Read: Judge Asks Questions of Defense and Plaintiffs in Federal Prop 8 Case as Closing Arguments Approach

Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign points out some of the questions issued today to plaintiffs and defense by Judge Vaughn Walker in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to Proposition 8:

WalkerWhat empirical data, if any, supports a finding that legal recognition of same-sex marriage reduces discrimination against gays and lesbians? What are the consequences of a permanent injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8? What remedies do plaintiffs propose?

If the evidence of the involvement of the LDS and Roman Catholic churches and evangelical ministers supports a finding that Proposition 8 was an attempt to enforce private morality, what is the import of that finding?

The court has reserved ruling on plaintiffs' motion to exclude Mr Blankenhorn's testimony. If the motion is granted, is there any other evidence to support a finding that Proposition 8 advances a legitimate governmental interest?

Why is legislating based on moral disapproval of homosexuality not tantamount to discrimination? See Doc #605 at 11 ("But sincerely held moral or religious views that require acceptance and love of gay people, while disapproving certain aspects of their conduct, are not tantamount to discrimination."). What evidence in the record shows that a belief based in morality cannot also be discriminatory? If that moral point of view is not held and is disputed by a small but significant minority of the community, should not an effort to enact that moral point of view into a state constitution be deemed a violation of equal protection?

What does it mean to have a "choice" in one's sexual orientation? See e g Tr 2032:17-22; PX 928 at 37

Writes Jacobs: 

"I am not a lawyer, but I can without doubt say that never before has homosexuality been on trial in America in this way. The testimony in January, which I liveblogged, was breathtaking and so sweeping, that the defense (the folks who put Prop. 8 on the ballot) were left with only one argument: marriage has always been between a man and a woman so it should always be between a man and a woman. And Professor Cott and other experts even destroyed that argument. Even so, it's a bit like saying that some people were always forced to live in a certain place so they should always be forced to live there."

Closing arguments are scheduled for June 16.

The full list of questions, AFTER THE JUMP...

Doc 677