Prop. 8 Closing Arguments Finally Heard

Grab Em By the Fro-Yo
16 Handles

Closing arguments in the landmark trial over the constitutionality of the state's ban on gay marriage were held in San Francisco Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse. 

The hearing came exactly two years to the day after the first same-sex marriage was performed in San Francisco.

Among those who came out to hear the closing arguments was the man who performed that ceremony, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker set aside and used five hours for testimony.   He gave lawyers on both sides a list of 39 questions that he expected them to answer during their closings.

Walker is being asked to overturn the ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriages five months after the California Supreme Court legalized it and after an estimated 18,000 couples from around the country got married.

Plaintiff Jeffrey Zarrillo is suing to overturn Proposition 8 with his partner, Paul Katami, and a lesbian couple from Berkeley, Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier

Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued for two couples, claiming it was a violation of their civil rights.  "Their state has stigmatized them as unworthy of marriage,  different, and less respected," Olson said.

Lawyers who represent the sponsors of Prop 8 made their case in the afternoon.  That's when attorney Charles Cooper, representing the sponsors of Proposition  8, maintained that marriage has  traditionally been defined throughout history by societies as exclusively  opposite-sex, and the primary purpose has been procreation. He said that  definition is "fundamental to the very existence and survival of the human  race."

One of the first things to remember in the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger case is that nothing will be decided at this legal level. Whatever Walker rules will certainly be appealed.

Second, a decision probably won't be announced for weeks, if not months. 

Testimony in this case took place five months ago, but Walker delayed the close of the trial in order to prepare those questions. 

Walker addressed the delay this way, "The period of time from the presentation is not anything that I would have wished or hoped for. But it may be appropriate that the case is coming to closing argument right now. June is after all the month for ... weddings."

View more news videos at:

Contact Us