American Foundation for Equal Rights

San Jose Mercury: Proposition 8 trial at a crossroads

Testimony in the historic trial that will determine whether gay marriage will become legal in California has thus far painted a portrait of historical bias and modern political backlash, brushed with raw emotions and textured with academic insights.

Two weeks into the trial in federal court challenging the legality of Proposition 8, narrowly passed by California voters in 2008, the high-powered legal team representing same-sex couples in their quest for the right to marry have thrown everything they have at the state’s gay-marriage ban.

The lingering question: whether it will be enough to get the law declared unconstitutional, both in the short term with the federal judge hearing the case and, perhaps more importantly, down the road with the ultimate arbiters — the U.S. Supreme Court.

The trial moves into a new stage today, as Proposition 8′s defenders mount their counteroffensive, presenting two experts who will try to debunk the parade of witnesses who have taken the stand for nine days — each, in their own way, depicting the same-sex marriage law as a cruel and discriminatory method of relegating gay and lesbian couples to second-class citizenship.

Read the rest of Howard Mintz’s San Jose Mercury article here.