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Liveblogging Day 3 Part III: Even More on Professor Chauncey …

Liveblogging

By Paul Hogarth

[UPDATE] 10:26: We’re back from a short intermission — so I’m starting a new thread.

Thompson: Quoting a California legislator (Jack O’Connell) who supports domestic partnerships, but has difficulty supporting gay marriage.  “Marriage is too steeped in tradition …”  Wasn’t it the opinion of LGBT groups in the 1990’s that supporting civil unions was an “equitable” position?

Chauncey: This was a time when marriage was seen as far too distant a prospect — given the opposition to it.  So in this context, they would be grateful to have supported it.chrome://foxytunes-public/content/signatures/signature-button.png

Thompson now wants to show video of people who were beaten up for supporting Prop 8.  SF Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart objects, because it is not relevant.

[Opponents of gay marriage love playing the victim.  The irony of this is that during the Prop 8 campaign, “Yes on 8” folks tried to organize boycotts of businesses that gave money to “No on 8.” See: http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=6222 — Once the Election was over, nobody talks about this anymore.  All we hear about is “Yes on 8” people being boycotted and persecuted for their beliefs, when the EXACT SAME THING happened to our side before the election.]

Judge allows Thompson to continue line of questioning on religious groups being “defaced” — but won’t let him show a video.

T: Isn’t it true that some hostility to the LGBT community comes from these attacks on Yes on 8 supporters?

C: It seems unlikely on the face of it.  You would have to bring a compelling case to me.

[UPDATE] 10:33 Thompson — Isn’t it true that people voted for Prop 8 based upon their sincere moral values?

C: Many people opposed desegregation and interracial marriage based upon their sincere moral values. [NICE!]

T: It’s part of the American tradition for people to vote based upon their moral religious views, correct?

[I thought we had separation of church and state in this country.]

Thompson now wants to show video coverage of the Wirthlins — the Mormon Massachusetts couple that objected that their kid was shown the book “King & King.”  Judge approves — despite plaintiff’s objections — to show the video.

[start video]

Mr. Wirthlin said he was “shocked” that kids were learning that “men can marry other men.”  Mrs. Wirthlin said, “Second Grade is too young to learn about homosexuality.  They should at least wait until sex ed.”

Mrs. Wirthlin — “the tolerance that homosexuals called for is not reciprocated.  We want to protect our children while they’re children.  We don’t want them to have to deal with adult issues.”

[end video]

[UPDATE] 10:41: T: Shouldn’t parents who disapprove of gay marriage request that their kids not have ot learn it?

C: Well — what about if parents who disapprove of blacks and whites being together?  Should parents be able to prevent tehir kids from reading about that in public schools?  Gay marriage is a fact of life in Massachusetts.  If parents have a problem with that, they can send thier kids to private school.

[Wow! I wish we had made that argument in the “no on 8” campaign. Thompson clearly is uncomfortable with how Chauncey is very effectively turning around all the “objections” parents may have about their kids being taught about gay marraige in schools, into — well, what about parents who object to their kids being taught about racial tolerance and interracial marriage]

Cross-Examination is over.  Now, SF Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart has re-direct.

S: Does Prop 8 say antyhing about when sex ed takes place?  What parents can teach their kids? What parents can object to in what’s in the schools?

C: Yes.

S: Are there fairy tales (childrens books) of men and women falling in love?

C: Yes, of course.

S: Are heterosexual weddings considered an “adult issue” that children are not exposed to?

C: No, children are present and even play a role in heterosexual marriages.

S: How far back is there historical evidence of recognizing homosexuality?

C: In Puritan New England, case of Nicholas — although people did not call him a “homosexual,” he had developed a reputation over 30 years in his small town as someone who persistently indicated sexual interest in other males.  At the time, people didn’t use identity — they used “character.”  A lot of attention has been paid to the culture of romantic friendship in the 19th Century.  What’s striking when you do the research are the moments — [talks a bit about feminist activists in the 1860’s who were attracted to other women, and gay men in early 20th century New York] — There were people at that time who identified themselves on that basis.

S: During the 60s and 70s, what were some of the priorities of the LGBT civil rights movement?

C: Fundamental priorities was to stop the policing of everyday life, raids on bars and restaurants — and to achieve fundamentla protections from discrimiantion in the workplace and housing.  And to come out, and be openly known as gay free of such harassment.

S: Before the mid-70’s, were they trying to get the medical establishment to change its view?

C: Yes.

S: During the period when black civil rights were being sought, were there black people pushing segregation — not in favor of de-segregation?

C: Yes, there were debates in the black community — about what was the best place to go.

[This is good.  Therese Stewart is taking on directly the notion that just because some gay people are not crazy about marriage (or want nothing to do with it) does not debunk the notion that Prop 8 was motivated by animus.]

S: Is there still employment discrimination today?

C: Yes- on the basis of sexual orientation.

S: Why do people move to California to find a more open society?

C: They do so to face hostility and discrimination in other places to live.  Just like the Great Migration, blacks moving from the Deep South in the 1940’s.

NOTE: Thread four is now up. Click on over for the latest updates.

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48 Comments

  • 1. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Anyone know if there is a way to get word for word transcriptions of the trial?

  • 2. Brian  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Patrick… check the last section of blog (before the recent break), there were a few comments in which people posted links to some other blogs that were supposedly more factual and transcription-like.

  • 3. Warren  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:35 am

    If his goal is to show that gays have increased acceptance and are no longer a suspect class other than no marriage it seems precident is strongly against him. The Civil rights Act passed in 1964, and even in the mid-sixites in many places overt racism was falling out of favor. The civil rights movement had achieved many of its goals, but clearly not all by 1967 when Loving was decided. So I'm not sure that showing gays as a more accepted group should help them that much…

  • 4. Brian  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:36 am

    by more factual I mean they stated the same facts, but with less interpretation. I personally am greatful for the interpretation, it is a perspective on things other than my own, which I have either way.

  • 5. j  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Closest thing right now is the FDL coverage:
    http://firedoglake.com/prop8trial/

    Hopefully we can watch on YouTube soon.

  • 6. Warren  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:39 am

    The other tactic that it appears Thompson is using is to quote mine for the court of public opinion. Remember the stakes are high for the other side too. If we win this case at the SCOTUS the calls for a constitutional amendment will be loud and strong and this issue will become a major factor in political campaigns where quote mining from the trial and the perpetuation of the meme that anti-gay bigots are an oppressed groups themselves will be heavily pushed.

  • 7. Urbain  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:39 am

    The interpretations are extremely helpful for me because it helps to show the rationale behind the line of questioning. Since Paul is an attorney, I can appreciate his point of view.

    By the way Paul, thank you SO MUCH for your work.

  • 8. Brian  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:40 am

    @ the Wirthlin video..

    The question of "at what point during the process of maturation" it is appropriate to discuss marriage has nothing at all to do with whether or not that marriage includes homosexual couples.

  • 9. David Kimble  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I concur Warren – it is fascinating to see the road they are headed down, which from my perspective -appears to be a dead-end.

  • 10. JenJen  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:41 am

    http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/23770
    this is a live transcription.

    "C: Many people opposed desegregation and interracial marriage based upon their sincere moral values. [NICE!]"

    Chauncy for the WIN!!!!

  • 11. Warren  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Hopefully our side will enter into evidence the reports of the deaths of Larry King and all the others who have ACTUALLY been attacked simply because of their status as LGBTs by people who share Thompson, Pugno and Pretence's views.

  • 12. Nicki  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:43 am

    hmm, the judge also dis allowed the showing of a current video "the gathering storm" we the lgbt individuals sooooooooo, qualify with flying colours as a "suspect class"
    – i am surprised and dissapointed the judge allowed this line of questioning, but as you or someone in the comments said, analyzing their arguments, finding the precident, sifting that out and making plain the unconstitionality of it all,

    – this Thompson guy is a bigot , responsible for Prop 209 passing apparently , banning Affirmative Action in California for State run programs , a dispicable bigot to say the least , he knows no shame. His hate runs deep.

  • 13. Ed C  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:43 am

    That book was shown by their local school. How is that even allowed here? It's not even in California!

  • 14. Chad  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Uh, since when does marriage have anything to do with sexual education? Lame!

  • 15. drjams  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:46 am

    I LOVE Terry Stewart! She's so brilliant!

  • 16. James Sweet  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Isn’t it true that some hostility to the LGBT community comes from these attacks on Yes on 8 supporters?

    I think this may be the most asinine argument I've ever heard.

  • 17. David Kimble  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:50 am

    I have not seen any compelling evidence to support these were real people in the ad or that children, as young as 1st grade were ever subject to these conditions.

  • 18. evenevan  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I second that motion! I'm a fan!

  • 19. Mr. HCI  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:52 am

    It's the same line of reasoning as rape victims must've done something to deserve it.

  • 20. AB  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:52 am

    I wonder if and when we'll find out about the YouTube thing. Don't get me wrong, you're doing a great job covering this, but it would be nice to be able to hear it and have you free to ask legal questions (I have so many!).
    Besides, I'm curious to see what they have to say.

  • 21. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:54 am

    http://www.firedoglake.com

  • 22. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Oh, I never meant to say this was a bad thing to check out. This blog is my first and last line to what is going on. I just wanted to see if I could find word for word trans. for myself too.

  • 23. Michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:57 am

    I hope that this continues, as tough as it may be, even if the youtube streaming is allowed. i have a filtered internet during the day and youtube is blocked. surprisingly, this site has remained open.

  • 24. Meghan  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:57 am

    "S: Are heterosexual weddings considered an “adult issue” that children are not exposed to?"

    OMG THANK YOU THERESE STEWART. *cries*

  • 25. James Sweet  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:58 am

    S: During the period when black civil rights were being sought, were there black people pushing segregation — not in favor of de-segregation?
    C: Yes, there were debates in the black community — about what was the best place to go.

    Oh, this is a great analogy! The fact that there was early disagreement in the black community over segregation is obviously a nonsequitir when it comes to the constitutionality of segregation, just as early disagreement in the gay community over marriage is a nonsequitir. Never thought of that…

  • 26. DonG  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Justice Kennedy's stay of the YouTube showing goes until 4pm EST (1pm PST). By then, we should know what the Supreme Court will let us do.

  • 27. Warren  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Yup. Same goes for full acceptance of black people by legislatures, courts, states, individuals, movies, etc. etc. etc.

  • 28. eric m.  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:05 am

    this is fantastic– thanks so much for liveblogging. I'm following along closely here at home… I like this style, with a little bit of interpretation along with the facts.

  • 29. James Sweet  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Yeah, I mean the analogy to Loving v. Virginia, and the obvious problems with letting the majority vote on the rights of a minority, are pretty well-discussed. I'd never thought about this specific aspect before, though.

    Incidentally, my wife's (white) uncle recently remarried to an African-American woman. He's a hardcore Republican and an orthodox Jew, she's some sort of Baptist. I am quite confident of what their views on gay marriage are, but I'm hoping I never find out explicitly, because I'll probably end up saying something really, really inappropriate…

  • 30. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Just pointing out that the next section is in a new post for those following in real time.

  • 31. Chana  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I'm sad that it's so clear that our side should win on the merits, but that there seems ultimately little chance we can win. We don't have the votes in the supreme court, and the right is much more powerful in terms of political clout than we are. If what they want is a constitutional amendment about marriage, I suspect they'll get it. I mean, we'll fight it, but they'll get it in the end.

  • 32. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Hrm… If anti-gay bigots are an oppressed group, why does that matter in the first place?

    Members of the KKK are derided, and no one besides them really cries "foul", am I right?

    So basically (once again) it's not OK to be racist anymore, but it's OK to hate queer folks?

    Doesn't add up…

  • 33. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:39 am

    "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
    -Thomas Jefferson

    TJ was The Man.

  • 34. Niles  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:39 am

    It's possible I've just missed this in the large pile of transcript, or maybe it just hasn't come up yet, but has anyone addressed the idea of kids being "too young" to learn about homosexuality? What they're really saying is that kids are too young to learn about homosexual *sex*. But nobody balks at telling a five year old that mommies and daddies love each other. Same-gender relationships are limited entirely to discussions of sex in the mainstream, whereas opposite-gender relationships include elements of both sex *and* love.

    Heck, I asked my mom about gay people when I was five. Her response was "well, some men love women and some women love men, and some men love men, and some women love women." I said "oh, okay." and that was it. Boom. Not once did my mom mention anything about who put what bits where.

  • 35. Dave O'Brien  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I just want to say that I think Paul is hitting on just the right balance of transcript vs. commentary. Thank you!

  • 36. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Good point to bring up. Just look to the prevailing terminology- "sexual orientation"- doesn't really denote love, does it- when love is what we're fighting for, not sex.

  • 37. WhirledTraveler  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I cannot thank you enough for the continual updates. I'm in TX and have been watching this from the original vote on Prop 8. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Now if the Supremes will simply allow this to be video-cast you could take a well deserved break!

  • 38. Sean Chapin  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:56 am

    The Leffew family and I produced a video re-enactment of the children's book "King & King" to support this book and show the real story behind this book.

    This book illustrates the concepts love and marriage, not sexuality. Otherwise, you could argue that all children's book that discuss love and marriage are also about sexuality and shouldn't be taught to any children until they are old enough for sex education. Singling out gay people as strictly about sexuality while equating straight people to love and sacredness is blatant prejudice.

  • 39. Sean Chapin  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:56 am

    The URL of the video re-enactment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW__kkEj_iU

  • 40. James Sweet  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Otherwise, you could argue that all children’s book that discuss love and marriage are also about sexuality and shouldn’t be taught to any children until they are old enough for sex education

    If heterosexual marriage is legalized, then if a kindergartner goes to his or her teacher and asks, "What is straight sex?", then the teacher will be legally obligated to answer in graphic detail.

    Yup.

  • 41. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:49 am

    If they want to show what people REALLY believe and feel about gays, just go online to any news story and read the comments.

    THAT is what people REALLY think about us – because the anonymous nature of the internet allows people with bigoted views to hide themselves relatively easy.

    Pick any pocket of the United States where there is a heavy religious presence, better yet, just pick a Salt Lake City (big contributor to Yes on 8) and see what they feel and still feel about us.

  • 42. chris  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    In light of the SCOTUS ruling baring camera's in the courtroom, we need to get the transcripts as soon as possible and have actors play the roles of the participants and post videos on youtube. They can shut this case away from the public now, but the trascripts are public record, and they can't keep us from reconstructing the trial on youtube.

  • 43. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:35 am

    cool, I like checking it out here, because the commentary is helpful, but I like being able to “hear” what’s actually said too.

  • 44. Liveblogging Day 3: Part &hellip  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:36 am

    […] Liveblogging Day 3: Even More on Professor Chauncey … […]

  • 45. s.a.g.  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    As far as the people getting beaten up… I don't know how much of that is true. What I do know, from being there, is that two days after Prop 8 passed we were protesting outside of the Mormon Temple and two "mormon" girls beat up two protestors. One protestor even had to be rushed to the Hospital. At a protest in Long Beach a few days later I witnessed one protestor grabbed by three or four police officers thrown down, chin hit pavement, for protesting peacefully. There were cameras everywhere and yet somehow it never ended up on the news. ever.

  • 46. Lyn  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    "S: Does Prop 8 say antyhing about when sex ed takes place? What parents can teach their kids? What parents can object to in what’s in the schools?

    C: Yes."

    I think this is incorrect. The transcript here
    lists his reply as "no (to each and all)"

  • 47. jack  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Hear, hear!

    The fact is, kids believe what you tell them, even when what you tell them is the bare minimum of facts. And FACTS is really all they are. Some women DO love men, some women DO love women, some men DO love women and some men DO love men. That is what it is, just a simple fact.

    It's the same as a racist white person telling their child that there are other races in the world and that's just the way it is, whether they actually agree with those other races existence or not….so I don't get the freaking out about just telling a kid straight up how it is in the world (which they'll find out eventually anyway)…or why people's naughty bits have to be any part of the conversation.

  • 48. world end in 2012  |  February 3, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Hi! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!

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