HBO to produce documentary on Proposition 8 court fight

The documentary will follow the legal battle over California's ban on same-sex marriage

By Jillian Rayfield
Published July 9, 2013 9:25PM (EDT)

HBO has announced that it is producing a documentary that will go behind the scenes of the years-long court battle over California's ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8.

The New York Times reports:

HBO said that two directors, Ben Cotner and Ryan White, have for years had exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the legal team that argued the recent Supreme Court case over Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in the state. The Supreme Court late last month declined to rule on the case, effectively ending the ban.

The still-untitled documentary will be completed by the end of the year and make its debut on HBO sometime next year. Michael Lombardo, HBO’s programming president, in a statement called the movie “the story of a modern-day American revolution” and said it was intended to be “the film of record on this landmark case.”

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that brought the challenge, allowed the filmmakers access to Ted Olson and David Boies, the two attorneys who argued against the law.

Last month, the Supreme Court held that supporters of Proposition 8 had no standing to appeal a District Court's decision that the law is unconstitutional. The high court's ruling meant that the District Court's ruling stood, and same-sex couples in California have been marrying since.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

California David Boies Documentary Hbo Proposition 8 Same-sex Marriage Ted Olson