The Case Against 8

This documentary from the USA has already won awards at Sundance and SXSW, so we are happy to see it at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage (Proposition 8).

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) assembled an unlikely Dream Team:
  • David Boies and Ted Olson, who had previously opposed each other before the Supreme Court in the Gore vs Bush case. During the course of that intense time, they became friends. Obviously, Conservatives were NOT happy about this new pairing.
  • Kristen Perry and Sandra Stier, carefully vetted to represent mainstream couples: comfortable, employed, raising a family of four. They married as soon as it became legal in California, but their marriage was rescinded.
  • Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarillo had refused a "domestic partnership" because they would be settling for a placebo which doesn't provide full marriage rights, e.g., Social Security and pensions.
There is a LOT of humor in this documentary. One activist said, "If Ted Olson, Dick Chaney and the Cato Institute all endorse gay marriage, maybe I'm on the wrong side!"

Directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White stayed with this project for the five years it took to follow the case, film it, and edit it down to documentary length. Despite the complexity of the case, it is presented in easily assimilated bits. We found it satisfying and entertaining.
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Here is a preview:
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