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Witness in Prop. 8 trial cites wide support for gays and lesbians

A political scientist testified at a federal trial today that gays and lesbians enjoy wide support from the Democratic party, unions and many corporations, as do other minorities, including African Americans.

Professor Kenneth P. Miller, who teaches political science at Claremont McKenna College, was the first witness called by defenders of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Miller testified that the Democratic Party in California was on record in support of the repeal of Proposition 8. He also testified that the California Teachers Assn. contributed $1.3 million to defeat the marriage ban and that leading industries in Silicon Valley also participated in efforts to defeat Proposition 8.

Miller's testimony portrayed California's approval of initiatives to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples as exceptions to the state's traditional support for gay and lesbian causes. He testified that three past ballot initiatives opposed by gays and lesbians, including one that would have subjected those who were infected with HIV to quarantine, have failed overwhelmingly.

During cross-examination, David Boies, an attorney for the challengers, got Miller to admit that the entities that support gay rights also support rights for other minorities.

Boies asked Miller for examples of official discrimination against gays. Miller mentioned the federal law banning openly gay people in the military.

Under further questioning, Miller cited a federal law that defines marriage as an opposite-sex relationship and California's marriage ban that was enacted as Proposition 8.

"Looking at the institution of marriage, the state does treat heterosexual couples differently than same-sex couples," Miller said.

Miller took the stand after challengers of Proposition 8 rested their case. They introduced videos produced by supporters of Proposition 8 warning that same-sex marriage could lead to incest and other social ills.

The official Proposition 8 paid for satellite transmission of the videos to churches in California.

A woman, speaking in one of the simulcasts, warned that same-sex marriage would lead to incest and polygamy.

"Then pedophiles would have to be allowed to marry 6-, 7-, 8-year-olds," she predicted. "The man from Massachusetts who petitioned to marry his horse after [gay] marriage was instituted in Massachusetts. He'd have to be allowed to do so. Mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, any, any combination would have to be allowed."

One video showed an African American expressing irritation with comparisons of bias against gays to discrimination against African Americans, noting that people were comparing "my skin to their sin." Photographs of gay men kissing each other at their weddings also were shown.

-- Maura Dolan at the San Francisco federal courthouse

 
Comments () | Archives (26)

Perhaps the woman who warned that same-sex marriage would lead to people marrying children and animals, etc., can explain how singularly defining marriage as the union of one man to one woman necessarily precludes mothers marrying their sons or sister their brothers.

Oh, and how would she--or any other woman, for that matter--like it if women's suffrage had been defeated 90 years ago on the theory that if women were allowed to vote then children and animals would have to be as well?

Nothing tells others that you're not bigoted like comparing a human being to an animal.

Wide support??? Is that why the Citizens of California defeated this measure not only once but twice.
Seems like OUR vote is no longer good enough???

Gay marriage is treated differently from heterosexual marriage because it IS different, fundamentally different. They are the same sex, they can't reproduce, they can't have normal sexual relations, they can't provide opposite sex parents to children. How can anyone with eyes to see think that their union is the same as traditional marriage? Call it something else for God's sake and move on.

Pretty weak arguments supporting Prop 8. I mean, "marrying a horse," really? It seems that the pro 8 lawyers have little logic to rely on.

From previous LA Times articles:

"Do children of gay parents develop differently?
Research suggests there's no distinction. But the field is a young one, and studies are often colored by politics.

October 30, 2006|Kevin Sack, Times Staff Writer
Despite three decades of research on gay parenting, social scientists cannot conclusively determine whether children raised by homosexuals develop differently, for better or worse, than those raised by heterosexuals."

From an earlier article: "The paper, published this week in the American Sociological Review, finds that the offspring of lesbians and gays are more likely to depart from traditional gender roles than the children of heterosexual couples. They are more open to same-sex relationships, the study says. Teenage boys are more sexually restrained than peers in heterosexual households, while teenage girls show the opposite trend, the researchers concluded.

The USC paper primarily surveyed studies of the biological children of lesbians. Because there is very little research on gay male parents, the authors do not attempt to distinguish between parenting of gay men and lesbians.

"These studies find no significant differences between children of lesbian and heterosexual mothers in anxiety, depression, self-esteem and numerous other measures of social and psychological adjustment," [Judith Stacey] and [Timothy J. Biblarz] wrote."

Though the early consensus is that they do not, even the investigators acknowledge the field is too young, the numbers too few, the variables too many and the research too values-laden to qualify as definitive."

We know that polygamists ARE waiting in the wings to have their relationships recognized. We know that schools in states where gay marriage has been legalized DO teach that alternative families are acceptable. We know that male and female parents DO bring separate skill sets to parenting. The jury is still out on whether or not gay parents affect their childrens' development. A study published in Adolescence Magazine stated that boys raised by gay men are more likely to be molested.

I'll toss the question out. Should this information have any bearing on legitimizing gay marriage? I'm not taking a side, just stepping back and asking the question.

People are protected in California regardless of sexual orientation. Miller is right - media, academia, professional organizations, unions, businesses, and many religious organizations are sympathetic to "gay rights" causes. The legislature is definitely on the gay activism side. Name one way, aside from Prop 8, that gays are discriminated against by the state of California? And I would argue that Prop 8 is not discrimination against gays. One need not disapprove of homosexual behavior to support the birde+groom requirement in state marriage licensing. The plaintiffs have failed to make their case. Hurt feelings don't make something unconstitutional.

It stuns me that an actual adult can utter the words the parallel marrying another CONSENTING adult, that is able to sign contracts etc, with that of an ANIMAL.. which clearly can do none of those things. I truly feel sorry for these folks. They clearly have a hard time grasping reality.

I agree with Ironman. The basis of the people trying to keep this prop alive are only speculation, when the challenging side has facts, evidence of rights that have been violated. Let them speculate all they want, but there's little to no correlation between gay marriage and 'other social ills' like bestiality and pedophilia.

Let me start by saying I am not arguing for or against. I am disturbed by the arguments raised in this trial.

Gays do have the right to marry. Then can marry someone of the opposite sex. That is where the line is drawn under state law. The root of the argument is they want the line moved. To be successful, they need to describe where there line should move to.

Given the present state of the argument, "I should be able who I choose," a gay person should be able to marry his/her mother, father, sister, or brother. Further, any two people should be able to marry each other as a metter of convenience -- to get insurance, etc.

To merely say there should be no line, is inane as it is the state's right to draw the line. Demonstrate logically, rationally, constutionally, where the line should be drawn or simply shut up!

If it was a simple matter of calling it something else, I would have no objection. The fact that I have to pay (and pay and pay and pay again) simply because my partner is male instead of female is the reason we are demanding marriage, not something similar to it.

For example, because we are domestic partners and not married, I pay an extra $700/month for my partner to be on my health insurance - and that money is taxed. This is discrimination.

Because we are domestic partners, if I should die, my partner will have to fight to keep taking care of our (my biological) children instead of him continuing to care of them like he has been since the beginning of our relationship. This is discrimination.

It is un-American to be able to vote to hurt the lives of other people - especially when the vote has absolutely no bearing on your own life. You should be ashamed of yourselves for voting to hurt me and my family.

Response to Diane,

If someone where to open and IRA account, they have many options; Traditional, SEP, Rollover.... Each are fundamentally different from eachother, but they are all still IRAs.

Tradition or Gay, it is a marriage.

"Gay marriage is treated differently from heterosexual marriage because it IS different, fundamentally different. They are the same sex, they can't reproduce, they can't have normal sexual relations, they can't provide opposite sex parents to children. How can anyone with eyes to see think that their union is the same as traditional marriage? Call it something else for God's sake and move on.

Posted by: Diane | January 25, 2010 at 06:18 PM"

To me gay MARRAGE is different than gay UNION. A marrage says we want we are doing to be sanctified by others. Sorry, I don't want to santify something that I don't believe is right. I could give you the reasons why I don't believe it's right but don't feel like I need to do so. I don't care if two men or women want to live together and preform sodomy - just don't ask me to santify it.

Please don't compare my relationship with my partner of seven years to a man molesting a horse.

Bottom line, it is unconstitutional to deny a right to one group of adult Americans that you afford to other groups of adult Americans. This is, for all intents and purposes, the definition of discrimination.

Use common sense. No matter how much supporters of same-sex marriage try to distort the truth, they will not succeed: marriage and the protections that come along with it is only meant for a man and a woman.

Their ignorance is readily seen when they try to unequivocally predict the potential results of legalizing same-sex marriage. They accuse us of ignorance when we say same-sex marriage will lead to other acts of perversion, yet they themselves portray that same ignorance when they try to exempt same-sex marriage of any potentially negative results.

God bless everyone. Might we all come to our senses and protect marriage.

@Mike -- You are incorrect. My marriage to my husband was already sanctified by everyone who matters to us: our friends, family, and pastor. Your approval/disapproval does not concern us. What does matter is that our legal relationship is preserved across state lines, and recognized by the federal government.

If there was such "wide support", why would this proposition have failed? And did Professor Miller not see the statistics about how Blacks voted overwhelmingly FOR Prop 8?

I think the whole parallel to bestiality is ridiculous, to be sure, but if they keep putting this issue to the voters, and more people vote "YES" than "NO", when does this stop? Wouldn't "wide support" ensure a win for the Prop 8 opponents when the votes were initially cast?

@ A concerned american - that's the problem, you should note be able to take a "VOTE" for ones equal rights.

To Mike:

"To me gay MARRAGE is different than gay UNION. A marrage says we want we are doing to be sanctified by others. Sorry, I don't want to santify something that I don't believe is right. I could give you the reasons why I don't believe it's right but don't feel like I need to do so. I don't care if two men or women want to live together and preform sodomy - just don't ask me to santify it."

Posted by: Mike | January 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM

-------------------
When my husband I and married, no one "sanctified" our marriage but the 2 of us. It's not for anyone else to "sanctify".

The reason prop 8 will eventually be overturned permanently is for three reasons:
>First: Because people suffer reasonable grievances as a result of its passage (the case now in front of the courts is a case in point). In America, a majority group does not have open-ended authority to perpetually keep a minority group subordinated, or from achieving a status that others have. Our history shows this. Injustices caused and sustained by majority rule have been corrected by the persecuted individual's, or group's, right to bring the grievances to the courts for trial (The Judicial branch). If the majority were the judge of what is Constitutional, then none of our rights would ever be secure.
One reason it can be said that gay people suffer grievances because of measures such as prop 8 is because they are denied something that is allowed for others based on a very superficial reasons - The reasons are superficial because it is a gross oversimplification to suggest that people marry others only for the reason that their partners are a particular sex. There is much more that goes into the choosing of one's life partner, and anyone that is married (in modern-day, Industrialized, Western civilization) knows this.
Therefore, it is completely reasonable for gay people to want to be married. No opponent of gay marriage can ever accept that gays want to get married for most, if not all, of the same reasons that straight couples do. That is a fact. And for that alone it is wrong to deny marriage status to homosexuals.
>Second, the reason measures like prop 8 will fade into history as just another dark stain signifying human kind's propensity to vex and oppress one another is because: once passed, there are no individuals that can come forth to the courts with any reasonable grievances of their own about what gay marriage has done to them personally, or what loss of rights they've sustained. After all, what could they be?
-Homosexuality is not forced onto anyone.
-Priests are not forced to perform same-sex marriages (or any marriages for that matter).
-Will incest, bestiality, pedophilia, public nudity or other sexual deviations suddenly become the norm? No. Is it even reasonable to think so? No. And, worse, to think these things are particular to homosexuality and not heterosexuality is to show that one has not thought this through. There are no stigmas that can be attached to one and not the other. Further, homosexuality is a relationship between consenting adults. Any analogy that fails this equivalent, and is used to support theoretical social dangers of "normalizing homosexuality," is false.
-Will homosexuality spread like some disease? No. Again, not even a reasonable argument, and certainly not in line with conventional medical opinions concerning the nature of homosexuality.
- Will children of same sex couples suffer in some way? No more than children of opposite-sex parents do. Again, the same standard applies: no stigmas can be attached to one and not the other. Side note: What percentage of dysfunction that children of same-sex couples suffer do you think is the result of the harassment they receive from other children who've been taught it is okay to mistreat them, or from a general population that considers them illegitimate?
- Will we suffer God's wrath by way of terrorist plots and natural disasters? Ask Pat Robertson! oops!
> Third, the precedent of "personal liberty as something worth protecting" is on the side of gay rights. The expansion of freedom has always overcome its contractions. I know America has been slow to adopt radical liberal ideas, like freeing the slaves, ensuring women's suffrage, nationalizing health care, etc., but eventually we do come around, and the strong prejudices of the past become just that: the past. We still see some of that prejudice today, but it no longer has the vigor that it once did. Once gay marriages are a certainty, and the realization that they pose no real threat to our domestic tranquility has set in, conventional wisdom will once again been said to have progressed.

Thank you, Colin. You articulated the points thoughtfully and very well.

First of all, to the thing about 'oh, then polygamy and marrying children will be legal!'

Hmm.... polygamy and child brides.... Doesn't that sound like the fundamentalist Mormons, who overwhelming supported Prop 8?

Now, ain't that a wee bit hypocritical?

Secondly, convicted murderers and sex-offenders are legally allowed to get married and have kids.

Unless you are really trying to tell us that gay people are somehow grossly more negligent and unfit to be parents than a homicidal maniac, get over yourselves, and stop trying to deny people their rights based on your own petty, misguided prejudices.

Oh, and to the person who said "gay people can marry someone of the opposite sex".... How would you feel if you were told, "Hey, marry anyone you like, as long as they are the same sex as you!"

It's heartening to see a clear majority of supportive comments on this thread, and just the usual few bigoted ones.

Like Diane, who thinks Gay marriage "is different" because... "they can't reproduce" (oh wait, a lot of straight couples can't reproduce)... or, "they can't have normal sexual relations" (oh wait, a lot of straight couples not only can't have "normal" sex, whatever that means, but they have decidedly abnormal sex), or "they can't provide opposite sex parents to children" (oh wait, hundreds of thousands of children are raised by single parents or families with two same sex parents). Diane, you're a bigoted idiot, as we all can see. Hmmm, time to watch this video Diane:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

And then, there's silly, stupid Ken, who opines "One need not disapprove of homosexual behavior to support the birde+groom requirement in state marriage licensing," and says the Plaintiffs have no case just because a gay marriage ban "hurts feelings." Hmm. Ken fails to understand the tax, child custody, estate or immigration rights associated only with marriage. Ken also doesn't understand how a structural stigma, such as separating the right of marriage as something "unfit" for gays and lesbians, directly contributes to a social stigma of gays and lesbians. Ken is a great example of the subconscious yet clear animus underneath support for a gay marriage ban; funny thing is, Ken doesn't know he's a hater! Oh, poor Ken.

Maybe Ken should meet Mike, who says that Gay marriage would make him "santify something that I don't believe is right." Awe, Mike, gosh! Since when is the 14th Amendment about Equal Protection Under the Law WITH REGARD TO THINGS MIKE THINKS ARE RIGHT? Oops, Mike, you're an idiot, too.

But again, I just want to point out how nice it is that the overwhelming majority of these comments are for Gay and Lesbian equality. And also point out that hateful people, such as those at the Protect Marriage campaign, can't allow comments on ANY of their posts or blogs - because they too would be overwhelmed by loving people who object to their bigotry.

It's a wonderful world!

"...Then pedophiles would have to be allowed to marry 6-, 7-, 8-year-olds," she predicted. "The man from Massachusetts who petitioned to marry his horse after marriage was instituted in Massachusetts. He'd have to be allowed to do so. Mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, any, any combination would have to be allowed..."
A spot on and legally accurate statement/conclusion.
This present challenge to Prop 8 does not base its argument whether or not homo sex is a genetic trait, a distorted sexual proclivity, a mental impairment, or a simple unconscious choice of sexual lifestyle. The argument is largely predicated upon access to equal protection. And THAT is the problem!
The issue of "the slippery slope" is not new or an unknown mention. However, once that legal bar is dropped to allow homosexual marriages, where is the legal logic to subsequently disallow the above referenced free-for-all from approaching the courts asking for the exact same protections of THEIR rights to do this or that?
The argument that an animal cannot enter into a contract is irrelevant considering the speculative animal is someone's PROPERTY! Animal to animal marriages are already legally conducted in England and elsewhere in Europe... one YouTube post I found was a same sex animal/animal hookup. How quaint!
And what of a pedophile marriage scenario? This age group is already at-risk for marriage in most of the world. We are only speaking of one or a few cultural missteps before the homosexual activist fringe, National Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and its affiliated lesbian mirror would get their hands on impressionable children. This crap is already being prepped in many school systems in Amerika. What long term effect is homosexual adoption wrecking upon impressionable infants and children? Where are the UNbiased studies on this?
Every homosexual related short term and long term agenda MUST be factored into this case. No one should seriously consider this would be the conclusion of what they want. Movements historically don't operate that way.
This case bodes nothing else than the eventual destruction, degradation and demise of societal order if the equal protection law is opened to every kind of personal BEHAVIORAL proclivity, including serial murderers who could claim a psychological predisposition to kill.
Again, if homosexuals were able to CONCLUSIVELY PROVE, beyond all reasonable doubt that they were "born that way" THEN and ONLY then should this business be considered. And some vague subjective notion; 'that I always felt that way...' does NOT meet any minimum standard scientific burden of proof.

 
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