Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, right, speaks with "8" author Dustin Lance Black.

Assembly Speaker John A. PĂ©rez, right, speaks with "8" author Dustin Lance Black. (Office of Assembly Speaker John A. Perez / September 21, 2012)

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez(D-Los Angeles) will soon be trying his hand at another profession: acting.

California's first openly gay speaker will join an all-star cast in San Francisco next month for a reading of "8," a play about the federal trial to overturn Proposition 8, the controversial ballot initiative that took away the right of same-sex couples in California to marry.

The performance, set for Oct. 7 at the American Conservatory Theatre, will serve as a benefit for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the nonprofit group that spearheaded the court case against Proposition 8. Past readings have featured celebrities, including George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

For Perez, the role is personal.

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-- Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times