The Case Against 8 (2014) Movie Script

Ted Olson:
Mr. Chief Justice
and may it
please the court:
Proposition 8 built
a constitutional wall
around marriage
and excluded
gay and lesbians
from access
to the most important
relation in life.
Paul C.:
But, Mr. Olson,
I want to understand
your due process thinking.
Is your view that something
that has never been protected
or allowed
can nevertheless be
a fundamental right under
the Due Process Clause?
A fundamental right
to the pursuit happiness
is being taken away
from someone as the result
of their status
or their classification.
You would agree that
the people who wrote
the 14th Amendment,
that has both
the Due Process Clause
and the Equal
Protection Clause,
would never
in a million years
have thought they were--
they were
requiring states
to marry two people
of the same sex?
Well, I think someone
might've said the same thing--
in fact, the same argument was
made in the Loving case--
It may well be.
I just want to know
the answer to my question.
Well, of course
they did not think about--
Paul S.:
So you basically
are asking us
to depart from
the original intent
of the 14th Amendment,
is that--
No, the intent
of the 14th Amendment was
to prescribe equality.
Amir Tayrani:
You make much
of the fact
that 14 times
this court has emphasized
that marriage
is a fundamental right.
Are you suggesting that
in any of those prior cases
we were talking about
marriage between
persons of the same sex?
No, you were not.
You were talking about
the right of marriage.
Paul S.:
Mr. Olson, what do
we do with the fact
that the state
of California treats
same-sex couples and
heterosexual couples
except with respect
to the word that they use
to label the legal status?
Can it really be
this big a deal?
The word means something.
It's as if the word
were in play here,
and the individuals were
being given the right to vote
and the right to travel,
but not the right to call
themselves citizens.
Vincent C.:
Well, let me ask you
about that.
Because the point
you wanna make is
that same-sex couples
are just as good at parenting
as opposite-sex couples.
Olson: That's--
But you say that
the science says
that children of gay parents
are just as well-adjusted.
If that's true,
then how is it that
denying them marriage
causes them harm?
They're just as
in terms of the relationship
with their parents,
but everywhere they go,
they are discriminated against
or subject
to discrimination
because they can't call
their parents married.
The theme of the
Proposition 8 campaign was
"Protect Our Children."
Protect our children
from thinking
that those people over there
who are gay are okay.
If this is unconstitutional,
it's unconstitutional today.
That's why we have
a constitution,
that's why we have
a 14th Amendment
and that's why you have
the job that you do.
( phone ringing )
Good morning,
Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
May I help you?
( chattering )
Chris Dusseault:
Here's what's gonna happen.
So, things start on Monday.
The very first thing
that will happen is
opening statements.
The opening statements
are very short,
15 minutes per side.
The current starting point plan
is that the order will be
Jeff first, then Paul,
then Chris
and then Sandy.
And then two historians--
a historian about
the history of marriage
and the history
of discrimination--
to kinda lay the background.
Why would we be first
versus the experts?
And that actually is
kind of interesting to me
that we're really different
than them.
Yeah. Yeah.
They have a very different
sort of set of credentials.
What we ultimately
decided was...
that you guys
are the reason
the case is happening.
You are the case, really.
And everything else is
evidence that explains why
what you're saying is right,
but it all flows from you.
It's an awkward thing to be
stuck in the middle of this
and made into a symbol,
you know, and so forth.
But that's a role
that you're in.
And you might be
talking about yourselves
a little bit,
but you sort of
have to do that.
So should we do
a little bit of this?
Sandy Stier: Sure.
You were married?
Stier: Yes, I was.
Tell us about that.
He was the kind of man
I always anticipated
I would marry.
He was a nice person,
had similar goals.
What if someone were to say,
"Well, you've just chosen"
at one point in your life
to be with a man,
and now you've chosen
at another point in your life
to be with a woman.
"Could you choose to be
with a man again?"
Stier: When I met Kris
and fell in love
with her,
it was actually
the first time
I could even
identify with the phrase
"being in love."
I felt that feeling
of being completely...
taken over by my emotions
in such a life-shifting way
that it's difficult
to even explain.
But something that I felt like,
"This is so big, powerful
and wonderful,
I can't ignore it
and I won't ignore it."
And at 37 years old,
I discovered something
about myself
that I hadn't known before.
I feel like I can choose
what to do with the information
I've learned about myself,
but I can't change who I am.
I simply am who I am.
And that is a lesbian?
That is a lesbian.
Mr. Katami,
are you gay?
I am.
How long
have you been gay?
As long
as I can remember.
Um, did you choose
to be gay?
Do you think you have
the ability to choose
not to be gay?
I do not.
Do you wanna get married?
I do.
Who do you wanna
get married to?
To Jeff Zarrillo.
Why haven't you and Paul
had a family?
Because we're not married.
We think--
We're strong
believers that--
we want any child
that we have to
have the protections
that an opposite sex
couple's family
and children would have.
That's very important to us.
( elevator dings )
( chattering )
Ted Uno:
Schubert & Flint,
who were hired
in early June
as the campaign managers
said that they
would not win,
they would not
get 50% of the vote
if they just affirmed
the value of marriage.
They had to stress consequences
to other people.
And the primary ones were
that it's gonna be taught
in public schools,
it is going to erode
religious freedom
and it's going to erode
the freedom of expression.

Tony Perkins:
Proposition 8 is
very straightforward.
It defines marriage as being
between one man and one woman.
That's it.
If Prop 8 fails,
it opens up the door
for all the other laws
that the homosexual agenda
wants to enforce.
If California loses
on the subject of marriage,
then this goes nationwide.
How California goes,
the rest of the country will go.
Let me encourage you to
stand up for what's right,
and go to the polls
and vote yes on Prop 8.

I just didn't think
it would pass.
You know, I saw
the propaganda,
but I really thought,
"It's not gonna pass
in California.
There's just no way."

( ovation )
I remember sitting
on the couch,
and on the TV came
this chyron that said,
"Elected 44th President
of the United States."
And I remember thinking,
"I didn't know
if I'd ever see the day
when an African-American
would be elected President."
And I was so proud.
I'll never forget seeing
them walk out that night
and feeling like
this unbelievable
achievement had occurred.
Barack Obama,
47 years old,
will become
the President Elect
of the United States.
This is a moment so many people
have been waiting for
and they're really excited.
News anchor:
I believe we've got some
pictures out of San Francisco.

Some of the celebration pouring
out in the Castro district.
Rachel Maddow:
That may not all be celebration
if it's in the Castro
and we haven't got
the results of Prop 8 yet--
Chad Griffin:
It became clear to us as Obama
was giving
his acceptance speech--
a historic moment
in our nation's history--
that Proposition 8 in
California was going to pass.
And I remember
being so drained
emotionally because I had
been on such a high,
and then to feel
the lowest of lows,
to know that
my fellow citizens
in California
had voted to take away
my right to marry.
And all I could think about
was the horrific message
that would be sent
to the thousands
upon thousands of young people
in California
and around the country...
that they were
second-class citizens,
and they had been told so
by a popular vote of the people.

A few days after the election,
I was having lunch with
Kristina Schake and Rob
and Michele Reiner.
Kristina Schake:
And that lunch was particularly
long and emotional
because of the aftermath
of Prop 8.
And while we were talking,
a woman came up to the table
just to say hello
to Michele,
and she said,
"What are you talking about?"
And Rob recapped
what we had been going through,
and he said,
"You know, we're actually
thinking that maybe
the best way to do this
might be to file a court case."
And she said, "My former
brother-in-law is Ted Olson,
and he might be interested."
My reaction was
I didn't believe it.
Ted Olson had been
on the other side of everything
I'd ever done in my life.
But we all kinda thought,
"But what if?
What if?"
My gosh, that would
change everything.
We all knew that's he's
the most prominent conservative
lawyer in America,
that he was President Bush's
Solicitor General
and he won
the most contentious case
in front of the United States
Supreme Court in our history.

( clamoring )
David Boies:
This was a court decision
that determined who was
President of the United States.
( camera shutters clicking )
President Bush's lawyer,
Ted Olson,
was trying to get
the Supreme Court
to stop the Florida recount.
And myself, as Vice President
Gore's lawyer,
was trying to convince
the Supreme Court
to stay out of it
and let
the Florida courts decide.
What we've had is
a series of steps
by the Republican Party
to try to delay the recount.
What we're seeing
is, unfortunately,
an increasingly
desperate degree
of statements,
and efforts
by the Gore campaign
to prolong this.

Ted Olson won Bush v. Gore.
He gave us George Bush.
I couldn't imagine
that Ted Olson and I
agreed on anything.
I told no one
that I was going to D.C.
And so I took the train in
and I went straight
to Ted's office.
It was sort of a Republican
Hall of Fame, quite frankly.
Chad Griffin was the person
who first spoke to me
to check me out...
( chuckles )
to see whether
I was the real thing
and I was someone that
they wanted to handle this case.
Since I'd grown up
in California,
I was very disappointed
with the people of California.
So when Chad came
to talk to me,
I said,
"Yes, I would be interested,
provided that we did it
the right way."
So that when, as, and if
that case got to the
United States Supreme Court,
it would be based upon
the best foundation
that you could
possibly prepare.
I quickly realized that
I was talking to someone
who believed passionately
in the right to marry
for all loving couples.
Marriage is
a conservative value.
Two people
who love one another
who want to come together
and live in
a stable relationship,
to become part of a family,
part of a neighborhood
and part of our economy.
We should want people
to come together in marriage.
See you tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.
Ted and I also discussed
the importance of...
finding someone that could
partner with us
and to be his co-counsel
that was on the other side
of the aisle-- a Democrat.

We really became friends
during Bush v. Gore.
There comes a point
in every case like that
when none of your friends
and even your children
and spouses don't wanna talk
to you about the case anymore.
And the only person that's
as obsessed with it as you are
is the person
on the other side.
Bush versus Gore,
I remember admiring David
because he would come out
and they'd ask him a question,
and he'd say, "Well,
we want this and we want this.
And this is
the right thing to do,"
and so on and so forth.
I'd find myself nodding my head.
( men laughing )
I'd go, "Stop that!"

We'd sort of talked
about the fact
that it would be fun
to work together on something,
and here was this
greatest opportunity of all.
( chuckles )
Good to see you.
( indistinct chatter )
We came together
as a single firm.
Everybody on that case
had a sense that what was
important was the mission.
( chattering )
( speaking indistinctly )
No time.
Once the decision was made
to file the case,
we needed plaintiffs,
two committed loving couples
who wanted to get married.
But you also had to find people
who were willing to
share their stories
with the world.
People who were
just like everybody else
and who were obviously
just like everybody else.
And those are
two different things.
We went through a very
extensive vetting process,
much like you would
with a political candidate.
We hired private investigators
to look into their past.
We hired opposition researchers
that we knew from politics
to look at every public document
that we could find about them.
We looked at photos.
We looked at records.
We looked at taxes.
We looked at everything,
because we wanted
to make sure
that they were absolutely
safe choices
to put in the spotlight that
we were about to put them in.
( cellphone ringing )
Hi, Elliot.
( man speaks over phone )
I'm almost there.
Where are you?
Are you in the back?
Out in front.
Oh. Well, then I'll probably
see you in one second.
Hey, Mom.
( car door closes )
Tanner really doesn't
need a ride?
Are you sure?
'Cause I don't mind.
Tanner's catering
at a wedding.
He's making like
130 bucks.
And I was like,
"Can I get in on that?"
He's like, "No."
I was like, "Oh!"
( laughing )
You want a little omelet
with avocados?
No. How about
a tortilla
with an egg
and a little bit
of hot sauce?
Sandy and I have four sons.
Each of us brought two sons
to our relationship.
She has Frank and Tom
that are two years apart.
And then I have
Spencer and Elliot
that are--
they're twins.
We really raised
our kids together.
My kids were
a little bit older.
Spencer and Elliot
were going to kindergarten.
When we started living together,
they were going to kindergarten.
So, we walked them to school
the first day together.
( gunfire on TV )
Good shot.
Perry: I am so glad to be a mom.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Love that.
Even if they are doing
something right now that
I wish they weren't doing.
It's so unnerving how they
twitch after they're dead.
You know?
When I first learned about
the possibility of the case,
it was actually from Kris.
We decided that we were
interested in it,
but we didn't wanna pursue it
unless our four boys
could also be supportive
and feel okay about it.
We met with them individually.
We actually had made a decision
that if anybody said no,
we wouldn't do it,
but none of them said no.
I really don't think
about it very much.
That we're a gay family.
I just--
I don't know.
It seems so secondary
to everything else.
( scoffs )
But it's more about
family-to-family relationships
than just, you know,
other kinds of activist
activities that we don't
have time for
at this point in our lives.
But I think
that's gonna change.
You can bend these.
( laughs )
These ornaments are heavy.
( chuckles )
Baby's first Christmas.
The decision to become
involved with the case
was something we wanted
to make sure we talked about
with our families.
My parents were in town
visiting us from New Jersey,
so we took 'em to lunch
and we started talking about
what this could mean,
where it could go.
My mom reached across the table
and she said--
she grabbed my hand
and she said,
"We'll support
you guys 100%."
I want him to be able
to marry the person
that he loves,
be happy,
have all the rights
that we all have.
It's as simple as that.
My sister was
the first person I spoke to,
'cause she's always been
an ally and my best friend.
She was like,
"Absolutely do this.
You must be this plaintiff.
You must do this with Jeff."
And then I was talking
to my mom.
I was a little nervous because
my mom was very sensitive.
I mean, she literally carries
holy water in her purse,
so I thought for sure there was
going to be a disconnect.
And it was funny
because with my mom,
she was like, "Listen,
do you love each other?"
"Yes." She says,
"I can see that."
So she said,
"This has nothing to do"
with faith or religion.
This has everything to do
with you being happy
"and being given the rights
that you deserve."
We love Paul.
( both chuckle )
Now I'm starting
to get emotional.
( both laugh )
No, we love him.
We really do.
If we had to pick
anybody for our son,
it would be Paul.

( camera shutters clicking )
We're ready.
You ready?
Everybody, yup.
( all quietly chattering )
Good morning.
My name is Chad Griffin,
and I'm here today
as the board president
of the American Foundation
for Equal Rights
and to introduce
the plaintiffs
and the legal team
that will be fighting
one of the most important
civil rights cases
in our nation's history.
This lawsuit is about
the courts saying
that no matter
how blind people may be,
the Constitution guarantees
that everyone deserves
the equal rights
that every human being
is entitled to.
When we announced the case,
one of the people
at the press conference
stood up and said,
"How can we trust
what you're doing
if you're doing it
with Ted Olson?"
There was a reaction
among conservatives that
I was somehow a traitor
to conservative beliefs.
It really is a betrayal
of everything that Ted Olson
has purported to stand for.
I don't know what's happened
to Ted Olson.
I have no clue.
Ted Olson used to be one of us.
Why do you feel so many
of your fellow conservatives
are so on the other side
of this issue?
Because I haven't had a chance
to talk to them all yet.
There was also
the paranoid backlash
that said,
"Ted Olson is a mole.
He has infiltrated
the movement
and he's gonna sabotage
the case."
Some of the organizations
that have been laboring
in the vineyard for years
to achieve equality
were suspect.
They didn't trust me.
Most of the gay organizations,
most of the progressive groups
fundamentally did not agree
with our strategy.
They felt like
this was too soon.
It was years before
this should be happening,
that public opinion
had not changed enough
and the makeup
of the Supreme Court was
not supportive.
In one meeting, actually,
one of the lawyers from
one of the groups
put together a dossier
on Ted Olson
about all the evil
and terrible things
he had done over the years
and why we couldn't
trust him,
and they said they would
take it to the press.
And what we said is...
"Please do go to the press
with that dossier
because that only helps
our case."
And actually,
at the end of that meeting,
they threw the memo at us.
( chuckles )
That was how bad it got.

All right, bring me up to speed.
What happened there?
They tried threatening us
and saying,
"People are gonna be upset.
You're gonna cause war and..."
Bring it on.
To think we spend more time
fighting with the LGBT leaders
and groups
than we spend on fighting
the right-wing nut jobs
that go after us every day
is just mind-boggling.
( elevator dings )
( chatter, laughter )
I like to remind myself
and everyone else why
this is so important.
It's for the young
LGBT teenager in Kansas,
Louisiana and Arkansas
and in places all over
this state
who see themselves
as second-class citizens
and who suffer
And thank you so much
to Ted Olson.
I don't think he realizes
the celebrity he will be
in Dupont Circle
and West Hollywood...
( laughter )
...and the Castro.
But expect to be on
a float someday soon.
( laughter )
I say that jokingly,
but in all sincerity
having you and you
bringing in David,
has really erased
the partisanship
out of an issue
that is so personal
and so, um, impactful
on people's lives.
I'm very very touched
by what you just said...
beyond my ability
to express it.
This may be--
I think, probably will be
the most important case
I've ever handled in my life
and the most important thing
that I've ever done as a lawyer
or as a person.
If we can be successful
in this case,
we can help millions
of people.

( footsteps approaching )
Griffin: "Republican Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger"
and Democratic Attorney
General Jerry Brown are
defendants in the lawsuit
by virtue
of their prominent position
in California government.
But both men oppose
the ban and have refused to
"to defend the suit in court."
So, in come
the interviewers,
which are
the "Yes on 8"
These are
the individuals
who basically
put together
the ballot initiative
that became Proposition 8.
So they're the ones
who are defending the case.
They're a pretty
well-funded group.
They've hired a really
really good law firm.
The lawyer that you guys know,
that I don't,
but that they've hired is
a credible, respected lawyer.
He's a real lawyer.
His credibility is
on the line.
He's not going
to put on crackpots.
The fundamental issue
in this case is whether
the people
of California,
as-- as--
as the ultimate sovereign
for the state of California,
have the right
to define marriage
as they did in Proposition 8
or whether that issue now
is going to be decided
by federal courts
and a federal judge.
How do you think you would do
if this went all the way
to the U.S. Supreme Court?
We are confident that
the Supreme Court's decisions
and their precedents
in all of the relevant
constitutional fields
that this case touch on
point clearly
to the conclusion that...
( thuds )
...the, uh--
( laughs )
( crowd chuckles lightly )
To the conclusion that
the people of California had
every right under our
federal Constitution to
define marriage
as they did.

Chuck Cooper was arguing
his motion to dismiss the case.
And Judge Walker asked him,
"What harm would occur if gay
people are allowed to marry?"
And this was
a big issue in the case,
because that was
the argument,
that these harms
would occur.
And there was this silence,
and it wasn't two seconds
or three seconds.
It was a discernable,
lengthy pause.
And Chuck finally said,
"I don't know.
I don't know."
And I leaned over
to Ted Olson and said,
"He just said 'I don't know.'"
And Ted Olson said,
"I know!"
( chuckles )
And we were just stunned,
because it went to the root
of the entire case.
Let's do categories.
Like, how are we getting
to the mainstream
national press?
What are we doing to get
to the gay press?
And we can't ever have a day
where each of those boxes
aren't filled with something.
So every single day,
we need to be the ones
handing them something
or someone else will be
handing them something.
Man on phone: All right.
All right, you guys,
six days to go.
( light chuckles )
Woman through phone: Whoo-hoo!

And so it begins.
I'm glad you don't
pack light.
I'm glad you don't
pack light either.
All right, I'm ready.
Reporter on phone:
Okay, you're ready? Good.
I got the "New York Times"
coming at 1:30.
And so, we can either
bring them in to do
a quick sit-down interview
with you.
Equal protection
means the protection
of equal laws.
We are not providing
the protection of equal laws
in California to
our gay and lesbian citizens.
We are denying them
the fundamental right
on the basis of
their sexual orientation.
And that violates
the Equal Protection Clause
and the Due Process Clause
of our Constitution.
I don't get very many
negative e-mails.
You know,
you'd think I would.
You would think that.
But for every one
that's negative,
I get 15 or 20
that's positive.
I'll print out one
that I just got.
So she said, "From now on"--
or something like that--
"we're gonna make you
an honorary lesbian."
( all laugh )
I said, "That's great."

Olson on computer:
Today the judge decided
that cameras will be permitted
in the courtroom
and there will be
a transmission of
the proceedings
available to the public
with a slight delay.
This is a great step
for the American people
and everyone affected
by Proposition 8
to have the opportunity
to see the justice system work.
It was an issue of
enormous public interest.
It was an issue that had
so many people who wanted
to attend,
and not everybody
could get into court.
And you had witnesses
who were going to testify
about very complicated,
sensitive subjects.
We thought that this was
a great case
to be broadcast.
The other side...
resisted mightily.
They're still
in the discovery hearing?
Male employee:
Oh, Jesus.
I just got emailed
from Chris. Still no--
That's crazy.
We've been having
this fight over documents:
what they will produce,
what they won't produce.
And it's now clear
that we're entitled
to lots of stuff that they've
been withholding from us.
Ethan Dettmer:
Just from a presentation
you obviously want to look
at Ted and get his leads.
And when he--
but it's perfectly okay
to look up
at the judge
and talk to him.
So I want to ask you
some questions
about your relationship
with Ms. Stier.
How long have you
and she been together?
For 10 years.
Did you want
to get married?
Well, I proposed
to Sandy in 2003.
The city and county
of San Francisco--
There was a decision
to allow same-sex couples
to get married
in 2004.
( laughter )
Sandy is the perfect match
for Kris.
And it's wonderful.
( Audience coos )
( cheering, applause )
Shortly thereafter,
it was invalidated.
Then later on,
we got a document
from the city and county
of San Francisco--
Tell me about
the document.
What happens is
you get a letter saying,
"Dear Kris Perry and
Sandra Stier,
we're letting you know
you are no longer
legally married.
That marriage that was performed
in San Francisco is invalid.
And if you would like
to have your filing fees
returned to you,
"you may have them
returned to you by check,"
or you can send it to charity
or something along those lines.
Just a form letter
in the mail saying,
"You thought you were married,
but you're not."
What does that say
to these people
that we invited to celebrate
our love for each other?
And I felt badly for making
them feel badly for us.
It's just this awkward circle
of guilt and shame.
Can you imagine
getting that in the mail?
As a straight married person,
that is unimaginable.
Perry: Mm-hmm.
And to the extent--
And we are trying to convince
straight married people
of the wrong of this.
Stier: Uh-huh.
That's a really
powerful thing.
Enrique Monages:
My husband and I, Jason,
got married before
Proposition 8 in October--
actually, on our
daughter's first birthday.
We are married,
but I knew that
when Proposition 8 passed,
that my marriage would
have an asterisk.
This is my fifth year
as an attorney,
but I've actually never been
in the courtroom.
So this is my first time
in trial.
( laughs )
Start big, you know?
Dettmer on computer:
Did you, yourself,
write articles, newsletters,
anything like that
that you
sent out to people--
to potential voters--
in support of
the Prop 8 campaign?
Uh, yes.
Man in office:
Okay, here's the beginning
of the crazy stuff.
It says, "Dear friends",
this November,
San Francisco voters
will vote on a ballot
to 'legalize prostitution.'
This is put forth by
the S.F. city government,
which is under the rule
of homosexuals.
They lose no time..."
Bill Tam was
one of the proponents
of Proposition 8.
So Bill Tam was
a defendant in the case.
We did discovery
into Bill Tam.
We recognized that
he had written some things
that really showed the animus
behind the campaign.
And as we started developing
that line of inquiry,
Bill Tam decided that
he didn't want to be part
of the case anymore.
So he's attempting
to withdraw as a party
to this case?
Ted Boutrous:
Yeah, he just
wants out now,
but we can still
call him as a witness.
Ah, well, let's make sure
we do that no matter what.
Yeah, yeah
All right,
so Tam trying to get out
of the case because--
so he can avoid
producing documents.
He does not want
to produce documents.
They know this is
the radioactive stuff,
so they're trying to basically
throw Tam overboard.
"Tam on the lam."
( chattering )
You know,
the stories are there.
And David's gonna do
most of the crosses, right?
He's gonna do
the crosses, yeah.
All the crosses,
it looks like.
He's so good at that.
He's great
at that.
Yeah, it's really-- it's
sort of a sight to behold.
The cross-examination is--
in some sense
is no different
than the direct examination.
You're still having
a conversation.
The difference is that
instead of having
a lawyer who's on your side
who's trying to ask questions
in a way that'll help you,
he's gonna be trying
to ask questions
in a way that will hurt.
California does allow you
to become domestic partners.
And, um, you and Mr. Zarrillo
have not done that.
We have not.
Um, don't you think
that would be a step
towards validating
your relationship?
I, in fact, think
it's the opposite.
It is validating the fact
that we're separate
and unequal.
And anytime you're dealing
with people's civil rights--
and the right to get married,
to me, is a civil right--
and you say,
"But there's something
that's lacking from there,"
you've created
a second class of citizen.
And you feel that way.
So by accepting
a domestic partnership,
we also accept being
second-class citizens,
and that was
unacceptable to us.
See, like that's
a perfect answer.
That really is
a really great answer.
I'd like
to show you...
something that
I pulled off of
your Facebook page.
And on that page,
you list yourself as
married to Kris Perry.
And you wear
a wedding ring?
I do.
So you've held
yourself out in public,
at least in some instances,
as married?
And you're aware--
I believe you testified
that in California,
registered domestic partners
have the vast majority
of legal rights and benefits
that a married couple
would have in California?
Yes, I am.
So you've made
the public demonstration
of commitment,
You can hold yourself out
as married in society
and you have the same
legal rights and benefits
as if you were married
in California.
That's right?
And you testified
on direct examination
that you view this lawsuit
as a civil rights issue?
Yes, I do.
And I believe you
analogized yourself
to the couples that fought
interracial marriage
so nobly
in the late '60s?
That fought for
interracial-- Okay.
So you knew that this could
be a high-profile trial?
There'd be media coverage.
I knew that
it was possible.
Um, I'd like to turn back
to your Facebook page.
And there's a little
section right there
that says
"About Me."
Do you see that?
And that's something
that you wrote?
And your description
from yourself was,
"Middle-aged mom with
delusions of grandeur"?
I have
no further questions.
( all laughing )
I am so sorry.
That is so mean.
What the hell?
I-- I am so--
Perry: Oh my God!
That's so bad.
I'm so sorry.
( laughs )
I'm so sorry.
( laughing )
( laughing )
I'm so sorry.
It's just when you gave me
the civil rights thing,
I just had to use it.

These are our exhibits
that have been printed out.
This is without
the supplementals.
And this is one copy?
Wow, wow.
This is one side.
And this is all
Oh, my God.
Team effort.
You guys,
monumental job.
So now we're onto
the other side's evidence.
The other side's--
And they have more.
They said they had
tens-of-thousands of documents.
We got 1400 today,
and we're expecting more
throughout the week.
Rebecca Lazarus:
Did you look at my article?
( muttering )

It's called--
( chuckles )
It has this nice
picture of a baby
and, "21 Reasons
Why Gender Matters."
"Gender disorientation
Oh, yes, that's
what they call it.
"Gender disorientation
pathology encourages
the sexual and psychological
exploitation of children.
The sad truth is,
homosexual abuse of children
is proportionally higher
"than heterosexual abuse
of children."
Look, it's even better
in full color.
Look at this pretty baby.
Oh, that is so cute.
It is tough
to say it exists.
I know, I know.
Oh my God.
He really said this stuff?
Yeah, and--
you know--
I mean, this is the--
you know-- all right.
"Does this society
So can we talk about--
"...gender disorientation
I know,
don't you love it?
" our peril?"
This is the sort
of document--
You may suffer from
gender disorientation
Now that the CATO Institute
Ted, you might want
to hear this.
I was just saying that
it was one thing
to have your surprise support
for gay marriage,
and we all know
that Cheney supports it.
But after the CATO chairman
supporting it,
I think we're all
rethinking our own support
for gay marriage.
( laughs )
So we must be wrong.
We're thinking--
( laughs )
we're thinking we may
be on the wrong side.
You better make up your mind
before Monday.
( all laughing )
( quiet chatter )
I want to make sure
that we've covered
ways in which you think
you experience
because you are a lesbian.
I've experienced
in what I describe
as really subtle
daily remi--
daily ways,
but it still causes
a huge amount
of emotional strain
to know that
you're a minority,
to know that people
don't like your--
your-- who you are,
and who you just are.
As hard as it is,
it's like probably
the thing that makes me
a stronger person than
a lot of other people.
Does it also weaken you
in any way?
Or made your life
less fulfilling
or happy?
Um, I-- I think so,
because I can't imagine
how you feel excluded
and feel happy
about it.
The sad parts,
I feel like...
( sniffles )
I'm okay with them,
because it's--
I'd rather be who I am today
than somebody who...
( sniffles )
never felt challenged
and never had to find out
who they really were.
And I know--
I know who I am.
Has anybody ever given
you an explanation
that makes sense
to you
about why you can't
get married?
Just-- um...
no, they haven't.
It's just that
it's too dis--
it's too upsetting and
disruptive to other people.
I don't think it's ever
really been about me.
I have
no further questions.
You did a great job.
How you doing?
( scoffs )
You prepared for
all these questions.
Really good.
Well, that's why I didn't
really follow the outline.
( all laughing )
That was intense.
( elevator dings )
( both sigh )
( laughs )

Andy Pugno on computer:
We really are relieved
to finally catch a break
in this case.
In many ways,
the defense
of Prop 8
and the will
of the voters
has been put
at a disadvantage
over and over again.
This intervention
by the Supreme Court
to not have these
proceedings televised
really improves our ability
to get a fair
and impartial trial.
( sighs )

I'm gonna go make
a PDF of this,
so that I can put it
on top of that document.
There are
lawyers everywhere
looking at every possible
angle of how to do this.
I love cross-examination,
but every time you're
cross-examining somebody,
you're cross-examining
somebody who is up there
trying to give
evidence against you.
Okay? And you may
nick 'em a lot,
but they're still gonna
get something in.
Olson: Mm-hmm.
The more that's
in the record,
benefits them.
My only disagreement
with that
is that they will--
it's then not a contest
of the evidence.
Here's the evidence, okay?
And then,
here's the evidence.
And I-- okay?
This is us
and this is them.
I don't want
to make that bigger.
( chuckles )
So, um...
anything else?
A lot of emotions.
( no discernable dialog )

The first day of trial,
we just laid there
in the dark
holding hands,
"Oh no, oh no, oh no."
I think for Sandy and I,
the fear around the kids--
you know, what could happen
to us as women,
and mothers,
and bosses--
I just remember
just feeling stricken
and just very anxious.
Really, my stomach
was in knots
the entire morning.
( people chattering )
I remember going
to bed that night,
and there really
wasn't much sleep...
'cause they told me
the night before
that they wanted to make
a statement to the press,
and they wanted me
to make the statement
because I was gonna
be the first one to testify.
All right then.
Hey, you want to
practice your--
your speech with us--
or with me?
Oh, sure. Okay.
Let's go in
the other room and...
We'll walk up to podium
and Paul--
Good morning.
Thank you all
for being here.
My name's Jeff Zarrillo.

This is Paul,
Kris and Sandy.
And we're all Americans
who simply want
to get married
just like everyone else.
Your tone is right.
The speed is right.
So just walk out,
take a few breaths,
make sure you
feel comfortable,
and then just
walk out and say it.
It's just such
an emotional thing.
I know,
and you know what?
And that's okay.
( laughs )
And that's okay.
We're so glad
we found you
and that it's
your voice today.
( choked up )
Thank you.
And just think,
tonight we're gonna
drink heavily.
( both laughs )
( exhales )
I needed that. Ha ha.
Good to go?
Smile, relax.
All right?
( sighs )

( cameras shutters clicking )
Good morning
and thank you all
for being here.
My name's Jeff Zarrillo.
This is Paul,
Kris and Sandy.
And we're all Americans
who simply want to get married
just like everyone else.
We believe
in our constitution
and that the courts
will lead the way
to equality like they have
so many times in the past.
Thank you.
Is this an emotional
day for you?

Sorry, no questions.
That moment broke the ice.
It was the first time
we were in front
of so much media.
It was the first time
we had to kind of settle into
what was going to happen.
You know, we have
to take the stand today.
I've never been
as nervous in my life
as the first day of trial.
Even though we're ready,
there was this weight of,
"I can't mess this up."
I can't.
I have to represent me.
( emotionally )
And I have to represent
my relationship.
I have to represent
so many people out there
that are fighting.
"And, Paul, just
don't mess it up."

Dustin Lance Black:
Over the past months,
I've gotten to know
these plaintiffs.
Their love is true and
their families are strong.
And to hear
their stories
is to know
that they deserve
full equality,
that their families
deserve full recognition.
And now, thank God--
now is the time
for the world to
get to know Kris, Sandra,
Paul and Jeff.
And I cannot wait for America
to meet these plaintiffs.
Wow, do they have
the streets shut down?
Wow, look at all those
camera trucks.
We can no longer wait
for one more young person
to be born into this world,
to be born into
this country being told
that they are less than,
that their country considers
them second-class citizens.
We cannot wait for one more
of these young people
to hear those words
and to take his or her own life
or have it tragically
taken from them.

We walked into
the federal courthouse
and in the lobby near
the elevator was a poster
that said,
"Perry v. Schwarzenegger."
And I had never seen my name
listed as the only name
on anything.
I felt more weight
on my shoulders
of, "Okay, this is you.
This is you.
And now-- and now you have
to really do this."
The court opened.
And we took our seats.
And I remember sitting
on those hard benches
for the very first time.
I remember
my leg shaking so much
that Jeff put
his hand on my leg,
like, "You need
to relax and calm down."
So you just kind of
sit there
and you're soaking
everything in.
You're looking at the clock,
and I swear you can hear
the second hand tick.
As Chief Judge Walker
entered that courtroom,
you could really
hear a pin drop.
Judge Walker sits down.
"Mr. Olson,
call your first witness."
And David
stood up and said,
"The plaintiffs call
Jeffrey Zarrillo."
I said to him,
after just a couple
preliminary questions,
"Why do you want
to get married?"

"The word 'marriage'
has special meaning.
It's why we're here today.
I want to be able
to share the joy
and the happiness
that my parents felt,
that my brother felt,
my friends, my coworkers,
my neighbors,
of having the opportunity
to be married.
He's the love of my life.
I love him probably more
than I love myself.
I would do
anything for him.
"I would put his needs
ahead of my own."

I had a reaction
that was audible,
and that's so unlike me.
But I like gasped because
the emotion came up so strongly.
And I remember people around me
kind of looking at me,
but it's when he said,
"I love him more
than I love myself."
And I gasped because
I thought...
( emotionally )
"God, I feel the same way
about you."
He helped me live my truth,
and I wanted to
make sure that I was able
to articulate that
to the people
in that courtroom
and most importantly
to the judge.
And when David said,
"I have no further questions,"
I thought to myself, "Okay,
you've got cross-examination
to get through,
so let's just see
how that goes."
And then they didn't
cross-examine Jeff.
Jeff was coming off the stand,
I was being called
and we had to obviously
cross paths.
And I kissed him...
because that's what I do.
I mean, that's what we do.
We're a couple.
He just went through
this experience,
and it wasn't brazen
and it wasn't meant
to mean anything
besides that we love each other,
we support each other
and that was it.
I think some blogger
after that said,
"It was the brazen kiss
in a federal courtroom."
I'm like, "Not at all."
It really just
boiled down
to would he get
And he did.
I'm so nervous now
I can't feel my face,
because I thought
I had gotten through
the don't-mess-it-up-Paul part.
But now it really mattered,
because I didn't know
what they were gonna
come after me with.
( television clicks )
Mom, guess what
I learned in school today.
What, sweetie?
I learned how
a prince married a prince.
And I can marry
a princess.
Think it can't happen?
It's already happened.
In my deposition,
I really talked about
the Yes on 8 campaign
and how it affected me
and people around me.
I was incredibly... kind.
I answered every question,
was very respectful
to the situation.
I think that
the opposing counsel
thought that
they could break me
because of that.
I honestly do.
I think they thought,
"This guy's a little softer
than the others,
so we'll get him
to say something
really stupid."

And I remember at one point,
I just sat up and I said
something back like,
"That's not what I said."
And I think from there on
I was actually kind of
fighting back.
"Protect the children
is a big part of the campaign."
And when I think of
protecting your children,
you protect them from people
who will perpetrate crimes
against them,
people who might get them
hooked on a drug,
a pedophile, or some person
that you need protecting from.
That my getting
married to Jeff
is going to harm
some child somewhere--
it's so damning
and it's so angering
because I love kids.
If you put my nieces
and nephews on the stand now,
I'd be the cool uncle.
My state is supposed
to protect me.
"It's not supposed
to discriminate against me."
And I remember both
Ted and David looking at me
and shaking their heads.
I remember
David had a pen
in his hand.
And I remember his hand
going up and down
like, "Yes, yes, yes."
I don't think there is
somebody with feeling
that can help... but say,
"How in the world
could we deprive him
of that?
What in the world
are we doing as a society
when we say, 'No,
"you can't marry
that person who you love'?"
Being on the witness stand
is a very vulnerable
place to be.
You're the only
voice in the room.
You're being
asked questions
that you can't
necessarily anticipate about--
for us, anyway--
about very, very personal
components of your life.
I felt extremely grateful
that Ted was our lawyer
and that he was the person
who was asking me questions.

"How do you feel about
being a plaintiff
in a case trying to change
the Constitution?"
"I think there are immediate,
very real and very desirable
personal gains
that I would experience.
And, of course, close family.
But on a different level,
you know, as a parent,
you're always thinking about
the other generation--
the next generation because,
well, for us,
they're in our house.
So I really do think
about that generation
and the possibility of
having grandchildren someday
and having them
live in a world where
they grow up,
and whoever they fall
in love with, it's okay,
because they
can be honored.
And they could be
true to themselves.
And they can
be accepted by society
and protected
by their government.
And as somebody who is from
one of those conservative
little pockets of the country
where there isn't necessarily
a lot of difference
in the types of people
that are there,
having legal protections
is everything.
It's important for these kids
that don't have ready access
to different types of people
to at least feel
like the option
to be true to yourself
is something
that they can have, too.
And that's what I hope for.
I hope for something
for Kris and I,
but we--
we're big strong women.
You know, we're in a good place
in our lives right now.
So we would benefit
from it greatly,
but other people over time,
I think, would benefit
"in such a profound
life-changing way."

"If the courts
of the United States
ultimately decided
that you
and other persons seeking
to marry someone of the same sex
could indeed--
did indeed
have the constitutional right
to get married,
do you think that would
have an effect
"on other acts
of discrimination against you?"
"I believe for me,
personally as a lesbian,
that if I had grown up
in a world
where the most
important decision
I was going to make as an adult
was treated the same way
as everybody else's decision,
that I would not have been
treated the way I was
growing up
or as an adult.
So if Prop 8 were undone
and kids like me growing up
in Bakersfield right now
could never know
what this felt like,
then I assume that
their entire lives
would be on a higher arc.
They would live with
a higher sense of themselves
"that would improve the quality
of their entire life."

It was powerful, I think,
to connect the dots...
spontaneously on the stand
in a way that
I hadn't really done,
and then realize
that you've been living
under this blanket of...
Everywhere you turn,
people tell you, "Tough shit.
I mean, you don't
get to have that."
You don't get to feel
protected at work.
You don't get to feel
like your kids are like
other people's kids.
You don't get to feel like
your relationship's like
other relationships.
You have to come out every
single day everywhere you go,
and good luck with that
because that's never fun.
And it was like,
"Oh, so this--"
this isn't just
about me not being
a strong enough person.
This is what the whole
lesbian-gay community's
dealing with
and, frankly, probably
any minority group member
"deals with too."
It was kind of like
a major "aha" moment
for me to feel like--
It's not just that--
it isn't just me,
but it is me.
It actually has been me.
And I had done
a really, really good job
of just coping, coping,
coping, coping,
like I'm
the world's best coper.
You know, well,
that's a really low bar, Kris.
Other people have a bar
called happiness
or satisfaction
or, you know, pride.
It was very emotional.
It's very emotional
going up there.
It's very emotional finishing
and coming and sitting down
and seeing your family,
um, and everything.
For us,
seeing that the kids there--
and they were in tears.
By the end of the day,
we were all really wiped out
from our own testimony
and listening to each other.
( laughter, cheering )
Oh my God.
Just wait.
Back at the office,
we had experts
being prepared
and working to figure out
exactly what
we we're gonna present
to the court the next day.
And we had the best experts
on these issues in the world.
Lee Badgett:
Allowing same-sex
couples to marry
has had no effect
on the institution
of marriage.
And there is no evidence
of any effect
on heterosexual couples
and their children.
( chattering )
Marriage has lasted
because it has changed.
I think it's
been crucial
to the continuing
existence and vitality
of the institution.
Can I ask you--
Is there any other
identity group
required to fight for
fundamental civil rights
other than gay and
lesbian individuals
in terms of the law?
Gary Segura:
In the contemporary
political environment,
I cannot think of any group
who has faced
the level, the frequency,
and the breadth
of the contests over
basic rights.
We are nowhere close
to having
an anti-discrimination regime
for gays and lesbians
that would mimic that for
women or for African Americans
or the protections of
the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Michael Lamb:
Children raised by gay
and lesbian parents
are just as
likely to be
as those raised
by heterosexual
No more questions.
( phone rings )
Dettmer on phone:
Hey, it's Ethan.
Great news.
You mean Tam?
Tam is no longer
on the lam?
( chuckles )
We really were able
to turn the tables
on our opponents
in this litigation.
Okay, so what I'd
asked you to do
is turn to the second page
of the translation--
William Tam was
the last person
that Chuck Cooper
and the proponents
wanted to have testify.
We'd put him on
as a witness to show
that at least part
of the campaign
in support of Proposition 8
was motivated by ill-will
and discriminatory animus.
Dettmer: It says,
"Because the majority
of male homosexuals
live an indulgent lifestyle,
they suffer from AIDS
and other serious illnesses,
and many of them die.
Therefore, there is a need
to attract new blood
into the ranks
of the homosexuals.
attracting young people
to become homosexuals
has become
an important method
of maintaining
the population.
If same-sex marriage
is legalized,
attracting children
will be much easier
"than it is currently."
Do you believe
what's stated there
to be accurate
and true?
David asked Dr. Tam about
some of these more
inflammatory materials
that were out there.
And David Boies said,
"Do you believe those things?
Um, do you think that
those things are true?"
Um, and he said yes.
And David said,
"How do you know that
they're true?"
And he said,
"They're on the internet."

( phone beeps )
Automated voice:
4:29 a.m.
Man on phone:
You stinkin' dykes!
Marriage is between
one man and one woman only!
God set it up that way
and that's the way
it's gonna be.
We started getting calls
at all hours,
just like this
steady stream of hate
that came across the phone.
Man on phone:
I think it's really
that you're raising kids.
And you can tell
those other faggots
that's doing
the case with you
that I hope they both
die of AIDS.
( beeps )

They became the target
of a lot of hatred.
They were now the face
of what many people
feared the most.
( people chatter )
Male Protester:
...on you!
Shame on you!
Shame on you!
You are
an abomination!
You may one day
have a matrimony,
but God will never
give you a holy matrimony.
Shame on you!
We took it
incredibly seriously,
because we never
how hateful
the reaction would be
of certain people.
The defendants had
identified six witnesses,
expert witnesses,
that they expected
to call at trial.
Woman: Do you swear
to tell the truth and
just the truth?
I do.
Could you give
me your name?
Katherine K. Young.
David Boies took several
of those depositions
and really devastated
those witnesses
in video taped depositions,
so that they backed out
of the trial.
Do you believe that
children are advantaged
by increasing the durability
of the relationship
of the couple
raising them?
And can you believe that
allowing gay couples
to marry
will increase
the durability
of those gay couples'
Okay, I'd say yes.
Okay, and increasing
the durability
of those relationships
is beneficial to
the children that
they're raising.
Correct? Okay.
On that one factor, yes.
All of the witnesses
in effect melted away
except for
David Blankenhorn.

Blankenhorn has no real
expertise of his own,
but he's read things
in all these fields,
so they're gonna try
and dump in
100 pieces from fields
where he's not an expert.
And that's how
they're gonna prove it,
'cause he's really
all they have left.
He's literally--
they hold up as the expert
on all subjects.
Cooper has referenced him
probably six or eight times.
Tim: Do you want me
to go through it?
Just tell me a few things.
I'd kind of like
to know a few things.
Um, he's not a doctor.
He has no PhD.
He does have a Masters.
His Masters' thesis was on
cabinet makers
in Victorian Britain.
( laughs )
Now we got
a profile piece.
Who's not gonna
have fun with that?
My name is
David Blankenhorn.
I'm the President
of the Institute for
American Values
in New York City--
a think tank.
I'd written a book called
"The Future of Marriage"
where I looked
at the sort of history
and purpose of marriage
as a social institution.
And I said
in the testimony
that arguably
the main purpose
of the institution
was to establish lines
of parenthood.
If we were not a species
that reproduced sexually--
I mean, if babies just arrived
from the stork, you know,
in a bucket, we would not
have this thing called marriage.
The experience
of watching David Boies
cross-examine the other side's
principal witness--
it is like magic.
Before you can get a witness
to admit the truth...
sometimes you have
to get the witness
to understand
what the truth is.
It was like kind of watching
a train wreck coming.
( laughs )
You know?

People think that
this happens all the time
because they see it happen
on television--
what we used to call
a "Perry Mason" moment
when the witness breaks down
and confesses.
Well, that does not happen.
But it sort of does happen
when David does it.
I'm fairly sure
that if I was asked
all those same
questions again today,
I would answer them
the same way.
David just sort of
took him down this trail,
and pretty soon
at the end of the thing,
Blankenhorn was saying
we would be,
in this country, more American
the day that
gays and lesbians
were allowed to get married.
And he said that
children in a gay family
would be better off
if their parents were allowed
to get married.
So Blankenhorn wound up
giving testimony
that was better for us
than anything we could have
possibly asked for.
( chattering )
( camera shutters clicking )
For his closing arguments,
Ted Olson gave a rebuttal.
That was the best
30 minutes of argument
I've ever heard.
It put
the whole case together.
It was seamless.
It reads as if it were
written out in advance,
but it wasn't and
obviously couldn't have been,
because what he's doing
is he's responding
to what the other side
has just argued.

"The argument that
Mr. Cooper makes
is essentially
the same argument
that was made
to the Loving court.
And we stand here
today thinking,
how could that have been?
In 1967, that's
only 40 years ago,
we would have punished
as a felony
in the state of Virginia
the President's
mother and father
"if they had tried
to travel there and be married."
"I believe, Your Honor,"
that there is
a political tide running.
I think that people's
eyes are being opened.
People are becoming more
understanding and tolerant.
The polls tell us that.
But that does not justify
a judge in a court
to say,
'I really need the polls
to be just
a few points higher.
I need someone to go out
and take the temperature
of the American public
before I can
break this barrier
and break down
this discrimination.'
Some judge is going
to have to decide
what we've asked
you to decide.
And there will
never be a case
with a more thorough
presentation of the evidence.
And I submit,
at the end of the day,
'I don't know' and
'I don't have any evidence'--
with all due respect
to Mr. Cooper--
does not cut it.
It does not cut it
when you are taking away
the constitutional rights,
basic human rights,
and human decency
from a large group
of individuals.
That is not acceptable.
It's not acceptable
under our constitution.
And Mr. Blankenhorn
is absolutely right.
"The day that we end that,
we will be more American."
( chatter )
( cameras clicking )
Now we've had
the closing arguments.
And the judge will then
consider the evidence
and render a decision.
The losing party
can appeal
to the United States court
of appeals for the ninth
Depending upon
what that court does,
then the next step--
if either party
chooses to take it--
is the United States
Supreme Court.
There's too many variables
in the potential schedule
to try to predict
a timeline.
( chatter )
So as I understand it,
they're going
to announce today
that the decision's
coming tomorrow afternoon.
All right, thanks.

We need to be ready
for either outcome.
We could win.
We could lose.
We were told to have
a bag ready by the door.
It was a whirlwind
and we just thought,
"We were hoping
for a great ruling.
Here we go."
( bangs )
How funny to look up
and there you are.
And there I am.
How you doing?
How are you, sir?
There he is honey.
Good to see you,
Oh, boy, I'll say.
Boy, it looks
like old times.
All right, my friend.
I'm used to--
in the Supreme Court,
you know,
you argue a case,
and then it's five months,
six months, seven months
before there's a decision.
So the wait is--
So I'm used to that,
but this is different
because it involves you
and you.
It's a little intense.
We're definitely
pacing the floors
for sure.
There he is.
( laughs )
So how long do you think
the opinion will be?
How many pages?
My guess is
it's gonna be more
than 50 pages.
But there is a sense
in which
what's most
important to us
in the overall litigation
are the findings of fact.
Stier: Mm-hmm.
I thought this was pizza.
They said
there was pizza.
If there's pizza,
I haven't seen it.
Well, what is it?
Uh, tacos.

( quiet chatter )
( chatter )
The lawyers were
gathered in a room,
and we were
in another conference room.
( breathes deeply )
I'm not used
to this at all.
This is completely unlike
any other day
of my entire life.
( laughs )
I got in the elevator
with Chad last night
and he said good night.
And he said,
"Tomorrow when we wake up,
our lives will
forever be changed."
One way or the other.

( knocks )
We got this massive
piece of paper,
which was
130-something pages long.
And we had to try to figure
out immediately
what was decided.
We were given
an hour or so
to read and evaluate
the decision before
it was gonna be made available
to the general public.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
Can I see
the four of you?
I remember my heart just...
( mimics explosion )
in my chest.
We walked into the room...
and the legal team was there.
And they shut the door.
( whispers )
Let's see if
we hear anything.
( muffled dialog )
And Ted's there...
eating a piece of pizza
with his tie--
I remember specifically,
he had his tie
flipped over his shoulder.
( mouthing )
Griffin: Wow.
Wow is good.
Yeah, that's good.
I like wow.
( giggles )
Wow is good.
And then Ted looks up
from his pizza
and says, "We won."

Both Sandy and I were
just very emotional.
It was like the kind of crying
that you only feel
once in a great while,
because you have
so much joy.
I remember just both
Ted and David were crying.

So if we can all
go into one room,
to this room...
Is it official?
I don't know.
It was the broadest ruling
we could have hoped for.
Proposition 8
is unconstitutional.
It violates
the Equal Protection Clause.
It violates
the Due Process Clause
of the 14th Amendment.
This was the first decision
by a federal court
that under
the federal Constitution,
which obviously applies
to all 50 states,
that marriage discrimination
was unconstitutional.
"Euphoric" was
an understatement
of how everybody felt.
We had worked so hard
and we put our hearts
and souls into this case.
We were five feet
off the ground.
Good evening,
breaking news tonight
in America's national debate
about what defines a family.
By striking down Proposition 8,
Judge Walker--
a Republican appointee--
declared that...
Now, the judge stayed his ruling
from going into effect,
so they'll be no gay marriages
in California just yet.
This case is headed
for an appeal, Diane,
no question.
( camera shutters clicking )
And then our opponents
immediately did
something desperate
and put forth
the motion to vacate.
Judges must
apply the law
in a way
that avoids even
the mere appearance
of partiality.
Thus, no reasonable person
would be in error to believe
that Judge Walker,
in ruling that
he and his long-time partner
may now receive
a marriage license
anywhere in the state
of California,
appears to have ruled
in his own case.
At the time that
the case was brought
the judge was
known to be gay.
And the other side
was asked,
"Are you gonna
make an issue
of the fact that
the judge is gay?"
And they said, "No, we're not
gonna make an issue of that."
Persons of color
are entitled to rule
on civil rights cases
involving race.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
was an advocate
her entire career
for the rights of women.
And she went
on the Supreme Court
and has handled cases involving
gender discrimination.
The only reasonable
course of action
remains for
the ninth circuit
to fully vacate
Judge Walker's decision
and order the case be retried
by a neutral judge.

This-- what I found
to be offensive--
motion to vacate
the judgment
was ultimately rejected
by the new Chief Judge,
rejected by the ninth circuit
court of appeals.
And then we turned--
we were able to turn back
to the merits of the case
and the merits of the appeal
in the ninth circuit.

Charles Cooper:
The key reason
that marriage
has existed at all
in any society
and at any time
is that sexual relationships
between men and women
naturally produce children.
And basically they're now
saying Proposition 8
needs to be enacted
because the existence
of same-sex marriage
will somehow make children
prematurely occupied
with issues of sexuality.
That is nonsense.
If that was
a justification,
it would equally warrant
banning comic books,
television, video games,
and conversations
with other children.
( laughter )
And this question
of standing came up
and whether the proponents
actually had the standing
to be there.
In order to invoke
the jurisdiction
of this court,
the appellants here
must have
a personal, concrete,
particularized injury.
And they don't.
Stephen Reinhardt:
Boies, if the California law
does not specifically authorize
the proponents,
why shouldn't we ask
the California Supreme Court
what the law is in California?
So off we went to
the California Supreme Court.
( gavel bangs )
Courtroom Officer:
The honorable Chief Justice
and Associate Justices
of the Supreme Court
of California.
Hear ye, hear ye,
Hear ye.
The right of initiative
is precious to the people.
Briefs were filed and
an argument was made.
The California Supreme Court
upheld the standing
of the proponents,
and then it went back
to the ninth circuit court
of appeals.
Thank you very much.
Thank all of you
for a fascinating argument.
The court will
stand adjourned.

( gavel bangs )
The whole process
has been
a game of on and off.
So you're waiting
and then you're not waiting.
And then you're waiting again,
and then you're not waiting.

( distant chatter )
( lawyers chatter )
( chuckling )
Here we go.
Got it, got it, got it.
You got it?
We got it?
We got it?
"...All parties agree that
Prop 8 had one effect only."
It stripped
same couples
of the ability to marry.
Nothing more,
nothing less.
It could not have been
an act
to advance
a legitimate interest.
It serves no purpose,
"has no effect, other than
to lessen the status..."
All right, guys,
it's a win.
It's a win.
Great job.
( applause )
( excited chatter )
Rob Reiner:
Guys, congratulations.
I know.
( chuckles )
( chattering )

The ninth circuit
court of appeals
acknowledged that
once people had a right
in California,
it could not have been
taken away from them.
"Proposition 8
serves no purpose
and has no effect
other than
to lessen the status
of human dignity
of gays and lesbians
in California
and to officially
reclassify their
relationships and families
"as inferior to those
of opposite-sex couples."
That's it.
That's so great.
It is.
Before we filed this case,
it truly was seen
as a lefty liberal--
not even democratic-- issue.
Most democrats--
most democratic leaders,
including our president,
were opposed
to marriage equality.
I am absolutely comfortable
with the fact
that men marrying men
and women marrying women
are entitled to
the same exact rights.
I think same-sex couples
should be able to get married.
I have never
in my life
seen that
dramatic a change
in the polls
in such a short period
of time on an important issue
on any subject, ever.
The stunning reversal
by a leading conservative
on the issue of gay marriage.

News Anchor:
Alaskan Senator
Lisa Murkowski,
now the third G.O.P. Senator
to come out in support
of gay marriage
along with Senators
Rob Portman of Ohio
and Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Well, since the Perry case,
we've won ballot initiatives
in Maine, Minnesota,
and Washington state.
The legislature has passed
marriage equality bills
in Rhode Island,
in Delaware.
One of the things
that caused me to come
to a new belief
about the whole issue
of gay marriage
was just like
learning a little bit
and meeting people.
If you just have
this tissue of belief
that separates you
from other people,
that you don't
really see them
and see their lives--
that you just have this
kind of wall of doctrine
or belief--
which I had--
that keeps you
from relationships
with other people
and trying to see their lives
from their point of view--
that stunts you.
That stunted me.
It's not often that
one says something
and then it just
kind of like a boom.
Like, you know,
there was a big boom.
When I talk about
anti-gay animus
being connected to
opposition to gay marriage,
I'm talking about something
that's infected all of us.
I've always loved the line
by Solzhenitsyn.
And he said, "The line
separating good and evil
does not run
between you and me,
but down the middle
of every human heart."
That's what I think.

( camera shutter clicks )
On March 26th of 2013,
our case will be heard
in front of
the U.S. Supreme Court.
And it's been four years--
four years since
we filed this lawsuit.
And now we're in the--
on the last lap.
We can see the finish line.
Come a little...
( indiscernible dialog )

( clicking )
It's very,
very nice.
We're still on hold because
they can't stop appealing.
There are challenges
and opportunities.
The challenges are
you can lose
and everything
stays the same
and those lower court
rulings don't matter--
which would be devastating--
or you can win
in a very decisive
and final way.
I'm cautiously optimistic.
I'm worried.

( chatter )
The Supreme Court
granted cert in two cases:
Our case
challenging Proposition 8
and another case
challenging the
constitutionality of DOMA,
the "Defense of Marriage Act,"
which was
a federal law that
confined federal benefits
that would go to married persons
to marriages defined as
being between a man and a woman.
So we had both cases coming
up the Supreme Court
and also helped make this
a major, major event,
focusing public
global attention
on the issue
of marriage equality.

I was really planning
to come Monday morning,
and then I read reports
that said
there were already
people out here,
so I came Saturday instead.
I think that these
have the potential to
be landmark cases.
This case is really
important to me,
and I know
it's gonna be historic,
so I wanted to be in
the courtroom to hear it.
I would just say that
from my scriptural understanding
that homosexuality
would be sinful.
And so I don't think
the state should recognize it.
I've been with my partner
27 years.
She's a school teacher,
so she doesn't get
social security,
but if we were married
and straight,
she would get
my social security
if something happened to me.
I have military benefits.
I'm retired military.
She gets nothing.
I came from
Mountain View, California.
I just drove in last night.
I feel really fortunate
to be here.

( chatter )
We were originally planning
to split the argument
between Ted and myself
the way we did
in the court of appeals.
However, we also hoped
to get the Solicitor General
to come in.
And so one of the things
that I said from the beginning
was that if we could get
the Solicitor General
to come in,
I would cede my time--
the time I would
otherwise have argued--
to the Solicitor General...
'cause I thought it
was really important
that the administration
be here
with us on this issue.
( chattering )
It's always hard
to sit there
and have somebody else
to an argument.
On the other hand,
this is Ted's real strength.
If there's ever anybody
who I'd be comfortable
sitting and listening to,
it's gonna be Ted.

They say
that all you have
to be able to do
is count to five.
So we need five Justices,
but David Boies and I
have committed ourselves
to try to win over
every single Justice
on that court.
Hi, how are you?
How are you?
I'm good.
I'm okay.
Kind of weepy.
I know.

( distant chatter )
( all sigh )
There's no turning back.
( laughs )
( people shouting )
( cheering )
( chatter )
Griffin: All right,
let's stay close
'cause we're
now in the--
up to the front.
And we're
not with friends.
Stay close. Follow--
( crowd chatters )
Man in crowd:
Good luck, guys.
Thank you, guys.
( cheering, whistling )
( applause )
One man, one woman!
One man,
one woman!
One man, one woman!
One man,
one woman!
One man, one woman!
( overlapping chanting )
( horn blows )
( clamoring )
( horn blares )
( overlapping shouts )
( sirens wailing )
( chanting )
Gay, straight, black, white,
marriage is a civil right.
Gay, straight,
black, white,
marriage is
a civil right.
John Roberts:
You'll hear argument
this morning
in case 12144,
Hollingsworth versus Perry.
Mr. Cooper?

Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice,
and may it please the Court:
New York's highest court,
in a case similar to this one,
remarked that until
quite recently,
it was an accepted truth
for almost everyone
who ever lived in any society
in which marriage existed--
Uh, Mr. Cooper,
we have jurisdictional
and merits issues here.
Maybe it'd be best
if you could begin
with the standing issue.
I'd be happy to,
Mr. Chief Justice.
We knew all along
that a ticking time bomb
for the proponents
of Proposition 8
was the standing issue.
They hadn't been injured.
They had--
none of the proponents
were affected
by Proposition 8.
But as a legal matter,
we knew that there were
Justices on the Supreme Court
who might not agree
with us on the merits
who were highly likely
to go with us
on the standing issue.
And we knew
if we won on standing
in the Supreme Court,
that meant
Proposition 8 was dead.
Elena Kagan:
Mr. Cooper, could I just
understand your argument?
Reading the briefs,
it seems as though
your principal argument
is that
same-sex and
opposite-sex couples
are not similarly situated
because opposite-sex couples
can procreate,
same-sex couples cannot,
and the State's principal
interest in marriage
is in regulating procreation.
Is that basically correct?
I-- Your-- Your Honor,
that's the essential thrust
of our position, yes.
Stephen Breyer:
What precisely is the way
in which allowing gay couples
to marry would interfere
with the vision of marriage
as procreation of children
that allowing sterile couples
of different sexes
to marry would not?
I mean, there're lots
of people who get married
who can't have children.
The concern is
that redefining marriage
as a genderless institution
will sever
its abiding connection
to it's historic
procreative purposes.
And it will refocus--
refocus the purpose of marriage
and the definition of marriage
away from
the raising of children
and to the emotional needs
and desires of adults.
Anthony Kennedy:
On the other hand,
there is an immediate
legal injury--
or what could be
a legal injury--
and that's the voice
of these children.
There's some 40,000 children
in California
that live
with same-sex parents.
The voice of those children
is important
in this case,
don't you think?
Your Honor, I certainly
would not dispute
the importance
of that consideration.

Sonia Sotomayor:
Outside of the marriage
can you think of any
other rational basis--
reason-- for a state using
sexual orientation
as a factor
in denying
homosexuals benefits?
Cooper: I cannot.
I do not have...
anything to offer you.
Roberts: Mr. Olson?
Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice,
and may it please the court:
Proposition 8 is a measure
that walls off
the institution of marriage,
which is not society's right--
it's an individual right
that this court
again and again and again
has said that
right to get married
is a personal right.
It's a part of
the right of privacy,
association, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
Antonin Scalia:
I'm curious.
When did it become
to exclude homosexual couples
from marriage?
1791? 1868?
When the 14th Amendment
was adopted?
When did it become
to prohibit
interracial marriages?
When did it become
to assign children--
Easy question, I think,
for that one.
At the time that
the Equal Protection Clause
was adopted.
That's absolutely true.
But don't give me
a question to my question.
The language that
Justice Ginsberg used
at the closing of the VMI case
is an important thing.
It resonates with me.
"A prime part of the history
of our Constitution"
is the story of the extension
of constitutional rights
"to people once ignored
or excluded."
Thank you, counsel, counsel.
The case is submitted.
( gavel bangs )
( cheering, applause )
( applause continues )
Walking down the steps
of the Supreme Court
took my breath away.
I'm not quite sure
if you asked us four years ago
what today would feel like
or if we'd be standing here,
but if you had to ask me
to lay my life in the hands
of two people,
it would be Ted and David.
( applause )
What has happened
in this case,
what happens as a result
of the people in this room,
it has changed
the world already,
but we're not done.
It's not over by any
stretch of the imagination.
We could lose this case,
but-- but Martin Luther King--
and I kept quoting
Martin Luther King
along the way.
Civil rights battles are won
because you fight them,
not because you
are afraid to lose.
The proponents
of Proposition 8
could not think
of any merits
It was a breath-taking
So I think it was
a great day.
Waiting from now
until June
is gonna be hard
for all of us.
What we're
looking forward to
is going to your weddings.
Zarrillo: Aww.
Stier: Aww,
that's lovely.
( applause )
Do I look okay?
It's a little long.
Looks a little long?
( groans )
The case has played
a major role in our lives
over the years.
I never thought it would,
but it's been very--
a defining part
of our high school career.
It's kind of interesting,
it's funny how close
graduation is coming
with what will be
the ruling of the case.
Show time.
Spence, you ready?
It's a lot to handle,
but I'm also
very excited for both.
Hopefully, it'll be
something good for my parents.
When I leave,
I hope that they can
leave with some
new beginnings, too.
( engine runs )
You know, teens get in
the most car accidents
than any other...
( laughs )
It feels like all of this
has happened so fast.
Not just their growing up,
but the case
and how it's travelled
through the courts.
And now their lives
are moving on
and they're gonna start
actually a whole new life
and we have to figure out
how to keep going
with the life we have
without them here all the time.
which is a big transition
for us.
Stier: Yeah.
( cheering, applause )
It's a big, beautiful,
bittersweet moment.
It's bittersweet.
Yeah, it is.

( crowd chattering )
Here they come.
Here he comes.
That was the first case.
We have the first case, guys.
( chatter )
They have jurisdiction
to this site.
All right, George,
and I'm waiting
for the actual
opinion itself,
but our excellent
colleagues inside
have told us that
the "Defense of Marriage Act,"
which, for federal law,
defined marriage
as the union of one man,
one woman,
only denied all federal benefits
to gay couples--
that has been ruled
( cheering )
( whistling )

We've got the Prop 8 decision.
Pete, tell us.
Okay, the Supreme Court
has decided
that it cannot take up
the challenge
to California's
Proposition 8.
It's another five-four vote.
What this means is that
same-sex marriage
is now once again legal
in the state of California.
( applause, cheering )
( whistling )
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
( chatter )
Proposition 8...
I think I see Chad Griffin
from the HRC talking
on the telephone,
which I believe is
with President Obama.
Chad is right there.
One moment.
The President's
on the line
from Air Force One.
Go ahead.
Hello, Mr. President.
This is Kris Perry
And Sandy Stier and
we thank you so much
for your support.
( Obama speaking )
Thank you, Mr. President.
And thank you
for your leadership.
You're invited
to the wedding.
Lara Bergthold:
So what we discovered
is that the ninth circuit
is meeting today.
We won't know
until 3:00
what they decide.
So we want to
set it up
so in case
it's immediate,
you're there.
Enrique's gonna
meet us there
just so we've got
an attorney with us
just in case.
And then we'll
just move forward
from there.
And should--
uh, should marriages
become legal,
you'll have your license.
And then we'll
go to City Hall
where the mayor
will marry you.
( laughs )
With a lot of cameras.
Uh, yeah.

Yeah, we're walking.
Elizabeth Riel: Yup.
( chattering )
They're issuing at 3:00,
yeah, a statement,
the ninth circuit.
Perry: Okay.
If it happens today,
it's not right this second?
Bruce Cohen:
No, it's gonna be
right this second
because we want you
to be first, so--
and potentially,
anyone can get
at any courthouse, but--
Like these people
for example getting married
right now
( laughs )
Cohen: That's correct.

This isn't weird at all.
The order has been issued,
but we don't know yet
what it says.
We're trying to get
ahold of it.
Okay, we can see City Hall
in the distance, Bruce.
Woman on phone:
We got it.
They got it.
They got it.
What are they saying?
Go, we're a go.
( excited chatter )
Right now, oh wait--
Man on phone:
It's a go immediately.
( gasps )
Oh my G--
All right,
we're on our way.
Do Jeff and Paul know?
Yes, I just texted them.
They have to get in line.
Hi, how are you?
We're here to get
a marriage license.
Clerk: Okay,
hold on, please.

So we haven't been
notified yet, so--
I'll show you the order
from the court.
So what I did is
I informed my supervisor
and they're on
their way over here.
Thank you so much.
We're getting married
in a few minutes, honey.
They just issued
a court order
a few minutes ago that
no one knew was gonna be issued,
so we came to City Hall
as fast as we could.
Elliot's here in
all of your place.
Right, Elliot?
You're the boy.
Hey, Spence.
Here she is.
Oh my God.
There is some word
that there might be
some appeals to this.
Any thoughts on that?
The wedding bells
are about to ring.
( laughs )
Oh, it's Kris and Sandy
in line.
Riel: Look at that.
( laughs )
Let me see it again.
We're getting a directive
from our director
that we cannot do anything
until we hear from the state,
and we haven't heard
from the state.
Who do we need to call
to make that happen?
You're gonna have
to call the state
because they're gonna
have to issue something
from the court.
Can we have you guys
step aside
and let us handle
the customers--
City Hall Clerk:
And then we will go ahead
and issue your
marriage license, okay?
Would you like
our identification?
Do you hear that?
"We are issuing
the marriage license,"
she said.
Man: Whoo-hoo!
Yes, I'll give
someone the okay.
Yeah, okay, do you
want me to call them?
Fantastic. Hi.
I've got the--
Excuse me, I've got
the Attorney General
on the phone right here.
Is there someone
who can speak with her?
Let me find out.
Are you the director?
I am.
Hi, I'm Elizabeth Riel
with the AFER.
These are our plaintiffs
Paul Katami
and Jeff Zarrillo.
Nice to meet you.
Thank you so much.
I have the Attorney General
on the phone right here.
Will you take
a call from her?
Okay, Felix, we're--
Here we go.
Hi, this is Dean.
Kamala Harris:
You must start the marriages
All right, I will-- I will
take that as our notice
and we will issue
the license now.
Okay, that's wonderful,
thank you.
Have a good day and enjoy it.
It's gonna be fun.
I'm looking forward to it.
That was the clerk of
Los Angeles and I just told him
that they have to start
marriages right away.
( cheering )
Thank you
very much.
And I apologize.
No, that's okay.
We were just
waiting for notice.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
You've been great.
Thank you very much.
You have the date already?
The date?
We're doing it
in an hour.
In an hour.
( rhythmic clapping )
You guys go that way.,
( crowd cheering )
Today, we witness
not only
the joining
of Kris and Sandy,
but the realization
of their dream--
Antonio Villaraigosa:
I've done a few of these
over the last
couple years,
but... never
have I been prouder,
never have I been
more joyful
than I am today.
And so let us begin.
( inhales deeply )
( long exhale )
Take it in.
( both laughs )
Just take it in.
( organ music plays )
We are gathered
here today
for the purpose
of uniting in matrimony
Paul Katami
and Jeff Zarrillo.
Do you, Kris,
take Sandy to be
your lawfully
wedded wife,
to love and cherish
from this day
I do.
And do you, Sandy,
take Kris to be your
lawfully wedded wife,
to love and cherish
from this day forward?
I do.
So, Paul,
do you take Jeff
to be your lawful
wedded spouse?
I do.
Jeff, do you take Paul
to be your lawful
wedded spouse?
I do.

And so on behalf
of the state
of California,
let me pronounce you
( cheering )
( sniffles )
( cheering continues )
By virtue of the power
and authority vested in me
by the state
of California,
I now declare you
spouses for life.
( cheering )
Feels great.
Proposition 8 hurt.
It hurt really bad.
It hurts to this day,
but it emboldened...
a movement
like I've never seen.

I do!
( cheering )

If in 2008 someone said,
"In five years
your kids'll be
leaving home,
you will be
getting married,
and you will have
a very full life..."
I'd have said,
"Amen to that."