Protect Marriage, Day 12: We’re Still Not Sure How This Trial Works

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So, the trial is over for a while, but Andy Pugno has to remind us how little the defense understands this trial before we can move on with our lives post-#prop8. (I’m personally entering rehabilitation for my CTRL + R carpal tunnel that has developed.)

Presentation of Evidence Concludes in Perry v Schwarzenegger Federal Trial

Today concluded the presentation of evidence in the federal trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging Prop 8’s definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman. Our Prop 8 Legal Defense Team did a remarkable job in defending the will of over 7 million California voters who passed it into law.

You know, I think “remarkable” is an apt descriptor. Certainly, many have remarked about the job they’ve done depending Proposition 8. Are they positive remarks, though? Well, that’s probably why Pugno chose a word that would keep him from outright lying.

What may be lost in all the sensationalism of the past two and a half weeks of trial is that the burden of proof to invalidate Prop 8 lies squarely with the plaintiffs. They cannot win unless they prove that the voters were “irrational” when they chose to preserve the traditional definition of marriage in our state. Contrary to their public relations claims, the outcome of this case does not depend on whether the Prop 8 sponsors can prove that homosexual marriage will harm traditional marriage. The controlling legal issue is not whether homosexual marriage is good or bad, but rather whether the people have the right to decide what is best.  The plaintiffs simply did not carry that burden.

This is Pugno’s favorite spin. It’s the people’s right to vote! As the defense’s own witness, Dr. Miller, pointed out, the initiative process can be extremely unfair to minorities. The burden of proof is not just on the plaintiffs. The defense has to prove that there is a compelling reason for Prop 8 that outweighs the harm the plaintiffs have demonstrated from its passing. None of the testimony demonstrated any foundation for maintaining marriage between a man and a woman, but Pugno, like Blankenhorn, still believes it’s true.

Meanwhile, we have shown that limiting marriage to its longstanding definition is rational because marriage benefits children, not just the adults. Whenever possible, it is best for a child to have both a mother and a father. And man-woman marriage is the only human relationship that can biologically serve that distinctive purpose.  A same-sex relationship can never offer a child both a mother and father. It’s that simple.

Yes, Pugno, and both of your witnesses also agreed that same-sex marriage benefits the children of same-sex couples. And all the myths about “a mother and a father” were debunked by research your witnesses hadn’t even read! They’re all just archaic gender stereotypes (even more archaic than the “scholarly” documents your witnesses cited).

And for the record, I’m still offended as an adoptee. And so is some woman out there who gave me up for adoption 24 years ago. Sorry for these idiots’ condemnation, birth-mom-I’ve-never-met-and-never-really-care-to-because-I-have-two-amazing-parents-who-have-raised-me-with-all-the-love-in-their-hearts.

The plaintiffs put on a spectacular show-trial of irrelevant evidence, calling to the stand many “expert” witnesses to testify that allowing homosexual marriage would: help local governments raise more tax revenues, help gay and lesbian couples to accumulate greater wealth, and improve the self-esteem of homosexuals.  But those are political arguments for society to consider, not legal support for the claim that the US Constitution contains the right to homosexual marriage. The courtroom is simply not the proper forum for what is clearly a social, not a legal, appeal.

Awww, Pugno is trying to use the “expert” mocking quotes back on the plaintiffs (OH YEAH? WELL YOURS ARE “EXPERTS” TOO!). Sorry, Pugno, the plaintiffs’ experts actually demonstrated their expertise, unlike yours. And all of that evidence was totally relevant, because it all stacks against your claims about the importance of “traditional marriage,” and I have to use the mocking quotes for “traditional marriage” because Dr. Cott, the expert on the history of marriage, totally contradicted your claims of what “traditional marriage” even is!

You also ignored all of the continued discrimination, hate crimes, and denial of equal access on the law that gays and lesbians experience. I guess freedom and equal access aren’t legal issues either? Have you read the US Constitution lately?

I don’t know how much more we’ll hear from Pugno before the court reconvenes for closing arguments, but I’m going to keep following. His whole MO is to control the message to his followers, and I want to continue to interrupt that.

[Brian Leubitz also responded to this post over on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker.]

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