Fight Over Same Sex MarriageJune 16, 2010 - 12:54 PM | by: Anita Vogel
The fight over same-sex marriage in California continues in a U.S. District courthouse in San Francisco. Today lawyers will present closing arguments in the trial to repeal Proposition 8, a measure which narrowly passed in November of 2008 and banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State.
More than two weeks of testimony took place in January and today Judge Vaughn Walker is expecting lawyers on both sides to answer more than 30 questions he has posed, including queries over the role of the Mormon Church in the passage of Proposition 8 and whether legalizing same-sex marriage would reduce discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Representing the two gay and lesbian couples who are the plaintiffs in this case are the unusual combination of Ted Olson and David Boies. Olson represented George W Bush during the Election 2000 Supreme Court case, and Boies represented Vice President Al Gore. “These are two legal giants,” says Fox News Legal Analyst Bob Massi. “These guys don’t lose.”
The heart of the argument centers around the question of whether banning same-sex marriage is a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Long time gay couple Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis say it is. The couple got married during the five month window when same-sex marriage was legal in California from June to November of 2008. They have been together for 23 years and hope their marriage serves as a positive example of family values for California and the country. Opponents of gay marriage insist it has a negative effect on raising children.
A full day of closing arguments are expected today, but no decisions will be made. Judge Walker says he’ll issue his written decision sometime over the next few weeks, but the case will not likely end here. The losing side is expected to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then after that look for the case to land in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The eighteen thousand marriages that took place in California in 2008 are not affected by the outcome of this case and will be protected.
There are also five states including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont where same-sex marriage is already legal.