Evan Wolfson: 14 Years After Hawaii: New Freedom to Marry Case in California; Same Old, Same Old Fro

The Huffington Post
January 21, 2010
Evan Wolfson summarizes advances in the marriage landscape from the historic Baehr v. Miike case in Hawaii in 1996 (which was televised on Court TV), for which he was co-counsel, to the current Prop 8 trial going on in California. One thing that he notes hasn't advanced is the opposition's ability to defend the denial of marriage with anything better than what they had in 1996:
One other thing that hasn't changed since Hawaii is the failure of the anti-gay side to come up with anything better to defend the denial of marriage than they had in 1996. In a way, this is surprising, given that their lead attorney, Charles Cooper, was also the hired-gun brought in by the state of Hawaii to shore up its case in 1990's. It's not as if Cooper hasn't had time to think of an argument - so an exchange he had with Judge Walker was quite telling: Judge Walker asked, "What would be the harm of permitting gay men and lesbians to marry?" Cooper, replied, "Your Honor, my answer is: I don't know ... I don't know." Fundamentally, of course, their inability to defend the denial of marriage with real evidence and logic is not surprising; the reason smart lawyers like Mr. Cooper don't give a better answer to why marriage discrimination should be allowed to continue is that there isn't one. [Link]

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Transcripts from Prop 8 Trial Available Online

American Foundation for Equal Rights
January 20, 2010

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is posting transcripts of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Prop 8) trial on their website. All past days of the trial are already posted with subsequent day transcript posts planned as soon as they become available. [Link]

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Prop 8 Trial - Day Six

Pam's House Blend
January 20, 2010

NCLR's Shannon Minter reports on the sixth day of the federal Proposition 8 trial. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and economics Professor M.V. Lee Badgett both testified for the plaintiffs. [Link]

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San Diego Mayor Testifies About His Reversal on the Freedom to Marry

The Los Angeles Times
January 20, 2010
Republican San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (a Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality) testified in support of marriage equality on Tuesday in the federal Proposition 8 trial. Sanders, who has a lesbian daughter, said his previous opposition to the freedom to marry stemmed from prejudice. [Link]

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A Conservative Voice for the Freedom to Marry

The New Yorker
January 20, 2010

Margaret Talbot writes about San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders' testimony at the Proposition 8 trial on Tuesday: "Sanders is a genuine conservative who, like many people with gay and lesbian family or friends, changed his mind on marriage equality, much to his own surprise." [Link]

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Economist: Evidence Backing Freedom to Marry Is In

The Associated Press
January 20, 2010

Gay couples in some parts of the United States have been able to wed for long enough to conclude that expanding the freedom to marry to other states would not undermine traditional marriages, a University of Massachusetts economist testified during a trial on California's Prop 8. [Link]

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‘Plan B’ may be marriage winner in New Jersey

The Times of Trenton
January 18, 2010

Two weeks ago, the New Jersey Senate defeated a bill to legalize the freedom to marry. Now the bill's backers are readying Plan B. They believe they have a powerful case to make before the New Jersey Supreme Court -- and that opponents of marriage equality, in what one advocate privately calls "a stunning legal blunder," have helped strengthen it. [Link]

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How the Supreme Court managed to insult both the law and the public

Slate.com
January 16, 2010
Dahlia Lithwick criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to block the broadcast of the Proposition 8 trial: "One cannot argue that the majority of California citizens wanted to ban the freedom to marry and should be respected while also claiming that supporters of such an initiative are a fragile, oppressed minority who must testify in dark sunglasses in dark rooms." [Link]

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Prop 8 Trial Coming to YouTube—as a Reenactment

NBCBayArea.com
January 19, 2010

After the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to block broadcast of the Proposition 8 trial, a filmmaker in Southern California will film reenactments of trial based on partial transcripts and post the reenactments on YouTube. [Link]

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Proposition 8 trial turns its attention to children

Los Angeles Times
January 16, 2010
On Friday the attention of the Proposition 8 trial turned to children, with Michael Lamb, head of Cambridge University's Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, testifying that having a gay or lesbian parent "does not make children more likely to be maladjusted." [Link]

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