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Prop. 8 trial: Closing arguments end as judge presses both sides

Closing arguments concluded Wednesday afternoon in the Proposition 8 trial with more pointed questions from U.S.  District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is presiding over the landmark proceedings to determine the constitutionality of California’s ban on gay marriage.

When court resumed after the lunch break, Charles Cooper, attorney for proponents of the measure, told Walker that the “marital relationship is fundamental to the existence and survival of the race. Without the marital relationship, society would come to an end.”

That relationship, he said, is between a man and a woman and its main focus is procreation and “channeling” the sexual behavior of heterosexuals into “stable, marital unions.”

Walker continually pressed the sometimes flustered Cooper on just what marriage means and why the state should care about it. Why does the state regulate marriage, he asked. Do people get married to benefit the community? Why doesn’t the state just consider it a private contract?

Walker: “Why is it that marriage has such a large public role? What is the purpose?”

Cooper: “This relationship is crucial to the public interest.… Procreative sexual relations both are an enormous benefit to society and represent a very real threat to society’s interest.”

Walker: “Threat?"

Cooper: “If children are born into the world without this stable, marital union … both of the parents that brought them into the world, then a host of very important, very negative social implications arise.... The purpose of marriage is to provide society’s approval to that sexual relationship and to the actual production of children.”

Walker: “But the state doesn’t withhold marriage from people who cannot have children.”

Cooper: “It does not.”

Walker: “Are you saying the state should?”

Cooper took Theodore Olson, attorney for the gay and lesbian couples who filed suit against Proposition 8, to task for claiming that Californians could support the ban on same-sex marriage only “through irrational or dark motive, some animus, some kind of bigotry.”

He called Olson’s characterization a “slur” on the millions of Americans who voted for the ballot measure in 2008 and “a slur on 70 of 108 judges who have upheld as rational the decisions by voters and legislators to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.”

Olson’s viewpoint, Cooper said, “denies the good faith of Congress, of state legislature after state legislature and electorate after electorate.”

To which Walker responded: “If you have 7 million Californians, 70 judges and this long history, why in this case did you present but one witness? ... You had a lot to choose from. One witness, and it was fair to say his testimony was equivocal.”

A ruling in the case is expected sometime this summer

-- Maria L. La Ganga at federal court in San Francisco

 
Comments () | Archives (120)

Gays have same rights as heteros right now. Marry a single, opposite sex, consenting adult. SAME RIGHTS! Dedicate your life to that person, have children, dedicate your life to those children. This is also what we should teach children, a goal, for society, as they grow. The do whatever you want to whomever... think of that hedonist society? Is that what we really want? No.

Marriage was created by the church so it should be defined by the church. The state of California simply licenses marriage that is all. Some how this licensing role has been expanded to the definition of marriage. What ever happened to the separation of church and state?

I think Mr. Cooper's is trying to justify the churches position on marriage, which is misguided. His arguement would be much more effective if he focused on the separation of church and state. This is the real issue here. The gays want the state to define marriage because they know they aren't going to get anywhere with the church.

My last point is that no where in the constitution does is say that marriage and having children are fundamental rights. The gays have spun this marriage thing up into a rights issue, but it's not. If you are gay then be gay and have the dignity to accept the consequences of your sexual preferences. Stop expecting the same privileges that straights have like marriage and children. For your information, if you are truly a homosexual you can't have children.

The People of California Have spoken, accept it. We took the right to vote, cast our ballot, and now you have an answer. The majority rule. Democracy at it's finest. I think Lincoln said it Best:
"that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Funny how little rationality comes through from the agruments in favor of Prop 8. But then, I wouldn't expect any rational basis for supporting a law derived from religious (aka superstitious) beliefs?

I also find it ironic that Christian groups can condemn Islamic nations for imposing Sharia while working towards an equivalent goal here in this country. Same idea, different book.

i just dont understand why the glbt community is so bent on calling themselves married. no one is this country has unequal rights...they have equal rights across the board. it just dosent make any sense. marrage is between one man and one women...why do they feel to the need to infringe on something that has always been. it makes me feel they are selfish and hateful...i really dont care who has sex with who as long as they are consenting adults. why are they so bent on shoving it in everyones face...why cant we just get along...the hetro community as a whole is doing nothing to infringe unpon the glbt community...again it makes me feel the glbl community are selfish and hateful.

It would seem as though the Judge in this case is hardly objective in this case. He seems to be doing all the arguing for the plaintive. There is no dark reasoning being this. The people have spoken on this at the ballot box. I think they want the institution of Marriage defended. It is understandable. Marriage is between a Man and a Woman. Now, that being said, if two people who are homosexual wish to be legally joined together with all the same benefits, and drawbacks as a Married couple, I say FINE. Just don't call it Marriage. It's like calling a Cat, a Dog. It's not the same. A Bar mitzvah and a Bat mitzvah are essentially are the same but still, not quiet. You can call them Civil unions, Joining or Shackling, whatever you want to call it, have a ceremony or a party, celebrate life and love but don't call it marriage, it's just not the same thing.

I am marring my brother!

ONE CANNOT COMPARE A BARREN WOMAN ADOPTING CHILDREN TO A GAY COUPLE ADOPTING CHILDREN WHY.....?
THE SCIENCE AND THE MORALS VALUES DO NOT FIT. OR EVEN IF IT IS DONE BY ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION TO HAVE A CHILD.

A CHILD IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND IT IS FORMED WITH AND EGG FROM A WOMAN AND A SPERM FROM A MAN.
A CHILD NEEDS BOTH THE OPPOSITE SEX PARENTS IN ORDER TO FUNCTION STEADILY IN SOCIETY, OTHERWISE IT IS A MERE CONFUSION, FOR THE CHILD.
GAY PARENTS ARE ABNORMAL TO SOCIETY. DIVORCE COUPLES CREATE SORROW AMONGST CHILDREN.
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS AND TO SAVE A RACE IT IS VITAL TO RESPECT TRUE MEANING OF MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN.
EVEN A GAY PERSON KNOWS HE OR SHE CAME FROM A SEED OF THE OPPOSITE SEX, GOT THE POINT?
GAYS ARE LIKE DRUG ADDICTS THEY CAN CHANGE, IN THE COURSE OF TIME TO BEING STRAIGHT, THE QUESTION IS, DO THEY REALLY WANT TO CHANGE?
ONLY EUNUCHS WHO HAVE GENITAL DEFORMITIES ARE EXCUSED BY GOD.
MARRIAGE IS SACRED. RESPECT IT.

Can we please also then make it illegal to divorce, cheat on a spouse, and have children when not married?

Why can't a person be married by church and not state, or married by state and not church? Don't we have that seperation of church and state?

Derrick,

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Signed,
A heterosexual, married man who appreciates what the 14th Amendment says and who realizes that if even ONE person in our nation isn't afforded equal rights then none of us are truly free.

First question needs to be answered is if we're now sanctionining "non traditional marriages", why exclude equal rights for polygamists. There are many thousand of polygamists in the U S, and polygamy has been practiced for thousands of years in nearly every culture. "It's not equality unless we're all equal".

There's a big difference between inexorable physical traits and the contents of one's mind including sexuality. Physical trait minorities don't deserve special treatment and neither do mental minorities (those with deviant viewpoints and preferences). Gays are not "special" because they deviate from normal gender behavior. The deviant behavior is not made any less deviant by dishonestly arguing that the deviance is genetic, that animals are allegedly deviant or that 10% are gay when perhaps 1% are. People and government are free to discriminate against deviant viewpoints and behavior of all kinds, gay or not.

DOMA (passed by overwhelming majorities of Democrats and Republicans and signed by Clinton) was a defensive response to corrupt Democrat judges ignoring equal protection law to summarily redefine marriage for gay Democrats. DOMA was designed to keep a state issue a state issue instead of permitting corrupt Democrat judges in a single state from forcing every other state and the federal government to comply with their abuse of office through the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution.

Having a gay Democrat as a judge will likely result in yet another perversion, of law.

I don't have a problem with them calling it something else as long as ALL LEGAL RIGHTS both state and federal are the same for both. Currently I am taxed by the federal government for the portion of medical/dental coverage that I carry for my same-sex partner, but "straight" couples aren't. My partner and I have spent thousand of dollars in legal fees to have at least some of the same legal rights that straight married couples take for granted.

All unions whether straight or gay should be considered "civil unions" by the government and the same "rights" applied to all. After all it is a contract between two people. Then "marriage" can be a religious ceremony performed within the religious communities. And the religious communities can decide if they want to perform a marriage between two people whether straight or gay. I personally don't want to be associated with a religious group that doesn't approve of my life. Know way too many uptight religious folks that "sin" during the week and fall to their knees on Sunday morning asking for forgiveness.

Never realized that being married was a requirement to have children.......that will be a shock to all the unwed mothers out there. Maybe we should deny government support to unwed mothers.

I have been with my partner for 25 years, which is much longer then most of the straight couples we know who have been divorced at least once if not multiple times.

This country has truly been turned into an Alice in Wonderland. We are actually taking up court time purporting to decide whether two (or more) men (or women) who wish to engage in a deviant sexual practice should be anointed in marriage.
It is obvious from the judge's loopy questions that he is going to find in favor of homosexuals tying thier knot, so to speak.
This is just the latest in a string of liberal issues that are being codified into law that are killing our country.
At the risk of being trite, why stop with homosexuals?
About a year ago, a women in London "married" a dolphin.
Homosexuality has come out of the closet and is infecting everything from the Boy Scouts to our schools to our most sacred institutions.

I am utter disbelief. The anti prop 8 people are so for gay rights. The pro prop 8 people all they want is for marriage to be between a boy and girl...
Marriage was something that came about as an order from God. Anti prop 8ers, why is it that when it comes to "doing" as God said in everything else you are against. Yet, this one thing, you want? WHY? You say that we that are pro prop 8 just dont want to respect your views and that we dont want to tolerate them; what about you? Why can you not tolerate our views? Why cant you let alone what has been the normal for the past 9000 years? Marriage is for union of a man and a woman to be fruitful and multiply. Two women cant and two guys cant. I know that is not the only reason for marriage but its one of the basic principles.
Have you not seen the latest numbers? The anglo-saxon community is multiplying at a rate of less than 2.5%, that means that in 25 years your numbers will diminish, in another 2 generation you will be by far the smallest society. That is just the anglos, what about the rest? For humanity to exist, you need boy and girl not boy and boy... Dont give me this junk about going to get a donor and all this.... has there been a study on the mental damage that it does to a child to know that they were 1. donated 2. given up or 3. scientifically made? My wife was adopted, and still she has issues... Whats going to happen to society when 1/2 the population comes from that?

Its sick and twisted.... up is now down left is now right and straight is now gay... ok, maybe not that one....

The fundamental flaw of comparing gay marriage with incestuous marriage or bestiality is that no one, especially children, are inherently harmed in a gay marriage. No matter how you spin it, being homosexual will not harm a child's upbringing.

Children of incest are inherently damaged. I mean, the chance of genetic defects rises astronomically, and the "love" between incestuous parents simply creates defective, messed up children. A similar case is made for bestiality, as gross as it is for most people. An animal can't give consent, and any kind of sexual intercourse with it will most likely injure it.

Gays however, are perfectly consenting, and if they want to get married, very dedicated to each other. Such a bond can and does exist between gays whether you want to recognize it as marriage or not. They would do everything a straight man would do for his wife.

In a nation of so many broken marriages and abusive parent-child relationships, we should not be so quick to deny those with true dedication and chemistry the right to positively contribute to society

I think the real argument is if voting matters anymore? But really can the argument be made in favor of polygamy as well? If couples can marry of the same sex and we are bias as to same sex marriage then why can't someone argue that if a couple consents to the practice then why can't they have multiple spouses?

Am I missing something or was prop.8 a constitutional amendment? Wouldn't that make it a part of the constitution thus completely constitutional. If the judge rules it is unconstitutional he should be removed and disbarred for failure to uphold his oath of office.

Prop 8 is much larger than either side. If this gets shutdown it will effectively remove our right to vote as you can just pay to have the laws changed. It will be a sad sad day for voters if this gets overturned and will officially mark that our system is no longer a Democratic society and now is a country ruled by money. Not that we are not almost there with all the corporate lobbyists in the pockets of our government. But this will kill what chance we have to every fix our broken country.

All of us know that the position of those who oppose same-sex unions are making only a religious argument. We are all very aware of the extortion the Mormon Church did on its members in UT to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into CA because of a religious notion about marriage.

All of us know that the sole argument from those who oppose same-sex marriage rests on the false notion that marriage is all about procreation. If that argument were valid, they MUST also be against all married couples who have children from participating in any military war zone. Those married couples with children would be force-ably put into danger. That is the exact opposite of what is good for a family. But, those who are for Prop 8 don't address that issue - and there are men and women with children at this very second in Iraq and Afghanistan whose lives are in danger.

Consequently, that alone is proof that their argument about procreation and family is invalid, false and is a totally hollow argument.

Marriage in the US is about love, togetherness and who WE want for our family - not what someone else wants for US. There is no religious test to get married. There is no procreation test to get married. NONE. Thus, procreation and marriage is not a legal argument - it is merely a choice that married couple decide on for THEMSELVES.

Those who are against same-sex marriage are intruding in on the personal lives of people they don't even know, using an argument that is invalid. This is the ultimate in hubris and ignorance.

ONLY EUNUCHS WHO HAVE GENITAL DEFORMITIES ARE EXCUSED BY GOD.

Posted by: cheryl


Whew! That's a relief! Thanks for the good news, Cheryl. As a life long enunuch, I am glad to know that God has given me a free pass.


Also, thanks for one of the funniest, most bizarre posts I have ever digested.

The real issue is that states or localities issue "Marriage" licenses as a sort of revenue (same as plumber's license, or driver's license) but they really shouldn't.
Marriage was created as a sacrament by various religions long before the US existed. Who are we to change what it really means.

The answer to the issue is for states and localities to issue "Civil Union" licenses to everyone. The license issuer gets there revenue and everyone is treated equally. If we drop the "Marriage" word from the argument the argument goes away.

Oh my gosh, how many times do the people of California have to vote that legal marriage is between a man and a woman. If certain people don't like the "laws" in California, there are 49 other states they can move to.

The tortured logic, slippery slope, and non sequiter arguments made by the Prop 8 crowd are just amazing. Not to mention the argument from religious authority on secular law. As for those crying about judges overruling a majority vote, here is a clue for you: the majority CANNOT deprive a minority of its fundamental rights. You may not pass laws instituting slavery or banning corporations because they cause so much environmental damage. There are limits, and those who cry about the "undermining" of majority rule are completely ignorant of the US Constitution.

If California homosexuals really wanted to be effective in ending this "bias" then they should pack up with good old libertarians and either by the legislature or through vote reject the states ability to issue marriage licenses and leave it to the localities or as a contract between two individuals.

But that would be too logical and legally sound.

Posted by: Big Bear Dave | June 16, 2010 at 08:48 PM

 
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