Tag Archives: Proposition 8

Lesbian Favourites Wanda Sykes and Ellen DeGeneres

Lesbian favourite Wanda Sykes visited The Ellen Show to talk about dinner time at her house with her wife and twins.

The insight into the comedian’s personal life was a nice one to see. Even with all of her visible roles, Wanda Sykes has always been highly protective of her family and personal life. Sykes married her beautiful French wife – Alex, during the brief period in which California allowed same-sex marriage; the couple held a small ceremony for close family and friends in Palm Springs. However, when California’s Proposition 8 passed in the November 2008 election, banning same-sex marriage, Sykes decided to lend her celebrity to the cause of marriage equality. After discussing it with Alex, Sykes came out in a speech at a rally in Las Vegas. Since then, Sykes has stayed involved in the political effort to restore same-sex marriage rights in California.

In May 2009 Sykes was selected to perform at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency. In addition to being the first African-American woman to fill the role, she was also the first openly gay person, either male or female. There seems to be in no danger of Sykes giving up her biting, personal style of comedy any time soon:

“I love doing stand-up, because it gives me the freedom to say what I really want to say. I think that’s why it’s my favorite thing to do,”

Dinner Time at Wanda Sykes’ House

Author Rejects Criticism of Proposition 8 Book

Author Jo Becker has defended Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality, her book about the overturning of California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8, saying that it was never intended to be a ‘history of the entire gay rights movement’.

She was responding to LGBT activists such as Dan Savage and Kevin Jennings who have attacked her book for emphasising the legal aspect of the struggle at the expense of the grass roots campaigning that many feel was so crucial to repealing Prop 8.

In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow, Becker, who is a Pullitzer Prize-winning journalist, defended her decision to focus on the legal case: ‘The entire LGBT legal establishment was opposed to taking a case to federal court. … This was absolutely a revolutionary step to take and one that was very controversial at the time’.

Forcing the Spring begins with the sentence “This is how a revolution begins” and goes on to recount Proposition 8’s passing into law before it was successfully challenged in the Supreme Court by political consultant Chad Griffin, who Becker likens to civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

The decision to try to change the law was, for Becker, a ‘game-changer’ which opposed the ‘state-by-state’ strategy same-sex marriage activists had used previously. The historic Proposition 8 case saw main attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies face off in an epic legal battle that prompted the interest of LGBT communities all around the globe.

Since the abolition of Proposition 8, marriage equality has high on the news agenda in both the United States and across the world.

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Incendiary Proposition 8 Documentary Out in June

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.