San Francisco News

Prop 8 hearing draws crowds outside courthouse

Monday, December 06, 2010
Prop 8 hearing Plaintiffs Jeffrey Zarrillo, left, and Paul Katami are seen outside of the courthouse before a hearing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, in San Francisco. Dean Johnson Prop 8 protest Appeals court to hear Prop 8 arguments Appeals court to hear Prop 8 arguments

Demonstrators on both sides of the controversy on same-sex marriage gathered outside the federal courthouse. Some drove all night to be there early to get a seat in court.

At 5 a.m. Eddie Reynoso sipped his energy drink to help him stay awake. He drove from San Diego to be the first to attend these proceedings. A few hours later carrying signs, supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage packed the courtroom and adjacent rooms to hear arguments on Prop 8.

No new evidence was presented before the court and outside it was the same rhetoric. Like in previous demonstrations, there were those proclaiming God's law and those defending marriage equality.

"The right to be married and the right to marry the one that they love," Chad Griffin from from Foundation for Equal Rights said.

"Just like with counterfeit products, you add something that is fake, you undermine the value of the real product so the same thing applies with marriage. The real product is marriage between a man and a woman and I would like to keep the real value by keeping it between a man and a woman," Prop 8 supporter Luke Otterstad said.

Police kept a watchful eye on both sides when their actions threatened to disturb the peace. Those not here, were able to watch the proceedings on TV and news bites.

Federal hearings are typically not televised, but this court granted C-Span permission to do so, live. It is a first since this case landed in the federal court system.

"I think we learn more about the development of our legal system. This is an evolving and important point of law, and I think for everyone to see how the judges are asking tough questions of both sides, it's not an easy case for the judges," said.

It's even harder for both sides to accept each other arguments.

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same sex marriage, 9th u.s. circuit court of appeals, san francisco news, lyanne melendez
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