane Wells.

This is Steven Goldstein from Garden State Equality.

I just wanted to call to tell you that we are all outraged about what's happening to Laurel Hester and we would like to help.


What these freeholders are doing is unconscionable.

We need to let them know that either they reverse their decision or there are going to be consequences.

They've never reversed a decision.

They have never met me before.

Their next meeting we show up with 100 protesters.

Gay cops, gay attorneys, a priest, a rabbi, I know a couple gay grandmothers.

Maybe we organize a gay pride parade!

You mean a bunch of bare chested men in leather marching down Main Street?

We show them that we are a force to be reckoned with.

In this county there are a quarter million senior citizens registered Republicans.

You're gonna turn them all against Laurel.

I appreciate your perspective, I ran Corzine's senate campaign in 2000, so I know what I'm doing.

Okay, Steve, but I know this community.

It's Steven, with a V, as in very gay.

And when people disrespect my gay brothers and sisters, I rain terror on them!

Shock and awe, shock and awe!

Sweetheart, I am going to need you to be available for interviews.

Lots and lots of interviews.

This is gonna be a national news story.

Steven, it seems to me that you're using my case to promote your cause, gay marriage.

That is exactly what I'm doing.

This is the case that I've been waiting for, that I've been dreaming about.

This is going to put this issue in the national spotlight, it is going to turn the tide for gay marriage.

My fight is not about marriage, it's about equality.

It's about a cop getting the benefits she deserv...

Not about marriage, are you kidding me?

I'm sorry. I just, I'm very passionate about this.

If you were married, and not this bullshit, second-class citizen domestic partner crap, but married, there wouldn't be an issue.

Stacie would be entitled to your benefits.

Hell, if you and I got married tomorrow, I'd be entitled to your benefits.

Is that a proposal? Oh, honey, I will marry you.

But I wouldn't know what to do with your vagina.

Oh, my God.

I just don't want this whole political thing to take over our lives.

We need to get you better.

All this hoopla isn't necessary.

All we need are Ocean County voters at the next freeholder meeting.

Radicals and strangers from New York aren't gonna convince these guys.

I am not a radical, and I am not from New York.

I am a middle-class Jewish homosexual from New Jersey.

How about you, sweetheart?

I'm a straight, white, anglosex and ex-protestant, atheist cop.

You okay with that, sweetheart?

I am, that is very hot.

It's an opportunity to change the world.

Laurel, this can be your legacy.

It is not a local story, Mark, it's an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

I'm giving you the opportunity to cover this nationally.


Okay, well you know what, if your editor doesn't see how important this story is, then he is an idiot, or a closeted homophobe.

Yes, you heard me.

We need more Entenmann's!

Hey, you got room, you can pull up.

Why don't you get out of our town!

Just get out of here, you lesbian bitch!

Get the hell out of here, get out!

Assholes! God damn dyke!

You okay? Yeah.

Hello? What?

I'm coming.


Laurel, Mom, what happened?

All of a sudden she was so confused, she didn't know where she was and I, I didn't know what to do.

You're okay. She'll gonna be okay.

Patients only!

Laurel, I love you!

I love you!

What's going on?

Cancer, um, spread to her brain.

And her lymph nodes and the... side of her neck.


The doctor said that...

that we're not trying to cure anything anymore.

That we're just trying to buy a little time.


I thought we had a few years.

I had myself convinced.

Oh, God.

So, the meeting's tomorrow?


Steven's got all kinds of big things in the works.

Protesters, speeches, who knows, he might shoot himself out of a cannon.

Wrapped in a rainbow flag.

Well, if we win, I hope I'm still around to see it.

Hey... Hey, don't talk like that.

They're gonna get you all sorted out with this radiation thing.

I have a very sensitive bullshit meter and it's ringing off the hook right now.

I expect the truth from you, partner.


I'm worried about Stacie.

Yeah, you know, she's trying to accept it.

She's had so much to deal with, you know, she's so young.

It's not fair.

Life's not fair.

No, it isn't.

Sorry I never told you the truth all those years.

You know, maybe I wanted people to think we were into each other, it was just easier, you know, for me.

Maybe I thought you wouldn't want to be my friend.

I should've known better.

I have no regrets.

Justice for Laurel!

Everyone. Energy, energy!

Justice for Laurel, justice for Laurel!

Hi, sweetie, are you one of us?

No, I'm not. Do you want to be?

I can make it happen.

Come on, guys.

The more of us show up at this meeting the more they know the department's behind her.

And if they say yes then my tax dollars go to her girlfriend.


Yeah, the same way your wife gets your pension if you die.

Yeah, but she's my wife!

Look, the chief says it's a political issue and we can't take sides.

What's political about a cop getting screwed out of her pension?

Who's coming to the meeting?

Oh, don't put yourselves out.

She'd back up any of you in a heartbeat!

And she's dying!

But hey, you know, she's a dyke so who gives a shit?


Well, now we know for sure. Dane Wells is a fag.

Why don't you just back off?

Why don't you just let me know when you're gonna come out of the closet, Julio?


I just wanted to say that I think you're doing the right thing.

Show up for Laurel.

I can't.

I'm sorry.

We never had this conversation.

You have the power!

You can do this. It's not in our hands.

It is in your hands!

You have the power!

Ladies and gentlemen. Please sit down.


You can do this! You can do this!

This all came out in the shower this morning.

I got this.

You're so professional.

I try. No, it's good.

You do good.

Ready? Yeah.

I know I'm the type of guy who scares you.

I'm a big, loud, gay Jew.

You don't scare me.

Laurel Hester gave the citizens of Ocean County justice for 23 years, and now she's asking you to give her justice in return!

You have the power! We don't have that option.

You do!

The Domestic Partnership Act gives you the option to grant benefits!

You have the power!

This is not a local crowd, they've been shipped in here.

No, I see some locals.

Please, please.

It is in your hands!

Ocean County cannot afford to do this.

Actually, we can afford it.

The question is, who tells us how to spend the county's money?

That is for us and our constituents to decide.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

Shame on you!

Yes? Hello. Hello.

Father John Thompson Quarty, St. Mary's Episcopal church, Point Pleasant Beach.

Laurel and Stacie have been to my church.

Now, I have heard that some of you believe that Laurel Hester's relationship with Stacie Andree is not sanctioned by God and that's why you are taking this position...

No, no father...

Would you like to hear what Jesus actually said about homosexuality?

I will tell you what he said, and I quote...

That's right, Jesus said nothing on the subject!

But he said plenty about compassion! He didn't say anything!


Well, father, there are definitely old testament verses that talk...

You want to get sued here? Don't cut me off.

Ladies and gentlemen, I understand this issue, my uncle died of lung cancer, it's terrible.

And I have always tried to do the right thing, but we need to look at the total picture.

Please, please, please, I am begging you, I am begging you, do this for Laurel!

You can do this! You have the power.

You have the power. You have the power!

You have the power!

Get off your knees.

Listen to me, listen to me, this is a circus, it's gonna backfire.

It's political theater.

And you know what, if you think you can do better, there's the mic!

Unless you're afraid they're gonna think you're gay.

Alright, alright!

Hello Detective Wells. Hello.


I was born and raised in Ocean County, I'm an Piney, or a constituent, as Mr. Johnson would like to say.

I'm straight, by the way.

I also happen to be Laurel Hester's partner on the force.

We've worked together for many, many years now and I can tell you from firsthand experience that she is about as fine an officer as Ocean County could hope to have.

Now, Laurel, Stacie, and I could solve this problem real quick, okay?

I could go get a justice of the peace, take them to Laurel, and we could get married.

And then when she dies, I'd get her pension, no questions asked.

I could pass it along to Stacie, no problem.

But we're not gonna do that because Laurel would never agree to it.

I used to tease Laurel about her integrity, her ideals, because I'm one of those cynical hard ass cops who likes to say he doesn't believe in the system, or justice.

But Laurel does.

She believes in the whole deal.

So what's it gonna be, can I go to Laurel right now and tell her she can die in peace with dignity, because she was right?

Because in this one instance, justice has prevailed?

Thank you Detective Wells.

We anguish over this situation.

And Detective Hester is in our prayers.

But our decision's gonna have to stand.

The state made a bad law, the state made a bad law and it's up to them to fix it.

Not up to us!

So Detective Hester's request is denied.

This meeting is adjourned!

We tried the carrot, now we're gonna try the stick!

The number one source of income in this county is what?

Tourism! And what are we gonna do?

Boycott Ocean County!

Boycott Ocean County! Boycott Ocean Country!

What the hell were you doing in there, Bryan? Huh?

I'm in agony over this, okay?

My wife and daughter look at me like I'm a serial killer.

I was watching you, you're on our side!

I'm one vote out of five. Convince the others!

Oh, that's easy for you to say!

Where are your fellow cops?

You can't even get them to come to a meeting.

Some people get a pension, some people don't, some people get two or three, life isn't fair.

Does that help you sleep at night?

Kiss my ass.



Thank you.

You look so tired.

Why don't you go home and get some rest, huh?

No. Come on.

No, I can't leave her. She needs me here.

Thanks, Mom.


They turned her down, again.

I don't even know if I can tell her.

Tell him about the insurance.

No. Tell him.

Come on, tell me about the insurance.

I got this letter from the insurance company, just saying that she has like three sick days left and then she loses her medical benefits and life insurance and everything.

She's been fighting the insurance companies, the doctors.

I can handle it.

I'll do something. No, no.

Come on, let me take care of it.

I need to do something, please.


Okay. Thanks.

What's this?

Any officer can assign his or her sick days to another officer.

Yeah, but what if you get sick?

You're not gonna get those days back!

Am I right, chief?

You don't get 'em back.

So you're scewed.

You bleeding hearts.

That dyke wouldn't do it for me.

Yeah, she would.


I'll give her one day.

One day!

How about three? Don't push it.

Make it five, Toohey.

Fellas, fellas, don't pressure him.

You never know, he might get the sniffles.

Alright, five.


We're standing by our decision, just keep your men in line.

So now the police department's against us?

They're donating sick days, it doesn't mean anyone's against us.

Have you read the papers? We're being ridiculed!

Yeah, by who, the New York Times? Who cares.

The local papers and supporting Hester and I'm getting a lot of calls.

Yeah, from outsiders! And from the locals, Bill.

It seems like we are sticking to a losing position because of some personal beliefs.

Why shouldn't I vote according to my personal beliefs?

I'm not ashamed of them!

We give in on this, we are putting this state one step closer to gay marriage, and if I do that, how can I face my family, huh?

My friends?


Their Christmas is gonna suck.

Who? Those women.

The ones you're screwing over.

Mya... this is politics, I'm running for re-election next year, I can do a lot of good for our town, but not if I lose my job over this one thing.

You understand?

If you die, does mom get your pension?

What do you want, Dane?

What do you mean some people get more than one pension?

I never said that.

Oh, yeah you did, something about life isn't fair, some people have a pension, some don't, some have more than one.

Do the freeholders get multiple pensions?

I'm not gonna answer that question directly.

It's in the public record, payroll department, and if you say I told you this, I'll deny it.

'Course you will.

I don't know who that is.

Hello? Hey I need to talk to Laurel.

It's important. Okay.

Laurel, it's Dane.

Hey, partner.

Hey, remember the Selco case? It was like five years ago?

Yeah, sure.

They hid their names in the records somehow, but you managed to find 'em anyway.

How'd you do that?

They used versions of their full names.

An initial and a middle name or, two initials.

So a regular computer search couldn't find them.

Right, thanks, good night.

Yeah. Get some rest.

So I think we're gonna start with a wide and we're gonna move to a medium.

All that matters is the close-up, right?

Let me see what's going on behind her eyes.

Hi, Stacie. Hi, Stacie.

We're gonna finish with the close.

It is a 30 second spot supporting gay marriage.

I'm fighting for equality.

Laurel, come on!

Like it or not, you're an activist.

You're a gay marriage activist now.

Just say it. Just say the M word, just once.


Can I have a minute, just a minute?

Sure, yes.

We'll be back.

Let's step out, let's step out.

What's wrong? Do you want some apple sauce?

No. What's wrong? What's wrong?

I hate how he pushes this stuff on you.

Well, it's okay. No.

It takes your energy and then you don't want to eat.

No, I have to do it, you know?

I have to... I have to do it while there's time.

There is, there is.

No. Yeah.

We don't know that. Yeah.

We don't know that, baby.

You know, in the time I have left my priority is you.

I'm still a police officer.

We're taught to do the right thing.

I'm gonna do the right thing for you.

The only thing I care about is justice for the woman that I love.

And that's you.

Is that okay?


When you see this, I will have passed away... from cancer.

The county refused to give death benefits to my partner.

Gay couples are fighting for equality.

Please support them.

What makes you think they'll change their minds?

Instinct and something I found out about their pensions.

They need cover.

How about this?

How about the governor says that thanks to the freeholders, he realizes that the domestic partnership law is flawed and he is willing to support changing the law.

That way they go from villains to heroes.

You have access to the governor?

Oh, honey, are you kidding me?

That man is number three on my speed dial.

Okay, that'll work.

And Steven? Yes?

Don't call me honey.

I love you, too.

Let's set up right here.

Where's Bill?

He had to make a sudden trip to Pennsylvania.

Family emergency. Bullshit.

He thinks if he stays away we won't vote because we have to vote in a unanimous block.

That's the tradition.

Dane Wells is prepared to tell the press that some of us are getting multiple pensions.

How does he know that?

I told him.

Why, is it a secret?

No, it's not a secret.

You know, Dane Wells, can go screw himself.

I do two jobs for the county, I'll get two pensions, big deal.

It's legal, and it's common.

Imagine the headlines.

Freeholders get several pensions while dying cop gets none.

We'll look like idiots if we change our minds now!

We'll look like we cave!

That's what you do when your ass is against the wall!

You cave! If Bill's absent, we can't vote.

The board of freeholders doesn't reverse itself.

That's all there is to it.

Besides, if Bill's absent, we can't vote.

We need to cancel the meeting.

We are not canceling the meeting!

That's the governor.

Governor's got no authority over county officials.


What's going on out there?

You know, the freeholder meeting about that lesbian's pension.

Where you going?

Going down to that freeholder meeting.

I'm gonna show my support for another gay cop.

Does anybody have anything they want to say about that?

How about you, Toohey?

I'm going in my office and I'm closing the door, and if anybody wants to duck out, for any reason, I won't notice.

You have the power!

'Bout time.

Ladies and gentlemen, please, please, please.

Now, we've called this meeting today to...

We're here today to address the issue of extending domestic partnership benefits to county employees.

So if anyone wishes to make a comment, now would be a good time.

I just wanted to let you know... that time is of the essence.

All I'm asking is that you make change.

You okay?

I hate speaking in public.

I really hate it.

And I never really cared about this whole pension thing, I never understood why is was so important to Laurel.

But now I think I get it.

We're just average people.

We have a house and a dog and we pay our taxes.

We're not perfect, I mean, we have our differences and our disagreements.

I love motorcycles and she hates them.

Our house isn't fancy.

But it was a labor of love.

You know, working on it and renovating it and Laurel put a lot of thought into every detail, you know, the light fixtures and the tile.

And... we worked so hard on it

'cause we thought we were gonna live in it forever.

But I guess that's not gonna happen.

So the house, well, I'd just really like to hold on to it, you know, to remember...

to remember how much we love each other.

Thank you.

Thank you.

On the motion of extending domestic partnership benefits to county employees, Freeholder Kelder how do you vote?


Freeholder Wickery?

Freeholder Wickery?


Freeholder Santucci?

Thanks for hanging me out to dry.

I vote yes.

It's unanimous, the motion has passed!

I love you guys!

I love you! Thank you, thank you!

For opening your hearts!

Hey, Laurel.

How you doing, chief?

We got a conviction against the men who killed Tommy and Debbie Cherico.

Put 'em away for life, thanks to you.

And we're pleased to inform you that you've been promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Ocean County Police Department.


Thanks, chief.

Congratulations, partner.

Let me see.

Will you marry me?

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

Present, huh!

Order, huh!

About face.

Come and get it.