Opening Statements In Prop 8 Trial

Ken AshfordConstitution, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

Apparently, the defense in the Prop 8 Trial isn't doing well.  According to liveblogging reports, the opening statement by the defense included this statement:

“Racial restrictions were never a definitional feature of the institution of marriage.”

This was reportedly met with laughter from the courtroom.  It is clearly not true.  Even as late as the early 20th century, if women married an Asian who lived in America, she would lose her citizenship.  And then, of course, there were all kinds of bans on interracial marriage until the Supreme Court struck thos bans down in the mid-1960s.

It's clear what the defense tack is going to be from another point made by the defense in its opening:

The purpose of the institution of marriage, the central purpose is to promote procreation and to channel naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women into stable enduring unions… it is the central and we would submit defining purpose of marriage.

This is going to come as news to elderly people who marry, married people who are unable to procreate, and married people who choose not to procreate.  There isn't a single state which inquires into procreation plans or possibilities when two people get married, so it's a little hard to argue now that procreation is THE "defining purpose" of the institution of marriage.

For more in-depth coverage of yesterday's action, and up-to-the-minute coverage of today's events:

RELATED:  Nate Silver shows us that states which ban gay marriages are more likely to have higher divorce rates than states which permit gay marriages and civil unions.