Another event celebrating the birth of the Spectrum Center was the first ever reading of the play “8” by Dustin Lance Black. It was an interesting experience. I had never been to a live play reading before. It was sort of like watching a regular play, except the actors carried the scripts around on stage with them and didn’t deliver the lines quite as well as they would have, though they still did an amazing job. It was also really great because many of the actors were the same Broadway UofM alumni that had performed the night before at the Pink Carpet Gala.
The play was based on the transcripts of the trial in California fighting against Proposition 8. This amendment to the Constitution of California banned gay marriage and recognition of same-sex marriages. The trial was not broadcasted nationally,
although the plaintiffs did fight for it to be. Because of this, the only record we have of the trial is the transcript, and from this document Dustin Lance Black wrote a creative interpretation. His play will be making a tour around the country at many universities. Hopefully it will help spread awareness of what is happening in California and in the rest of the country when it comes to the rights of TBLG people.
Attending this event was sort of like attending a court trial, as it was staged like one, except that it gave us the bullet points of what happened and also introduced the families that were fighting together against the proposition and the ad campaign used by the supporters of Prop 8. It was sort of funny watching this depiction of the trial, because I’ve always wondered how conservatives defend their “values” like banning same-sex marriage. I always wonder what kind of evidence and argument they can come up with. This is exactly what I thought it would be like. The defense could not provide evidence or even an argument. Its witnesses were absent from court because they were afraid to defend their own words on the witness stand. The one witness that did get cross-examined ended up supporting the plaintiff’s argument, completely crushing any chance the defense had.
The outcome of the case was that same-sex marriage would not affect the rate of different-sex marriage or the rate of procreation, which is the argument the defense was trying to use. The plaintiffs won, though it is being repealed and we are still fighting Prop 8 to this day. The best thing we can all do about it is to stay informed and educate others on what has happened. I believe that is what Dustin Lance Black is trying to do with his play and I hope it works.
For more info on Prop 8, please visit http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/ or search it online for other websites that you might prefer. Also, just a fun video that came out around the time of the trial;
Sending you love and light,
(Coffee is on me if you can name the show that my sign off is from!)