BY ISA MONTAGNESE
A few years ago, the state of California made gay marriage legal. However, it was super short lived when Prop 8 was introduced. Prop 8 was an appeal by groups who were in opposition of legalizing gay marriage. Surprisingly, most of the state voted yes on Prop 8 and gay marriage was once again illegal. Two very high profile lawyers, a huge legal team and two carefully chosen gay couples appealed the decision and after trials and years of back and forth appeals, Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional and gay marriage was once again legal. After this hugely successful argument in favour of the right to marry, DOMA (Defence of Marriage Act) was challenged and also deemed unconstitutional.
How do I know all this? Why, from watching The Case Against 8 of course. The HBO-produced documentary following the legal side of Prop 8 and DOMA is a little lesson in the American legal system and a big lesson in how some people really don’t know what they’re talking about. As a Canadian, it was hard for me to understand how most of the US still isn’t getting how black and white this issue is. It was pretty fascinating to see how the idea of gay marriage still has to be dissected and argued from every angle to prove it should be legal.
This film was classic American patriotism, warm and fuzzy–and surprisingly funny. It helped someone like me (not so political) understand the inner workings of how laws are made in the US. There are a lot of LGBT films about ongoing struggles, so it’s nice to see a film that ends in triumph.
Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival runs from May 22 – June 1. Read more Inside Out coverage.