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Proposition 8 Trial -- Evidence Portion Ends



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The testimony portion of the Proposition 8 trial has now ended. The judge will schedule closing arguments, probably in a few weeks. One noteworthy aspect of the trial was the heavy emphasis on subjective impressions: the plaintiffs’ testimony about their feelings about not being able to marry, a journalist’s feelings about her ability to marry, the mayor of San Diego’s feelings about gay marriage, a random Colorado man’s feelings about his parents’ attempt to make him undergo therapy, etc. Even the expert testimony often included subjective elements: the survey evidence about how many people believe they chose their orientation, the discussion of emotional harms from marriage laws, etc. Perhaps this is natural for a trial meant to further the trend toward radical individualism in marriage law.

Another interesting aspect was the extreme imbalance in the number of witnesses for each side. A number of witnesses for the defense were unwilling to go on the stand when it seemed likely the trial would be televised and become an Internet spectacle. That did not happen, of course, but the halt from the Supreme Court came late enough that some witnesses were inevitably excluded.



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