Movie Night and Membership Party!  Watch “8″ and Help Welcome New Members!

We’re planning to combine’s tonight’s movie, featuring the terrific play, 8 — about the Proposition 8 Trial and an all-star cast –  with a welcome party for all our current, new and about-to-become members.  You don’t have to be member to watch the movie, but if you’ve been thinking about becoming a member of Firedoglake and haven’t signed up yet, this is a great time to do so.  Sign up here.  Then join us in the comments and meet some of our great members and commenters while you enjoy this remarkable play.

Dustin Lance Black’s play 8 -based on the trial transcripts of  Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the landmark case which pitted marriage equality against its conservative foes, is one of the most important works of modern theater.  A federal appeals court refused to allow the release of the trial videotapes because the trial judge, Vaughn Walker, had promised the pro-Prop 8 defendants that the videos would only be used by the court. 8 shows the arguments that justify bans on marriage for gay and lesbian couples, the testimony on marriage history from expert witnesses, and the arguments used to justify the ban on marriage equality.

Perry vs Schwarzenegger was liveblogged by Firedoglake.com’s crack team, including Teddy Partridge, our guest tonight.

On Saturday the play debuted in Los Angeles with a superstar cast that included George Clooney, Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt. The play is scheduled to run in dozens of cities across the U.S., with local actors.  Rob Reiner who directed 8 in New York and Los Angeles, is one of the founders of American for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole organizational sponsor of the  federal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8. It was AFER which put together the dream team of Daniel Boies and Ted Olson who were on opposite sides during Florida’s Bush v. Gore trial.

8 brings the trial to life, centering on the four plaintiffs, couples Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, and Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. Kris and Sandy’s twin sons Spencer and Elliot also make appearances in the play, as do National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher, and Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson, who in 8 square off for a debate.

8 continues the dialog about equality, and is an important, vital testament to civil rights, love, marriage, family, and the Constitution.

Link to watch 8