Apparently, the right-wing talking point of the day is that the lawsuit challenging Proposition 8 is really an attempt to put Christianity on trial.
What do Olson and Boies think they are doing? Watching accounts of this trial unfold this week I had a big “aha” moment. It’s now clear: Ted and David think they are conducting the Scopes trial!
When this trial began I told you: gay marriage activists were putting 7 million Californians on trial. (Ed Whelan over at National Review has a brilliant series “Judge Walker’s Witch Hunt“ . . . explaining how intellectually absurd it is to conduct a “trial” into the subjective motivations of 7 million voters, constitutionally speaking.). But this week it got worse: They are clearly putting Christianity itself on trial. Why else have an expert read statements of Catholic and Southern Baptist doctrines into the record?
And why put a Stanford Prof. named Gary Segura on the stand to testify “”religion is the chief obstacle for gays’ and lesbians’ political progress.”
Could the zero-sum nature of the game be any clear? Rights for gays and lesbians, in their minds, depends on invalidating the voting rights of religious people when it comes to gay marriage, because their votes are influenced by their religion–i.e. bigotry.
Here’s their brilliant legal strategy: Ted and David want the Supreme Court to rule that Catholicism and Southern Baptism and related Christian denominations are bigotry.
Yesterday, the judge allowed Boies and Olsen to submit e-mails they obtained between the director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the bishops. Allowing such communication in a trial is unusual enough, but the purpose was even more invidious: to show that Catholics played a major role in passing Proposition 8. The lawyers did the same thing to Mormons, offering more e-mail “proof” of their involvement.
Their goal is not to contest the First Amendment rights of Catholics and others—their goal is to put religion on trial. What they are saying is that religious-based reasons for rejecting gay marriage are irrational, and thus do not meet the test of promoting a legitimate state interest. That is why they have trotted out professors like Gary Segura of Stanford and George Chauncey of Yale to testify to the irrationality of the pro-Proposition 8 side. Chauncey was even given the opportunity to read from a Vatican document that rejects homosexual marriage.
Society cannot exist without families; families cannot exist without reproduction; reproduction cannot exist without a sexual union between a man and a woman; and every society in the history of the world has created an institution called marriage to provide for this end. In short, it is nothing but irrational to challenge such a timeless verity. No matter, what is going on in the courtroom smacks of an animus against religion.