Prop 8 Trial Opening Coverage

The Prop 8 trial has already generated noteworthy coverage in both the mainstream and LGBT media.

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage” by Ted Olson was published in Newsweek:

Together with my good friend and occasional courtroom adversary David Boies, I am attempting to persuade a federal court to invalidate California’s Proposition 8—the voter-approved measure that overturned California’s constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.

My involvement in this case has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How could a politically active, lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, challenge the “traditional” definition of marriage and press for an “activist” interpretation of the Constitution to create another “new” constitutional right?

My answer to this seeming conundrum rests on a lifetime of exposure to persons of different backgrounds, histories, viewpoints, and intrinsic characteristics, and on my rejection of what I see as superficially appealing but ultimately false perceptions about our Constitution and its protection of equality and fundamental rights.

Two great introductory articles to the opening of the trial were written by the San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times, both including wonderful stories of same-sex couples.

The LGBT blog Pam’s House Blend has posted the first of a series of posts by Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, on the Prop 8 trial:

From the first moment to the closing bell, Judge Walker moved the proceedings forward at a rapid clip. It was a great day for our side, spiced with some intriguing hints from Judge Walker about how he may be viewing some of the key legal issues in the case. Ted Olson and San Francisco Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart gave eloquent opening statements. Both plaintiff couples presented emotional and moving testimony during their examinations and cross-examinations. And by the end of the day, the plaintiff’s first expert witness (the distinguished American history scholar, Professor Nancy Cott) had made significant headway through her testimony, showing that that marriage has never been universally defined as a union of one man and one woman, and that religion has never had any bearing on the legality of a marriage.

Michael Petrelis of the LGBT blog The Petrelis Files also is covering the trial:

Ted Olson launched into his opening statement at 9:26 am, and it hurt emotionally having to listen to his master arguer’s intonation as he recounts a small piece of the demonization and discrimination gay Americans have suffered. Sure, I’ve heard such words many times in my years, and it never gets easier swallowing our pain, but I am ready for a big unapologetic legal challenge made on gays’ behalf to end a huge part of the discrimination. Go, Ted, go!

Two words come to mind as opposing attorney Charles Cooper presents his opening arguments: hesitant speaker. Coming after the wonderful preparation, smoothness and expert delivery of Olson, Cooper was a letdown. Damn hard to sense much of his self-confidence.He also gets too jittery at the lectern. His central point is that marriage must and does equal procreation. Huh? That’s going to be his argument? We should easily win, if it is.

We’ll highlight additional coverage as warranted—and let us know what articles you think we should include.

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