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Prop. 8 Trial: Olson and Boies Expected to Rest Gay Marriage Case Today


Proposition 8 plaintiffs' attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies are expected to rest their case today in San Francisco.

Proposition 8 protestor marches in Westwood in November, 2008.
Proposition 8 protestor marches in Westwood in November, 2008.
Patrick Range McDonald


Olson and Boies have spent nearly two weeks trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that Proposition 8, which took away the existing right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California, is unconstitutional and should be overturned.

Last Friday, the plaintiffs' attorneys called U.C.-Davis psychology professor Gregory Herek to the stand, who testified that most research shows that gays and lesbians do not have a choice over their sexual orientation.

Proposition 8 defendants' lawyers, who want to uphold the gay marriage

ban, spent hours cross-examining Herek since the question of choosing

one's sexual orientation goes to whether or not gays and lesbians

should receive protections from the court.

It's a very important legal point

for both sides of the Prop. 8 lawsuit, which was underscored by the length of the cross-examination by the defendants' lawyers.

"The cross-(examination) is now more than

five hours long, five times longer than the plaintiffs questioning of

their own witness, quite a ratio," writes San Jose Mercury News reporter Howard Mintz.

If it is a choice, the defendants' attorneys say, gays should not get those protections.

Interestingly, the question over "choice" hits upon something we've been thinking about during these past few weeks: Gay marriage is not the only thing on trial in the federal courthouse in San Francisco...the validity of homosexuality itself is under fire.

Once the plaintiffs rest their case, the trial is expected to end on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will then schedule closing arguments for some time in February.

In between Tuesday and closing arguments, people can catch up on what has happened in San Francisco over the past couple of weeks by watching the video re-enactments of the Prop. 8 trial, which are produced by L.A. filmmaker John Ireland, at www.marriagetrial.com.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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