Federal judge hears final arguments in Prop. 8 case, but will announce decision later

Suggests 'tipping point' for allowing same-sex marriages might have been 1967 Supreme Court decision

Attorneys made their final arguments this week in San Francisco in a federal trial over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state two years ago.

The non-jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker was the nation's first on a U.S. constitutional challenge to a prohibition on gay marriage. It began in January.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, former U.S. Solicitor

General Theodore Olson, told Walker Wednesday morning that same-sex couples' "fundamental constitutional right to marry has been taken away" in California by Proposition 8.

"Their state has stigmatized them as unworthy of marriage, different, and less respected," he said.

Both Olson and the plaintiffs' other lead counsel, David Boies, notably faced off in Bush v. Gore in 2000, but are now arguing on the same side that marriage for same-sex couples is a fundamental right.

The attorneys, who represent gay and lesbian couples from Berkeley and Burbank, are seeking to strike down the measure on the basis that it violates the couples' federal constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.

Proposition 8, approved by 52 percent of California voters in

2008, overturned a ruling by the California Supreme Court earlier that year that held there is a state constitutional right to same-sex marriage. In the interim prior to the election that November, about 18,000 gay and lesbian couples throughout the state were married.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who first permitted same-sex couples to marry in the city in 2004 before the state Supreme Court stepped in and invalidated them, was among those in the audience for the morning session of Wednesday's hearing.

Olson contended that the sponsors of Proposition 8 had changed the focus of their argument against same-sex marriage -- from protecting children from learning that gay marriage is okay, during the campaign for the measure, to now defending the traditional view of marriage as for procreation.

"They just don't know whether same-sex marriage will harm the institution of traditional marriage," he said.

Olson said the preponderance of the evidence presented during the trial supported just the opposite. He also played video clips of his clients' emotional testimony at trial about how committed the couples were to each other and how allowing them to marry would make them feel more acceptance by society and less shame.

Olson drew parallels to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling decades ago allowing interracial marriage.

Attorney Charles Cooper, representing the sponsors of Proposition 8, maintained in his closing argument Wednesday afternoon that marriage has traditionally been defined throughout history by societies as exclusively opposite-sex, and the primary purpose has been procreation. He said that definition is "fundamental to the very existence and survival of the human race."

Walker noted, however, that parental responsibilities also extend to adoptive parents, in-laws and grandparents.

Walker also observed that the 1967 Supreme Court decision declaring bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional was preceded by a social movement throughout the country.

"Why are we not at that same tipping point here, with respect to same-sex marriage?" he asked Cooper.

Cooper replied that the 1967 decision did not contradict the core procreative purpose of marriage.

Walker will issue a ruling at a later date. But the ruling will likely be appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly on to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Clearly, this is a case of equal protection and due process. I have a hunch that Judge Walker will decide in favor of the Plaintiff's. From what I have observed, they are all fine young Americans with a strong desire to be treated equally under the constitution.

Finally, both sides have had to put their cards on the table and argue for what they believe is right and just. The playing field was level. It is unfair to treat fellow Americans as second class citizens. They are hard working, loyal citizens and they have made it quite clear that they do not want to harm anybody or to be deprived of their civil rights. They have put up a brave fight, WELL DONE!

Fortunately, we have a Constitution that is worth protecting! When the majority abuses the electoral process to deprive other citizens of their civil rights, the fight is on. In my opinion, it is not about morality. It is about respecting the US Constitution and allowing fellow Americans to exercise their rights as citizens.

This case will eventually make its way to the US Supreme Court. Once and for all, the US Constitution will be upheld and the Gay/Lesbian Plaintiff's will walk out as US citizens with their civil rights fully protected.

Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Who are you and what have you done with Cholo?

Like this comment
Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

Curious, you are right. Someone is masquerading as Cholo. We know his style.

Cholo, I have suggested several times to become registered. It's painless and worth it. All PW has that is of any significance is the email address.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

sorry gents...I been had a hard days night and forgot to put on my Cholo hat...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

it's the one and only Cholo up above....hahahahahahahahahaha...

like I been said...a chicken in every pot and a pot for every chicken...VIVA!

Like this comment
Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

M. is a registered user.

Certainly not to over look the quality of Cholo's initial response, which by the way hits the nail square on the head, but I was was getting a little worried there. Glad to see Cholo back in true Cholo form.

And yes, you should register, think of all the fun you could have what with a name in bold text and all!

Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm

cholo's comments confirm what many on this forum have inferred. His comments above are not out of a strong desire to follow an interpretation of the constitution. If he were that worried about defending the constitution, he would not defend criminal aliens the way he does.
No, his concern is for his fellow deviates, not civil rights for those that already have them, but want to hijack the institution of marriage for their perverse lifestyle.

Like this comment
Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 19, 2010 at 2:15 am

M. is a registered user.

I get the feeling you aren't a fan of gay marriage or a fan of Cholo.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but why make it personal?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

There is such a thing as the ORAL LAW which I don't follow to the "T" (no pun intended) but I do try to practice and I like knowing thatI try to be a righteous person.

"Criminal aliens"? tee hee hee. tee hee hee... I'm not responsible for any of your distortions re: "fellow deviates" whatever that is...eeh eeh eet, eeh eeh eet!

You are waaaaaaaaaaaay silly, to even suppose that the civil rights of any American citizen can be hijacked? eeh eeh eet, eeh eeh eet... There are lots of folks watching out for anybody that would deprive any American of their Constitutional rights via the ballot box.

off with you steffy...go play in the traffic!


ps I don't defend criminal aliens, I am always kind strangers! that is the law...

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

ps steffy...what pray tell do you know about the US Constitution?

What war did you say you fought in to protect America...hmmmmmmmmmmm?

The way I understand is Steffy = Socialist!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Correction: the way I understand it is Steffy = Socialist. She also has friend in low places!

eeh eeh eet, eeh eeh eet...

ps I hear that you have a deviated septum....PING!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Less of the day for steffy: Web Link Fall of the Roman Empire.

Hopefully, this will help you understand how Rome fell missy steffy!


PS On another thread, steffy claims that Fall of the Roman Empire was due to a violin?

Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Attention legal scholars...

If this suit is a suit to overturn the vote of the people.. and since persons of the gay persuasion are the ones seeking benefit of a verdict.. and since the judge in this case is reportedly of gay persuasion himself.. would someone explain why he didn't recuse himself from hearing this case??

If it were a suit against IBM, and he owned a significant amount of IBM stock... he'd have to recuse!


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 20, 2010 at 8:50 am

LEGAL SCHOLAR HERE: The case will most likely end up in the US Supreme Court.

The issue is Equal Protection and Due Process. All Americans are protected by the US Constitution and entitled to EP & DP!!! No no no! No no no...

I've also heard that Judge Walker is also gay. Who cares? He's an honorable American citizen and a Judge.

Get over yourself, wait for this legal drama to unfold, and hang out with your cat!

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

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