UC Davis expert testifies at Prop 8 trial

UC Davis psychology professor Gregory Herek is testifying today for plaintiffs seeking to overturn Proposition 8, the state ballot measure passed in 2008 that bans gay marriage in California. Herek, an internationally recognized authority on prejudice against lesbians and gay men, testified this morning that for gays and lesbians, the distinction between ‘marriage’ and a ‘domestic partnership’ was about more than just words. He also testified that research shows that gays and lesbians do not choose their sexual orientation and that they are subject to stigma.

The San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times are covering the trial in a live blog. At the time of this post, the plaintiffs had completed their questions and the pro-Prop 8 lawyers were due to begin cross-examination of Herek.

Greg Herek’s research web page is here. He also has a blog, “Beyond Homophobia.”

Last week, UC Davis law professor Vikram Amar was one of several legal experts quoted by the Los Angeles Times who worried that a ruling against Prop 8 by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would lead to a damaging loss in the US Supreme Court.

“The worst-case scenario is a 9th Circuit ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. That will force the Supreme Court’s hand, and it will lead to a bad precedent,” Amar told the LAT. “I don’t see the five justices to affirm that. There may not be two or three even.”

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