[Ed. Note: FDL has complete team coverage of Perry v. Schwarzenegger–including more legal analysis, court documents, videos, and liveblogging direct from the federal court in San Francisco. You can find it all on our dedicated Prop 8 page.]
From the American Foundation for Equal Rights (plaintiffs’ representative) we have this preview of Day Ten (Monday) of the Prop 8 trial along with their summary of the success of Dr Herek’s long testimony and cross examination on Friday. See you soon!
DAY TEN OF PROP. 8 TRIAL ON MONDAY/AVAIL INFO
Trial on Unconstitutionality of Prop. 8 Begins Day Ten in U.S. District Court on Jan. 25;
Plaintiffs to Enter Evidence and Rest Case
For latest information, visit www.equalrightsfoundation.org
The federal trial over the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 will continue Monday, January 25 at 8:30 am. Before resting their case, the plaintiffs will present documents and videos that reinforce points made during the first two weeks of trial.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights launched the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and brought together Theodore Olson and David Boies to lead the litigation.
Taking the stand Friday, Jan. 22 was Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis. He testified about the nature of sexual orientation; that mainstream mental health professionals and behavioral scientists do not regard homosexuality as an illness or disorder, and that “change therapies” have been scientifically discounted, and can be extremely harmful. He endured more than five hours of cross examination without wavering from his testimony.
Herek testified that sexual orientation was not readily changeable, and that “change therapies are especially harmful because they present view that homosexuality is an illness or disorder, so when therapy doesn’t work, individuals are led to think it’s a personal and moral failure.”
He also testified about the stigma and prejudice that gay men and lesbians face; the harm to gay men and lesbians and their families caused by Prop. 8; and how domestic partnerships are inferior to marriage and are linked with the stigma gay men and lesbians face.
A “social stigma” gave “a level of permission to attack” gays and lesbians, Herek said. “[Marriage] is not simply a word. Just the fact we’re here today suggests this is more than a word.”
Olson and Boies also showed Dr. Herek the deposition testimony of defendants’ expert Daniel Robinson, one of the four expert witnesses dropped from their witness list. Robinson, like the three other experts dropped from their list, made statements damaging to the defendants’ case and in support of the plaintiffs during his deposition, as was shown in court this week.
For, example, the defendants’ experts stated that equal marriage would increase family stability and improve the lives of children; that sexual orientation is not something that can be readily changed; and that gay men and lesbians have faced a long history of discrimination including violence – discrimination that continues today and that includes Prop. 8. They also acknowledge broad scientific and professional consensus in favor of equal marriage.
UPDATE: Apparently Defendant-Intervenors added Frank Schubert, the head of Prop 8 Campaign Manager consulting firm Schubert Flynt, to their witness list on Saturday, 48 hours before they plan to call him today. Plaintiffs’ counsel has asked that he be prohibited from testifying, since the subjects he will be asked to testify to are the same ones that his own counsel, and D-I counsel, told him NOT to testify to 76 times during his deposition.
I think we might have some fireworks over this proposed addition of a non-responsive deposition witness this morning. See you there!