The Prop 8 Trial Begins, with "Milk" writer Dustin Lance Black

05/25/2011 03:15 pm ET

In today's Wilshire & Washington, we dive head first into Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the trial to overthrow the anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 in California. We kick things off with a short but compelling interview with Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter for the film "Milk" and a board-member for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, who has been carefully following the first few days of the trial. Black offers his perspective on how Milk would feel about the current struggle, and how Obama must become a part of the debate. (Listen to the whole thing here and Black's essay on the topic here.)

MediaLizzy joins us to further discuss the trial, offering her thoughts on lawyer Ted Olsen's conservative argument for same-sex marriage in Newsweek, calling equality a fundamental right in our nation. How will Olsen's use of personal connections as a ploy in the trial work? Does it make any difference that the trial won't be televised, especially in how people are following it? Will conservatives call out "activist judge!" if the trial doesn't go their way? Will the "protected class" argument find any weight with the judge? Should California just get out of the marriage business and stick to domestic partnerships? And what does "equality" look like to us, other than "Well, we can all afford Prada"?

Our hosts also weigh in on Howard Dean's resurgence, documented in a recent Politico story. Was Dean shafted by the Obama administration? Will Dean emerge as the leader - and progressive conscience - of liberal Democrats, whom have always been a rather unorganized, communist-leaning group? He's currently leading the conversation in the media, and people like Rush Limbaugh and Jane Hamsher are agreeing with him. (The Apocalypse is clearly upon us.)

Finally, we encourage everyone to give what they can to the Red Cross - they need it right now. We can either ignore the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, or we can give, and help, in any way we can. To donate, text the word "Haiti" to the number 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross today.

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Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (, and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry ( The show airs every Wednesday at 7:30am PST on