Prop8 Trial Finishes Arguments. Broad Range Of Possible Outcomes.

The closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, if one could call them that, are done, with– as expected– no ruling from the bench. Judge Walker scheduled the final round of testimony and rebuttal five months after the initial testimony so that he could have time to prepare the 39 questions he asked both sides to address in closing. If you missed the Twitter stream this afternoon, you'll wish it was televised after dipping into some of the summaries.

Unofficial transcript at the AFER site.

More coverage fromOlson_boies Courage Campaign, along with their clever project acting out the trial.

Good round up  at Huffington Post.

One side seemed a whole lot better prepared than the other, with the proponents of Prop 8 so unable to avoid Boies' logic that David Blankenhorn of the Institute for American Values made a number of statements clearly affirming the need for marriage equality (on display at Pam's House Blend).

In fact, Boies' questions were so effective at getting Blankenhorn to make the case that adoptive parents are better that when Olson came back to it during rebuttal, observers were "literally laughing and banging palm on foreheads" in the gallery,  reports Firedoglake. Check it out for their SportsCenter-like play by play of the legal team strategy scoring points today, but also covering bases most of us wouldn't know needed covering for the inevitable Supreme Court appeal.

Blankenhorn's respect for the "dignity of homosexual love" -Though a committed member of those opposing gay marriage — is not actually news. The Independent Gay Forum noted his take in 2007 commenting on the this Gay Marriage Edition of Bloggingheads.

Not to worry, it was sufficiently balanced by arguments irrational, illogical and surreal. With Twitter the only way to follow along, at times it seemed like sitting behind Waldorf and Stadtler in the Muppet balcony  or with the MST3K commentators without actually being able to see the show. Over the course of this trial, Twitter news coverage has clearly come of age.  Compare the awkward first day's unplanned twitter coverage to today's mastery of the 140 characters.

Kate Kendell's distillation of the trial was so concise she had characters left to pour out a drinking game, counting the shots  each time the other side used some version of the word "procreation."

The re-tweeting, replaying and second-guessing continues.

The judge has broad authority to determine the time and possible outcomes which range from dissolving the 18,000 legal same sex marriages as proponents of Prop 8 asked again today, to ordering that new marriages be performed without waiting for the appeal.


  1. Timzilla says

    These closing arguments truly could not have gone any better for the plaintiffs if Boise and Olson had written the defendant’s closing statement themselves. Cooper was pressed again and again by Judge Walker for a concrete, rationale basis to uphold Prop. 8 and all he could muster was a confused stream of circular nonsense about the State channeling heteros through procreation and finally—once again—admitting he did not know how heterosexuals would be harmed by same-sex marriage. They got nothing. If they win, it will truly be a travesty of justice.

  2. Sammy says

    Judge Walker does NOT have the authority to dissolve the existing 18,000 marriages. That issue has been definitively resolved under CA law by the CA Supreme Court. A federal court may not contradict the CA Supreme Court on CA law, and there is no claim under federal law before the judge that challenges the 18,000 marriages.

    I know that the defendants put this request in their papers, but that surely was just to give some raw meat for their donors prior to a likely defeat. There is no way the judge could grant that request even if he wanted to. The worst case outcome for us is that Prop 8 is upheld and Judge Walker makes hostile findings about the legal status of sexual orientation.

  3. Brian in Texas says

    So anyone have any idea when we can expect a ruling? This month? Before Labor Day?

  4. anon says

    It comes down to whether or not homosexuals are a protected class under the 14th amendment, and considering that women are not, there is little chance the Supreme Court will add gays to the list.

  5. Bill Perdue says

    One of the key items that caught my attention was the argument by the Prop 8 lawyers requesting the court to sweat aside recognition of the 18,000 or so same sex marriages performed in California in the brief time it was legal.

    The central sponsors of Prop 8 include the roman cult, the mormon hierarchy and Rick Warrens dominationist evangelicals. Not coincidentally some of these same groups active in Africa and elsewhere spreading their gospel of hate and violence.

    The roman cult archbishop of Mozambique, Francisco Chimoio issued a pastoral letter saying that condoms and HIV/AIDS meds have been deliberately infected with the HIV virus. Hundreds of people are infected every day in Mozambique and in other countries where christer abstinence is held up as a preventive. According to the BBC ” Catholics make up 17 percent of Mozambique’s population. More than 16 percent of Mozambique’s 19 million people, mostly aged between 14 and 49, are infected with HIV/AIDS. About 500 infections are recorded every day, according to the health department. AIDS patients occupy more than 50 percent of Mozambique’s hospital beds.”

    All over Africa cuts in spending due to the global ‘long recession’ and the continued propaganda against condoms and for abstinence are fueling the crisis. Associated Press By Donna Bryson Friday, May. 28, 2010 – JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Doctors are being forced to turn away people with HIV/AIDS – meaning they will fall ill and almost certainly die” in “Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe…”

    In Uganda a far more sinister christer intervention is leading to the possibility of mass murder of GLBT folks. For years Obama’s political bedmate Warren and other dominationists have invested millions in Uganda aimed at creating a christer state and murdering us.

    One way or another these christer thugs seem to be out to get us. They bought the Parliament of Uganda and paid for the ‘legal’ pogrom bill still under consideration with one goal in mind – importing it to other countries if it’s successful. The events in California and in Africa are linked by having the same sponsors. This is fair warning for those bamboozled into thinking we’re advancing unchecked towards utopia.