On the first day of a landmark federal trial concerning the right of same-sex couples to marry, David Boies, the high-profile constitutional attorney representing Proposition 8 challengers, opened the plaintiff’s case by calling the couples who brought the suit to the witness stand to plead their case.
Following opening statements, Jeff Zarillo and Paul Katami, who have been partners for nine years, made impassioned pleas before the court for the right of all couples to marry.
“Marriage has a special meaning,” Zarillo said, according to a ” >argued that Proposition 8 denied equal access to a basic civil right.
“Marriage is central to life in America,” Olson said, according to the prepared text of his opening ” >inside the court.
She said that the 2004 setback made her and Stier wary of remarrying when the California Supreme Court ruled, in May 2008, that same-sex couples have the right to marry.
Following the passage of Proposition 8 that November, Perry and Stier decided to become the face of one of the most prominent civil rights cases of the new century, and one that could very well end up in the Supreme Court. If it does, it could invalidate bans on same-sex marriage across the country. (Thirty-nine states currently have laws against same-sex marriage.)
“When you’re gay, you don’t really think you deserve things,” Perry said. “Growing up you never let yourself want it, because you’re told you can’t have it.”