Here is a round-up of links on Day 3 of the federal Prop 8 trial, as well as a preview of witnesses for Day 4. You can find much more elaboration than I can offer by clicking though.
The NYT slams the Supreme Court decision to ban broadcast of the trial: "…there is a strong legal case that California voters trespassed on the
Constitution when they approved Proposition 8. The courtroom battle now
unfolding bears close watching, and the Supreme Court should not stand
in the way of Americans viewing it and reaching educated judgments."
DailyKos pulled some key quotes from the SCOTUS opinion.
SF Chronicle: Day 3 about Discrimination. "The third day of testimony in a lawsuit seeking to overthrow the
November 2008 constitutional amendment reserving marriage for
male-female unions highlighted a central dispute in the case: whether
Prop. 8 was rooted in prejudice against a historically persecuted group."
And here's some timeline coverage from the Mercury News.
Shannon Minter at Pam's House Blend:
Trial resumed this morning with David Thompson's cross-examination
of Professor George Chauncey. Thompson asked primarily about the
progress LGBT people have made, politically and in popular culture, in
the last 20 years.
In his cross, Thompson highlighted employment
nondiscrimination bills, the increasing numbers of gay and lesbian
elected officials, and the very recent increase in support for domestic
partnerships and civil unions among national Democratic leaders. He
also focused on the increasing depiction of gay men and lesbians in
popular culture, such as the TV series "Will and Grace" and films such
as Brokeback Mountain and Philadelphia.
Prof. Chauncey acknowledged that LGBT people have made
progress. But he also stressed the limited nature of that progress and
the persistence of severe discrimination and hostility toward gay
people. Even today, he noted, there are remarkably few films that
include openly LGBT characters and a continued paucity of scholarship
exploring the history and contemporary reality of LGBT lives (to
mention just two examples).
Thompson's questions were directed to an important legal issue
in this case -whether systemic bias against lesbians and gay men
prevents them from being treated by others as equal citizens in the
Also, on William Tam, the Prop 8 supporter who wanted out of the campaign, from AFER: "Before today’s midday recess, powerful evidence was introduced that
exposed the discriminatory motivations of Proposition 8, as
demonstrated by campaign communications and statements by William Tam,
an Official Proponent of the initiative. Video of Tam’s deposition,
which was taken on Dec. 1, 2009, was shown in court today."
A lot of good detail on that here.
The L.A. Times:
"A federal trial on same-sex marriage focused Wednesday on the similarities and differences between homosexual and heterosexual couples, with a psychology professor citing 'remarkable similarities.'
Letitia Peplau, an expert on couple relationships, testified that studies have found that the quality of heterosexual and homosexual relationships was on average 'the same' as measured by closeness, love and stability. 'On average, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples are indistinguishable,' said Peplau, a UCLA professor of social psychology called by attorneys for two same-sex couples who are trying to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that reinstated a state ban on same-sex marriage."
"During cross-examination, Nicole J. Moss, an attorney for the
Proposition 8 campaign, put into evidence government statistics from
Belgium and the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage is legal and, Moss
said, a substantially smaller percentage of gays and lesbians chose to
marry than heterosexuals."
"Moss also tried to challenge Peplau's contention that heterosexual and homosexual couples are extremely similar.
She suggested that one benefit of marriage is that couples do not have children out of wedlock, and asked Peplau if she agreed that gay men and lesbians do not have children accidentally.
Peplau sputtered, then said: 'Can two lesbians spontaneously impregnate each other? Not to my knowledge, no.' The courtroom filled with laughter."
And some additional links:
New gay California Assembly Speaker John Perez gives his thoughts on the trial: "Assemblyman John Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat, said he is anxious over the outcome of the gay marriage trial under way this week in federal court in San Francisco. He will become speaker of the 80-member Assembly later this year.
"I think that gay and lesbian couples are treated as second-class citizens under the law as it's currently enforced," Perez said.
Perez, who is 40, said he is not in a relationship but would marry if he found the right man and had the legal right to do so. He said he has performed marriage ceremonies for same-sex and opposite-sex couples over the years, including eight same-sex marriages on the first day that gay marriages were legal in California."
Finally, a preview of Day 4 testimony:
"Dr. Edmund Egan, Chief Economist for the City and County of San
Francisco, on the nature and magnitude of costs incurred by the City
and County as a result of the denial of marriage to gays and lesbians;
Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical
Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, who
will testify about the stigma and prejudice gay and lesbians
individuals face in society; and Helen Zia, a lesbian author who will
testify about her sexual orientation, her experiences with
discrimination, and the effects of being denied the right to marry her