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Final arguments in Calif. same-sex hearing

June 16, 2010 at 9:45 PM

SACRAMENTO, June 16 (UPI) -- Backers of California's Proposition 8 said in closing arguments Wednesday the court should reject a legal challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker will not decide on the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage. California voters approved Proposition 8 in November 2008, months after the state Supreme Court ruled a state law banning same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.

Charles Cooper, representing proponents of the measure, argued Wednesday the "marital relationship is fundamental to the existence and survival of the race. Without the marital relationship, society would come to an end."

That relationship is "between a man and a woman," Cooper said, and its main focus is procreation and "channeling" the sexual behavior of heterosexuals into "stable, marital unions."

Walker continually pressed Cooper on what marriage means and what interest the state has in it, ABC News reported said.

"The purpose of marriage is to provide society's approval to that sexual relationship and to the actual production of children," Cooper said."

"But the state doesn't withhold marriage from people who cannot have children," Walker responded.

"It does not," Cooper.

"Are you saying the state should?" Walker asked.

A ruling is expected this summer, ABC said.

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