Tradition of Marriage on Trial in a Federal Courtroom

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In a San Francisco federal court this week, a witness testified on tape that, if California’s ban on same-sex marriage is repealed, “children would suddenly find homosexuality irresistible.” The lawyers who want the ban overturned really wanted the judge to hear that. Is same-sex marriage banned because of ancient tradition or because of discrimination against gays and lesbians? What’s it like for gay and lesbian parents, and their children, to have their legitimacy challenged in such a public forum? Are the courts being asked to rule on broad social issues rather than questions of Constitutional law?




Warren Olney