January 12, 2010
Column # 1,481
Gay Marriage Headed to
By Mike McManus
The gays are
Having lost at the ballot box in 31 states (most recently, Maine) and
also in the New York and New Jersey legislatures in recent weeks, where
gays predicted victories, gay activists have filed a legal case in
California that is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
They hope to overturn the clear popular will in every state which
rejected same-sex marriage.
Their case is that the founding fathers, who wrote the Constitution,
believe in same-sex marriage.
Gays are trying to overturn Proposition 8 in which 52 percent of
California voters added an amendment to the state's constitution
limiting marriage to the union of a man and woman.
San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in
2004, a move annulled by the CA Supreme Court months later. However in
May, 2008 the same court voted 4-3 to legalize gay marriage. That
decision was reversed by the November, 2008 vote on Prop 8.
Gay rights lawyers argued in March, 2009 that Prop 8 was
unconstitutional. Interestingly, the CA Supreme Court disagreed,
upholding the right of the people to overturn the Supreme Court!
Two gay couples appealed the case to a Federal Court, and the trial
began this week before a single Judge, Vaughn Walker, with testimony
from two plaintiffs in the case, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, who wed
in California in 2004, only to have their union declared invalid.
Ms. Stier said that being able to marry her partner would "provide me
with a sense of inclusion in the social fabric of the society I live
in. I want our children to feel proud of us. I don't want them to
worry about us," she told the court.
Her partner added, "The state is not letting me be happy." Now there's a
Paul Katami, a homosexual plaintiff who sued to challenge Prop 8, was
shown a campaign video supporting Prop 8 which ended with: "Stand up for
righteousness. Vote YES on Prop 8." Attorney David Boies asked Katami
how the ad made him feel.
Katami replied it made him angry because it implied, "We're a class of
citizens or a category of people who need to be stood up against for
some reason. We're no harm. We want to do one thing. I want to get
married to Jeff. I want to start a family."
David Boies became famous when he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court
that Al Gore won the Presidential election. His opponent in that case,
Theodore Olson, former U.S. Solicitor General, who argued Bush was the
victor, is the co-counsel with Boies in this case.
America's two most famous lawyers are presenting an ominous bipartisan
face to this issue.
That is one reason all expert observers believe that regardless of how
Judge Walker rules in this case, that it will be appealed all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brian Brown, director of National Organization for Marriage, said "This
lawsuit is an attempt by Judge Walker to put the voters of California on
trial, and it's wrong. I think our founding fathers would be rolling
over in their graves if they heard that the constitution guarantees the
right to redefine marriage."
Among the witnesses who will testify in the two-week trial are the
official sponsors of Prop 8 and an array of expert witnesses to be
called by both sides to testify on such issues as the historical meaning
of marriage, the economic benefit of marriage and whether children fare
better when their parents are a heterosexual married couple.
Theodore Olson, representing the gay couples, told Walker, "Marriage is
the most important relation in life." He added, Proposition 8
"stigmatizes gays and lesbians and says, `Your relationship is not the
same' as those of heterosexual couples.'"
His opponent, Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the Prop 8 sponsors, which
included thousands of churches, argued in opening remarks that marriage
is a "pro-child social institution." He said barring same-sex marriages
is justified because the basic purpose of marriage is "to promote
naturally procreative sexual activity in a stable and enduring
relationship that will nurture children."
He also argued that gays and lesbians are not the target of ill will or
discriminatory intent. "There are millions of Americans who believe in
equal rights for gays and lesbians but draw the line at marriage."
More comprehensive arguments will be needed to win this case.
Facts: A 2000 Justice Department study revealed homosexual partners are
84 times more likely to experience domestic violence than married
heterosexuals. A 2007 study reported gays live 24 years shorter lives.
Should children be brought up in such a union?
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