News


Final Prop. 8 witness says heterosexual marriage best for children

Federal judge to hear closing arguments at a later date

The final witness in a same-sex marriage trial testified in federal court in San Francisco today that he believes gay and lesbian marriage would weaken the institution, cause fewer heterosexuals to marry and possibly lead to polygamy.

David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, also said children fare best when raised by a married man and woman who are their biological parents.

Blankenhorn, an author of books on marriage and fatherhood, was the second of two defense witnesses called by the sponsors of Proposition 8 in a trial on the constitutionality of the measure.

Proposition 8, enacted by state voters in 2008, requires marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Its sponsors, who are defending the initiative against a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples, contend the measure is a reasonable way of preserving the traditional definition of marriage and promoting the well-being of children.

The plaintiffs in the case, a lesbian couple from Berkeley and a gay couple from Burbank, claim the ban on same-sex marriage violates their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal treatment.

Testimony in the two-and-one-half week trial before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to end at midday Wednesday with the completion of cross-examination of Blankenhorn.

Walker, who will decide the case without a jury, has said he will hear closing arguments at a later date after studying the evidence.

Under questioning from Proposition 8 lead attorney Charles Cooper, Blankenhorn testified, "The optimal environment for children is if they are raised from birth by their own natural mother who is married to their own natural father."

He said the weakening or "deinstitutionalization" of marriage in recent decades was begun by heterosexuals, but said he feared that allowing same-sex marriage would accelerate the process and result in fewer heterosexual unions.

But during cross-examination by plaintiffs' attorney David Boies, Blankenhorn wasn't able to cite any experts who say that same-sex nuptials would lead to a lower rate of heterosexual marriage by deinstitutionalizing marriage.

Boies also acknowledged he wasn't aware of any studies showing that children raised by same-sex couples have worse outcomes than those raised by heterosexuals.

In answer to another query from Boies, Blankenhorn said he thinks homosexuals and their children would benefit from gay marriage.

"I believe that adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children," he told the court.

The Proposition 8 sponsors' other defense witness, associate government professor Kenneth Miller of Claremont McKenna College, completed testimony this morning.

Miller testified on Monday that gays and lesbians in California are a powerful political force, with the ability to raise money in initiative campaigns and form alliances with political leaders, religious groups and unions.

His testimony was intended to refute the plaintiffs' argument that gay rights are entitled to the highest level of legal protection because homosexuals lack political power and have historically suffered discrimination.

During Miller's cross-examination this morning, Boies homed in on the claim that churches allied with gays in opposing Proposition 8.

The questioning was aimed at bolstering another plaintiff argument, a contention that the Proposition 8 campaign was illegally motivated by prejudice and moral disapproval of homosexuals.

Miller agreed that while some churches opposed Proposition 8, the state's largest religious groups, including the Catholic Church and evangelical groups, supported the initiative and that the Mormon Church also played an important role.

He acknowledged he wrote in a scholarly article in 2009 that religion "was critical in determining voter attitude toward Proposition 8."

Miller agreed that he wrote, "Churches and religious organizations supplied most of Proposition 8's institutional support, with Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons leading the way."

In return questioning at the end of Miller's testimony, Proposition 8 attorney David Thompson asked him to compare that initiative with other ballot measures that sought to limit gay rights.

Miller answered, "Marriage is a different situation and the people should be able to have input on the definition of marriage. It isn't necessarily invidious discrimination against a minority group."

Walker leaned over from the bench and asked whether it is ever appropriate for the judiciary to intervene in the initiative process.

Miller answered, "When there's a well-grounded constitutional principle that is violated."

The trial is the nation's first in federal court on a challenge to a same-sex marriage ban under provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by GRG
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 27, 2010 at 10:07 am

Whoever wrote the caption for the article got it completely backward.


Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Jan 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

More of the same nonsense.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 27, 2010 at 11:44 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

This country has got it right, a judicial system that is not perfect but one in which parties can openly disagree. Whoever wins, the decision will be appealed until the US Supreme Court makes a final decision.

I'm delighted that the final decision has been taken out of the hands of the public. Too much religious bias and bigotry with the voters. Fortunately, the voters got BUSTED and now the case is where it belongs.

This is what makes America GREAT GREAT GREAT!!! VIVA AMERICA! VIVA!


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The witness also said that children would benefit from homosexual marriage. Nice headline...

"In answer to another query from Boies, Blankenhorn said he thinks homosexuals and their children would benefit from gay marriage.

"I believe that adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children," he told the court."


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Come on?! Offensive?!......was the pun too wity for you? Get a sense of humor already.


Like this comment
Posted by Big Poppa
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

WHAT A HUGE WASTE OF MONEY.......


Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I agree! Huge waste of money putting proposition 8 on the ballot. Too bad the proponents did not care about the constitutional acid test it will have to face. Could have save the voters time and money.


Like this comment
Posted by Local Doctor
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm

David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, also said children fare best when raised by a married man and woman who are their biological parents.

Blankenhorn, an author of books on marriage and fatherhood, was the second of two defense witnesses called by the sponsors of Proposition 8 in a trial on the constitutionality of the measure.

Proposition 8, enacted by state voters in 2008, requires marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Its sponsors, who are defending the initiative against a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples, contend the measure is a reasonable way of preserving the traditional definition of marriage and promoting the well-being of children.

The plaintiffs in the case, a lesbian couple from Berkeley and a gay couple from Burbank, claim the ban on same-sex marriage violates their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal treatment.

Testimony in the two-and-one-half week trial before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to end at midday Wednesday with the completion of cross-examination of Blankenhorn.

"Walker, who will decide the case without a jury, has said he will hear closing arguments at a later date after studying the evidence.

Under questioning from Proposition 8 lead attorney Charles Cooper, Blankenhorn testified, "The optimal environment for children is if they are raised from birth by their own natural mother who is married to their own natural father."

Oh come on now people! I am GAY! I am Married! I have Children who attend prestigious local private school and who are at the top of their class.

I was ADOPTED by TWO GAY Parents.

I am a local Pediatrician!

So the QUESTION IS:

IF you knew this and I was YOUR Pediatrician, would you switch to a heterosexual Pediatrician?

How does it make you feel that the same HAND that LOVE a spouse of the SAME SEX, could have delivered you baby local, considering I have delivers hundreds upon hundreds of local babies!

THINK before you speak, Please!


Like this comment
Posted by best offensive is...
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 28, 2010 at 5:51 am

The Yes on 8 people provided some of the best witnesses for same sex marriage. Without the powerful money coming from the LDS church, the mother of the head of the former Blackwater (now called XE Services), and the Catholic Church, the Yes on 8 supporters have done a miserable job. As you read the transcripts, the legality of the ban on same sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional test of the violation of the equal protection clause. The Yes on 8 folks never had a leg to stand on, just lots and lots of money and organized church opposition.

Finally, the defense's last witness, Blankenhorn claims that the people's vote should be above the Constitution, however under cross-examination he has to concede that he had written many pieces about the importance of the courts to hear voter approved laws to insure equal protection under our laws.

It was fun listening to both sides tell us why the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional!!!


Like this comment
Posted by asking
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2010 at 7:20 am

In the trial, which constitutional right is being interpreted (and I assume its an interpretation ) to nullify prop.8?


Like this comment
Posted by best offensive is...
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 28, 2010 at 10:14 am

another resident...

the 14th amendments equal protection clause is what the federal case is about. (the same constitutional question as Brown v. Board of Education)


Like this comment
Posted by asking
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Thankyou best offensive is...
I assume it is section 1. Very odd use of the word privileges googled it and got
Web Link
Its got to be one of the more controversial and most interpreted amendments.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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