Groundbreaking gay marriage trial begins
First to look at bans; Supreme Court blocks broadcast, at least for now
Marilee Kreml sings with a group of same-sex marriage supporters outside the federal courthouse on Monday.
updated 2 hours, 32 minutes ago
Most of the demonstrators are gay marriage supporters, who took turns addressing the crowd with a microphone. About a dozen gay marriage foes stood in the back of the gathering and quietly held signs demanding the ban remain in place.
Among the questions Walker plans to entertain are whether sexual orientation can be changed, how legalizing gay marriage affects traditional marriages and the effect on children of being raised by two mothers or two fathers.
Are there any adequate public interests to justify reimposing such a caste system for gay people, especially by a majority vote to take a cherished right from a historically mistreated minority?"
While other courts have wrestled with the constitutional issues raised by prohibiting same-sex marriages — the Supreme Court last took a look at the issue 38 years ago — Walker's court is the first to employ live witnesses in the task. Among those set to testify are the leaders of the Proposition 8 campaign, academic experts from the fields of political science, history, psychology and economics, and the two plaintiff couples — Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, who live in Berkeley, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo, who live in Los Angeles.
Jeff Chiu / AP
Kristin Perry, left, and Sandra Stier are plaintiffs in the case.
Chad Griffin, a political consultant who helped spearhead the lawsuit, said the four were recruited to represent California couples who say they would get married were it not for Proposition 8 because they lead lives indistinguishable from those of other couples, gay or straight, who have jobs, children and a desire for the social stamp of approval that matrimony affords, Griffin said.
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