Prop 8 Trial Ends…For Now

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The first federal case to decide if
the U.S. Constitution prevents states from stopping same-sex weddings came to
an anti-climatic break Wednesday after a judge heard nearly 12 days of
wide-ranging testimony on the meaning of marriage, the nature of sexual
orientation, and the role of religion in shaping attitudes about both.

Attorneys for sponsors of California’s Proposition 8
tentatively rested their case after introducing materials from the 2008
election campaign.

They called just two expert witnesses, including David
Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, who
capped the historic proceedings by saying the rights of same-sex couples should
come second to preserving the cherished social institution of marriage.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker heard the case
without a jury and said he will take time to review the evidence before
allowing closing arguments, probably in March or April. He has no deadline for
reaching a decision.

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