The End of the Trial Begins


Today, I am getting on an airplane, flying to San Francisco to be at the courthouse for the end of the historic Prop 8 trial.  Final arguments begin Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Pacific time, and I will be live blogging and twittering. You can follow the arguments throughout the day at

This is the trial that should never have happened.  Hundreds of thousands of Californians contributed blood, sweat, tears and treasures to exercize their core civil rights to respond to the California State Supreme Court decision overturning marriage.  That's what that decision did: it didn't expand marriage to more people, it abolished the core idea of what marriage is--the union of male and female--and replaced it with a new judicial definition of marriage, ungrounded in the natural order, in our history, or in our constitution.

So the people responded to this judicial intrusion in the way their constitution guaranteed them the right to do: by collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures to put the issue before the people in November 2008.  I was part of that effort.  Brian Brown, NOM's president, who is a native Californian, played an even more pivotal role.  They told us the effort would be doomed to fail: it was too many signatures, too much money, too little time, and besides we were told "the culture has changed and you'll lose at the ballot box."

But we didn't. None of that turned out to be true. More than 7 million Californians, in one of the most liberal states in the country, came together to affirm, once again, that they believe marriage is the union of husband and wife and should not be changed.

And our opponents, who tell us always the culture has changed and that we will lose, moved to plan B: trying to persuade the California Supreme Court to the extraordinary step of overturning its own constitution.  That failed.

And so now here we are at Plan C:  A court case that will ultimately have gay marriage advocates asking the Supreme Court to impose gay marriage on all 50 states, whether we like it or not.

They found a friend in trial Judge Vaughn Walker, who ordered a show trial that never should have been to add unnecessary expense, to heighten the drama, to give the media a field day, to allow Ted Olson to become a great civil rights hero, at least in his own head. California Ted has replaced Federalist Society Ted Olson.

This is an outrage that never should have happened: 7 million Californians exercised their core civil rights to speak, to donate, to organize and to vote for marriage. Around the country millions of other have invested their time and their treasure. And Ted Olson today will be asking the courts to nullify our right to vote for marriage.

The media is right: this is a civil rights battle.  We will fight for our right to protect marriage.  Tomorrow, the next phase of that battle begins.