Any day now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will be ruling on California's Prop 8 case, Perry v. Brown. Statewide rallies are being planned. As you know, there has been a battle in California over allowing the public access to viewing the original tapes of this trial. I talked to Dustin about this and his new play 8, which finally provides the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. "People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter," said Black.
On March 3, for one night only, 8 will have its West Coast premiere in Los Angeles, with an all-star cast including Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cleve Jones, Christine Lahti, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Rory O'Malley, Rob Reiner, Martin Sheen, Yeardley Smith, and George Takei. When asked about the West Coast premiere of 8, Black stated:
It's a huge testament, I think, to the cause that this has universal reach. The people we just named are straight, gay, and lesbian, and they understand that this issue touches someone in their lives -- if not themselves, then someone in their lives. We all know it's time to stop the discrimination and to treat all Americans equal under the law and to send a message to young people that their love will be valued when they grow up, that their lives are equally valued in this country. We did the play in New York with a great cast, and now we're doing it in L.A. It is important that we continue to raise the money we need, and every dime goes to American Foundation for Equal Rights, to fund the federal case for equal marriage as we head to the U.S. Supreme Court and a decision that will affect the entire country.
Dustin Lance Black is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of the film Milk and the recent film J. Edgar. Dustin is also on the board of the Trevor Project, which provides the only 24/7 hotline for our LGBTQ youth. Throughout 2012, the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact are licensing 8 for free to colleges and community theaters nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue, and understanding.