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Marriage Equality on Trial in S.F.

There’s a high stakes trial underway in federal court in San Francisco regarding the right of same sex couples to marry. Judge Vaughn Walker, a GOP appointee of Bush I, has shown great courage in his handling of the wiretapping/state secrets cases in his court the past few years. He is presiding, without a jury, over the case brought by the odd couple of Ted Olson (a staunch Republican who defended the 2000 stolen election in Florida before the Supreme Court) and David Boies (an equally staunch Democrat who lost the Florida case). Many gay activists at first opposed the Boies-Olson effort, because if they lose it will be very hard to overcome. On the other hand, if they win, it will establish gay marriage rights in all 50 states. Walker wanted to televise the trial on YouTube, but the Supremes have blocked it for now. Here is a link to an excellent backgrounder in the New Yorker by Margaret Talbot. I bet Walker will ultimately overturn Prop. 8 and the Supremes will decide the case–so, given the current membership, Justice Kennedy will be the pivotal decider.