Prop 8 closing: Fear v. Equality

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June 16, 2010


"There were so many people trying to get in to watch the final day of the landmark trial challenging California's same-sex marriage ban, the court staff had to set up an additional overflow room for observers. Those dozen or so members of the public who managed to snare seats in Courtroom 6 on the 17th floor of San Francisco's federal courthouse building had to stand in line starting at 5:45 Wednesday morning to get them.

"But gays in California are used to standing in line. They stood in line exactly two years ago—June 16, 2008—to be among the first same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state. Now, they were watching closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, an historic case challenging the November 2008 initiative that took away the right for gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in California.

"Jenny Pizer, head of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's Marriage Project, said Olson did 'an effective job' of hammering home the U.S. Supreme Court precedent supporting the 'freedom to marry as a right of individuals that is so basic and important that the state cannot abridge it.'"