Wow, it's been a really interesting couple of days for the US federal same-sex marriage case. Looks like Ted Olson and David Boies have lined up some outstanding witnesses to kick things off. Today's brilliant testimony came from Professor Nancy F. Cott of Harvard University. OK, so SCOTUS has pussied out so far and denied cameras in the courtroom. (Normally this is done only to protect a party's interest in getting a fair trial, not to hide the identity of those who testify. First Amendment should prevail here.) Gotta love those Berkeley Law chix who are stepping up in place of cameras in the courtroom: Prop 8 On Trial The NYT also has live blogging of the trial, which is expected to last 3 weeks. The judge ordered a non-jury trial. The reader comments on SFGate.com are a hoot. Some samples: ◆ Hmmm, interesting points about the biblical definition of marriage. Along those lines, I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as per Exodus 21:7. Given inflation, what do you think would be a fair price for her? ◆ "Similarly," [said Nancy Cott of Harvard University], "19th century laws in most states that required women to surrender their property, earnings and legal status to their husbands were viewed by their supporters as "absolutely essential to what marriage was." --- In case you were wondering, THAT was the "traditional definition" of marriage. ◆ "A person who is straight must be tolerant of the gay position but the gay community does not need to be tolerant to anybody with opposing views. Why?" Oh, you poor, poor hets. We picket your funerals with rude signs, go around in packs straight-bashing, keep you out of the army, prevent you from adopting kids in Florida, gay parents throw out their kids for being straight, and now we're trying to prevent you from marrying each other. My heart bleeds for you. Bleeds. ***************** I have to admit I had deep reservations about the plaintiffs going the federal route, especially given today's SCOTUS makeup and the case leadership of Ted Olson, a Republican with long conservative credentials. However, the first couple of days have been rollicking and the plaintiffs are doing an excellent job of routing out the sexual orientation discrimination underlying the position of Prop 8 supporters. All the inarticulate ugliness is just oozing to the surface. Personally, I couldn't really care less whether gays and lesbians are allowed to use the word marriage. I would be equally happy if all the states did away with "marriage" full stop and replaced it with civil unions for all, leaving the word "marriage" as an ecclesiatical conferral. Or, created a whole new, exciting name for SSM like "trillanthemome" and made it identical to marriage in every way. Either way, this case is way fun to follow.