Closing arguments on legality of California’s same-sex marriage Proposition 8 heard, decision pending
The closing arguments were heard yesterday in the trial to determine the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in California.
This hearing brought to an end the Proposition 8 trial, which upholds a ban on gay marriage. California voters in 2008 ruled in support of the ban, as did 70 out of 108 judges, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Proposition 8 was passed in November 2008, less than six months after the California Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, the Los Angeles Times said.
The following year, the court ruled in support of Proposition 8, but by then some 18,000 same-sex couples had already married. Should chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker decide on behalf of the amendment, proponents would also like those marriages to be voided, the Christian Post said.
Attorney Charles Cooper, in support of Proposition 8 noted how seven million Californians voted for the amendment and stated that society should be allowed to preserve its endorsement of marriage as a tradition that is permitted for those who can naturally bear children, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
Cooper maintained that marriage between men and women is intended to endorse responsible sex and child rearing in a stable family environment where children are brought up by their natal parents, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
Cooper contended that the state already has enough domestic partner laws that permit equal dealings for all couples. He noted, too, that the U.S. Constitution does not provide for any unique protection for homosexuals, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
Walker asked Cooper several questions, including why the state should regulate marriage, rather than treat it as a private contract. He also questioned why marriage had such a large public role, the Los Angeles Times said.
Theodore Olsen, who argued on behalf of two same-sex couples who filed charges for their right to be wed, stated that homosexuals marry so that they can make a commitment to the person they love, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
The city of San Francisco also weighed in and said that Proposition 8 is detrimental to the city as it will raise the cost of health and welfare. Their city attorney, Chief Deputy Therese Stewart added that it could lower the earnings from the city’s tourism industry, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
Walker’s decision is likely to be appealed by the losing side. After the appeals court, it can be raised to the U.S. Supreme Court. Should the Supreme Court accept the case, by 2012 a final ruling can be reached on whether or not same sex couples can legally marry.