Photography by Danielle Levitt
When California voters rejected marriage equality, passing Proposition 8 in 2008, they set the stage for one of the most compelling equality battles in history. With the backing of the American Foundation for Equal Rights — of which screenwriter and director Black (middle) is an eloquent board member — two LGBT couples, Perry (far left) and Stier (second from left) and Zarrillo (second from right) and Katami (far right), challenged the constitutionality of Prop 8 in district court and won.
After proponents for the proposition challenged the ruling, the case ran all the way up to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal on June 26 of this year, setting the stage for same-sex marriages to resume in the most populous state in the Union. The story of that struggle is immortalized in 8, a play by Black that reenacts the initial Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, a powerful reminder that we’re writing our social and political history even as we’re still living it.
Photographed at Milk Studios in Los Angeles on August 7, 2013