PROP 8 TRIAL, Day 12 summary: liberal Dem. who opposes 'gay marriage' testifies

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)--A self-described "liberal Democrat" testified Wednesday as to why marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman, as the testimony portion of the California Prop 8 federal trial concluded.

The trial before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco will determine whether California was within its rights to prohibit "gay marriage" by passing Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment, in 2008. The case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court and decide the constitutionality of laws and constitutional amendments banning "gay marriage" not only in California but also in every other state.

The trial will pause for several weeks while Walker reviews the documents and testimony, after which he will schedule closing arguments.

Each day during the trial Baptist Press has posted a blog entry from someone in the courtroom. Following is commentary on day 12 of the trial from Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports Prop 8:

"The final day of trial ended at noon on Wednesday, making the presentation of evidence end precisely at the 2 1/2 week mark. While the ProtectMarriage.com legal team has not yet formally rested its case in defense of the California marriage amendment and the voices of over 7 million Californians, as well as the voices of the tens of millions of Americans who have voted for marriage in their respective states, the presentation of testimonial evidence from witnesses to the district court is now complete.

"While the media focus over the last couple of weeks has been largely on 'the plaintiffs versus the ProtectMarriage.com legal team,' as well as the pros and cons of the marriage amendment, this case is much larger than just the two sides doing battle in the courtroom. As Judge Walker acknowledged at the end of [Wednesday's] proceedings, some outstanding matters remain, including the intervention application of Imperial County, California. Many people may not be aware that Imperial County sought to intervene in the matter and join the defense of the marriage amendment. Moreover, the court has yet to rule on several motions filed by the ProtectMarriage.com legal team asking the court to require the 'No on 8' campaigns to produce several documents that we believe that they are required to produce (and have yet to do). Judge Walker promised rulings on these matters in the near future.

"As far as Wednesday's testimony was concerned, the plaintiffs completed the cross-examination of marriage expert David Blankenhorn. Mr. Blankenhorn, a self-described liberal Democrat, presents a unique and challenging problem for the plaintiffs since he has historically been an advocate for people who engage in homosexual behavior -- and that's been true even in the courtroom these last couple of weeks. Mr. Blankenhorn takes many positions which we at the Alliance Defense Fund have routinely opposed regarding certain matters, and he even supports so-called 'domestic partnerships' for same-sex couples.

"Why, then, was Mr. Blankenhorn testifying in support of the marriage amendment? Because notwithstanding all of the issues on which we might disagree with Mr. Blankenhorn, he has remained firm on the question of marriage. To Mr. Blankenhorn, marriage should always remain one man and one woman, and he presents an exceptionally convincing case on why the cons of redefining marriage vastly outweigh any potential pros. Thus, Mr. Blankenhorn throws a huge wrench into the plaintiffs' case since, as described by some, he's 'one of them' and yet doesn't believe that same-sex 'marriage' is good for society. We agree wholeheartedly.

"As the trial was coming to a conclusion, I thought about the important and vital questions the plaintiffs failed to answer in this case. There were quite a few. The plaintiffs never sought to address the real and important issue of creating a public policy that says that fathers and mothers aren't necessary for childrearing. In my mind, that is an astounding hole in their case. Of course, there is a large difference in looking at, for example, single mothers who are not single by choice and intentionally creating fatherless families. We know that, across this country, there are many single moms who are not single by choice because their husbands paid the ultimate price fighting for us in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere. Their children will undoubtedly miss forever the love and guidance of their fathers; however, that circumstance is a far cry from intentionally depriving a child of a father, and we know that no amount of love and care can turn a mom into a dad, and vice versa. Therefore, are we really supposed to believe that intentionally eliminating a father or a mother from the lives of many of society's children won't have an effect on their well being? Facts are, indeed, stubborn things, and this is one fact that routinely presents a problem for the plaintiffs.

"President Obama's State of Union address Wednesday night demonstrated to me, once again, another weakness for the plaintiffs: their claim that the 'GLBT community' lacks political power, both in California and nationally. Demonstrating this point is crucial to the plaintiffs' claim that the marriage amendment is somehow unconstitutional, but how they can actually make this claim with a straight face is beyond the pale. As many Americans saw, President Obama employed the full might of his bully pulpit to unilaterally advocate for a change in the policy of our armed forces on behalf of the 'GLBT community.' Yet, the plaintiffs are attempting to argue that the 'GLBT community' says that it has no 'reliable political allies' and is 'politically powerless' in this country. If it doesn't have any political power, nobody does. Its political power and the necessity of moms and dads are just two of many questions that the plaintiffs wholly failed to answer in this trial.

"While the testimonial phase of the trial is finished, the proceedings in San Francisco are not yet complete. Judge Walker plans to take about a month to review, on his own, the thousands of pages of documents and exhibits that were introduced into evidence during these last two weeks. Then, by Feb. 26, the parties will remit papers which seek to highlight the evidence that they believe support the proposed judgments that they remitted to the court before the trial began. After that, Judge Walker will seek to schedule a time for formal closing arguments.

"... The clashing of legal swords in San Francisco still has another couple of rounds to go. I anticipate the closing arguments to be scheduled for sometime in March or April, after which time Judge Walker will take time to author and render his decision."


Compiled by Michael Foust, an assistant editor of Baptist Press. For more information about the trial visit ProtectMarriage.com or www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/3618. Follow it on Twitter at Twitter.com/ProtectMarriage and Twitter.com/ADFMedia. To read about the impact of "gay marriage" on the culture, visit http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=30209.

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