Sunday, November 14, 2010

Question 3: Is it a moral or legal issue? And the verdict! (part 5) - Hear the arguments direct from the lead proponents. By Dr. Brian Mustanski, September 17, 2010 – Psychology Today

In the Proposition 8 trial verdict, Judge Walker indicated that the evidence presented in the trial focused on three broad questions. In today's blog I am going to summarize the evidence on the third question: Whether the evidence shows Proposition 8 enacted a private moral view without advancing a legitimate government interest.

In regards to this question, Judge Walker synthesized the evidence presented at trial. Below I substantially quote from the verdict to summarize the main argument, but I encourage interested readers to examine it in full themselves. You can download his full verdict on the IMPACT Program's webpage.

According to the verdict: The testimony of several witnesses disclosed that a primary purpose of Proposition 8 was to ensure that California confer a policy preference for opposite-sex couples over same-sex couples based on a belief that same-sex pairings are immoral and should not be encouraged in California.

Yale Historian George Chauncey testified about a direct relationship between the Proposition 8 campaign and initiative campaigns from the 1970s targeting gays and lesbians; like earlier campaigns, the Proposition 8 campaign emphasized the importance of protecting children and relied on stereotypical images of gays and lesbians, despite the lack of any evidence showing that gays and lesbians pose a danger to children.

Chauncey noted that stereotypes of gays and lesbians as predators or child molesters were reinforced in the mid twentieth century and remain part of current public discourse. Psychology Professor Lamb explained that this stereotype is not at all credible, as gays and lesbians are no more likely than heterosexuals to pose a threat to children.
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