Thursday, March 15, 2012

Recap "8" Part Two

Olson launches the next segment by stating that theme being championed by advocates of Proposition 8 is "Protect our Children."  However, during the actual election, that them was cast aside in favor of a message promoting procreation.  Olson suggest that allowing gay couples to marry will not prevent heterosexual couples from having babies.    

Olson calls for testimony from an expert witness, Professor Barbara Cox.  Professor Cox declares that  marriage is a basic civil right, and cites an example from history as illustration.  American slaves lacked the ability to marry .  Once they were emancipated, they flocked to get married, and Cox calls marriage the foundation of all our rights.   Cooper cross-examines.  He points out that many slaves were in informal marriages, and slaves would declare themselves married if the woman became pregnant.  His mplication is that procreating is the basis for marriage.  He further points out that Cox made statements to Vermont Judiciary Committee about this, and the resulting compromise law stated that marriage was between man and a woman, but gave same - sex couples the right to a civil union with the same legal rights as married couples.  Cox has to agree, and leaves the stand looking a tad defeated.

As Paul Katami listens to this argument, he objects to the idea of a civil union because he feels that it makes him a second class citizen.  Jeff Zarillo points out that "husband" is a word that everybody understands without additional definition or qualification. "Husband" also suggests permanence.  If the gay couple is married, their children will be able to use words to describe that relationship that are understandable.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is now on the stand, playing IIan Dr. Meyer, a leading expert on stigma and discrimination.  Meyer feels that Prop 8 sends the message that gay relationships are not respectable. Cooper points out to Meyer that same sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2004.  He asks if gay people  in Massachusetts suffer from a lower level of mental heath disorders than in California, and Meyer can't answer.  Meyer leaves looking perturbed.

Campbell Brown speaks to  Evan Wolfson, played by  Larry Kramer, and Maggie Gallaghar, played by Jane Lynch.  They are having a heated debate.   Gallagher says that gay marriage is not a civil right, but a civil wrong. Gay people do not, in her opinion, have the right to redefine marriage.  Wolfson does not feel that gay rights advocates are redefining marriage, but Maggie shouts over him. Gallagher has a temper.  Evan struggles to be heard:  the same groups that are giving Gallagher's group money are opposed to partnerships and gay rights in general. 

Kennedy asks Gallagher if she's opposed to civil unions and she says that she is focused on the marriage issue.  Evan again takes issue with the people funding Gallagher's organization;  and  Gallagher shouts him down.  She feels that the best environment for children is a home with a mother and father and that marriage is an institution that is not invented by the government. Evan counters that her group is under investigation for breaking campaign laws in three states.

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