Thursday, January 21, 2010

Evan Wolfson: 14 Years After Hawaii: New Freedom to Marry Case in California; Same Old, Same Old From Opponents

The Huffington Post
January 21, 2010
Evan Wolfson summarizes advances in the marriage landscape from the historic Baehr v. Miike case in Hawaii in 1996 (which was televised on Court TV), for which he was co-counsel, to the current Prop 8 trial going on in California. One thing that he notes hasn't advanced is the opposition's ability to defend the denial of marriage with anything better than what they had in 1996:
One other thing that hasn't changed since Hawaii is the failure of the anti-gay side to come up with anything better to defend the denial of marriage than they had in 1996. In a way, this is surprising, given that their lead attorney, Charles Cooper, was also the hired-gun brought in by the state of Hawaii to shore up its case in 1990's. It's not as if Cooper hasn't had time to think of an argument - so an exchange he had with Judge Walker was quite telling: Judge Walker asked, "What would be the harm of permitting gay men and lesbians to marry?" Cooper, replied, "Your Honor, my answer is: I don't know ... I don't know." Fundamentally, of course, their inability to defend the denial of marriage with real evidence and logic is not surprising; the reason smart lawyers like Mr. Cooper don't give a better answer to why marriage discrimination should be allowed to continue is that there isn't one. [Link]

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