In Prop. 8 decision, ‘nature of sexual orientation’ could be a key factor

Tomorrow is the big day for the Prop. 8 trial.

Last week, Rick Jacob from the Courage Campaign posted some of Judge Vaughn Walker’s questions to the parties in the Prop. 8 case. Today, Maura Dolan from the Los Angeles Times looks at those questions — and surmises the focus of Walker’s decision may be on whether being gay is a choice:

A federal judge who will decide the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage wants lawyers during closing arguments Wednesday to discuss the meaning of “choice” in sexual orientation and a possible finding that Proposition 8 attempted to “enforce private morality.”

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who has been presiding over the federal marriage trial in San Francisco, sent lawyers a list of 39 questions he wants addressed when the trial ends Wednesday after four hours of closing arguments.

Walker’s questions reveal some of the issues still troubling him and suggest that his decision will rely heavily on evidence about the nature of sexual orientation, the effect of Proposition 8, and the similarities and differences between heterosexual and same-sex couples. He asked each side 12 questions and posed an additional 15 to both.

Our side is very well represented in this case. No doubt about that.

And, whatever decision Walker reaches will set us on a path to the Supreme Court.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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