A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
After the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2008 that same-sex couples could marry, a proposition was put to voters to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. After that proposition was passed a group decided to challenge the constitutionality of the amendment. This documentary follows the efforts of the plaintiffs and lawyers over four years as the case winds its way through the courts.Written by
Ted Olsen's first wife, Barbara Olsen, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 en route to a taping of Bill Maher's television show "Politically Incorrect" when it was flown into the Pentagon in the September 11th attacks. See more »
A fascinating look at the quirks of US law and politics
As a non-American, I found this a compelling look at one of the quirkier aspects of US law and politics - how states may hold local referenda (at least California seems to do it a lot) that may then be challenged in the Supreme Court.
An intriguing aspect was the employment in support of the case of Ted Olsen, the Republican lawyer who got George W Bush elected by making Florida stop its decisive recount. The LGBT community was initially suspicious of him, but he won them over by his principled stand.
Reviewers who want to re-litigate the case itself seem to have missed the point. The populace and local legislatures may not pass local laws that violate the US Constitution. Proposition 8 was ruled to breach the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing equality to all citizens. Its supporters did not have standing to appeal against the Supreme Court's ruling, because their rights were not harmed by striking down Prop 8.
This was not intended to be "balanced", as its title implies. As a real documentary it followed real people through an unpredictable course of events. It might have all ended in tears. It would have then been useful as a fundraiser to continue the fight.
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