... presented by SLATE (Southland Area Theatre Ensemble)
What is "8" the Play?
"8" The Play is a new play by Dustin Lance Black about Proposition 8 that centers around the U.S. District Court case Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) as a forum to highlight the struggle to define what marriage is, and who may and may not marry in the United States. The play is based upon court transcripts, interviews with participants, and the author's first-hand observations of the trial.
What is Proposition 8?
Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative passed by California voters in 2008 to amend the California State Constitution to include the following language, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
As part of an ongoing series of court challenges to Proposition 8, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker issued a ruling in August of 2010 in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, likely meaning that the issue will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court, with implications for the definition of marriage across the nation.
Why is Proposition 8 significant?
Proposition 8 provides a focal point for the discussion of a number of legal, cultural and moral issues around the definition of marriage, and the process by which we exercise our political will. The fight over Proposition 8 and the legal definition of who may and may not legally marry has been expressed in legal, religious, moral, and economic terms. In this discussion, a few (of many) questions that leap to mind include:
- What are the positions of proponents/opponents of Proposition 8?
- How does each side define "rights" or "civil rights" as they relate to the constitution and marriage?
- Is marriage a legal, cultural, moral, or religious construct?
- What role does language play in how the arguments for/against Proposition 8 are framed, ("marriage equality," "sanctity of marriage," etc.)?
- How should these constructs of marriage be reflected in law?
- Is there a constitutionally protected right for some people to/not to marry?
- Some have defined the fight over the definition of marriage as an issue of civil rights, drawing parallels to school desegregation, interracial marriage, and other challenges. Is this consistent with your view of "civil rights?" Why or why not?
- Where do/should morality and law in a civil society intersect?
- Should morality be legislated?
- What is/should be the role of the judiciary in deciding questions where a majority of an electorate has expressed their wishes?
- In the case of "8" The Play, what role does (or should) art play in the discussion of social, political and religious issues? Is art an effective medium for encouraging discussion?
A panel discussion immediately following each performance, led by Provost Terry Allison.
Tickets are free with advanced reservations.
Please contact the Center for Performing Arts Box Office at 708.235.2222 to reserve tickets.