Note: SCOCA is the Supreme Court - is it oay to sy that instead of the letters? I think this was taken down in shorthand...
Walker: Will there be evidence to show intent to discriminate by the proponents of Prop 8?
Olson: Official title said it all: Eliminates the right of same-sex marriage, and the way it was characterized in the official ballot measure.
O: Our evidence will show that the proponents had sentiments that prohibited these same people from serving in the government. The moral values and religious views drove these proponents to discriminate against lesbians and gays.
W: Moral condemnation is not a basis for policy, it’s not in the constitution?
O: No, it is not. Lawrence v Texas, TX said it could regulate gay relationships because of the state’s moral disapproval.
W: Millions of laws are based on moral disapproval. Does that make the law invalid?
O: No, of course not — unless the moral disapproval is based on an immutable category like race, sex, or sexual orientation. These individual characteristics can’t be overcome so they can’t be the basis of law.
O: SCOCA says that L&Gs are told that their relationship is less-than by a ban on their marriage. Marriage, culturally and societally, is essential in America. Marriage discrimination adds another chapter to America’s — and California’s long history of discrimination against lesbians and gays for NO GOOD REASON.
Olson: Leading experts from academy will say significant benefits accrue to couples, families, and communities.
walker: If same-sex couples can enter into marriage, doesn’t that change the institution of marriage?
Oldson: No, it completes marriage — think of the evolution of marriage in our culture, many of which we’ve eliminated. Legislatively and judicially, these changes have improved marriage and our society.
Walker: So marriage is stronger now that we’ve removed these restrictions.
Olson: Yes. President’s Obama’s parents could not have married in Virginia and several other states at the time of his birth. Marriage is weaker when it is restricted, and CA was a leader in removing those restrictions.
Olson: Harm done is significant. Prop 8 harmed individual citizens. Prop 8’s purpose was straightforward but not evil. Took away a right.
W: But not a right they had had very long, correct? Merely months prior, these relationships could become marriages.
O: SCOCA didn’t CREATE the right, it RECOGNIZES the right.
Olson: Attitudes change when people learn about discrimination, as your honor will learn about what it does to these couples in these relationships. They have to explain what in the world a Domestic Partnership is. We want to open people’s minds to this discrimination.
Walker: If Prop 8 is invalidated, will DOMA be invalid also?
Olson: we don;’t know. This is like Romer v COlorado, where SCOTUS restored a taken-away right. I think, at the end of teh day, that DOMA is unconstitutional. The discrimination against these people on the basis of characteristics they do not choose to have is cruel.
Olson: PLaintiffs will describe what they suffer every day, how demeaning and insulting it is that they are told that they are STILL free to marry, just not the person they love. Evidence will show that this discrimination levels BADGES OF INFERIORITY.
Olson: Defenders of Prop 8 admit that marriage is special in their own filings. That makes same-sex relationships less worthy, less special, less valued. We have only just ended (?) censorship, fired from government jobs, ostracized, arrested for their private sexual conduct — roots of discrimination run deep, perpetuated by Prop 8, singling out same-sex couples
Olson: Even murderers and childmolestors in prison can get married. These contributing members of society are treated differently than even the imprisoned.
walker: Is this discrimination based on sex or based on sexual orientation?
Olson: BOth. Prop 8 says everyone can marry as long as the marital partner is of the state-approved sex. SCOCA found sexual orientation is highly resistant to change. AG of California admits that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and without merit.
Olson: Proponents mention procreation; they say same-sex couples can’t so marriage is not for them. The state has never been involved in deciding whether fertility is a requirement for marriage. L&Gs are just as good parents; quality of a parent is not based on the gender of the parent BUT ON THE QUALITY OF THE HEART.
Olson: One of our plaintiffs is raising FOUR children, and our evidence will show they are fine parents raising excellent children.
Olson: Proponents told voters to "protect our children from the presumably pernicious view" that L&G people could enter in to loving relationships. It implemented an UTTERLY IRRATIONAL REGIME.
Olson: Four classes: opposite-sex, including the incarcerated. Two: those 18,000 who married during the window but cannot remarry if widowed. Three: people married elsewhere who until 1/1/10 had marriages not recognized by the state. Fourth, the people we represent, who cannot now marry.
Walker; Mr Cooper frequently makes the point that courts should not be involved, that this is a political process. Why shouldn’t the courts stand back from this and let the political process play out.
Olson; (very quiet now) That is why we have courts, so that people who may not be the most popular, but are discriminated against by the color of their skin, told they can’t go to some schools. We wouldn’t need a constitution if we left anything to the political process. but that isn’t good for those who are new, or different, or disliked, or thought inferior, or less approved by the majority.
Olson: This causes unrelenting PAIN. Worthy, loving, upstanding citizens are being hurt every single day, and that is why we are here today.
walker: Thank you.
Created: Jan 14, 2010Document Media