About the Film:
This compelling documentary tracks the five year legal battle to overturn California’s ban on same sex marriage.
It is absorbing and illuminating viewing for all those interested in LGBT, civil rights and constitutional issues, as well as in how our judicial system works.
David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter, January 25, 2014, points out that this was:
“…one of the most widely discussed and divisive cases in recent history, and its reverberations continue,” and that:
“Co-directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White distill the dense legal process into a lucid narrative while illuminating the human drama of the plaintiffs, and by extension, the countless gay men and lesbians they represent. That, makes for a stirring civil rights film that is both cogent and emotionally charged.”
While we awaited the Supreme Court ruling – which came the next day, this film provided us an absorbing insight into the process of constructing an effective legal strategy and arguments, from the selection of plaintiffs through to the arguments at the Supreme Court:
“…the rollercoaster legal odyssey provides an uplifting demonstration of functioning bi-partisanship, something exceedingly rare in American politics. The leading conservative lawyer Ted Olsen shocked right-wing pundits by agreeing to represent the California plaintiffs. Even more startling was Olson’s decision to reach across the aisle and bring on board his liberal counterpart, David Boies, as co-counsel. That the two men had been on opposite sides of the Bush v. Gore case in 2000 would team up to champion the rights of gay men and lesbians still seems almost surreal.”
The film provides an intimate and vivid account of the process of choosing and representing the plaintiffs and developing effective legal arguments and a trial strategy. The twists and turns in the case make it compelling viewing. While it shows some examples of and insights in the hostility this campaign faced, its tone is positive and its message uplifting: and the day after our Film Night, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor! And yes, we planned to screen the film during the week when we expected the ruling.
Barnes, Henry. “Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 review: The Case Against 8 – a moving account of the fight for gay marriage“. The Guardian. 8 June 2014.
Kilkennym Katherine. “Sundance Review: ‘The Case Against 8’ Delivers an Emotional Tour of History in the Making” Indiewire. January 19, 2014.
O’Sullivan, Michael. “The Case Against 8 Movie Review”. Washington Post. June 12 2014.
Rooney, David. “The Case Against 8: Sundance Review“. The Hollywood Reporter. January 25 2014.
Interview with the Film makers
Emily Rose. “The Case Against 8′ filmmakers were there as the case was made”. LA Times. June 4, 2014.
For further information
About the campaign for same-sex marriage:
Book: Hirshman, Linda . Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. 2012.
Pew Research Center: Religion and Public Life. Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage. June 8 2015.
Book: Becker, Jo. Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality.
About the legal team:
Book: Boies, David and Olson, Theodore. Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality. (Viking, 2014).
Becker, Jo. A Conservative’s Road to Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy, New York Times .August 18, 2009 (A portrait of Ted Olson)
Ho, Catherine. “Ted Olson calls work on California’s Prop. 8 case ‘highlight of my life’ “. Washington Post. March 18, 2012.
Wong, Curtis. “Prop 8 Lawyers David Boies And Ted Olson Recall 2013’s SCOTUS Victory Over Gay Marriage Rights.” The Huffington Post. June 19, 2014.
Featured photo and background photo credit: U.S. Supreme Court by Evangelina Rangel
Disclaimer :The screening of this film does not constitute an endorsement or promotion of the film, nor of any views expressed therein or any association with The Film Committee, DAUK, Democrats Abroad or the Democratic Party. Screenings are solely conceived as educational activities: offering an opportunity for members to discuss issues.
Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor any association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad – UK.