Rekers, Blankenhorn fumble Prop 8


(What’s with these suggested videos? “Electric Avenue,” really?)

As the incomparable Dahlia Lithwick noted in her Twitter-gesis of the Prop 8 ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker walked over defense witness David Blankenhorn. The Institute for American Values guy was one of only two witnesses called by the anti-equality side. And he was awful. “The court now determines that Blankenhorn’s testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight,” Walker wrote. “Blankenhorn lacks the qualifications to offer opinion testimony and, in any event, failed to provide cogent testimony in support of proponents’ factual assertions.” Blankenhorn has something in common with George “Rent Boy” Rekers, another anti-gay witness against equality who was so terrible on the stand that judges in Arkansas and Florida made special note of it. And hey, it turns out that Blankenhorn got a smidgen of his playbook from Rekers. On May 19, Blankenhorn wrote a letter to the New York Times saying he’d “never met Mr. Rekers or read any of his writings.” Oopsies! On June 4, the Times published a second letter from Blankenhorn. “In fact, in preparing for my report and deposition in the California Proposition 8 trial, I read one report to the court on a previous California marriage case written by Mr. Rekers, as well as a report to the same court taking a position opposed to Mr. Rekers’s,” Blankenhorn wrote. No wonder his defense of Prop 8 went so well. [Thanks to @c-loaf for spotlighting pages 38-49 of the ruling.]