Today began the incredibly unique "trial of gay
marriage" as the odd-couple lawyer duo of Theodore Olson and David Boies are
representing two gay couples who have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn
California’s Proposition 8. In Prop. 8’s corner is a religious coalition called
Protect Marriage, represented by attorney Charles Cooper.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is hearing
arguments on whether Prop. 8:
violates the constitutional
guarantee of equal protection by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender, or whether it validly reserves marital status for those who can naturally conceive children.
Judge Walker was going to allow live streaming of
the hearing, and post videos of the hearing on YouTube until the U.S. Supreme
Court, acting on an appeal by the defenders of Prop 8., put a halt to the plan
until they had time to further consider the issue. (You would think they would
want more publicity for their arguments not less.)
So instead of being able to watch the hearings
yourself you can read about them from the many different live bloggers covering the
at FireDogLake is living
blogging. Rick Jacobs is covering the trial for Courage
Campaign Institute. There’s also The San Jose Mercury News which is
also updating its story on its website.
On Twitter many people
are live tweeting the trial. Dan Levine, a reporter for legal news publication The Recorder can
be followed @FedcourtJunkie. Also NCLR’s Ilona Turner @ilona, The
Advocate @TheAdvocateMag, American Foundation for Equal
Rights, @AmerEqualRights , and the ACLU of Northern California @ACLU_NorCal are all live tweeting.
coverage by Teddy Patridge
[Attorney Charles Cooper, arguing for Protect
Marriage]: Against this backdrop, not just once but in the passage of Prop 8
and Prop ??? Calfironians have drawn the line at marriage. Among those who has
drawn that line? President Obama. (quotes Obama, thanks, dude) "I consider
marriage to be between a man and a woman."
[Judge] Walker: If the Prez’s parents had been in
Virginia when he was born, their marriage would have been unlawful. Doesn’t
that show a TREMENDOUS change in the institution of marriage? doesn’t that show
evolution? Isn’t that correct?
Cooper: Racial restrictions were never a feature of
the institution of marriage. (laughter in our courtrtoomm)
[David Boies, attorney for the gay couples]: Next exhibit, number 350, Gathering Storm.
(Watertiger’s favorite video!!)
Defense: This was in 2009, after the campaign.
B: Continued campaign against gay people,
portraying them as a threat, part of a pattern of discrimination. This may be
even more relevant.
B: In a campaign, they might have an excuse, but
the only purpose of this video is to demonize gay people as a threat or having
Walker: Can you link to Prop 8?
Boies: Need a moment; video produced by National Organization for Marriage, a big supporter of Prop 8. We must not distinguish
between the Official Campaign and the ongoing discrimination against gay
Defense: Doesn’t refer to Prop 8 in the ad.
Walker: Sufficiently tenuous, other ways to
establish homophobia without using a video produced by an organization not
party to the suit.
The Equal Rights Foundation has also posted
the entirety of Ted
Olson’s prepared opening statement.