First, from EDGE
Prop 8 trial, Day 6: San Diego mayor takes the stand
by Roger Brigham
EDGE San Francisco Editor
Wednesday Jan 20, 2010
The second week of the federal Prop 8 trial opened with often tearful
testimony from Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders as he recounted why
he changed his mind to support marriage for gays and lesbians in 2007 after
he made his opposition to it part of his first successful run for office.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera played a video of the press
conference Sanders held to announce his change of heart. The former San
Diego police chief recounted the last minute reconsiderations that spurred
him to endorse marriage for same-sex couples.
"I came to the conclusion that night I was prejudiced," Sanders told the
court. "I was extremely emotional because of the decision I made. I felt I
had come very close to making a bad decision.The night before the press
conference, I invited a number of people from the gay and lesbian community.
I intended to give them the courtesy to tell them I intended to veto this. I
thought they would accept civil unions. I was shocked at the depth of the
emotion of the comments they made."
Sanders has two daughters from a previous marriage: Jamie, whom he said was
straight, and Lisa, who is lesbian. He said they had worked with him on his
campaign "every step of the way" and they understood his position on civil
unions at the time was the one that as a Republican running in San Diego at
the time was "politically palatable on the basis of the support that I had."
The rest of the article is here: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?101334
Second, from Religion Dispatches
Religion Largely Absent in Proposition 8 Trial
January 19, 2010
When Proposition 8 was fought at the ballot box in California to deny the
newly-minted right to marry for gay and lesbian couples, those leading the
charge were mainly religious. The Mormon Church gave more than $180,000
efforts to repeal the new marriage law. That was peanuts
rmon-spending-on-proposition-8> though compared to the nearly $730,000 in
cash and services provided by Colorado-based Focus on the Family and the
$1.275 million given by the Catholic Church group the Knights of Columbus.
The religious argument against marriage equality for gays and lesbians may
have won the round at the ballot box, but in the San Francisco courtroom
where the legal battle to overturn Prop. 8 wraps up its first week, religion
has been largely absent. Religious arguments don't hold a lot of legal
water, so anti-marriage equality proponents are forced to use their secular
arguments, and reading reports from the courtroom (since the U.S. Supreme
Court nixed video coverage of the trial), they're leaking fairly badly as
Without being able to argue that God ordained one man and one woman for life
(never mind all that Old Testament polygamy) and so we cannot deviate from
that pattern, those opposed to same-gender marriage are instead focusing on
issues like parenting, economic impact, discrimination, and child rearing.
In their opening <http://www.mercurynews.com/samesexmarriage/ci_14165465
arguments, defense attorneys laid out their case:
Charles Cooper, the lead attorney for the Proposition 8 defense (.) is
hitting the main points in the defense: that the voters have spoken on the
issue, and gay couples in California enjoy strong legal protections under
domestic partnership laws. (.) Cooper finished his opening statement,
defending the need for society to preserve the traditional definition of
marriage and limit it to heterosexual couples for its procreative purposes.
He told the judge that marriage must be "pro-child," and that would be at
risk if same-sex couples were allowed to marry. Cooper insisted that the
courts should stay out of the issue and allow the voters to decide whether
they want to allow same-sex marriage, but the judge questioned that thesis.
"There are certainly lots of issues taken out of the body politic. Why isn't
this one of them?" the judge asked at one point.
The rest of the article is here:
Third, from AP via EDGE
Prop 8 Trial: Evidence Points to Success of Gay Marriage
by Lisa Leff
Wednesday Jan 20, 2010
Same-sex couples in some parts of the United States have been able to wed
for long enough to conclude that expanding gay marriage to other states
would not undermine traditional marriages, a University of Massachusetts
economist testified during a trial on California's same-sex marriage ban.
Lee Badgett's testimony Tuesday finished off the sixth day in the historic
trial, the first in a federal court to examine whether prohibiting gays and
lesbians from marrying violates their constitutional rights.
Badgett, who also directs research for a gay-related think tank at the
University of California, Los Angeles, took the witness stand on behalf of
two same-sex couples suing to overturn Proposition 8, the state's
voter-approved ban. She cited statistics from Massachusetts, which has
allowed gay couples to marry since 2004, showing that marriage and divorce
rates for straight couples have not been affected.
"I don't think we need to wait any longer to see what the impact will be. I
think we know," Badgett said. "Everything I've looked at leads me to the
conclusion that there is no impact."
The rest of the article is here: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?101340
Fourth, from AP via EDGE
Opponents Press Gay Marriage Ban in New Hampshire
by Normal Love
Wednesday Jan 20, 2010
Three weeks after the state legalized gay marriage, opponents are asking a
House committee to repeal the law and let voters amend the constitution to
define marriage as between a man and a woman.
The House Judiciary Committee was holding hearings Wednesday on the two
measures, which many observers expect the House to reject when they are
brought to the floor in the next few weeks.
Opponents know their chances of success are slim, but they are looking to
the November election in hopes Republicans will regain control of the
Statehouse and succeed then in repealing the law.
Right now, Democrats are firmly in charge and appear eager to dispose of
controversial measures early in the session to avoid lingering debate in an
election year. Gay marriage opponents know that and are focusing on a bigger
prize: voter sympathy.
The rest of the article is here: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?101341
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