Gay Marriage trial begins in CA

Today is the opening day of arguments before the California Supreme Court regarding the legality of denying same-sex couples the ability to have their relationships recognized as marriages according to state law.

When folks gathered around the televisions today to watch the proceedings (they were to be broadcast and streamed online) they discovered that the justices had imposed a last minute order requiring banning video recording in the court room for the first three days of hearings. You can find coverage of that decision here and here.

All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena has issued a statement regarding the court's decision which included these words from the the Rev. Canon Susan Russell:

“As a person of faith, one of the core biblical values I claim is ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Those who argue against marriage equality should have nothing to fear from the truth – and if their arguments do not stand up to the scrutiny of our legal system then the people of California deserve to know that.”

(The statement follows below the "fold".)

The Mercury News website is "liveblogging" the developments in the courtroom today here. So far, except for a decision by the attorney's in favor of the ban to not cross-examine a witness, things are going pretty much as expected.

Press Statement from All Saints:

Disappointed in today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to block the broadcast of opening arguments in the Prop 8 trial, we are nevertheless convinced that the landmark case will help move California to the right side of history on the issue of marriage equality.
The Reverend Susan Russell -- a Senior Associate at All Saints Church and a spokesperson for California Faith for Equality -- was at the Pasadena Federal Court building this morning, hoping to hear opening arguments from the San Francisco trial.

When word that the Supreme Court had temporarily ruled in favor of the argument that witnesses opposed to marriage equality could be victims of harassment and intimidation, Russell had these comments:

“The only potential victims here are fair minded Californians who deserve to have the important issue of marriage equality tried on its merits – not tried in the court of public opinion in political campaigns designed to tell lies, distort facts and distract the voters from the real issue at hand. And that issue is whether or not we are going to continue to strive to be a nation of liberty and justice for all – not just some – Americans.”
“This last ditch effort by supporters of discrimination against gay and lesbian families is nothing less than another smokescreen fueled by the flames of homophobia.”

“As a person of faith, one of the core biblical values I claim is ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Those who argue against marriage equality should have nothing to fear from the truth – and if their arguments do not stand up to the scrutiny of our legal system then the people of California deserve to know that.”

“As a member of California Faith for Equality I stand with over 6000 faith leaders across the state who ask our courts to do the job our constitution expects them to do, and that is to preserve equal protection for all Americans.”

Comments (1)

A correction or two. This case is in front of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, not the California Supreme Court. The decision to prevent the streaming video was made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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