Proponents of traditional family values are championing a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling March 11 that halted—at least temporarily—gay marriages in the state. “What the court has done . . . is take a stand against the anarchy that has reigned in San Francisco since February 12,” said James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom granted the first of more than 4,000 marriage licenses to same sex couples on that date, flouting a state law adopted in 2000 limiting marriage to a man and a woman. The move sparked a wave of local officials around the country issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in defiance of state laws. The California decision won’t void the marriage licenses already issued to gay couples —as the California attorney general requested—but delays a decision on the legality of granting licenses to same-sex couples until May or June.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).