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January 13, 2010

Prop 8 trial: Day 2 coverage and analysis

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has a very good recap and analysis of Day 2 of Perry v. Schwarzenegger over at the Pam's House Blend blog.  Day 2 of the landmark federal civil rights trial in San Francisco focused on testimony by two prominent historians, Nancy Cott and George Chauncey, who have contributed amicus briefs in a number of same-sex marriage cases.

The NYT also has coverage, and the liberal blog Firedoglake is live-blogging the trial.

Another story nicely captures Chauncey's testimony and its intended role in the legal case being built by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies:

After viewing several television commercials produced by Proposition 8's sponsors, Chauncey said images and language suggesting the ballot initiative was needed to ''protect children'' were reminiscent of earlier efforts to ''demonize'' gays, ranging from police raids on gay bars during the 1950s to campaigns to rid public schools of gay teachers in the 1970s.

''You have a pretty strong echo of this idea that simple exposure to gay people and their relationships is somehow going to lead a whole generation of young kids to become gay,'' Chauncey said. ''The underlying message here is something about the undesirability of homosexuals, that we don't want our children to become this way.''

Chauncey's views were introduced to help persuade Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is hearing the case without a jury, that the California measure unlawfully discriminates against gays because it was based on an underlying hatred or moral disapproval and serves no legitimate public aim.

-SS

January 13, 2010 | Permalink

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