Not to mention this: "Vaughn R. Walker, U.S. district chief judge in San Francisco, declared unconstitutional Proposition 8—the voter-approved referendum by which California citizens declared marriage to be a union of a man and a woman.<quoted text>Judge Walker excluded evidence and witnesses; that's why he misruled. The US Supreme Court has reviewed a state's right to redefine marriage as one man and one woman in Baker v Nelson; that stands as precedent.
After carefully weighing the testimony of a bevy of social scientists, Walker found that the idea of heterosexual marriage is based on “antiquated and discredited notions of gender.” And that arguments against gay marriage are “nothing more than tautologies.”
And:“Proposition 8…enshrines in the California Constitution a gender restriction that
the evidence shows to be nothing more than an artifact of a foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic life.”[Emphasis added.]
The “evidence” is testimony by social scientists who view marriage to be a vestige of a time when men’s and women’s “roles” were defined by their “gender.” Liberals would have us believe that this is more “settled science,” just like they insist that global warming is man-made and abortions play no role in breast cancer.
Other experts disagree with Walker’s view of marriage. But, a bunch of them that had been scheduled to testify withdrew because they feared for their personal safety. As for their chief expert witness, David Blankenhorn, Walker threw out his entire testimony as “inadmissible” and to be “given essentially no weight.”
According to liberal bloggers and commentators, Blankenhorn’s credibility disintegrated under seven hours of testimony; I wasn’t there, so perhaps that was the case. Walker ended up ruling out Blankenhorn as an “expert” witness because he, according to the judge,“lacks the qualifications to offer opinion testimony and, in any event, failed to provide cogent testimony in support of … factual assertions [by proponents of Proposition 8].”
According to Walker, one of the things that disqualified Blankenhorn as an expert opinion witness was his alleged failure to do original research and publish in a peer-reviewed journal. That’s puzzling for two reasons:
1. Blankenhorn is founder and president of the Institute for American Values and the author of two important and best-selling books, including Fatherless in America. He has spent a lifetime studying marriage, fatherhood and family structure, is in demand as a speaker and—not that it matters—is thoughtful and not at all like the stereotype that many gay activists accuse their opponents of being. He, in essence, conducts his research and assembles knowledge by, for example, relying on studies from other experts. But for Walker, that’s not enough.
2. And yet, despite Walker’s perspective of Blankenhorn as something of an unqualified aggregator, the judge qualified as an expert someone from the other side whose “research” was remarkably like Blankenhorn’s. George Chauncey, the judge himself noted in his opinion, is a history professor specializing in “social history, especially as it relates to gays and lesbians.” While he has “authored or edited books on the subject of gay and lesbian history,” as Walker put it, he—like Blankenhorn—“relies on government records, interview, diaries, films and advertisements along with studies by other historians and scholars in conducting his research.”
I wonder how higher courts will view such discrepancies in Walker’s decision when the case is appealed.