SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–The plaintiffs in the California Prop 8 federal trial Monday rested their case and the defendants called their first witness as the trial reached its 10th day.
The trial before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco could last several weeks and will determine whether California was within its rights to prohibit “gay marriage.” The case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court and decide the constitutionality of laws and constitutional amendments banning “gay marriage” not only in California but also in every other state.
Each day during the trial Baptist Press will post a blog entry from someone in the courtroom. Following is commentary on day 10 of the trial from Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports Prop 8:
“As we moved into the third week of the trial, there was a sense that the winds were about to shift and, shortly before noon on the 10th day, the winds did change. After two weeks of emotional appeals, persecution of religious beliefs, and experts who were unraveled by the cross-examinations of the ProtectMarriage.com legal team, the plaintiffs moved to what I would call a ‘document dump.’
“Without calling a single witness, the plaintiffs sought to move into evidence several documents which they believed helped their case. These included printouts from Web sites that were not run by the ProtectMarriage.com campaign, as well as DVDs that were also not part of the official campaign. The persecution of religious beliefs continued as the plaintiffs and their gallery of supporters laughed and snickered at videos of citizens, pastors, and others who were concerned about the impact of same-sex ‘marriage’ on their community. Clearly, those who are demanding tolerance have no tolerance for the values and beliefs of those across this country who have voted to uphold marriage in 31 of 31 states. Rather, it has become clear that the plaintiffs’ desire is to force all Americans to forfeit the core of their democratic rights by allowing a small group of wealthy activists to impose their will on not only a state, but the entire nation.
“Following their ‘document dump,’ the plaintiffs finally rested their case. Legally, this was a significant moment since they were now telling the court that they had submitted all of the evidence that they planned to submit to attempt to order the redefinition of marriage by judicial fiat.
“As I reflected on the case that the plaintiffs presented, I wondered about the potential impact of what was occurring. Was it really possible that a couple of weeks of emotionally-based testimony could bring additional years of chaos and confusion in the legal battles to preserve marriage? We know that this case could impact marriage laws in up to 45 other states — including the 30 states where voters overwhelmingly adopted state constitutional amendments — along with eliminating the right of Californians to reaffirm marriage in their state constitution. Could this all really hinge on two weeks of a legal case that was, let’s say, less than impressive?
“In defending Proposition 8, the ProtectMarriage.com legal team isn’t charged with the legal duty to prove anything. Rather, the legal burden to prove the need to redefine marriage belongs exclusively to the plaintiffs; however, to this point in the trial, the ProtectMarriage.com legal team has proven much. In the first two weeks of trial, the plaintiffs elicited about 28 hours of legal testimony, while the ProtectMarriage.com legal team solicited about 27 hours of legal testimony, and we hadn’t yet called a single witness.
“After the plaintiffs rested their case, the ProtectMarriage.com legal team called its first witness, Professor Kenneth Miller, a Harvard lawyer and political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. Dr. Miller thoroughly debunked the idea that those who seek to redefine marriage in this country possess no political power. From the speeches and policies of President Obama, all the way to the support of the California Legislature and public officials, Dr. Miller demonstrated the excessively thorough amount of political power that the ‘No on 8’ campaign — and their allies across the country — do have regarding their agenda.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press. For more information about the trial visit ProtectMarriage.com or www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/3618. Follow it on Twitter at Twitter.com/ProtectMarriage and Twitter.com/ADFMedia. To read about the impact of “gay marriage” on the culture, visit http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=30209.