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 »
The "8" in the title refers to Proposition 8, a California referendum in 2008 that overturned that state's legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. This documentary covers a five-year period in which two same-sex couples (one male, one female) work with a team of lawyers to fight for the restoration of equal marriage.
Even though the end result is already known, this film has a very powerful effect mainly because of the people involved. Most shocking is that a devout Republican attorney, Ted Olson, is part of the team to fight for equal marriage. One of his colleagues in the battle is David Boies who had fought against Olson in the 2000 U.S. presidential election case on whether the Florida votes should be counted. This is an odd but intriguing pairing, indeed.
While the legal storyline is fascinating, the main force of this film is intimate portraits of the two couples who are the plaintiffs in the case: Kris Perry, Sandy Steier, Jeff Zarrillo, and Paul Katami. The revelations of their lives, their coming-out stories, and the support of their families hits right at the emotional core. These are four fascinating people.
"The Case Against 8" begins with high emotions but it flattens a bit somewhere during the second half. However, the personal victories that are exposed in the end leave such a rise in the heart that this movie must be credited for its inspiration in showing the very best of the collective human spirit. This is truly a case where the personal is political and it is magnificent.
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