On June 6th HBO will release a new documentary about the bitter struggle to overturn Proposition 8, the law that until last year prohibited gay marriage in California. Directed by Ryan White and Ben Cotner, The Case Against 8 goes behind the scenes of the historic battle between the legal team led by liberal David Boies and that led by conservative Ted Olson.
The president of HBO Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins, is quoted as saying, ‘We feel it’s important to bring the story of the men and women behind this roller-coaster battle to screens across the country, and we’re extremely proud to bring attention to a fundamental civil rights issue that faces the country today.’
The Case Against 8 will have a limited cinematic release in Los Angeles, New York and other American cities in early June before being shown on the HBO channel. The documentary has already won two awards at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: the Directing Award and SXSW Audience Award.
Proposition 8 was introduced in 2008 when 52.24% of the Californian electorate voted to “Eliminate the Rights of Same-Sex Couple to Marry.” Opponents of gay marriage had previously persuaded the state to adopt the similarly-worded Proposition 22. LGBT people all over the US were overjoyed when Proposition 8 was repealed on 26th June 2013. Since then over 50 suits have been brought against similar legislation in other US states. There have been recent calls by LGBT lawyers to legalise same-sex unions across the country.
Boies and Olson, the two main lawyers in the Proposition 8 case, previously opposed each other in the Bush v. Gore case which took place during the controversial 2000 US Presidential Election.