News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 pm

Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black on the fate of Prop 8

Dustin Lance Black, playwright of the play on the federal trial of Proposition 8,
Dustin Lance Black, playwright of the play on the federal trial of Proposition 8, "8."
Dustin Lance Black

Listen to story

Download this story 13MB

The legal battle over same-sex marriage in California culminates sometime in the next few weeks when the Supreme Court decides on the fate of Prop 8.

But while this drama played out in the courts, the drama also played out on the stages of schools, churches and community centers throughout the world, becoming a teaching tool wherever it goes.

WEIGH IN: We're hearing from voices for and against gay marriage in the lead-up to the Supreme Court's decision. Add yours: how were you personally affected by Proposition 8?

The play "8was created by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar award-winning screenwriter for "Milk." It's  based on the real-life transcripts of the federal trial against Prop 8.

"Unfortunately, the opposition was crafty enough to make sure that cameras were not allowed in the courtroom," Black says. "What they couldn't do was destroy the transcripts, and what they couldn't do was to keep me from using those transcripts to let the world know what happened in that courtroom."

Staging the trial also allowed Black  to punctuate some of the most dramatic moments, and bring it outside of the courtroom and directly into people's communities.

"When the judge asked [the defense attorney] how will it hurt anyone if these marriages go forward, he was stumped and said, 'I don't know. I don't know.'"

The court ultimately ruled against Proposition 8, but gay marriages in California are still on hold until the Supreme Court issues its ruling. 

"I have full faith that this court is going to rule on the right side of history," says Black, "But I got to tell you, this process over the past four years -- everything that's happened, all the conversations, all the brave people who've come out to their families and their coworkers -- that hard work has moved this country."

Included in that hard work is "8." If the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage, "Boy, would this play to be a dusty old relic that doesn't make to the next generation," says Black. If the court rules against it, "Then it is a roadmap for how we make progress."

WATCH: the full LA performance of "8"