George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen and other celebrities starred in a reading of 8, a play based on the court proceedings over California’s ban on same sex marriage.
The play was written by Dustin Lance Black, based on transcripts from the lawsuit to overturn the law, and directed by Rob Reiner. It was performed in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Both Black and Reiner are founding members of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the lawsuit against Proposition 8.
Pitt played District Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the case. Clooney and Sheen played Daivd Boies and Ted Olson, respectively, the attorneys who argued on behalf of AFER and the other plaintiffs. Christine Lahti and Jamie Lee Curtis played Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Matthew Morrison and Matt Bomer played Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, both gay couples and plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Other cast members included Kevin Bacon playing Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for supporters of Proposition 8, Jane Lynch as Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage and John C. Reilly as David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values.
Here’s the full performance, which runs for about 90 minutes, via AFER:
In a 2-1 decision in February, a Ninth Circuit panel upheld the ruling by Judge Walker that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Soon after, supporters of Proposition 8 asked the Ninth Circuit to grant them an en banc rehearing of the decision.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, over 200,000 people tuned in to the livestream of the performance on Saturday night. The performance raised $2 million, which will go toward marriage equality efforts at the federal level.