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From Marc Ambinder, the factual findings of the Judge in Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

1. Marriage is and has been a civil matter, subject to religious intervention only when requested by the intervenors.
2. California, like every other state, doesn’t require that couples wanting to marry be able to procreate.

3. Marriage as an institution has changed overtime; women were given equal status; interracial marriage was formally legalized; no-fault divorce made it easier to dissolve marriages.

4. California has eliminated marital obligations based on gender.

5. Same-sex love and intimacy “are well-documented in human history.”

6. Sexual orientation is a fundamental characteristic of a human being.

7. Prop 8 proponents’ “assertion that sexual orientation cannot be defined is contrary to the weight of the evidence.”

8. There is no evidence that sexual orientation is chosen, nor than it can be changed.

9. California has no interest in reducing the number of gays and lesbians in its population.

10. “Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital union.”

11. “Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals.”

12. “Domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage, and marriage is widely regarded as the definitive expression of love and commitment in the United States.
The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.”

13. “Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the
stability of opposite-sex marriages.”

I’m not sure gay marriage proponents have been done a great favor by this decision. First of all, according to reports in the San Francisco Chronicle, Judge Walker is gay. So, you have a gay judge making findings of fact that bind the courts of appeal, in many ways skewing the game in those courts. That, I am afraid, sounds like the fix was in.

In a social issue like this, it matters how you win. From a social and political standpoint, people will now be free to criticize the whole process as a bit of a farce. That’s not the sheen you want on any Federal Court decision.

We may see some factual findings challenged by the Supreme Court here. For example – how is Judge Walker able to forecast the future? Number 13 is simply that – he is not interpreting law, he is selecting one of several future scenarios and declaring that it WILL happen. That’s bizarre, to say the least.

All of the factual findings reflect a pro-gay marriage outcome. Surely there was at least one bit of evidence supplied by the other side that was persuasive.

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