Supremes concerned for bullying of traditionalists, not homosexualists
The U.S. Supreme Court cast its first vote last week on the legal challenge to California's voter initiative barring same-sex marriage, and some experts said it was a bad omen for those who hope gays and lesbians will win a constitutional right to such unions.
-- From "Gay marriage supporters fear Supreme Court's ruling was an omen" by David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times 1/17/10
The 5-4 decision, with conservatives in the majority, intervened in the San Francisco district court trial on behalf of the defenders of Proposition 8.
The high court rebuked U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker for seeking to give the public a chance to view the proceedings on the Internet. In its opinion, the majority saw the dispute through the same lens as the opponents of gay marriage and decided that they -- not homosexuals -- faced a hostile public climate of harassment and intimidation.
In their opinion, they worried that opponents of gay marriage and their paid witnesses would face "harassment as a result of public disclosure of their support" for the ban. They concluded that the Prop. 8 defenders "have shown that irreparable harm will likely result" if video coverage of the proceedings were made public.
. . . the [Supreme] court's conservatives do not trust Walker to set fair rules for proceedings. Their opinion described how he had given shifting explanations of his plans. This suggests Walker's ruling on Proposition 8 may be viewed with some skepticism.
Some gay-rights advocates, wary of bringing a court challenge too soon, were not enthused when Theodore Olson and David Boies (who fought on opposite sides in the Bush vs. Gore case) announced they would fight California's ban on gay marriage.
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