Same-sex "marriage" heads to Federal District Court in California today, where judges will hear arguments in an effort to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that outlawed gay "marriage" in the state, as the New York Times reports HERE and the Los Angeles Times reports HERE. The case, which could eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, will play out on YouTube, an unprecedented move and something that supporters of Prop 8 fear will intimidate witnesses. During the 2008 campaign for Prop 8, supporters were harassed and threatened for their opposition to same sex "marriage."
UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today to block YouTube coverage of arguments for at least the first few days of the trial. The court said that it needed more time to decide on the videotaped broadcasts. The order will be in place until Wednesday. Click HERE for the Times story.
Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese writes on the op-ed page of the Times today that the chief judge in the case, Vaughn R. Walker, has stacked the deck against Proposition 8 and its supporters. He writes:
"Most troubling, Judge Walker has also ruled that the trial will investigate the Proposition 8 sponsors’ personal beliefs regarding marriage and sexuality. No doubt, the plaintiffs will aggressively exploit this opportunity to assert that the sponsors exhibited bigotry toward homosexuals, or that religious views motivated the adoption of Proposition 8. They’ll argue that prohibiting gay marriage is akin to racial discrimination.
"To top it all off, Judge Walker has determined that this case will be the first in the Ninth Circuit to allow cameras in the courtroom, with the proceedings posted on YouTube. This will expose supporters of Proposition 8 who appear in the courtroom to the type of vandalism, harassment and bullying attacks already used by some of those who oppose the proposition.
"Thankfully, some of Judge Walker’s rulings have been overturned. For example, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the disclosure of internal communications among the core Proposition 8 organizers. But there is no question that virtually every ruling by Judge Walker so far has put advocates of traditional marriage at an increasing disadvantage.
"Despite this, during the trial, the supporters of Proposition 8 will work hard to demonstrate that it was rational for voters to conclude that marriage is a unique institution that promotes the interests of child-rearing, and that those interests are broader than the personal special interests of the adults involved. And they’ll make the case that voters were very much within their rights, when casting their ballots, to consider their own moral and religious views about marriage — or any other subject."
To read the full Meese op-ed, click HERE.