Dustin Lance Black Taking Proposition 8 To Broadway
The Casey Anthony trial may have captivated the United States most recently, but even its most obsessive followers would likely admit it had nothing on the Proposition 8 fiasco. A ballot question asking voters whether the State of California should add a clause to its constitution defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, both sides spent more than thirty-five million dollars arguing their cases in the court of public opinion. Ultimately, hate triumphed over love, and the measure was enacted with just north of fifty-two percent of the vote.
The decision was widely trumped as a victory for moral values by conservative members of the electorate, but many, Republicans included, saw the decision as a grave blow against equality. The proposition was later shot down by a court but has since been challenged. The ultimate result of all the legal wrangling may not be known for years, but Milk screener Dustin Lance Black isn't content to just watch it all play out.
According to The New York Times, the thirty-seven year old Academy Award winner has spent the past year working through and ultimately putting the finishing touches on a play chronicling the original appeal trial. Many of the leading litigators, both for and against, are actual characters in the work, and the screenwriter spent hours interviewing opinion makers on both sides of the issue to help synthesize the argument and turn it into a one act play. A staged reading of the work helmed by Broadway veteran Joe Mantello will take place in September to be followed by productions at several universities including Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern and Michigan.
Regardless of where you stand morally on homosexuality and gay marriage, it is still fundamentally wrong to endorse a government legislating discrimination. That is a fact, and it has nothing to do with God or the Bible or personal taste. If two legally consenting adults wish to make a pact between themselves to love, honor and cherish one another, we should be endorsing that as a society, not condemning it.
If any of these performances end up being anywhere near the area in which you reside, I would highly encourage you to attend. From his work on Big Love to the truly incredible Milk, Black has proven time and time again that he's not only a great writer but an honest facilitator more than willing to hear the other side out.