American Foundation for Equal Rights

San Jose Mercury: Proposition 8 trial: Attorney, witness engage in bitter argument as testimony nears end

The Proposition 8 trial is ending with a bit of a bang.

After an afternoon that more resembled the elbow throwing of the political campaign over same-sex marriage than the placid decorum of a legal proceeding, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker tacked on an extra day of the trial as the Prop. 8 defense’s second and final witness could not finish his testimony Tuesday.

That witness, David Blankenhorn, spent several hours essentially arguing with David Boies, one of the lawyers representing same-sex couples in their bid to overturn California’s ban on their right to marry. The exchanges were openly bitter, and underscored the controversial nature of Blankenhorn’s thesis: that procreation is the central purpose of marriage, and that same-sex marriage will lead to the downfall of traditional heterosexual marriage.

“If you change the definition of the ‘thing,’ ” Blankenhorn said of marriage, “it is hard to imagine how it wouldn’t have an impact on the ‘thing.’ ”

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