Monday, January 11, 2010

Historic constitutional challenge to Proposition 8 and anti-gay-marriage amendments starts today in San Francisco

Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, who live in Berkeley, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo, who live in Los Angeles, are the two plaintiff couples bringing about a formal constitutional challenge in US District Court to California Proposition 8, with a trial that starts today, Jan. 11. The proponents of Prop 8 can defend their position in court because both Gov. Schwaznegger (Rep) and attorney general Jerry Brown (Dem), formal defendants, refused to defend it. The trial, held in San Francisco, will be heard by Judge Vaugh Walker, and is likely to wind up eventually before the US Supreme Court.

Defendants are claiming that this (equal access of couples to marriage regardless of gender) is not a civil rights issue so much as questioning a natural institution of society for raising children and perhaps providing way to resolve naturally occurring differences among persons in a social unit (including other caregiving).

The trial will provide a long list of live witnesses.

The trial will be lengthy. By way of comparison, testimony in the COPA trial in Philadelphia in 2006, which I went to for one day, lasted three weeks.

Lisa Leff has the AP story appearing this morning in the Washington Post, here.

Karl Vick also has a similar large story on p A3 of the Post today.

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