Perry v. Schwarzenegger/6:Credibility Determinations--Plaintiffs' Witnesses

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[p. 25] I



Plaintiffs presented the testimony of the four plaintiffs, four lay witnesses and nine expert witnesses. Proponents did not challenge the credibility of the lay witnesses or the qualifications of the expert witnesses to offer opinion testimony.

Having observed and considered the testimony presented, the court concludes that plaintiffs' lay witnesses provided credible testimony:

  1. Jeffrey Zarrillo, a plaintiff, testified about coming out as a gay man. (Tr 77:12-15: "Coming out is a very personal and internal process.... You have to get to the point where you're comfortable with yourself, with your own identity and who you are.") Zarrillo described his nine-year relationship with Katami. (Tr 79:20-21: "He's the love of my life. I love him probably more than I love myself.")
  2. Paul Katami, a plaintiff, testified about his reasons for wanting to marry Zarrillo. (Tr 89:1-3: "Being able to call him my husband is so definitive, it changes our relationship." Tr 90:24-91:2: "I can safely say that if I were married to Jeff, that I know that the struggle that we have validating ourselves to other people would be diminished and potentially eradicated.") Katami explained why it was difficult for him to tell others about his sexual orientation even though he has [p. 26] been gay for "as long as [he] can remember." (Tr 91:17-92:2: "I struggled with it quite a bit. Being surrounded by what seemed everything try and want to fit into that.") Katami described how the Proposition 8 campaign messages affected him. (Tr 97:1-11: "[P]rotect the children is a big part of the [Proposition 8] campaign. And when I think of protecting your children, you protect them from people who will perpetrate crimes against them, people who might get them hooked on a drug, a pedophile, or some person that you need protecting from. You don't protect yourself from an amicable person or a good person. You protect yourself from things that can harm you physically, emotionally. And so insulting, even the insinuation that I would be part of that category.")
  3. Kristin Perry, a plaintiff, testified about her relationship with Stier (Tr 139:16-17; 140:13-14: Stier is "maybe the sparkliest person I ever met.... [T]he happiest I feel is in my relationship with [Stier.]" Perry described why she wishes to marry. (Tr 141:22-142:1: "I want to have a stable and secure relationship with her that then we can include our children in. And I want the discrimination we are feeling with Proposition 8 to end and for a more positive, joyful part of our lives to...begin.") Perry described the reason she and Stier registered as domestic partners. (Tr 153:16-17: "[W]e are registered domestic partners based on just legal advice that we received for creating an estate plan.") [p. 27]
  4. Sandra Stier, a plaintiff, testified about her relationship with Perry, with whom she raises their four children. (Tr 167:3-5: "I have fallen in love one time and it's with [Perry].") Stier explained why she wants to marry Perry despite their domestic partnership. (Tr 171:8-13: "[T]here is certainly nothing about domestic partnership as an institution—not even as an institution, but as a legal agreement that indicates the love and commitment that are inherent in marriage, and [domestic partnership] doesn't have anything to do for us with the nature of our relationship and the type of enduring relationship we want it to be.")
  5. Helen Zia, a lay witness, testified regarding her experiences with discrimination and about how her life changed when she married her wife in 2008. (Tr 1235:10-13: "I'm beginning to understand what I've always read—marriage is the joining of two families.")
  6. Jerry Sanders, the mayor of San Diego and a lay witness, testified how he came to believe that domestic partnerships are discriminatory. (Tr 1273:10-17: On a last-minute decision not to veto a San Diego resolution supporting same-sex marriage: "I was saying that one group of people did not deserve the same dignity and respect, did not deserve the same symbolism about marriage.")
  7. Ryan Kendall, a lay witness, testified about his experience as a teenager whose parents placed him in therapy to change his [p. 28] sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. (Tr 1521:20: "I knew I was gay. I knew that could not be changed.") Kendall described the mental anguish he endured because of his family's disapproval of his sexual orientation. (Tr 1508:9-10, 1511:2-16: "I remember my mother looking at me and telling me that I was going to burn in hell.... [M]y mother would tell me that she hated me, or that I was disgusting, or that I was repulsive. Once she told me that she wished she had had an abortion instead of a gay son.")
  8. Hak-Shing William Tam, an official proponent of Proposition 8 and an intervening defendant, was called as an adverse witness and testified about messages he disseminated during the Proposition 8 campaign. (Tr 1889:23-25: "Q: Did you invest substantial time, effort, and personal resources in campaigning for Proposition 8? A: Yes.")

Plaintiffs called nine expert witnesses. As the education and experience of each expert show, plaintiffs' experts were amply qualified to offer opinion testimony on the subjects identified. Moreover, the experts' demeanor and responsiveness showed their comfort with the subjects of their expertise. For those reasons, the court finds that each of the plaintiffs' proffered experts offered credible opinion testimony on the subjects identified.

  1. Nancy Cott, a historian, testified as an expert in the history of marriage in the United States. Cott testified that [p. 29] marriage has always been a secular institution in the United States, that regulation of marriage eased the state's burden to govern an amorphous populace and that marriage in the United States has undergone a series of transformations since the country was founded.
    1. PX2323 Cott CV: Cott is a professor of American history at Harvard University and the director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America;
    2. PX2323: In 1974, Cott received a PhD from Brandeis University in the history of American civilization;
    3. PX2323: Cott has published eight books, including Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000), and has published numerous articles and essays;
    4. Tr 186:5-14: Cott devoted a semester in 1998 to researching and teaching a course at Yale University in the history of marriage in the United States;
    5. Tr 185:9-13; 188:6-189:10: Cott's marriage scholarship focuses on marriage as a public institution and as a structure regulated by government for social benefit.
  2. George Chauncey, a historian, was qualified to offer testimony on social history, especially as it relates to gays and lesbians. Chauncey testified about the widespread private and public discrimination faced by gays and lesbians in the twentieth century and the ways in which the Proposition 8 campaign echoed that discrimination and relied on stereotypes against gays and lesbians that had developed in the twentieth century.
    1. PX2322 Chauncey CV: Chauncey is a professor of history and American studies at Yale University; from 1991-2006, Chauncey was a professor of history at the University of Chicago;
    2. Tr 357:15-17: Chauncey received a PhD in history from Yale University in 1989; [p. 30]
    3. PX2322: Chauncey has authored or edited books on the subject of gay and lesbian history, including Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890–1940 (1994) and Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (1989, ed);
    4. Tr 359:17-360:11: Chauncey relies on government records, interviews, diaries, films and advertisements along with studies by other historians and scholars in conducting his research;
    5. Tr 360:12-21: Chauncey teaches courses in twentieth century United States history, including courses on lesbian and gay history.
  3. Lee Badgett, an economist, testified as an expert on demographic information concerning gays and lesbians, same-sex couples and children raised by gays and lesbians, the effects of the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage and the effect of permitting same-sex couples to marry on heterosexual society and the institution of marriage. Badgett offered four opinions: (1) Proposition 8 has inflicted substantial economic harm on same-sex couples and their children; (2) allowing same-sex couples to marry would not have any adverse effect on the institution of marriage or on opposite-sex couples; (3) same-sex couples are very similar to opposite-sex couples in most economic and demographic respects; and (4) Proposition 8 has imposed economic losses on the State of California and on California counties and municipalities. Tr 1330:9-1331:5.
    1. PX2321 Badgett CV: Badgett is a professor of economics at UMass Amherst and the director of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law;
    2. PX2321: Badgett received her PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 1990;
    3. Tr 1325:2-17; PX2321: Badgett has written two books on gay and lesbian relationships and same-sex marriage: [p. 31] Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (2001) and When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (2009); Badgett has also published several articles on the same subjects;
    4. Tr 1326:4-13: Badgett co-authored two reports (PX1268 Brad Sears and M V Lee Badgett, The Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples on the California Budget, The Williams Institute (June 2008) and PX1283 M V Lee Badgett and R Bradley Sears, Putting a Price on Equality? The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage on California's Budget, 16 Stan L & Pol Rev 197 (2005)) analyzing the fiscal impact of allowing same-sex couples to marry in California;
    5. Tr 1326:18-1328:4: Badgett has been invited to speak at many universities and at the American Psychological Association convention on the economics of same-sex relationships;
    6. Tr 1329:6-22: Badgett has testified before federal and state government bodies about domestic partner benefits and antidiscrimination laws.
  4. Edmund A Egan, the chief economist in the San Francisco Controller's Office, testified for CCSF as an expert in urban and regional economic policy. Egan conducted an economic study of the prohibition of same-sex marriage on San Francisco's economy and concluded that the prohibition negatively affects San Francisco's economy in many ways. Tr 683:19-684:19.
    1. Tr 678:1-7: As the chief economist for CCSF, Egan directs the Office of Economic Analysis and prepares economic impact analysis reports for pending legislation;
    2. Tr 681:16-682:25: In preparing economic impact reports, Egan relies on government data and reports, private reports and independent research to determine whether legislation has "real regulatory power" and the effects of the legislation on private behavior;
    3. PX2324 Egan CV: Egan received a PhD in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley in 1997; [p. 32]
    4. Tr 679:1-14: Egan is an adjunct faculty member at UC Berkeley and teaches graduate students on regional and urban economics and regional and city planning.
  5. Letitia Anne Peplau, a psychologist, was qualified as an expert on couple relationships within the field of psychology. Peplau offered four opinions: (1) for adults who choose to enter marriage, that marriage is often associated with many important benefits; (2) research has shown remarkable similarities between same-sex and opposite-sex couples; (3) if same-sex couples are permitted to marry, they will likely experience the same benefits from marriage as opposite-sex couples; and (4) permitting same-sex marriage will not harm opposite-sex marriage. Tr 574:6-19.
    1. PX2329 Peplau CV: Peplau is a professor of psychology and vice chair of graduate studies in psychology at UCLA;
    2. Tr 569:10-12: Peplau's research focuses on social psychology, which is a branch of psychology that focuses on human relationships and social influence; specifically, Peplau studies close personal relationships, sexual orientation and gender;
    3. Tr 571:13: Peplau began studying same-sex relationships in the 1970s;
    4. Tr 571:19-572:13; PX2329: Peplau has published or edited about ten books, authored about 120 peer-reviewed articles and published literature reviews on psychology, relationships and sexuality.
  6. Ilan Meyer, a social epidemiologist, testified as an expert in public health with a focus on social psychology and psychiatric epidemiology. Meyer offered three opinions: (1) gays and lesbians experience stigma, and Proposition 8 is an example of stigma; (2) social stressors affect gays and lesbians; and (3) social stressors negatively affect the mental health of gays and lesbians. Tr 817:10-19. [p. 33]
    1. PX2328 Meyer CV: Meyer is an associate professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health;
    2. PX2328; Tr 807:20-808:7: Meyer received a PhD in sociomedical sciences from Columbia University in 1993;
    3. Tr 810:19-811:16: Meyer studies the relationship between social issues and structures and patterns of mental health outcomes with a specific focus on lesbian, gay and bisexual populations;
    4. Tr 812:9-814:22: Meyer has published about forty peer-reviewed articles, teaches a course on gay and lesbian issues in public health, has received numerous awards for his professional work and has edited and reviewed journals and books.
  7. Gregory Herek, a psychologist, testified as an expert in social psychology with a focus on sexual orientation and stigma. Herek offered opinions concerning: (1) the nature of sexual orientation and how sexual orientation is understood in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; (2) the amenability of sexual orientation to change through intervention; and (3) the nature of stigma and prejudice as they relate to sexual orientation and Proposition 8. Tr 2023:8-14.
    1. PX2326 Herek CV: Herek is a professor of psychology at UC Davis;
    2. PX2326:Herek received a PhD in personality and social psychology from UC Davis in 1983;
    3. Tr 2018:5-13: Social psychology is the intersection of psychology and sociology in that it focuses on human behavior within a social context; Herek's dissertation focused on heterosexuals' attitudes towards lesbians and gay men;
    4. Tr 2020:1-5: Herek regularly teaches a course on sexual orientation and prejudice;
    5. PX2326; Tr 2021:12-25; Tr 2022:11-14: Herek serves on editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals and has published over 100 articles and chapters on sexual orientation, stigma and prejudice. [p. 34]
  8. Michael Lamb, a psychologist, testified as an expert on the developmental psychology of children, including the developmental psychology of children raised by gay and lesbian parents. Lamb offered two opinions: (1) children raised by gays and lesbians are just as likely to be well-adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents; and (2) children of gay and lesbian parents would benefit if their parents were able to marry. Tr 1009:23-1010:4.
    1. PX2327 Lamb CV: Lamb is a professor and head of the Department of Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge in England;
    2. Tr 1003:24-1004:6; PX2327: Lamb was the head of the section on social and emotional development of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Washington DC for seventeen years;
    3. Tr 1007:2-1008:8; PX2327: Lamb has published approximately 500 articles, many about child adjustment, has edited 40 books in developmental psychology, reviews about 100 articles a year and serves on editorial boards on several academic journals;
    4. PX2327: Lamb received a PhD from Yale University in 1976.
  9. Gary Segura, a political scientist, testified as an expert on the political power or powerlessness of minority groups in the United States, and of gays and lesbians in particular. Segura offered three opinions: (1) gays and lesbians do not possess a meaningful degree of political power; (2) gays and lesbians possess less power than groups granted judicial protection; and (3) the conclusions drawn by proponents' expert Miller are troubling and unpersuasive. Tr 1535:3-18.
    1. PX2330 Segura CV: Segura is a professor of political science at Stanford University and received a PhD in political science from the University of Illinois in 1992; [p. 35]
    2. Tr 1525:1-10: Segura and a colleague, through the Stanford Center for Democracy, operate the American National Elections Studies, which provides political scientists with data about the American electorate's views about politics;
    3. Tr 1525:11-19: Segura serves on the editorial boards of major political science journals;
    4. Tr 1525:22-1526:24: Segura's work focuses on political representation and whether elected officials respond to the voting public; within the field of political representation, Segura focuses on minorities;
    5. PX2330; Tr 1527:25-1528:14: Segura has published about twenty-five peer-reviewed articles, authored about fifteen chapters in edited volumes and has presented at between twenty and forty conferences in the past ten years;
    6. PX2330; Tr 1528:21-24: Segura has published three pieces specific to gay and lesbian politics and political issues;
    7. Tr 1532:11-1533:17: Segura identified the methods he used and materials he relied on to form his opinions in this case. Relying on his background as a political scientist, Segura read literature on gay and lesbian politics, examined the statutory status of gays and lesbians and public attitudes about gays and lesbians, determined the presence or absence of gays and lesbians in political office and considered ballot initiatives about gay and lesbian issues.