August 3, 2010
Judge: “I’m asking you to tell me how [marriage equality] would harm opposite-sex marriages….”
Pro-Proposition 8 Attorney Cooper: “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know.”
October 14, 2009 pretrial hearing rejecting defendant-intervenors’ request for summary judgment (10/14 Transcript Page 23, Line 10)
By Eden James, Courage Campaign Institute
Back in June, before the Prop 8 trial closing arguments, the amazing team over at the American Foundation for Equal Rights — the group founded to bring this case to trial — posted a summary of the case up to that point.
As we count down the hours to the decision sometime between 1-3 p.m. PST on Wednesday, check out AFER’s summary and then click the link below to read much, much more on their web site:
As we approach closing arguments, and the subsequent decision, we wanted to provide you with a summary of the case by sharing this memorandum. No law is allowed to violate the U.S. Constitution, and our nation’s Founders established the courts to protect every American’s constitutional rights against unfair laws. Accordingly, we believe that we will ultimately prevail in this case.
At its core, this case is about equal justice under the law. Separate is never equal, and Prop. 8 violates Americans’ constitutional rights by creating separate classes of people with different laws for each one.
Prop. 8 denies fundamental constitutional liberties, which harms adults and their children without due process and for no good reason – no compelling government interest is advanced through Prop. 8. It is wrong to deny people fundamental constitutional liberties, like equal protection under the law, simply because of who they are.
This case is about Americans like plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, who deserve the governmental recognition of their love and commitment that other families have. Kris and Sandy have been together for more than ten years. Both are in public service – Kris leads an early childhood health and education agency, Sandy works for a county health department. They have raised four boys, with two teenagers still at home, so they stay busy with the usual things – PTA meetings, soccer, music lessons – just like so many other parents. Kris and Sandy simply want the same rights as every other family, as do Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, the other plaintiffs in the case.
This case is a historic one, and it is on the right side of history. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v Board of Education ended “separate but equal.” Loving v Virginia ended bans on interracial marriage. This case is an extension of these and other cases that have defended the principles of liberty and equality upon which this nation was founded.
Meanwhile, here’s another reminder for folks looking to join one of the dozens of rallies happening across America on Wednesday. The most up-to-date information can be found at:
Rex Wockner is also using this post to collect info rallies as they materialize.
If you have information on rallies not listed above, share the info in the comments.
Consider this an open thread to talk about whatever is on your mind…
UPDATE BY EDEN: The always edifying Chris Geidner just posted this one-stop-shop FAQ on the Prop 8 trial at Metro Weekly.
Here are some choice nuggets to chew on:
3. What is going to happen later today?
Today, regardless of the decision, not much — in terms of actual change — will likely happen. Because both sides have made clear — and Judge Walker has acknowledged — that they plan to appeal should they lose on Wednesday, it is likely that a temporary stay would be granted, which would halt the enforcement of the ruling until an appeal can be heard by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. AFER’s spokesman confirmed to Metro Weekly that the Proposition 8 proponents, who intervened in the case to oppose the plaintiffs, have filed a conditional motion to stay the trial court decision pending the outcome of the appeal.
8. The Defense of Marriage Act
Finally, any mention of the federal law, although not technically at issue in the case, is sure to raise eyebrows all across the country. Judge Walker asked about DOMA in written questions to the parties before the closing arguments, asking whether he could strike down Proposition 8 and not address DOMA. Although the parties did not ask for him to address DOMA, it obviously will be noteworthy should he decide to do so.
Much more here.
UPDATE BY EDEN: Courage’s Rick Jacobs is quoted by CNN in this story:
Rick Jacobs, founder of the Campaign Courage, which supports same-sex marriage, said he was hopeful about Wednesday’s decision because of what happened during the trial.
“I can only say that based on the evidence in the trial, it is absolutely clear that allowing gays and lesbians to marry will strengthen families and the nation,” he said. “No matter how the judge rules tomorrow, we’ve already won a significant victory because the other side admitted they have no argument.”
Rick is absolutely right, of course. Just read the transcript above of what Charles Cooper admitted before the trial even started.