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Appeals Court Hears Proposition 8

A federal appeals court began considering Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage today, reviewing Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that it was unconstitutional. The Associated Press reports that the Proposition 8 defense was less than stellar.

The defenders of California's gay marriage ban took a pummeling during the first federal trial to explore the civil rights implications of outlawing same-sex marriages. They summoned only two witnesses, one of whom left the stand looking thrashed. Even the lead attorney was left groping for words when pressed to explain how allowing gays and lesbians to wed would undermine traditional unions.

If the courtroom had been a boxing ring, the referee would have called a knockout.

Yet lawyers for the ban's sponsors say their side was on the ropes for a reason: They disputed that live testimony and reams of evidence were relevant to a lawsuit against the voter-approved Proposition 8, so they did not provide it. In their view, the proceedings were a "a show trial," and they were willing to invite the unfavorable verdict they eventually got while betting they would win in a later round where the ground rules would be different.

The Wall Street Journalreports that the the case could also be appealed again to Ninth Circuit judges or to the Supreme Court, which would consider same-sex marriage for the first time. Court proceedings were televised on C-SPAN.

Update: Several evangelicals joined an interfaith statement released Monday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describing marriage as "the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman." The list of signers included the following:

Leith Anderson

President

National Association of Evangelicals

Dr. George O. Wood

General Superintendent

Assemblies of God

Dr. Richard Land

President

Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Dr. Thomas E. Armiger

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Dr. Jerry G. Pence

The Board of General Superintendents

The Wesleyan Church

Dr. Gary M. Benedict

President

The Christian and Missionary Alliance

Glenn C. Burris Jr.

President

The Foursquare Church

The Most Rev. Robert Duncan

Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America

Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh

Bishop Harry Jackson

Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church

Bishop, Fellowship of International Churches

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

President

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:December 6, 2010 at 4:25PM
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Appeals Court Hears Proposition 8