Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nowhere to hide.

I've been pondering whether I want to comment on the California Federal Court's decision to hold Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  I guess this blog means that I decided I would.

I followed the case somewhat closely.  I read synopses of the trial on many days.  Unless the Judge were an activist judge who wanted to rule based upon his bias, the result was a forgone conclusion, based upon the evidence at trial.

In a nut shell, the witnesses for Prop 8 had firmly held opinions about how everyone should live, but no facts.  And one sect's demands for how everyone in our nation should live will often violate the constitution. 

I had the same scenario in the Evolution trial.  The School Board trotted out all manner of die hard opponents to evolution.  Each one more fervent than the last that students should not be taught evolution because, they claimed, it was innacurate, it was against God's law, it was a liberal conspiracy...  But to a one, the witnesses had their conclusions, but no facts.

And when you are on the witness stand, being grilled in cross examination, conclusions are a thread-bare blanket which provides no cover at all. 

Our trial process is a great one for discovering truth.  It is still the best method humankind has ever developed.  Liars and blowhards are given no quarter on the stand.  Their a priori conceptions, their biases, their prejudiced judgments are laid bare in the brilliant light of cross examination.

So in the Proposition 8 trial, like the Evolution trial, conclusions devoid of facts fell flat.  Truth, not bias, won the day.  And the country is a better place because it is fact based, not prejudiced based.

And like the country, the family has a chance to be a better place because under the brilliant light of cross examination, where there is nowhere to hide, truth, not fiction, not prejudice, not bias, wins out.  And the brilliant light of truth is always a good thing.

Michael Manely 

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