by James Killough
The most salient issue at the heart of Dustin Lance Black’s play 8, a live reading of which was broadcast on YouTube last night, is not just our equal rights as Gheys. It’s the reason we have such a cumbersome, unrealistic institution as marriage to begin with: to protect children. To a lesser extent it includes protection of women as well, but that lesser extent has only come about in recent times, and is pretty much limited to the western countries, where women enjoy some degree of parity with men and can fend for themselves, provided Rush Limbaugh isn’t knocking them up and making them go barefoot.
I’ve never been big on political plays. Whatever the viewpoint and ideology, they always come off as variations on Soviet and Chinese agitprop. I can just imagine the stars of last night’s reading—George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Kevin Bacon, John C. Reilly, et al.—prancing heroically across the stage behind massive fluttering rainbow flags to a schmaltzy, goose bump-inducing rendition of “Born This Way,” played by a newly out gay military orchestra.