Prop 8 Trial Will Likely End Up In Appeals Court

January 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Both supporters and opponents of California's gay marriage ban are preparing for their next moves, regardless of the decision of a federal judge. Gay rights activists are getting ready for another ballot initiative and supporters are ready to once again defend traditional marriage. More than a year after large rallies for and against Proposition 8 played out in downtown Fresno, the latest round in the fight over gay rights is playing out in a San Francisco courtroom. Even as the trial begins, gay rights groups are working throughout the state, trying to get back on the ballots in 2010 and 2012. "We're not just holding our breath, just waiting for the one court case, we are in fact moving forward on every level," said Kelli Glazebook, with Fresno's Straight Advocates for Equality.

The case is also once again bringing national attention to California's Prop 8 battle. The cover story of the most recent Newsweek magazine profiles the lifelong republican and former solicitor general for President Bush who is now fighting for marriage equality.

Scott Jones, the president of the San Joaquin Valley College of Law Alumni Association, says the case will no doubt end up in appeals and perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court, something that's already shaping the trial underway. "They'll have some of that strategy in mind as they go along, too. Anytime you're dealing with a case, it's always in the back of your mind, what if I appeal, what issues will I be raising on appeal, if I lose?" said Jones.

Supporters of the gay marriage ban are also keeping a close eye on the trial. Pastor Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church says whatever the outcome, supporters of traditional marriage will not back down. "The people have spoken not once, but twice, in the statewide election. The Supreme Court has upheld it here within the state. To think what we're just going to give up ... No!" said Franklin.

Because the trial's outcome will likely be appealed quickly, the judge's decision may not have any real immediate effects on gay marriage in the state of California. Franklin, meanwhile, is calling for the resignation of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown because the two have declined to support the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.