Prop 8 Trial Resumes, Oral Arguments Reveal Bad Guys Still Have No Case
The next step in the fight for marriage equality in California kicked off today with the first day of the Prop 8 case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, before the three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit. The wrap up of the first day, which was oral arguments, has gone something like this: The bad guys (who are against marriage equality) still basically have no case whatsoever and looked like morons. On the other hand, the judges were tough on us, but we're looking pretty good.
Here's a bit more specifics.
Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights posted this commentary on LGBT POV:
One especially encouraging note was that at least two of the judges seemed highly critical of the Charles Cooper's claim on behalf of the proponents that Prop 8 could be justified based on arguments relating to procreation. Repeatedly, the judges pressed Cooper on how procreation could be a justification for Prop 8 when California law gives same-sex couples exactly the same parentage rights as heterosexual couples?
Therese Stewart, arguing for the City of San Francisco, did a brilliant job of laying out why Prop 8 is uniquely irrational given that it took away an existing right, that California continues to give same-sex couples all of the substantive rights and benefits of marriage, and that the stated purpose of Prop 8 in the ballot materials was to counter the idea that being gay is "okay."
Evan Wolfson from Freedom to Marry released this statement:
Today, unable to hide, these same opponents of equality stood before appellate judges and, this time, cameras, and all the world could see what a majority of American people have already come to understand: there is no good reason for continuing to exclude committed loving couples from the legal commitment of marriage. When the gavel came down, it was clear yet again that the anti-gay forces still have nothing. Their case is, in Lincoln's words, 'as thin as the homeopathic soup made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that starved to death.'
Wolfson also told Adam Bink of Prop 8 Trial Tracker that:
Most striking was the complete failure -- I mean complete! -- to show how Judge Walker erred in his marshaling of the facts, evidence, cross-examination, and record showing a lack of a legitimate, sufficient reason for stripping away gay people's freedom to marry. They came in with nothing, and left nothing for the court.
Stay tuned for more updates on the case this week.