by Leah Barker
I still remember the alternately furious and triumphant Facebook status updates on Nov. 5, 2008.
That was the day California voters learned a ballot measure known as Prop 8 had passed. Prop 8 amended California’s constitution to state that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
I grew up north of San Francisco, and this was an extremely important issue for my friends back home. Their social-networking statuses ranged from “I’m ashamed to be a Californian” to “The sanctity of marriage is safe again.” I must say there were many more reactions in line with the former, along with a lot of disbelief that the measure actually passed.
Gay-marriage rulings in California have flip-flopped its legality many times since San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom authorized marriage licenses for same-sex couples in early 2004. Prop 8 alone has been approved by voters, sued and appealed in many cases, upheld by the state Supreme Court, and overturned by a federal judge. It's currently being appealed in the Ninth Circuit.
If you're interested in learning more about one aspect of the ongoing battle, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church is screening 8: The Mormon Proposition, which it calls “a searing indictment of the Mormon Church's historic involvement in the promotion of California's recent anti-GLBT marriage proposition known as Prop 8.”
Director Reed Cowan, who grew up gay in Utah’s Mormon community, planned to make a documentary about gay teen homelessness and suicide. According to the film’s website, he later explored the Mormon Church’s campaign to get Prop 8 passed in California after realizing that the homophobia that causes many parents to kick their children out of their homes is rooted in current Mormon ideology. Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk, narrates the film.
The free screening and discussion will be held at All Souls (730 N. Tejon St.) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 9.