American Foundation for Equal Rights

SF Chronicle: Prop. 8 defense only needs 2 witnesses

In 12 days of testimony in federal court, lawyers for two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco called a parade of academic heavyweights and people affected by the ban on same-sex marriage to buttress their claim of unconstitutional discrimination. Defenders of the November 2008 ballot measure called only two witnesses, who did not address many of the plaintiffs’ issues.

But while Prop. 8′s challengers presented the weightier case, they also faced the heavier burden: overturning a voter-approved law on a politically sensitive subject, with arguments that no federal court has yet addressed, much less accepted.

The centerpiece of their case was testimony by professors from elite universities that marriage is an evolving institution, that parental fitness has nothing to do with sexual orientation, that gays and lesbians are subject to continuing discrimination and that the Prop. 8 campaign was based on appeals to prejudice.

Read the rest of Bob Egelko’s San Francisco Chronicle article here.