- Posted January 12, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Judge strikes down Prop 8
Californians Against Hate
I'm in Sacramento today and spoke with Richard Stapler and Fred Karger. They talk about the trial and their opinions. Fred is going to the trial and I gave him a camera to document - watch out for that video Saturday!
Video by: Chris Morrow
Follow Chris coverage on Prop8 on Twitter: www.twitter.com/morrowchris
TEXT OF TED OLSON OPENING STATEMENT IN PROP. 8 TRIAL
This case is about marriage and equality. Plaintiffs are being denied both the right to marry, and the right to equality under the law.
The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly described the right to marriage as “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men;” a “basic civil right;” a component of the constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, association, and intimate choice; an expression of emotional support and public commitment; the exercise of spiritual unity; and a fulfillment of one’s self.
In short, in the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is “the most important relation in life,” and “of fundamental importance for all individuals.”
As the witnesses in this case will elaborate, marriage is central to life in America. It promotes mental, physical and emotional health and the economic strength and stability of those who enter into a marital union. It is the building block of family, neighborhood and community. The California Supreme Court has declared that the right to marry is of “central importance to an individual’s opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society.”
Proposition 8 ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians.
A trial challenging California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, began January 11. The two same-sex couples at the heart of the case are arguing that the ban is unconstitutional, and no matter what the outcome of the case in district court, it will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The outcome of the case is expected to set precedent for years and shape society in the same ways as landmark cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. It’s also expected to spark protests around the country.
Do you think banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional? How do you think the case will turn out?