It is a fascinating thing going on up in a San Francisco federal court: marriage is on trial.
Specifically, the state's Proposition 8 is on trial. That measure -- approved by voters last November -- bans gay marriage in California. Here's the twist: before Prop 8 passed, gay couples in this states actually had been granted to right to a civil marriage, so the new law was in the awkward position of taking away rights.
And so opponents of the ban have taken to federal court.. There, yesterday, during closing arguments, something miraculous broke out: a thoughtful discussion on the nature of marriage and the role that government has in promoting it.
Presiding Judge Vaughn Walker asked the lawyer defending Prop 8 just what this marriage thing was all about. Attorney Charles Cooper's response boiled down to: making babies. And the state's interest in this? Babies without a mom and dad get into trouble later, and the state has a duty to promote societal stability.