Pastor Presented as Face of Prop 8 in Trial

San Diegans are voicing their opinions after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the measure banning same-sex marriage.

By R. Stickney
|  Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 2:55 PM PDT
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Pastor Presented as Face of Prop 8 in Trial

NBCSanDiego.com

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Those arguing to overturn Prop 8 point to a La Mesa pastor as one of the reasons why justices should rule California's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

Lawyers representing two same-sex couples challenging the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage rested their case Monday.

After spending more than nine days presenting evidence on the meaning of marriage, the nature of sexual orientation, and the role of religion in shaping attitudes about both, the plaintiffs ended with a video clip highlighting Pastor Jim Garlow of La Mesa's Skyline Church and other proponents.

In the clip, Garlow warned that polygamists were "waiting in the wings" to see if Prop 8 would be passed. It appeared as if the plaintiffs were introducing the video to demonstrate the campaign for the ban appealed to reglious-based, anti-gay bias to scare voters into supporting the measure, according to the Associated Press.

Immediately after the November 2008 passage of the ban on gay marriage, Garlow told NBCSanDiego that he isn't anti-gay. He said he's just for traditional marriage.

“I am for what's best for the child and that is a mother and a father,” Garlow said in November 2008. “A mommy and a daddy to be the parents that's what's right."

Garlow's assistant at the Skyline Church returned our phone call but explained that the pastor could not comment on Monday's events in court because he has been called as a witness in the case.

The trial is the first in a federal court to examine if states violate the U.S. Constitution by preventing same-sex couples from marrying.
Prominent litigators Theodore Olson and David Boies asserted in their case that Proposition 8 is a product of anti-gay bias without justification.

Eight years ago, California voters approved Proposition 22, which specified in state law that only marriages between a man and a woman are valid in California. But in May 2008, the state Supreme Court ruled the law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against gays, and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married in the ensuing months.

Opponents of same-sex marriage quickly got Proposition 8 on the November ballot, and it was approved by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

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