Loading
Prop. 8 trial witnesses make ‘troubling’ attack on religion and Catholic teaching
Stanford University professor Gary Segura.
Stanford University professor Gary Segura.

.- Court witnesses arguing against California’s Proposition 8 have described religious beliefs of those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman as biased and a “chief obstacle” to homosexuals’ “political progress.” The comments were part of a “troubling” attack on religion, Proposition 8 defenders say.

Proposition 8, the successful 2008 California ballot issue that restored to state law the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a wife, is being challenged in federal court by opponents who claim it is unconstitutional.

On Wednesday one plaintiff witness was Gary Segura, a Stanford University political science professor who specializes in the political power of minorities, including homosexuals.

Segura said that religion is “the chief obstacle for gays’ and lesbians’ political progress.”

“It's difficult to think of a more powerful social entity in American society than the church,” he commented, according to a transcript of the trial.

Segura noted that America is a very churchgoing nation and religion provides an opportunity for people to meet together on a weekly basis. In his view, religious groups are “arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians.”

He said that the biblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are “morally inferior” affects a “huge percentage” of the public. This makes the political ground “very hostile to gay interests.”

Asked to explain his understanding of an earlier witness, Dr. Young, he said Young “freely admits that religious hostility to homosexuals is an important role in creating a social climate that's conducive to hateful acts, to opposition to their interest in the public sphere, and to prejudice and discrimination.”

Andrew Pugno, general counsel for Prop. 8 backer ProtectMarriage.com, responded to Segura’s testimony in a Wednesday statement.

He said Segura offered “a serious and troubling line of attack against people of faith.”

“Today, religion has taken the stage, front and center, in the battle over the constitutionality of Prop. 8 and is being portrayed as an illegitimate basis for supporting traditional marriage. Religious bigotry surely found expression in today’s presentation by the plaintiffs,” he charged.

“To suggest that the people of California cannot consider their own political, moral and religious views when casting their vote on Prop. 8 is preposterous,” Pugno continued, adding that many issues are presented to voters that involve moral questions.

“The plaintiffs put the role of religion clearly in their cross hairs and are likely to fire away at the legitimacy of religious and moral views, as well as the votes and voices of those who hold them.”

On Thursday the Prop. 8 defense team asked Segura about assaults and death threats against supporters of the measure.

According to the Washington Post, Segura said that organized violence or broad disorderly behavior certainly has a negative impact on the homosexual rights movement. In his view, such behavior is "a cry for help or expression of frustration or maybe the ultimate expression of powerlessness."

Other opponents of Prop. 8 have attacked Christian sexual ethics during the trial.

On Jan. 13, San Francisco city attorney Therese Stewart asked Yale history professor George Chauncey to read official doctrinal statements from the Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church. According to Jordan Lorence, senior council for the Prop. 8 defender Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the statements “generally restated what the Bible says about the definition of marriage as one man and one woman.”

“Professor Chauncey said those doctrinal statements reflect historic bias against those who engage in homosexual behavior,” Lorence continued in a report at the ADF website. “It’s not hard to figure out what is so frightening about an attempt in federal court to attack and delegitimize the views of the two largest Christian denominations in America.”

Lorence claimed that the testimony was further proof that the trial is about “much more” than the personal relationships and feelings of those in same-sex relationships.

“It is about imposing a different and intolerant ‘morality’ on America and eradicating opposing ideas,” he charged.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
30

Liturgical Calendar

August 30, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 25:14-30

Gospel
Date
08/30/14
08/29/14
08/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 1: 26-31
Gospel:: Mt 25: 14-30

Saint of the Day

St. Jeanne Jugan »

Saint
Date
08/30/14
08/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 25:14-30

Homily
Date
08/30/14
08/29/14
08/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: