On Monday, premium cable network HBO
will broadcast The Case Against 8, which documents the case to
overturn Proposition 8, California's now-ended ban on gay marriage.
The Case Against 8 premiered at
the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Directing Prize for U.S.
With unlimited access to the plaintiffs
and the lawyers involved in the case, filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan
White give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the case's many
twists and turns on the road to the Supreme Court.
California voters approved Proposition
8 in 2008, sparking massive protests in California and Utah, home to
the Mormon Church which played a key role in its passage.
The following year, two plaintiff
couples – Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff
Zarillo – challenged the amendment's constitutionally. It was the
first such case filed in a federal court, which led to fears the
Supreme Court would uphold the ban, possibly setting back the
marriage movement decades. (The film's trailer is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)
In speaking with BuzzFeed,
Cotner said the film was not about marriage but rather the people
behind the case.
“I think, for us, since we never
wanted to make a film about whether gay marriage was right or wrong,
for us, it was about telling the story,” said Cotner, who is gay
and lives in California. “Once we got there, and got to know Kris
and Sandy and Paul and Jeff, it became obvious that this is really a
story about these four people's lives and how they were affected and
the harms that were done by Proposition 8 to them – and there was
so much in that that we related to.”
White added: “Whether it had been a
win or loss, we were dedicated to just telling the story of what
these people went through – and luckily it turned out the way it