Prop 8 opponents tell judge they'll prove measure is indefensible

Two couples who challenged California's ban on same-sex marriage have told a federal judge in San Francisco that they plan to prove at a January trial that the measure is “irrational, indefensible and unconstitutional.”

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is scheduled to hold a nonjury trial beginning Jan. 11 on the lawsuit, filed by a lesbian couple from Berkeley and a gay couple from Burbank to challenge the ban enacted by state voters last year.

In a trial brief filed late Monday, the couples' lawyers said they hope to prove that Proposition 8 supporters “fail to demonstrate even a single legitimate interest that it even rationally serves.”

Proposition 8 supporters in an opposing trial brief claimed there are numerous reasons for a traditional definition of marriage.

One of the reasons, their lawyers wrote, is “promoting and regulating naturally procreative relationships between men and women to provide for the nurture and upbringing of the next generation.”

The Proposition 8 supporters also denied opponents' claim that the ballot measure was motivated by bias against gays and lesbians.

Both sides also filed witness lists late Monday and said they plan to call a number of professors to the stand to prove their points.

Both said they will question the two couples who filed the lawsuit, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, of Berkeley, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarillo, of Burbank.

The two couples said they also plan to call the five official proponents of Proposition 8 to the stand to testify about strategy of the
successful campaign for passage of the measure.

Walker is scheduled to conduct a pretrial conference on the case on Dec. 16.

Bay Area NewsLocal

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