Final witness called for Prop 8 challengers on day 9 of trial
SM Kovalinsky/ Mercurynews.comAs always , the Prop 8 attorneys are able to bring dark comic relief to the proceedings by seemingly going into a daze during testimony: At one point, Nielson asked: "Do you agree that homosexuality is a multi-dimensional phenomenon?""That's what I think I've been saying for the last few hours," Herek replied.
San Francisco, District Court: Proposition 8 Trial; Day 9
Challengers call final witness; Defenders will go next
Opinion and Commentary
The Proposition 8 Federal trial - being held to determine if the California state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional - is given a keyhole glimpse and an overarching view, both, of marriage and its meaning to men and women (and dare I say its import for children) in the 21st century.
The trial and its meaning for American culture is full of stunning contradictions:
I find it amusing when, for instance, Huffington Post journalist and commentator Audrey Bilger reveals to readers that , surprise, surprise, there is actually a social conservative agenda behind Proposition 8 backers, which is not against gays so much as it is against our postmodern culture. The proponents of Proposition 8 are really aiming much of this at unwed mothers, Bilger states, with an earnestness which is stunning. Are people really unaware of the connection between postmodernity and the current culture wars?
Be that as it may, one of gay marriage's biggest advocates - the intellectual, Oxford educated, philosophical , Mr. Andrew Sullivan - is an arch conservative on most social issues, and a Catholic to boot. His would be the paradoxical stance of a conservative in all manners and means, but for his gayness.
In this sense, there is a strange contradiction which lies at the crux of the entire gay marriage movement: It was conservatives such as Sullivan and Bruce Bawer who really launched and furthered the movement. I have read both Sullivan and Bawer extensively - even obsessively - and theirs is the conservative mindset: Spiritual, devoted, traditional, solid, masculine. They "stumble" only on gay marriage. Anyone who has ever read Bawer's A Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society will comprehend just how old-fashioned, traditional, and absolutely turned off by modern culture Bawer is.
For all that, it is the liberal minded - and yes, postmodern - ideology and doctrines of feminism and political correctness ( so foreign to Sullivan and Bawer's thinking and philosophizing) who have ridden on the gay movement, as it were; tagged along for the side benefits and unintended consequences.
Defenders of the ban on same-sex marriage believe that husbands and wives have specific roles, determined by their sex, and that without role models of two opposite-sex parents, children will grow up to think they can do whatever they want. As they see it, same-sex marriage is the outcome of individual liberty and the right to pursue happiness -- gone too far. They target all who resist the idea that biology is destiny. No matter that the bulk of academic research shows that gays and lesbians make good parents. To the so-called marriage defenders, science is no match for sacred texts and the way things once were and are supposed to be.
At Calif. gay marriage trial, marriage is not the only flash point
Lawyers for two same-sex couples, over nine days of testimony, have examined general attitudes about modern marriage, homosexuality, and whether sexual orientation warrants special legal protection. They seek to overturn Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California. Defenders of the ban are up next.
On Friday, Day 9 of the federal trial challenging California’s gay marriage ban, lawyers for two unwed same-sex couples are expected to call their final witness: a psychologist to testify on the nature of sexual orientation.
That expected testimony illustrates how the case, in which the major thrust is that California's Proposition 8 violates the right of same-sex couples to equal protection under the Constitution, is in fact about so much more. Thus far, it has also been an examination of modern marriage, contemporary attitudes about homosexuality, and the idea that sexual orientation warrants special legal protection. Indeed, it is a case designed to prompt to US Supreme Court challenge and resolve the divisive nationwide debate over gay marriage.