American Foundation for Equal Rights

The Advocate: Prop. 8 Plaintiffs Speak

Regardless of one’s position on the timing and prudence of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal case challenging California’s anti-gay-marriage amendment, Proposition 8, it was difficult for many of those sitting in a San Francisco courtroom not to be moved by testimony of the two gay couples who filed suit in the face of inequity. On the stand, Jeff Zarrillo, Paul Katami, Sandy Stier, and Kristin Perry combined the conviction of longtime gay rights activists (which they are not) and the plainspoken delivery of ordinary people trying to live their lives and protect their families (which they are). Both Zarrillo and Katami were visibly emotional when speaking about their relationship: “I would be with him in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, death do us part, just like vows,” Zarrillo said. “I would do anything for him. And I want nothing more than to marry him.”

The testimony has concluded, but a decision in the case is still weeks away, with closing arguments likely in March or April. Zarrillo and Katami, who have been together for nearly nine years, recently spoke to about their legal team, led by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, and their experience in a suit that may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read the rest of Andrew Harmon’s The Advocate article here.