HRC Blog

Prop 8 Trial – Day Eleven; Defense Begins

Yesterday, the plaintiffs rested their case, closing by playing two videos that the Yes on 8 organization broadcast to gatherings of evangelicals during the campaign.  These videos detailed the scare tactics and inflammatory rhetoric inherent in their efforts and made for a strong and fitting conclusion to the plaintiffs’ arguments.  (As we noted yesterday, both sides will offer their official closing arguments in a couple of weeks.)  The defense then called their first witness, Claremont McKenna College professor Kenneth Miller.  Miller’s testified that LGBT people have a great deal of political power in California, reflected by their support from the Democratic Party, the numerous openly-LGBT elected officials in the state, and the many pro-LGBT bills passed by the state legislature over the years.  On cross-examination, plaintiffs’ attorney David Boies forced Miller to admit that he knew relatively little about the state of the law for LGBT people nationwide or the history of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Focusing on his academic area of focus, Boies was able to elicit from Miller that popular initiatives, like Prop 8, present numerous problems, particularly when they target minority groups.  For more information, Shannon Minter has his usual excellent analysis on Pam’s House Blend. Today, we expect plaintiffs’ attorneys to finish their cross-examination of Professor Miller and defendants will call their second, and last, expert witness, David Blankenhorn.   Blankenhorn is the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, and has written extensively about marriage and parenting.  You may remember his joint op-ed in the New York Times on marriage equality with conservative gay writer Jonathan Rauch.  He is expected to testify about same-sex couples and parenting.      As always, the #prop8 hashtag on Twitter and the Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 Trial Tracker site are great resources for frequent updates during the day.  Check back with us tomorrow morning for a wrap-up of today’s proceedings.

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