The plaintiffs continued to press their case in court today.
First up was Dr. Edmund Egan, the chief Economist for the City and County of San Francisco, who testified about the nature and magnitude of costs incurred by the City and County as a result of the denial of marriage to gays and lesbians.
As AP reporter Lisa Leff wrote:
Egan said married people accumulate more wealth and have more to spend on property and consumer goods, which bolsters tax revenue.
He also said the city must spend more on health care for uninsured workers because same-sex couples are not always covered under their partner’s employee health care p lans.
“It’s clear to me that Proposition 8 has a negative material impact on the city of San Francisco,” he said. “These are impacts that are hard to quantify, but over the long term they can be powerful.”
Egan also testified about other, more hidden costs that result from anti-LGBT discrimination. As Dan Levine reported, Egan said that “200,000 California kids a year are bullied for their sex orientation at school, causing absenteeism,” which costs school districts money.
The cross-examination of Egan was roundly criticized by observers, with NCLR’s Kate Kendell tweeting, “Patterson does not know how to conduct a cross examination, great time to learn.”
Dan Levine described one of the observers not pleased with the cross: Judge “Walker clearly frustrated with pace: tells Patterson to cross “the old-fashioned way” instead of taking the witness’s deposition.“ Levine later noted, “Walker just prompted Patterson again. This is getting a little embarrassing.”
Pete Patterson (bio) graduated in the top 10% of his class at Stanford Law School and clerked for Sixth Circuit Judge — and noted conservative — Jeffrey S. Sutton. He joined Cooper & Kirk in 2009 after working as an Associate White House Counsel in the George W. Bush’s White House.
After lunch, Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, took the stand to testify about the stigma and prejudice gay and lesbians individuals face in society.
Meyer’s testimony is extensive and, well, unironically, depressing. Meyer has carefully taken the court through the entire process of how discrimination affects people. As Miranda noted, Meyer detailed “[m]inority stressors: prejudice events, expectations of discrimination, concealment, and internalized homophobia.“ Lt. Dan Choi, in the hearing, noted that Meyer discussed the “hell” of concealing one’s identity from others.
Meyer also detailed how not being able to marry — how not having that goal as a possibility ahead of a person — can have a negative affect on a person’s mental health.
After establishing all of this, Meyer went on, as NCLR reported, to explain that this can cause, “higher level of anxiety, depression, substance abuse in LGBT people because of their exposure to discrimination and minority stress.”
Howard Nielson, Jr. (bio), is doing the cross-examination. He is a former clerk of former Fourth Circuit Judge J. Michael Luttig and Justice Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel from 2003 to 2005.
The cross was mostly rote, and as NCLR reported: “Prop 8 attorney trying generally to discredit Meyer’s minority stress model.”
Testimony also is to include:
- Helen Zia, a lesbian author who will testify about her sexual orientation, her experiences with discrimination, and the effects of being denied the right to marry her longtime partner.
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