Possible final witness takes stand in Prop 8 trial

January 26, 2010 8:49:53 PM PST
The man who may be the final witness in the Prop 8 trial took the stand promptly at 1:15 Tuesday afternoon.

Proceedings began where they left off on Monday with Dr. Kenneth Miller undergoing sometimes testy cross-examination.

Miller is a professor at Claremont McKenna College. He was called as a witness by the backers of the ban on same-sex marriage, but after more than five hours of cross-examination, attorneys on the other side said he made admissions that help their case.

"The proponents own expert said that Prop 8 was the product of bias and prejudice," Anti Prop 8 attorney Ted Boutrous said.

But Prop 8 attorneys said they were satisfied.

"I think professor miller did very well given what he was called to testify about and that was the question of whether the gay and lesbian community does in fact, have political power," No on 8 attorney Mike Nimocks said.

ABC7 Legal Analyst Dean Johnson says Professor Miller made points for both sides, but one stands out in his mind.

"The defense expert admitted that in some circumstances it's appropriate for the federal courts, the federal courts to intervene in the state initiative process to protect minority rights," he said.

The professor was followed by David Blankenhorn, author of a book called "Fatherless America." he believes marriage is becoming devalued and weakened.

He acknowledged that: "heterosexuals started the deinstitutionalization of marriage," but says allowing gays and lesbians to wed would "significantly accelerate" that process.

But on cross-examination, he said if gays could marry it "would likely improve the well being of their households and their children."

Testimony was briefly but dramatically interrupted by a man who stood up in the courtroom and shouted "return the family to Jesus". He was escorted out by U.S. Marshall's.

Attorneys on both sides say they will wrap up by Wednesday at noon, but no closing arguments until next month at the earliest, to give the judge time to review the case.