Published on September 15th, 2012 | by TGHS Crew0
Dustin Lance Black’s 8
In order to demystify the debate around marriage equality, Academy Award winning screenwriter and Utah Gay Pride’s Grand Marshal, Dustin Lance Black has transcribed the trial of Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger) into a new play. This moving and funny play is being performed, by various companies, all across the United States, and you have the opportunity to hear it–in it’s entirety, right here online–performed by Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Martin Sheen, John C. Reilly and too many more stars to name.
Listen to the play online through L. A. Theatreworks, including interviews with the director, writer, and stars, or watch the play below. For more information check out the website: http://www.8theplay.com/
In the landmark trial, a three judge appellate panel of the Ninth Circuit held that California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples, was unconstitutional.
Black, and the play’s director Rob Reiner, are co-founders of the American Foundation for Equal Rights. This organization challenges that the State of California is in violation of the United States Constitution which guarantees every American basic fundamental rights and that Proposition 8:
- Violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
- Violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by impinging on fundamental liberties.
- Singles out gay and lesbian individuals for a disfavored legal status, thereby creating a category of “second-class citizens.”
- Discriminates on the basis of gender.
- Discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
“This is that last leg of the civil rights race that we’re running here,” Reiner said to Susan Albert Loewenberg, Producing Director of L. A. Theatreworks. “There is one community in our American fabric of society that is viewed lesser under the law, and that is the gay and lesbian community… Until we make sure that everyone has equal rights then none of us is equal.”
“My whole life growing up,” Black, recalled when he first heard there was going to be a trial challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, “Because I grew up in the south, and I grew up in the military in a Mormon family, all I heard were these horrific things about gay and lesbian people.” His said that he knew, in his heart, the things people said about him weren’t true, but the moment Proposition 8 was proposed he heard all these “outdated myths and lies” again on the airwaves. “All of a sudden there was this promise that these people, who had been saying these things about me for so long, were going to have to walk in a courtroom and raise their right hand, and say that under oath.”
“We’re all just vessels of the truth and the truth is astonishing in it’s clarity,” said actress Jamie Lee Curtis. “The theatre is the great vehicle for social change, and throughout history there has been tremendous change made by actors on a stage. Change will occur when the truth is heard, and the truth is being heard here today.”
The fight of Perry v. Brown is far from over. The proponents of Proposition 8 have filed a petition to be heard by the entire 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, six judges (the Perry v. Brown challenge was only heard before three judges.) If the entire court will not hear the case, proponents will, probably, appeal to the United States Supreme Court.