On 6 June, the Australian Senate Committee into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 will report its findings*. On 8 June in Melbourne and 9 June in Sydney, a spectacular who’s who of Australian entertainment industry are presenting a reading of the play 8 to show their support of this Bill and to fight to end marriage discrimination in Australia.
Written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk and J. Edgar), its American productions have included performances by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Anthony Edwards, John Lithgow, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis and Martin Sheen.
MOMO films producers Kate Whitbread and Spencer McLaren bring an equally outstanding cast to our stages, including Magda Szubanski, Shane Jacobson, Lisa McCune, Georgie Parker, Daniel MacPherson, Spencer McLaren, Jay Laga’aia, Angus McLaren, Blake Davis, Anthony Brandon Wong, Julian Shaw, Catherine McClements, Gyton Grantley, Rachael Blake, Martin Crewes, Tony Martin, Kate Whitbread, Rob Wardrop, Nicholas Bell, Luke Clayson and David Tredinnick. WOW!"We felt compelled to bring 8 to the Australian stage after experiencing the LA reading. It is remarkable how universal the issue is and how we all need to stand together for what is right"
Kate Whitbread said, “We felt compelled to bring 8 to the Australian stage after experiencing the LA reading. It is remarkable how universal the issue is and how we all need to stand together for what is right. We are thrilled by the overwhelming support and generosity of the community in getting this play to the stage. It is going to be a spectacular and important night and definitely one not to be missed”
The play outlines a US Federal Court case (Perry v Schwarzenegger) that followed Proposition 8 being passed in the 2008 California state elections.
The USA’s parliamentary system is slightly different to ours. Calls to make constitutional amendments or new statutes can be made through a ballot proposition that is voted on by registered voters. They are similar to a referendum, but they happen more often.
The Proposition 8 ballot was titled Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry was called the California Marriage Protection Act by its supporters. It called to add a new provision to the California Constitution, providing that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. This overturned the California’s Supreme Court’s ruing that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Proposition 8 was supported 52.24% yes, 47.76% no.
In Australia, we’re about to hear the findings of our Senate committee into our proposed Marriage Equality Bill. The private bill was introduced by Greens Senator Hanson-Young and seeks to: “remove all discriminatory references from the Marriage Act 1961 to allow all people, regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity, the opportunity to marry”.
Approximately 75,000 public submissions were received in two months. 44,000 were in favour, 31,000 were against.
The 8 readings declare support for this Bill. There is only one chance in Melbourne and Sydney to join this amazing cast in showing our support.
All tickets are a saucy $69 and proceeds support australianmarriageequality.com.
*On 31 May, the committee reported that the final report will now be tabled on 25 June.