Liveblogging Prop 8 Trial Wednesday Morning 6/16 Closing Arguments (50)
Teresa Stewart for the City and County of San Francisco.
Walker: Does the City and County of SF have standing to appeal?
Stewart: I believe we do.
Walker: Then Imperial COunty could also show reasons for an appeal?
Walker: Can you particularize the harm, specifically, to the city and county of SF?
Stewart: Stigma propounded by Prop 8, if it were no longer embedded in our constitution, would reduce the costs of our mental health system. Ryan Kendall went into their juvenile system, sought relief for emergency medical care, because of how his parents treated him, went to get counseling at the public school. This is all example of this kinds of costs the public incurs because of discrimination.
walker: But laws won’t make stigma go away, they won’t change the way people think?
Stewart: Well, stigma causes bullying, and there is huge cost for sexual orientation bullying, absenteeism due to it. Cities and states lose the productive attendance of the students, they turn to substance abuse.
Stewart: Prof Chauncey was talking about our history too. SF once used its own police power to afflict harm on the gay and lesbian citizens of our city. We don’t want to send the message anymore that they are inferior — it is a deeply invidious law. We ask that you hold Prop 8 unconstitutional.
Governor’s Counsel waived rights to make closing argument (laughter).
Attorney General’s counsel waived rights to make closing argument (more laughter).
Walker: Well I have questions for you, or perhaps for the Alameda County Court Recorder counsel.
Walker: When couples come in for domestic partnership — or marriage — do you ask the genders of the couple?
I don’t know.
Walker; Well I checked SF — box for groom and box for bride, and that’s labeled optional. In Orange County, there’s a blank for bride, a blank for groom, and third blank labeled none. I did not personally go through the exercise online, and then print out a license with two grooms. What am I to make of this?
Counsel: Although you can APPLY for a marriage if a couple is the same sex, but I don’t think the recorder has to perform or recognize the marriage.
(THIS GUY IS JUST AWFUL)
Walker: How was the determination made?
Counsel: Do the people look different?
Walker: Do people come in?
Counsel: Yes, people have come in and videotaped their request, and my client the Recorder called to ask what to do. I advised them not to issue a licence. We have taken oaths to uphold the law.
Walker: So the determination whether this particular couple is same-sex or opposite-sex is made on the spot, by whoever is on the desk that day.
Counsel: We have to take people at their word.
Walker: what if they lied, what if one man said I am the groom and the other said I am the bride?
Counsel: If the Clerk didn’t think they were different sexes, I don’t know that we take them at their word, the marriage would be annul because it was based on a fraud or misrepresentation.
Walker: What about domestic partnerships for opposite sex couples, one must be older than 62?
Counsel: Discusses the SF law versus state law.
Walker: What do you do to enforce that?
Counsel: I don’t know, we don’t get many cases like that. I guess it would be like going into a bar, you might have to prove your age. If one was 85, and another was 90, I don’t think we would ask that.
Walker: I don’t think we needed to know that.
ADJOURN FOR LUNCH — RESUME AT 1 PM PACIFIC