- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
Lawyer: Gays denied right by Calif. marriage ban
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The landmark federal trial over the constitutionality of California’s gay marriage ban resumed Wednesday with a lawyer arguing that supporters of the ban were trying to deprive same-sex couples of a relationship the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized as a fundamental right.
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California set aside five hours to hear closing arguments in the closely watched case.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued for the two same-sex couples who sued to overturn voter-approved Proposition 8, claiming it was a violation of their civil rights.
Mr. Olson said the U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly has recognized marriage as a fundamental right — one afforded to prisoners serving life sentences and child support scofflaws — while refusing to make procreation a precondition of marriage, as evidenced by laws allowing divorces and contraception.
“It is the right of individuals, not an indulgence to be dispensed by the state,” Mr. Olson said. “The right to marry, to choose to marry, has never been tied to procreation.”
He said sponsors of the proposition had failed to prove that the ability of heterosexual couples to procreate without reproductive technology provided justification for denying marriage to same-sex couples.
“They have identified a difference between opposite-sex and same-sex couples in that opposite-sex couples can procreate without the benefit of a third party. That is a difference,” Judge Walker said. “And why is that difference not one the Legislature or voters could rationally take into account in setting the marriage laws in California?”
The judge heard 12 days of testimony in January and could hand down his decision to uphold or strike down the voter-approved ban in a matter of weeks.
Closing arguments previously were delayed to give Judge Walker time to review the evidence.
“The period of time from the presentation is not anything that I would have wished or hoped for,” Judge Walker said at the start of proceedings. “But it may be appropriate that the case is coming to closing argument right now. June is after all the month for weddings.”
Plaintiff Jeffrey Zarrillo is suing to overturn Proposition 8 with his partner, Paul Katami, and a lesbian couple from Berkeley, Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier.
Last week, the judge gave lawyers on both sides a list of 39 questions he expects them to address during the hearing.
Judge Walker gave lawyers for the plaintiffs the first 90 minutes to present their closing argument, and lawyers for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Proposition 8 two hours and 15 minutes to make their presentation.
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!