Read: Official Transcript of Closing Arguments in Prop 8 Trial

Judge Walker is expected to rule in Perry v. Schwarzenegger in a few weeks, and the case is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Reuters reports on the defense's stunning statement that they did not need any evidence to prove the purpose of marriage:

Coop Conservative Charles Cooper led the defense, arguing that it is reasonable to fear that allowing same-sex marriage would undermine heterosexual marriage and self-evident that the purpose of marriage was procreating and raising children.

"You don't have to have evidence" to prove that the purpose of marriage is to bear and raise children, he said in the closing arguments, citing legal precedents.

Months earlier, he had surprised the court by saying he did not know how gay marriage would hurt heterosexuals — and that he did not need to know in order to win the case.

"At the end of the day, 'I don't know' and 'I don't have to present any evidence,' with all respect to Mr. Cooper, doesn't cut it," responded Olson on Wednesday.

Walker subjected Cooper to a barrage of questions, turning the lawyer's closing arguments into a cross-examination about the purpose of marriage, the state's role, and whether gays deserve special court protection akin to racial minorities.

Cooper contended that the only way to invalidate Prop 8 was to prove there had been absolutely no good reason, or rational basis, for millions of Californians to back it.

NOM's Maggie Gallagher basically conceded the trial in a statement late yesterday:

"Chuck Cooper is a heckuva lawyer. At stake in this case is the future of marriage in all 50 states, and he's right that this attempt to shut down the debate by constitutionalizing gay marriage will backfire. Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn't seem to understand the argument, and judging from today's exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8. But millions of Americans do understand why marriage is the union of husband and wife and I believe the majority of the Supreme Court will as well."

Here is the official transcript from yesterday's closing arguments:

Perry v Schwarzenegger -Vol-13-6-16-10


  1. MT says

    That is unbelievable. The hubris of these people is repugnant. He doesn’t need evidence?!? That’s kind of the whole point of a court of law.

    What’s his appeal going to be? Gay people can’t marry ‘because he said so?’

  2. Mike says

    Prop 8 is obviously unconstitutional. The evidence presented in this case overwhelming supports that conclusion. The question in my mind is whether Judge Walker will “stay” the decision pending appeal. I hope he doesn’t – and volleys that decision to the 9th circuit. Courts are suppose to rule on stays based upon the odds the decision will be overturned. It would be interesting to hear what the 9th circuit says on this… and of course if the 9th circuit doesn’t stay the decision it would be immediately be appealed to the Supremes, which would be extremely interesting. Olson and Boies have done an excellent job – we couldn’t have asked for better representation. Too bad it wasn’t televised, it would have changed public opinion in our favor.

  3. scott1607 says

    A right to VOTE for marriage? That woman obviously never studied or read constitutional law.

    And I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but after looking at the picture of Mr. Cooper, I’m sorry but I can only see the title “Douchebag…”

  4. stephen says

    So Maggie and NOM’s plan is for it all to go to the Supremes where they anticipate a more favorable ruling.

    Yikes. That’s exactly what I’m afraid of…

  5. Bart says

    Here’s the bottom line: they aren’t going to present evidence because there isn’t any valid evidence. They say they don’t ahve to prove their case because they have no case. Everyone knows it, everyone’s now seen it. There simply is no facts to back up supporting Prop 8. It goes against the California Constitution (and the U.S. Constitution as well.)

    Marriage has never been about the procreation of children. Why? Because you can do that without marriage. People were procreating before the institution of marriage ever existed. And they still do to this day…just ask Bristol Palin.

    Marriage has never been solely defined as one man and one woman. Ask the biggest contributors to Prop 8, the Mormons about their history of multiple wives.

    Marriage is a civil contract. And if we all aren’t protected under contractual law, none of us are. Marriage has been and is about the transfer of property (be it a house, a spouse, etc.)

    The definition of marriage has changed over the centuries, and has changed in various cultures and continues to. There is no validation that the concept of marriage has always been one man and one woman. That’s simply a not true.

    Again, the bottom line, there is no legal reason that Prop 8 should stand and even the pro-8 people know that. What they are hoping is that there are enough homophobes on the Supreme Court (Thomas, Alito, Scalia) to say “so what” and vote in favor of upholding the vote.

  6. MikeMick says

    Of course he didn’t have to make an argument about marriage. He knows the fix is in once the case gets to the Supremes.

  7. walter says

    tell maggie the cow ssince when do people get to vote on people’s rights. she would rather the church tell us right from wrong. sorry in this country her religion has no place in telling people what they can do. and these people don’t have to like it but just respect it.they haven’t been able to prove how gay marriage will effect straight

  8. Mike says

    Bart’s comment was right on target. I completely agree. Everyone with half a brain knows there is no rationale to support the Prop8 argument. Even the NOM people know this. They are just using this as a fund-raising tool. There is a whole industry built up on this and it is in their best financial interest to keep stirring the homophobic pot so to speak.

  9. says

    I love that Maggie has the chutzpah (a good 300 lbs of it) to say that Ted Olson, a brilliant lawyer, “doesn’t seem to understand the argument.” You big dummy, Ted! She can out-Palin Palin, that Maggie.

    So, if Americans have a right to vote on marriage, how come I’ve never had the opportunity to vote on anyone’s marriage? Did anyone vote on her marriage? Does she think we should be able to? Which other civil rights should be put up for public vote? All of them?

    They present no arguments because they have none. We should win, even at the Supreme Court, but only if the activist judges there don’t rule the day. The future of marriage equality may come down to one man, which is bizarre in itself.

  10. Bryan Harrison says

    It’s fascinating how emotional bias is amking absolute idiots out of what are clearly very intelligent people.

    How many thousands of variations on “Everybody knows I’m right and that The Gays are wrong” have we heard? These are well read, smart people who furthermore have spent their lives demolishing such nonsensical non-arguments, and here they are spouting absolute tail-chasing bullshit with perfectly straight (pardon me) faces.

    There is no demonstration of “how to think” in the arguments for Prop 8, only declarations of “what to think.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a clear example of why prejudice is among the worst of human tendencies: it makes us stupid.

    These are intelligent, articulate, capable people who’ve been reduced to the level of tourettic schizophrenia by the lies they’ve told themselves. Forgive me for belaboring the point, but I’ve never seen such a clear example of self-lobotomization. In terms of final outcome, Cooper might as well insert a barbecue fork behind his eye, and energetically wiggle it around.

  11. says

    I will concede that marriage is only for a man and a woman, when they make it mandatory that each married couple Must have children…that they can Never divorce…and that the Husband Owns the Wife….just like in their little book of imaginary god rules.
    So….no prisoners on Death Row getting married…no old people getting married…you stick to All your stupid rules, or none!
    And, I’ll be So glad when Evolution finally wipes out all the idiot straight mistakes…and WE are left to live in peace!!