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The Case Against 8: An Inside Look at the Fight for Marriage Equality

"The Case Against 8" provides a rare inside look into the fight for marriage equality, offering an intimate portrayal of a groundbreaking legal battle.

Keywords: Marriage equality, Proposition 8, Same-sex marriage, Legal battle, Documentary, LGBTQ+ rights


"The Case Against 8" is a pioneering documentary directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White released in 2013. The film offers a behind-the-scenes view of the legal battle to reverse California's ban on same-sex marriage, a significant issue that continues to resonate today as we strive for greater inclusivity and equality in society.


Over five years, "The Case Against 8" follows an unlikely team as they mount the first federal lawsuit for marriage equality all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The documentary provides a unique perspective on the legal complexities, emotional turmoil, and social implications of this landmark case.

More film analysis


The documentary embraces an investigative approach, providing a meticulous account of the legal process. The research is thorough, and the exploration of the subject is deep, shedding light on both the public and personal aspects of the struggle for marriage equality.

Historical and Factual Context:

The documentary is set against the backdrop of the Proposition 8 vote in California in 2008, which sought to ban same-sex marriage. The legal battle that ensued marked a significant moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Key themes in the film:

  • The fight for equality and justice in society.
  • The power of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
  • The role of the legal system in shaping societal norms.

Film Comparisons:

Unlike other documentaries on iWonder that focus on personal narratives within the LGBTQ+ community, "The Case Against 8" provides an in-depth look at the legal system and its role in the fight for equality.

Noteworthy Moments:

A poignant moment in the film is when the plaintiffs, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, finally get to legally marry. This emotional scene encapsulates the personal and public victory that the case represented.


The film was well-received, with a 7.4 rating on IMDB. Critics praised the documentary for its comprehensive yet intimate portrayal of a significant legal battle.


"The Case Against 8" is crucial viewing for those interested in law, LGBTQ+ rights, and social justice. Its profound exploration of the fight for marriage equality provides valuable insights into the complexities of societal change.

Watch The Case Against 8 - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
Shot over five years, the film offers an inside look into the historic case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

More film information

IMDB: 7.4 | Rotten Tomatoes: 94% | Metacritic: 80
Awards: Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. 11 wins & 18 nominations: Primetime Emmys, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival

Ted Olson and David Boies: High-profile lawyers who led the legal team.
Kris Perry and Sandy Stier: Plaintiffs in the case.

California, USA: Where the Proposition 8 vote took place.
Washington D.C., USA: U.S. Supreme Court where the final verdict was delivered.

Links for further exploration

  1. The History of Proposition 8:

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

How does the legal system influence societal norms and values?

What drives individuals to fight for change in society?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form:

Book: "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Both deal with legal battles for justice and equality.

Song: "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Both address the struggle for marriage equality.

Art: "Liberty Leading the People" - Both symbolize the fight for freedom and equality.

Celebrity: Ellen DeGeneres - An advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

Colour: Rainbow - Symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.

Music Style: Classical - Represents the meticulous and deliberate approach in the legal battle.