Tracking the Proposition 8 trial

The U.S. Supreme Court today killed the idea of a delayed video broadcast of California’s federal court trial that will decide whether the voters of California can deny a gay couple a marriage license.

The high court ruled it needed more time to study the issue, even though the idea of cameras in courtrooms has been debated since fire was discovered.

“In the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is the most important relationship in life and of fundamental importance to all individuals,” former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson told a judge. Olson represents two gay couples seeking to overturn the November 2008 ban on gay marriage.

The trial is being live-blogged at several locations. The Courage Campaign Institute has one of the more detailed blogs, albeit with a point of view:


It’s hard to think while this goes on. I’ve never before been on trial, but today every gay or lesgbian person in the country is on trial. The testimony brings up all of that “stuff” that I keep pretending I’ve left behind. I grew up near Knoxville knowing I was gay, but never wanting to be. I dated girls, just like Jeff did. I hid from myself. I became an Orthodox Jew in LA and almost got married because I did not want to be gay. When Boies asked Jeff if he’d be in a more loving, stable relationship if he married a woman, it was not a throw-away. That’s what the NOM folks want you to believe. They want you to believe that if Jeff or me or so many others of us who were born homosexual would just marry a woman, the world would be a better place.

Reporter Dan Levine is sending updates via Twitter at @FedcourtJunkie.

He reported a few minutes ago, for example, that this ad is being debated in the courtroom.

A closed-circuit broadcast of the trial is also being shown at some federal courthouses across the country, but none of them is in Minnesota.

  • Sam

    I’ve always been a lot less exercised about the marriage issue than other gay people I know. While I think it’s indefensible that I don’t have the same legal rights as straight people, I’m not terribly hung up on the use of the word “marriage,” which seems to be what sets a lot of people opposed to the concept on edge. My position has always been: call it whatever you want, just treat me equally.

    That having been said, the rhetoric surrounding the Prop 8 vote aroused in me a deep anger that I haven’t felt before. The disingenuous way in which deeply bigoted people have cloaked their hatred with platitudes about the innocence of children and invocations of the absurd old fear that if gays are allowed to live openly and equally, they’ll recruit and “turn” your kids is absolutely disgusting.

    Here in Minnesota, I distinctly remember former House Speaker Steve Sviggum opposing Gov. Ventura’s effort to extend domestic partner benefits to state workers by claiming that such benefits created an unfair double standard. Unfair to who? Straight people. Because, Sviggum explained, straight people actually have to go to the trouble to get married to receive the same benefits that Ventura proposed to extend to unmarried gay couples.

    I waited in vain for a reporter, ANY reporter, to ask the obvious question: so, Mr. Speaker, doesn’t this position imply that you support removing the double standard by allowing gays to marry, thus making it equally difficult for them to receive benefits? No one ever did. A pity News Cut wasn’t around back then…

  • John P.

    I notice that the ad above is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Focus on the family.

    Why is it that fundamentalists feel the need to impose their private religious values on the rest of us? It’s not enough for them to live their lives the way they believe is right, they feel the need for the rest of us to live by their rules as well.

    It all seems to me like just another form of religious intolerance.

  • Al

    Yes, John P., we have the freedom of religion in this country. The fundamentalists are free to have their religious rules and you are free to have their religious rules too.