Harvard Professor Takes Stand in Prop 8 Case

January 12, 2010 12:47:23 PM PST
A Harvard professor took the stand Tuesday morning in the same sex marriage case in a San Francisco Federal Court. A Harvard professor took the stand Tuesday morning in the same sex marriage case in a San Francisco Federal Court.

U.S. History Professor, Nancy Cott said this morning that the historic definition of marriage in the United States involves the consent of two people who enter the arrangement out of love and a commitment to creating a stable household. She says same sex marriages easily meet that definition.

A Yale history professor is also expected to testify today about anti-gay bias. The lawyer working to overturn prop 8 says that testimony should be compelling to the judge.

"I think that anyone who was in court today could not help but be impressed with how important marriage is, and how harmful it is, how discriminatory it is, to deprive people of the right to marry the one they love, simply because of their sexual orientation," said Lawyer David Boies.

"We are in a lot of trouble if we start invalidating the vote of the people because we can put on four witnesses who say that their feelings are harmed by a ballot measure," said Andrew Pugno with Protect Marriage.

Lawmakers in Sacramento are closely watching the Prop 8 trial play out in San Francisco. One bay area senator says the courts need to correct laws that are unconstitutional.

But Valley Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Visalia) isn't so sure. "It's a very emotional issue, but the people of California have voted not once, not twice, are we up to three yet?"

"That's why we have three branches of government including the judiciary whose job is to finally overlook laws that are put in place by voters as well as laws that are put in place by legislatures," said Sen. Mark Leno (D) San Francisco.

Conway says she believes the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. But she says the same people wanting the Supreme Court to decide on the legality of Proposition Eight are the same people who complained in the first place judges shouldn't be making laws.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Load Comments