Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid

by Lisa Bloom

August 18, 2010

There's a big difference between a political debate about same-sex marriage and the recent hard-fought court challenge to the California ban, Proposition 8.

In politics, anything goes: Vague, sinister comments about same-sex marriage threatening children or undermining the sanctity of heterosexual marriage were prevalent during the Prop 8 campaign. In court, same-sex marriage opponents needed solid evidence to back up these and other claims.

Despite "able and energetic counsel," they never produced it. That's why they lost, resoundingly, in the federal district court. And that lack of evidence should dog opponents up through the chain of appeals that is now beginning, because appellate courts are required to review only the evidence in the court record and to give great deference to Judge Vaughn Walker's findings of fact. He was there, after all, presiding over the trial, and the appellate judges weren't.