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Proposition 8 is a bill that re-wrote the California state constitution to ban marriage for gay and lesbian citizens. In response to the bill proposed on election day 2008, two couples filed suit against the proposition in Federal Court.

The Department of Theatre at the University hosted 8, a play by award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, at 7 p.m. in Wescoe Hall. The play depicted the testimonies of the two couples who fought against Proposition 8: Sandy Stier and Kristen Perry and Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami.

Ashley Martin, a sophomore from Shawnee, said she chose to be a part of the production because it’s an important issue.

“It’s not fair. There is a large difference between a civil union and marriage,” Martin said.

Three expert panelists were questioned following the staged reading of the play. William Rich, Scott Criqui and Becca Burns discussed their own experiences with marriage equality and their views on the current political debate on Proposition 8.

Becca Burns is in a same-sex relationship. She said that she thinks the reason the majority of Americans now are in favor of marriage equality is because they probably know someone that is gay or lesbian and love them, making it likely for them to support it.

“Particularly in Lawrence, I feel very welcome and safe here,” Burns said.

The production of 8 was an event part of Gaypril, the monthlong celebration of gay pride.