Prop. 8 news: Interview with Olson, closing arguments schedule and questions from the judge

Lots of Prop. 8 trial related news over the past couple days.

Mike Signorile posted his interview with lead lawyer, Ted Olson, here. Mike wrote:

Was an interesting discussion, and I must say that if you asked me just three years ago if I’d be speaking with George W. Bush’s solicitor general about gay equality and how to advance it, I’d say you were nuts. But on LGBT rights, times, and people, do change.

I’ll admit it. I’m glad Ted Olson is on our side.

Karen Ocamb has the schedule for the hearing:

The court just released the schedule for those arguments:

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Plaintiffs (argued by Ted Olson and David Boies)

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM City and County of San Francisco

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM Governor, Attorney General and county defendants

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:15 PM Proponents (argued by Charles Cooper)

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM Plaintiffs’ rebuttal

The closing arguments will be followed by news conferences, presumably from at least the Plaintiff and Proponents side.

And, yesterday, Rick Jacobs, from the Courage Campaign, wrote a post on Judge Vaughn Walker’s questions to the attorneys for both sides:

The questions are stunning in their breadth, complexity and essence. Here are just a few:
What empirical data, if any, supports a finding that legal recognition of same-sex marriage reduces discrimination against gays and lesbians?

What are the consequences of a permanent injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8? What remedies do plaintiffs propose?

If the evidence of the involvement of the LDS and Roman Catholic churches and evangelical ministers supports a finding that Proposition 8 was an attempt to enforce private morality, what is the import of that finding?

The court has reserved ruling on plaintiffs’ motion to exclude Mr Blankenhorn’s testimony. If the motion is granted, is there any other evidence to support a finding that Proposition 8 advances a legitimate governmental interest?

Why is legislating based on moral disapproval of homosexuality not tantamount to discrimination? See Doc #605 at 11 (“But sincerely held moral or religious views that require acceptance and love of gay people, while disapproving certain aspects of their conduct, are not tantamount to discrimination.”). What evidence in the record shows that a belief based in morality cannot also be discriminatory? If that moral point of view is not held and is disputed by a small but significant minority of the community, should not an effort to enact that moral point of view into a state constitution be deemed a violation of equal protection?

What does it mean to have a “choice” in one’s sexual orientation? See e g Tr 2032:17-22; PX 928 at 37

I am not a lawyer, but I can without doubt say that never before has homosexuality been on trial in America in this way.

The decision in this case could be life-changing. And, it will undoubtedly set us on a path to the Supreme Court. That’s where the LGBT community may have the best chance to achieve full equality. Because, politicians aren’t helping us get there.


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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