Prop 8 Trial Day 6: SD Mayor Sanders’ Moving Testimony, What’s Up For Today

San Diego’s Mayor Jerry Sanders in a touching press conference last year announcing why he shifted from opposing marriage equality to supporting.

On Day 6, Judge Walker adjourned early to deal with some other business, but a lot still went on, so let’s get to it!

Lisa Keen gives opening paragraph of her summary is a great one, two about what happened yesterday:

Testimony in the Proposition 8 trial Tuesday began with emotional testimony by San Diego’s Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders and ended with a clear hit against the claim that same-sex marriages will somehow do harm to straight marriages.

NCLR’s Shannon Minter over on PHB summarizes what happened yesterday:

Mayor Sanders, the former Police Chief of San Diego, testified about the evolution of his own support for marriage equality. Many years ago, he came to believe that harassment against gay people was wrong after seeing a good police officer hounded out of the department for being gay. Mayor Sanders also testified that he had shared a close relationship with his daughter, Lisa, who is a lesbian, and worried about her because of the persistence of hate crimes and discrimination against LGBT people. But as recently as 2007, he continued to believe and to take the public position that civil unions were equal to marriage.

Keen elaborates:

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, another witness called by opponents of Proposition 8 Tuesday, said his lesbian daughter Lisa’s marriage to her same-sex partner had not weakened his marriage to his wife but made it stronger.

“It’s not harmed our marriage or anybody else’s in the world,” said Sanders. Lisa Sanders joined her father in the courtroom. During much of his testimony, Sanders acknowledged that he needed to look away from Lisa in order not to become teary, something he did a number of times, especially when talking about Lisa’s marriage. Lisa and her spouse traveled to Vermont to marry.

“It made me feel pretty bad that they had to go all the way across the country to get married,” said Sanders, “without family or friends.”

(Also, Wockner attended Mayor Sanders’ press conference following his testimony. His daughter also spoke. More on that here.)

Testimony then shifted to economist Lee Badgett.Lisa Leff writes:

In other testimony, University of Massachusetts at Amherst economist Lee Badgett, who also directs research for a gay-related think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, said research showed gay couples preferred marriage to taking advantage of domestic partnership laws.

“Marriage is an institution that is recognized by many other people outside the couple, so it has that social validation,” Badgett said.

. . . Charles Cooper, [another lawyer for Proposition 8 backers] spent several hours with Badgett trying to demonstrate that traditional male-female marriages suffered after same-sex marriages became legal in the Netherlands in 2001. He introduced a number of charts showing divorce and single parenthood rates increased while marriage rates fell in the that country.

Badgett rejected the comparison, however, noting those trends were firmly established long before gay couples won the right to wed in the Netherlands and were unrelated to same-sex marriage.

“I don’t think we need to wait any longer to see what the impact will be. I think we know,” Badgett said. “Everything I’ve looked at leads me to the conclusion that there is no impact.”

The NYT writes:

Throughout the cross-examination, Judge Vaughn displayed a detectable irritation at the long questions and the deliberate pace, at one point asking the defense, “Can we move on to another subject?”

Day 7’s agenda:

* Ryan Kendall, a gay man who will testify about the “conversation therapy” he underwent in his youth and how he has been affected by discrimination

* Gary M. Segura, Ph.D,Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He will testify about the relative political power of gays and lesbians as a class of citizens, and their level of political vulnerability.

(image: Wockner)

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