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Speak Now

By Donna Mallard | Jun. 2, 2015

Law Office Management

Jun. 2, 2015

Speak Now

NYU School of Law professor Kenji Yoshino details the Hollingsworth v. Perry trial.

Kenji Yoshino characterized Hollingsworth v. Perry, the trial that led to the overturning of California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, as the most fundamentally transformative event in the development of gay law in this country. Whether or not one agrees with his view, there's no doubt that the testimony that led to Judge Vaughn Walker's definitive condemnation of Proposition 8 was a crucial step in the emergence of marriage equality nationwide.

Speak Now is essentially a distillation of the federal trial, summarizing the evidence and detailing the legal arguments. The author, a distinguished constitutional law professor at New York University, has done a masterful job of presenting the full story in vivid detail, and for those interested in watching the trial unfold from a distance, it's a compelling read. Yoshino frames the trial in its historical context; he also provides a personal dimension in telling his own story as a gay man of Japanese descent, a constitutional scholar, and now a married man raising two children. The resulting Supreme Court ruling may have ended the case with a mere whimper, but along the way the trial discredited the defenders of Prop. 8. Consequently, minds were changed, and dramatic legal changes soon followed.

Frederick Hertz is an attorney-mediator and author of Making It Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnerships & Civil Unions.


Donna Mallard

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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