Bil Browning

Judge Walker's Interesting Prop 8 Questions

Filed By Bil Browning | June 09, 2010 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: federal court, gay marriage, gay rights, Judge Walker, marriage equality, Prop 8, same-sex marriage, Vaughn Walker

Yesterday Judge Vaughn Walker, the judge overseeing the federal trial on the validity of Prop 8, tkam_atticus1.jpgissued a series of questions he'd like the parties to address in their closing arguments.

Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign, wrote on the Huffington Post that, he "can without doubt say that never before has homosexuality been on trial in America in this way." Jacobs has also posted a complete copy of the list of questions Walker sent to the plaintiff and the defendants.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin next Wednesday, June 16 at 10am Pacific . A sample of some of Walker's questions are after the jump.

What empirical data, if any, supports a finding that legal recognition of same-sex marriage reduces discrimination against gays and lesbians?

What are the consequences of a permanent injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8? What remedies do plaintiffs propose?

If the evidence of the involvement of the LDS and Roman Catholic churches and evangelical ministers supports a finding that Proposition 8 was an attempt to enforce private morality, what is the import of that finding?

The court has reserved ruling on plaintiffs' motion to exclude Mr Blankenhorn's testimony. If the motion is granted, is there any other evidence to support a finding that Proposition 8 advances a legitimate governmental interest?

Why is legislating based on moral disapproval of homosexuality not tantamount to discrimination? See Doc #605 at 11 ("But sincerely held moral or religious views that require acceptance and love of gay people, while disapproving certain aspects of their conduct, are not tantamount to discrimination."). What evidence in the record shows that a belief based in morality cannot also be discriminatory? If that moral point of view is not held and is disputed by a small but significant minority of the community, should not an effort to enact that moral point of view into a state constitution be deemed a violation of equal protection?

What does it mean to have a "choice" in one's sexual orientation? See e g Tr 2032:17-22; PX 928 at 37


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polargirl360 | June 9, 2010 1:37 PM

The man in that picture sure looks like the actor Christopher Reeve dressed up as Clark Kent!

I wonder if he has ever disrobed his suit on stage at a gay strip club to reveal a Superman costume than starting dancing to the Superman theme tune!

That's a shot from To Kill a Mockingbird, Polargirl. That's Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

I think you've just outlined Tom Welling's career path after Smallville. ;)

Chitown Kev | June 9, 2010 2:01 PM

I thought that everyone would know that that was a pic of Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Anyway...interesting question and not written in excessive legalese either. Many of them are food for thought.

I especially liked the one question that had to deal (hypothetically) with the idea that if homosexuallity was immutable in men but not in women, should gay men and lesbians both receive equal protection.

polargirl360 | June 9, 2010 2:21 PM

I'm from a younger generation. I'm not familiar with To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Superman thing would probably be a success at gay strip clubs.

I'm wondering if two performers at a gay kink club, one dressed up in a marine corps costume as "Corporal Punishment" and the other as "Private Parts" would be a success due to all the attention gays have been giving the military with DADT.

Renee Thomas | June 9, 2010 3:15 PM

@Polargirl

Expand your horizons girlfriend,

You should rent the DVD of To Kill a Mockingbird . . .

particularly in light of its exploration of the issues of the presumption of guilt by virtue of ethnicity and it's parallels in the Prop 8 case and the presumption of guilt by virtue of sexual orientation.

Moreover, as heros go, you could do a great deal worse than Atticus Finch

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic... I remember seeing the movie as a kid and reading the book right after it... I grew up in a redneck little town in Oregon, and it all seemed so real... well worth an evening Polargirl, I hope you like it!