Perry v. Schwarzenegger, day one

A couple of things caught myattention with Monday’s proceedings on Proposition 8’s first day in federal court.

The arguments from Charles Cooper on behalf of Prop. 8 in his opening statements are the same ol’, same ol’. Marriage is for procreation (but we don’t require a fertility test, nor do we annul marriages when the couple is infertile); marriage equality will lead to fewer marriages (huh? Did he miss 18,000 new marriages in the summer of ’08? Or does he really think straight people won’t get married if gay people are allowed to do so?); domestic partnerships and other legislation shows that California doesn’t discriminate (until you have to explain what adomestic partnershipis and what it means while the love of your life is having a stroke in an emergency room, an experience I have had).

When Judge Vaughn Walker pressed Cooper, asking if all other reasons for marriage are secondary to procreation, Cooper shuffled even more—he started talking about “deinstitutionalizing marriage.”

WTF? It might deinstitutionalize marriage if the state got out of it altogether (I doubt it, since churches would still do it), but how is expanding marriage “deinstitutionalizing” it? Instead, marriage equality makes it a larger institution!

What this line of questioning from Judge Walker led up to is the bottom line for the Prop. 8 people: Marriage is about “socially approved sexual intercourse and the production of children,” according to Cooper.

This revelation about their thinking is monumental: They do not approve of the sexual relationship, therefore they will not approve of any aspect of the relationship, and marriage is about approval. They don’t approve, so we can’t have it.

Talk about petty.

I can certainly see why the Prop. 8 forces didn’t want the court proceedings televised. It quickly reveals the nature of their arguments: small, frightened and unreasonable.