The testimony made abundantly clear that excluding same-sex couples from marriage exacts a grievous toll on gay people and their families. Domestic partnerships are a woefully inadequate substitute.
On the witness stand, the plaintiffs described the pain and stigma of having their relationships relegated by the state to a lesser category that fails to convey the love and commitment inherent in marriage. “My state is supposed to protect me. It’s not supposed to discriminate against me,” said Paul Katami, one of the plaintiffs.
Defenders of Proposition 8 produced no evidence to back up their claim that marriage between same-sex couples would hurt heterosexual marriage. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” the defense attorney, Charles Cooper, said when asked for an explanation by the judge at a pretrial hearing.
The defense called only two witnesses. The first, Kenneth Miller, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, argued that gay people are a powerful political force, which was meant to support the claim that there is no need for enhanced judicial protection. He ended up admitting that gay men and lesbians suffer discrimination.
The other witness, David Blankenhorn, the president of the Institute for American Values, argued that marriage is being weakened by rising divorce rates and more unmarried people having children, but he could not convincingly explain what the genders of married couples had to do with that.
Justice takes a lot of work, smart minds, perseverance, wisdom and patience. We witness that with the overturning/repeal of DADT, the welcoming of marriage for all, and the ordination of those called by the Holy One into religious leadership. It will take years to overturn all the constitutional amendments that banned "gay marriage," brought to us by the people of the Bush (GW) administration as a cheap political ploy to "get out the vote."
It is time to change.