A few days ago the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) played the live-stream of the play “8” which portrayed the highlights of the trial regarding the repeal of Proposition 8 before the United States Ninth District Court of Appeals presided over by Federal Judge Vaughn Walker.
The play starred such Hollywood heavy-hitters as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others. The play was written by Academy Award™ winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who wrote the screenplay for J. Edgar and the smash hit Milk starring Sean Penn. The play was produced by Academy Award™ winning film producer Rob Reiner from films such as When Harry Met Sally and The American President.
To say this play is well done would be the grossest understatement in the history of reviews. It’s inspiring to see that the attorney for the Defendant(s), Charles Cooper, played most convincingly by Kevin Bacon, had only one witness they used out of literally dozens they listed in the pre-trial motions but all were torn to shreds by the Plaintiff(s) attorney, David Bois, played passionately by George Clooney.
The one anti-gay marriage witness Cooper deigned to place on the witness stand was David Blakenhorn, humorously portrayed by John C. Reilly. Blakenhorn was presented as an “expert witness” by the defense on issues of “traditional” because of his authorship and association with the Institute for American Values which acts as a social barometer of what the public supposedly wants or doesn’t want.
As expertly as Mr. Bois did in deposition he repeats on cross-examination as Blakenhorn stammers and tries to self-justify himself when his book says, and so does he, that in the end, gay marriage rights do benefit the families of LGBT people.
Judge Walker, played with absolute intelligence and panache by Brad Pitt, ruled that David Blakenhorn was not an expert witness. In the play, Attorney David Bois (Clooney) has a momentary spotlight where he explains that it’s easy to wave lies in front of the masses on television, radio and the newspapers but that truth has a hard time hiding on the witness stand.
The best part of this humble review is that you can watch it for yourself right from the YouTube link below so you can decide for yourself.
It put a tear in my eye and I hope it will affect you in the same way.
If you wish to avoid the monotony of watching the "Tune In at 7:45 P.M." placard, skip ahead to 17:30 in the video and it will begin shortly after the placard turns to a plain black background with a white "8" in the middle. If it seems like you're watching ads at first, you aren't. Those are news clips about the Proposition 8 situation from start to finish.
By Stephanie Donald
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