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Prop 8 Trial: Day 6 Recap & Day 7 Preview

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The Federal trial challenging Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, is already in session this morning. Here's some of what happened yesterday, via the plaintiff's legal team:

  • Testifying yesterday under the direct examination of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera was Jerry Sanders, the current Republican Mayor and former Police Chief of the City of San Diego. He spoke about his decision, as Mayor, to support the City of San Diego’s participation in an amicus brief advocating against the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and why he concluded supporting marriage equality was and is in the best interest of local government and the larger community.
  • "If government tolerates discrimination against anyone it is very easy for citizens to do the same thing," Sanders testified.
  • "I had been prejudiced,” he continued in reference to his previous opposition to marriage equality. “I was saying one group of people did not deserve the same respect, did not deserve the same symbolism of marriage, and I was saying their marriages were less important than those of heterosexuals."
  • After Sanders was M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D., a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who spoke about the harm caused by the law: "Prop. 8 has inflicted substantial economic harm on same-sex couples and their children who live here in California,” Badgett testified. “I have the opinion that letting same-sex couples marry would not have any adverse effect on the institution of marriage or on different sex couples.”

Taking the stand today:

  • Ryan Kendall, a gay man who will testify about the “conversation therapy” he underwent in his youth and how he has been affected by discrimination.
  • Gary M. Segura, Ph.D,Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He will testify about the relative political power of gays and lesbians as a class of citizens, and their level of political vulnerability.