Prop 8 Trial Day 5: Parenthood

Much of the day Friday was spent on same-sex parenting — is it just as good for the children of same sex couples?

As simple as that sounds, it triggered a long, drawn out cross examination from attorneys for Prop 8 proponents, who contend that gay nuptials not only undercut heterosexual marriage, but have an adverse impact on child development.

Testifying for much of the morning and afternoon was Cambridge Professor Michael Lamb, who argued that children of gay couples as just as well adjusted as those of heterosexual parents.

Much of the cross examination from Prop 8 attorney David Thompson was spent trying to undercut his research and credentials.

As the San Jose Mercury News’ Howard Mintz writes, Thompson tried to show how Lamb’s motives were politicized, to the point that, after asking him whether he was a member of the ACLU, NOW, NAACP and Amnesty International, he asked, “You’ve even given money to PBS, is that correct?”

That prompted courtroom laughter, Mintz reports.

Lamb did give to PBS and says he is a liberal.

Thompson’s cross went on so long that even Judge Vaughn Walker got ancy. Mintz writes, “At one point, when Thompson asked about a study that raised doubts about whether lesbian parents adequately “set limits” for their children, Walker, referring to the long cross-examination, quipped: “This is not the only area in which setting limits would be helpful.””

Peter Henderson of Reuters reports that Walker asked “one of the most striking questions of the day: “What the rash of pedophile priests suggested about the abilities of gays and lesbians in bringing up children.”

“You’ve testified that there is no reason to protect children from lesbians and gays,” said Walker. “How do you square your statement with that phenomenon,” the judge asked.

“I don’t want to convey the fact that homosexual individuals never abuse children, simply that they are no more likely to do so than heterosexual individuals,” Lamb replied.”

Late-afternoon testimony came from Helen Zia, a lesbian writer who got married in California when it was still legal. She testified that she encountered extensive discrimination and slurs in the midst of the Prop 8 campaign, saying that when she was handing out fliers and doing other No on 8 activities people would tell her marriage would “cause people to have sex with animals” and that she and her wife were “not worthy of being human beings.”

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