Go. Go now. Go now and watch “8”: A Play About the Fight for Marriage Equality —
Jerry and I watched it tonight, and if ever there’s a church service for someone like me, this. is. it. One of the final monologues by Martin Sheen (playing the role of the plaintiff’s attorney Ted Olsen) is simply ELECTRIC.
The final scene of the play includes the plaintiffs addressing the audience, talking about the reasons why they put themselves, their relationships, and their family in the public spotlight for this trial. I was struck by how their primary motivation wasn’t to secure their own individual rights to marry, but the rights of other couples.
Hearing this made me think of one of my favorite high school teachers, Ms. Hearn, who taught me AP US History. I remember that we spent WEEKS studying the ins and outs of the Constitution, including many of the court cases fought that ended up securing some of the rights we enjoy today. Now, 17+ years later, I can remember how Ms. Hearn impressed upon us how hard others have had to fight to give us the freedoms we so often take for granted.
And that’s how I see these plaintiffs. Ordinary Americans who are doing something extraordinary. Not just for themselves, but for everyone — gay and straight alike. It’s only a matter of time before everyone back home will be able to marry the person they love — and no piously-driven homophobia will stand in the way.
David Boies (the other plaintiff attorney) put it best: “We put fear and prejudice on trial – and fear and prejudice lost.”