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Testimony Ends In Historic Same-Sex Marriage Trial

January 28, 2010

SAN FRANSISCO, Calif. - Testimony has ended in the landmark federal case to determine if Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Lawyers for the two gay couples suing to overturn the state constitutional amendment contend marriage is a fundamental right, regardless of sexual orientation. An expert for the defense, who first testified he believed same-sex marriage would weaken traditional heterosexual marriage, acknowledged on cross-examination that there were several positive consequences of gay marriage.

Rick Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign Institute, says Proposition 8's own so-called "experts" have admitted that the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and the Defense of Marriage Act discriminate against the LGBT community.

"It really put the lie to the idea that same-sex marriage would somehow damage or in any way negatively impact heterosexual marriage. I thought it was absolutely historic."

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has scheduled closing arguments to be given at a later date so that he can review the evidence. The case is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which is something Jacobs says gay rights advocates want to happen.

"Having the Supreme Court decide this, obviously if they go our way, is going to end the ballot measure stuff that through this trial has proven to be motivated by hatred and and stereotype."

Proposition 8, or the California Marriage Protection Act, was passed by 52 percent of California voters in 2008.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA