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The 2nd Hearing of the Prop 8 Challenge Begins

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The Day of Decision Protest in Hollywood on May 26 (more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist
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It's just after 10 a.m. and case against the unconstitutionality of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California, is being heard for the second time in a federal district court in San Francisco. Before the first hearing in July, Judge Vaughn R. Walker said "given that serious questions are raised in these proceedings ... the court is inclined to proceed directly and expeditiously to the merits of plaintiffs' claims. ... The just, speedy and inexpensive determination of these issues would appear to call for proceeding promptly to trial.”

However, defenders of Prop 8 want to see the trial pushed to July of 2010. Proponents of the case want to see if begin this December. The two lawyers--the famous Bush-Gore rivals now acting on the same side--will take this angle today, according to an e-mail:

In documents filed with the court in advance of the hearing, defenders of Proposition 8 cited slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk as evidence that LGBT political power is “substantial” enough to undermine plaintiffs’ constitutional challenges to Prop. 8. They also question the quality of LGBT families and say Proposition 8 is appropriate because discrimination against the LGBT community is “increasingly rare.” At the hearing, attorneys Olson and Boies - on behalf of plaintiffs Kris Perry & Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo -- will argue for a proceeding that demonstrates that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional “under any standard of review,” and that any facts that cannot be resolved in plaintiffs’ favor as a matter of law be decided through a full and public trial. Defenders of Proposition 8 say “a trial is not necessary , ” even as to hotly disputed facts.

"Granting the right to marry would not damage, inhibit, or impair any rights of individuals who wish to marry persons of the opposite sex or otherwise impair any legitimate state interest. Prop. 8 is therefore unconstitutional under any standard of review," Olson and Boies wrote in court filings.