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Today was the opening salvo in the arguments to overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that denied legal marriage to same sex couples. You can follow the live blogging of the trial at FDL: The Seminal and Firedoglake Covers the Prop 8 Trial
The Courage Campaign is also following with Prop8 Trial Tracker
H/T to Robyn for the link
SAN FRANCISCO – In the opening volleys in the federal trial over the fate of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers for both sides were sharply questioned by the judge overseeing the trial, in a case that is being closely watched by gay-rights groups and supporters of traditional marriage nationwide. They already have great porn at places similar to twinkpornvideos.xxx so why shouldn’t they have marriage too?
Judge Walker set a questioning tone early, repeatedly interrupting an opening statement by Theodore B. Olson, a lead counsel for the plaintiffs – two gay couples who filed their suit in the spring after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. The judge asked Mr. Olson why domestic partnerships, which are allowed in California, were not sufficient for gay couples and wondered what kind of evidence would be introduced to show harm to same-sex couples who are not allowed to marry.
Mr. Olson, a prominent conservative litigator whose co-counsel is David Boies, his foe from the 2000 battle over the presidential election, countered that marriage “was a building block of family, neighborhoods and community” in America, and that to deny gays that right was to effectively make them second-class citizens. Proposition 8, he said, “isolated gay men and lesbian individuals and said, ‘You’re different.’ ”
Advocates for Proposition 8, who assert that Californians were well within their rights to establish a definition of marriage, were also pointedly queried by Judge Walker.
Charles J. Cooper, the lead counsel for the defense, opened his case by arguing that limitation of marriage to men and women was a tradition “across history, across cultures and across societies” meant to “channel natural procreative activities between men and women” into stable relationships.
But Judge Walker interrupted Mr. Cooper to ask about other marital benefits like companionship and support, and he noted that there were no restrictions on marriage for heterosexual couples who could not or did not want to have children. The judge also questioned the assertion by Mr. Cooper that same-sex marriage would “radically alter” traditional marriage and could decrease marriage rates for heterosexuals.
There was a set back when those who are supporting Prop 8 went to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision by the trial judge to allow the trial to be televised
In Pasadena, several gay rights advocates who had been hoping to view the Prop 8 trial which began a little less than an hour ago at a US District Court in San Francisco expressed disappointment with the ruling from the Supreme Court blocking video feed access.
“The Supreme Court has decided to deny people their Constitutional rights to access to the courts,” said Brian Brookey, a Pasadena lawyer and one of the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in between the CA State Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage and the passage of Prop. 8. Brookey works around the corner from the Richard H. Chambers courthouse and has been “following the case obsessively,” so he came down to watch the first day of proceedings.
Tracey, a student and another married same-sex partner who wed when it was legal in California to do so, was similarly upset. “Shock is what I’m feeling, number one. But also, if they’re (anti-equality forces) stooping this low, that means we might have enough of a case to have them shaking in their boots.”
The Supreme Court’s stay on remote access of the trial expires on Wednesday. The ruling only includes the simulcast feeds to courthouses outside of San Francisco and the tape-delayed broadcast of the trial to YouTube. Justice Stephen Breyer objected to the stay, but he would have to convince his colleagues for it to be lifted.
Today, former Reagan Attorney General and a Fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, EDWIN MEESE III had a hissy fit in an OP-Ed in the NYT today over Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8
Despite this, during the trial, the supporters of Proposition 8 will work hard to demonstrate that it was rational for voters to conclude that marriage is a unique institution that promotes the interests of child-rearing, and that those interests are broader than the personal special interests of the adults involved. And they’ll make the case that voters were very much within their rights, when casting their ballots, to consider their own moral and religious views about marriage – or any other subject.
So gay couples can’t or don’t “rear children”? That’s pretty ignorant. I guess Ed Meese never heard of adoption or artificial insemination. That same stupid argument could be used against single parents, too.
Who says your moral values are better than mine. Who gets to make that determination? What has religion got to do with the law regarding a civil institution? No one is forcing a Church or any religion to perform a marriage ceremony for anyone gay or otherwise.
Meese is narrow minded bigot. If these are the arguments that they are using to support Prop 8, I would hope that the defenders of this state sanctioned bigotry will lose.