Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trial Judge Hears Closing Arguments In Challenge To California's Prop 8

Yesterday in federal district court in San Francisco, Judge Vaugh Walker heard closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8 that bans same-sex marriage. The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle report on the arguments in which Charles J. Cooper, arguing on behalf of supporters of Proposition 8, focused on the procreative role of marriage. In the two and one-half week trial, Cooper called only two witnesses, political scientist Kenneth Miller who said that gays and lesbians were not in need of special protection to vindicate their political rights, and author David Blankenhorn who testified that same-sex marriage could impact the number of marriages between men and women. David Boies and Theodore Olson, attorneys for the challengers, presented most of the witnesses in the 12-day trial in January-- same-sex couples and eight academics. In his closing argument, Olson contended that Proposition 8 involved discrimination on the basis of gender and focused on the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia which struck down state bans on interracial marriages. (See prior related posting.)

UPDATE: Here are the full transcripts of the closing arguments via the Sacramento News & Review.