Thursday, January 28, 2010

Overwhelmingly one-sided

Both sides in the trial over the Calif. gay marriage ban have now presented all of their evidence. The judge wants to review the evidence (over a few weeks or couple months) before asking the lawyers back to give their closing arguments. There will be more waiting after that for the verdict. Along the way there is a battle over whether more evidence of a certain kind should be introduced. The anti-gay guys were forced to reveal a great deal of the workings of their campaign and now want to force the pro-gay campaign to do the same. Never mind the pro-gay stuff has nothing to do with whether gay marriage should be outlawed or whether gays have been treated with animosity. I wonder if the pro-gay lawyers would say, "Fine. Here it is. We have nothing to hide."

Here is a link to the last of the daily summaries of the trial. It includes links to all previous days. If you are really curious and have lots of time you can even read the daily transcripts. Just be aware that includes everything said in the courtroom over the course of a working day and there are 12 days worth.

Shannon Minter, who has been providing the daily digests, summed up the whole trial in his last posting. What he says is worth reading, though too long for me to quote. A condensation:

The evidence has been overwhelmingly one-sided. The pro-gay side presented the top researchers in gay issues. They used the inflammatory words of the campaign to show it included a huge component of hostility and fear-mongering. The gay witnesses showed the inability to marry causes real and great harm to couples and their children.

The anti-gay side could only offer testimony from two people who were not qualified to testify -- the judge told one of them that he was so poorly qualified that if the trial was before a jury the witness would have been prevented from speaking. Neither witness offered reasons why gays shouldn't marry and both offered many reasons why they should. A few commenters wondered if such a weak presentation was intentional. Are they saving the big guns for the Supremes? How is pulling out the big guns later rather than now an advantage? Are they merely using the whole exercise as a fund-raising venture? "See how the activist judges are against us! Send cash now!"

In summary, there is no reason why gays should not be able to marry and the reasons why gay marriage laws keep losing in popular votes is the ability of the anti-gay crowd to generate and fan all that hostility and fear-mongering. Before a judge who demands evidence they have nothing to say.

This is, of course, only the first step. The case will be appealed, first to the 9th Circuit Court, then to the Supremes. Don't plan a California wedding just yet.

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