Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prop 8 Trial Re-Enactment, Day 3 Chapter 4

The Defense-Intervenors' Attorney Nicole Moss, who, according to various livebloggers watching the proceedings, was utterly snotty and condescending, cross-examines Dr. Peplau. Ms. Moss gets Professor Peplau to acknowledge that there are hardly any empirical studies which show that same-sex couples benefit from marriage or benefit more from marriage than from domestic partnerships and later on that we don’t have enough years of experience with marriage in Massachusetts to know empirically whether same-sex couples’ marrying has had an effect on heterosexual marriage. In standing her ground, Professor Peplau replies that researchers know enough about stigma and discrimination against LGBT people and how they affect relationships to predict confidently that same-sex couples would benefit from having our right to marry recognised. Responding to questions about monogamy, Professor Peplau notes that a lower proportion of gay men report valuing it than the proportions among lesbians and married heterosexual couples, although she stresses that some studies were snapshots of gay men in particular places and past times (like L.A. in the 70s / early 80s). Ms. Moss drags Professor Peplau through a drudgery of an "analysis" of complicated numerical hypotheticals about marriages of same-sex couples in Belgium and the Netherlands, though Professor Peplau insists on her lack of foreign jurisdiction expertise and notes that rates of marriage of same-sex couples in Massachusetts are much higher than Moss’s hypotheticals from Belgian data. Echoing arguments from New York State and Washington State cases rejecting same-sex couples’ right to marry, Ms. Moss secures Professor Peplau’s agreement that same-sex couples don’t accidentally get pregnant and have kids the way heterosexuals do. Professor Peplau suggests that the influence of individualism on some decline of marriage has nothing to do with gay and lesbian people -- but of course! Heterosexual couples divorce because the individuals end up having irreconcilable differences with each other, usually over money.

On redirect examination by Plaintiffs' Attorney Christopher Dusseault, Professor. Peplau observes that she knows nothing suggesting gay and lesbian people are more individualistic than heterosexually identified people or less concerned about the welfare of their children. The day then closes with a little discussion about broadcasting the trial or not -- I believe they ended up deciding not to, thanks to certain Justices at SCOTUS.

Credit to MarriageTrial.com.

Let me close with something timely and inspiring from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: "Liberty is too precious to be buried in books."

And just like today, this movie shows that back then, the Senate was utterly corrupt.

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