By Mario Conde
The trial to decide the faith of Same-Sex Marriage California started Monday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The lawsuit was filed by gay-marriage backers and addresses the constitutionality of Prop. 8. It is expected to have national consequences. Proposition 8 passed in 2008 where California voters decided that marriage in California should be between a man and a woman.
Representing the gay side are attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, who, in 2000, argued opposite sides of the Bush/Gore “hanging chad” election debate before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Intervening for the gay side is the city of San Francisco. Gay rights groups Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Center for Lesbian Rights were blocked from intervening after they angered Olson and Boies by speaking ill of the case, saying it was poorly timed and unwise. The groups do have advisory status as “friends of the court.”
The defendants in the case, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Jerry Brown, state health officials, and the counties of Alameda and Los Angeles, are not expected to actually defend Prop. 8, and Brown has said he agrees with Olson and Boies that it violates the U.S. Constitution.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will be the Judge for this case. Judge Walker was appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. Walker has a reputation of being a libertarian and maverick on the bench according to some analysts.
Both sides will appeal the Judge’s decisión whatever the outcome is.
By Mario Conde