On Prop 8, it’s the evidence, stupid
There’s a big difference between a political debate about same-sex marriage and the recent hard-fought court challenge to the California ban, Proposition 8.
In politics, anything goes: Vague, sinister comments about same-sex marriage threatening children or undermining the sanctity of heterosexual marriage were prevalent during the Prop 8 campaign. In court, same-sex marriage opponents needed solid evidence to back up these and other claims.
Despite “able and energetic counsel,” they never produced it. That’s why they lost, resoundingly, in the federal district court. And that lack of evidence should dog opponents up through the chain of appeals that is now beginning, because appellate courts are required to review only the evidence in the court record and to give great deference to Judge Vaughn Walker’s findings of fact. He was there, after all, presiding over the trial, and the appellate judges weren’t.
Ultimately, same-sex marriage opponents called only two witness, the founder of the Institute for American Values, who the court found lacked qualifications to offer expert testimony, and a Claremont College professor, who “sought to rebut only a limited aspect” of the plaintiffs’ case.
Here’s the kind of “evidence” gay marriage opponents offered at trial: Homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children, their witness argued, and allowing same-sex marriage would cause states “to fall into Satan’s hands.” The witness’ source of information? “The internet.”
Ultimately, Walker found, that was the heart of what same-sex marriage opponents advanced: “a desire to advance the belief that opposite-sex couples are morally superior to same-sex couples.” Constitutionally, in a country that guarantees all Americans “equal protection” of the laws, that is unacceptable.
Will of the People my ass you ignorant excuses for citizens.
R E P U B L I C.