The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
– United States Supreme Court’s unanimous Loving v. Virginia (1967) decision
Judge Walker: “I’m asking you to tell me how it would harm opposite-sex marriages….”
Pro-Prop. 8 Atty. Cooper: “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know.”
– 10/14/09 pretrial hearing rejecting defendant-intervenors’ request for summary judgment
At the request of Judge Vaughn Walker, attorneys from both sides of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Proposition 8 challenge, filed briefs late Friday summarizing their evidence. Links to Olson & Boise’ 294 page brief and other court documents can be found at the American Foundation for Equal Rights website.
Judge Walker is expected to schedule closing arguments soon.
FEBRUARY 27, 2010 – Papers filed last night by attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies detail how the evidence revealed during last month’s three-week federal trial of Proposition 8 overwhelmingly proves that the measure is unconstitutional. …
At trial, Olson and Boies demonstrated the unconstitutionality of the initiative through the presentation of 17 witnesses and revealing cross-examination of the defendant-intervenors’ witnesses. Put simply, the case against Prop. 8 was made by plaintiffs’ witnesses and the Proponents’.
The trial proved that:
Prop. 8 does irreparable harm to Americans
Marriage has shed discriminatory restrictions over time
Gay men and lesbians are entitled to the full protection of the 14th Amendment
There is no good reason for Prop. 8’s denial of fundamental civil rights
It should be a riveting read! Haven’t seen a link to the other side’s brief yet, but CBS news is reporting that “lawyers for the sponsors of California’s gay marriage ban offered new twists on their claim that allowing gay men and lesbians to wed could undermine man-woman unions. The potential harms they cited included giving bisexuals a legal basis for pursuing group marriages and unmarried fathers an incentive to abandon their children.” In other words, they’re still pulling on the absurdity straw.
Olson & Boies were guests Friday on Bill Moyers Journal. I highly recommend watching the video or reading the transcript, both of which can be found here. The AFER team expertly fielded tough questions like “I mean, for example, roughly 40 states have laws banning gay marriage. In other words, you would be disenfranchising the voters of, not just California, and not just the Congress, if you go this route. And isn’t it risky to ask the court to invalidate that much public opinion before the public is really ready for it?”