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Prop 8 on Trial Tomorrow

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments in the Proposition 8 trial Monday morning.

The court has agreed to allow cameras in the proceedings, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, for the first time since this highly charged issue made its way to the courtroom earlier this year.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. California time and will last an hour. This article will have a live stream of the proceedings gavel to gavel on Monday.

Three randomly chosen federal appeals court judges will be asked their opinion on U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that struck down the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 was enacted as an amendment to the California Constitution and states that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Two same-sex couples sued to challenge the proposition. In August, Walker agreed with them and said it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal treatment. Lisa Leff with the Associated Press put Vaughn's decision this way: If the courtroom had been a boxing ring, the referee would have called a knockout.

The lawyer for sponsors of Proposition 8, Charles Cooper, is expected to argue in person as he did in briefs filed earlier. "At the heart of this case are two competing definitions of marriage," Cooper wrote. Cooper also wrote that the same-sex couples are seeking to introduce gay unions into the right to marry "in a manner utterly inconsistent with history and precedent."

The couples' lawyers are expected to continue their argument that says banning same-sex marriage doesn't help heterosexual marriage and does hurt the thousands of children in the state who are being raised by gay and lesbian parents. In their brief, attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies wrote, "There is no legitimate interest that is even remotely furthered by Proposition 8's arbitrary exclusion of gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage."

The three judges will not rule Monday. They will issue their decision in writing at a later undetermined time.

And whatever they rule, the issue will likely be appealed once again to an 11-judge panel of same court. After that court rules, the case could be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.


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Tags: legal / lawsuit, lgbtq / rights
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