American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Witness Testimony: Kenneth Miller

On the tenth and eleventh days of trial, the proponents of Proposition 8 called Kenneth Miller, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College, as an expert in American and California politics.  Plaintiffs objected to Professor Miller’s qualification as an expert in the areas of discrimination against gays and lesbians and gay and lesbian political power.  After hearing his testimony, the district court concluded that Professor Miller “is not sufficiently familiar with gay and lesbian politics specifically to offer opinions on gay and lesbian political power.”

Testimony Highlights

“In my view, gays and lesbians have the ability to attract the attention of lawmakers in California.”


“[DAVID BOIES]: I want to be sure I understand what you are saying. You are saying that there is official discrimination, like the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy, correct?


“[BOIES]: That’s what you refer to as official discrimination?

“[MILLER]: It’s legally enforced rules that have an effect on gays and lesbians, which is different than heterosexual people, yes.

“[BOIES]: And that’s what you refer to as official discrimination, is that true? I’m just trying to get your word –

“[MILLER]: Maybe ‘legal’ is a better word. It’s — or de jure. I don’t know how you want to describe it. Various different ways to describe the same thing.

“[BOIES]: What word is the word you use? Because I just want to use your language.

“[MILLER]: Okay. ‘Official’ would be fine.

“[BOIES]: ‘Official,’ okay. And by official discrimination, you mean discrimination that is legally enforced, discrimination by the state, correct?

“[MILLER]: I think that’s fair to say, yeah.

“[BOIES]: Now, are you aware of any of what you call official discrimination against gays and lesbians in this country today other than the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy?

“[MILLER]: I’m just trying to think of other laws or official policies that discriminate on that basis.”


“I haven’t looked closely to see if there are any examples where sexual orientation would be a factor in terms of the workplace. I can’t think of any.”


“[BOIES]: Do you believe that gays and lesbians are still the object of prejudice and stereotype, today?

“[MILLER]: I think like a lot of groups they are, yes.

“[BOIES]: I’m sorry. Say that again?

“[MILLER]: I think like a lot of groups, they face some stereotyping and some prejudice.”


“[BOIES]: And have you investigated how many gays and lesbians are fired from their jobs, refused work, paid less, and otherwise discriminated against in the workplace simply because they are gay or lesbian? Have you investigated that?

“[MILLER]: The total number, no, I have not.

“[BOIES]: The approximate number, have you looked at that?

“[MILLER]: No, I have not.

“[BOIES]: Have you tried to find out whether that number is large or small?

“[BOIES]: I assume it’s a substantial number. I haven’t looked at the specific numbers.”


“My view is that at least some people voted for Proposition 8 on the basis of anti-gay stereotypes and prejudice.”


“I think there might be circumstances where political science generally would be quite disposed to agree with a religiously-based argument that might be held by a majority, but, again, I think the principle you are driving at is that would political science in general believe it is inappropriate or undesirable for a religious majority to impose on a religious minority its views. And I think probably a majority of political scientists would agree with that.”