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Liveblogging Day 3: Part VIII – Peplau Cross Examination

Liveblogging

By Paul Hogarth

[UPDATE] 2:46 Nicole Moss (the defense attorney) is now going to cross-examine Dr. Letitia Peplau.

Moss: Your first opinion — that marriage confers physical and psychological benefits.  You’re talking about straight couples, right?

Peplau: Yes.

M: Because you don’t have data on same-sex couples, right?  There has been no proof, right?

P: Research on straight married couples are relevant — and there have been studies on gay couples.

M: And there’s only been one study on gay couples, right?  And there haven’t been any studies done on the physical and psychological benefits of domestic partnerships, right?

P: There has not been a direct comparison between marriage and civil unions — but we can hypothesize the differences.

M: Civil unions — there’s been relatively no research done on their benefits.

P: The reason there haven’t been many on government statistics on registered domestic partners.

M: Some of the benefits of straight couples — You can’t rank or assess which aspect of marriage has caused the observed increase.

P: I’ve outlined a number of factors, and I believe they work together and simultaneously.  I think it would vary from one couple to another.

M: To the extent that domestic partners can get health benefits, wouldn’t they be healthier too?

P: There’s no doubt that civil unions have been beneficial to same-sex couples.  But they are not equivalent to marriage.  And if you’re not allowed to be in the most highly regarded institution in the country, civil unions are not going to be the same.  We all know the impact that stigma and second-class has on people, and on relationships.  It seems to me that being prevented by the government from being married — is similar to other stigmas we have seen.

M: You talk about marriage being a legal contract — and an enforceable legal contract.

P: No, not really.  Marriage is about enforceable trust — it enhances the trust and commitment that these acts will be enforceable.  People associate with marriage a seriousness and gravitas that people will take their relationships seriously.

M: But don’t people in domestic partnerships also take their relationships seriously?

P: One thing about couples is that they are very resilient.  Many gay couples — without domestic partnerships or marriage- have lasting relationships.  But it is obvious to me that these relationships will be enhanced and stabilized by having access to marriage.

[UPDATE] 2:52 PM: Barriers to exit in a marriage are a factor.  Versus civil unions, Peplau says getting out of a civil union isn’t really all that recognized or understood.

Moss is citing a study by Kimberly Baulson that Dr. Peplau had relied upon.

M: Research found that same-sex couples not in civil unions were more likely to break up than those in civil unions.  There was a significant difference. [She moves it into evidence]

M: Dr. Peplau, you talked about how gay couples are similar to straight couples.  Let’s talk about gay men … Would you agree that the practice of monogamy in gay male relationships is different than in heterosexual relationships?

P: One way in which gay men differ is that there’s a higher percentage who say they don’t value monogamy.  Sexual exclusivity is not a marker of a happy marriage among gay men.

M: Referring to study she did with David Blasben. Sexual Exclusivity vs. Monogamy in Gay Couples.  She wrote that sexual exclusivity may be “more the exception than the rule” in gay male relationships.  That sexual affairs can be a “complement” to a steady relationships.

P: The article is 25 years old — an “oldie.”  I think we’d have a different study today.  Back then, nobody was talking about same-sex marriage.  Gay relationships were far more secretive, there was much more of a stigma.  I’m not retracting what I said of what I found at the time.  What we’re talking about is whether statements are accurate today.

[UPDATE] 3:01 PM: As an openly gay man, I find the current line of this cross-examination to be extremely offensive.

M: You write about a study that says 36% of gay men said it’s important to be monogamous, vs. 70% of lesbians, 80% of straight women and 75% of straight men.  Is it still a fact that less gay men believe that monogamy is important?

P: I agree, as a generalization that the percentage differs.

M: You found 74% of men in closed relationships had sex with at least one other person.

P: It’s been probably two decades since I’ve reviewed that paper.  This study was a sample of gay men in Los Angeles, and is not necessarily the most representative sample.

M: Regarding your desire of gays and lesbians to marry, you said 74% of gays and lesbians say that they would like to get married some day … [Bringing into evidence studies on gays in Belgium and Netherlands …]

P: I am not an expert on marriage in foreign countries … I can read the statistics, but I would not be qualified to comment.

Moss is providing evidence on married and single people in Belgium.  Dr. Peplau, would you agree a conservative estimate of gay couples in Belgium is 2%? [Plaintiff sides objects because she’s only an expert on America, but Judge overrules]

M: If 2% of the population in Belgium is LGBT, that would mean we have XXXX gay married couples.  The Belgian government has a list of gay married couples — and breaks it down by men and women, broken down by year.  So there are 11,000 same-sex married individuals in Belgium.

[Moss is walking Peplau through this painstaking process of calculating the number of couples in Belgium.  It’s a little difficult and frustrating to follow.]

3:23 P.M.: Judge has finally lost patience with Moss.  “Can you ask the bottom-line question?”

M: If 5% of gay couples have taken advantage of same-sex marriage, and 43% of straight couples have taken advantage of marriage that would be a significant difference, right?

P: Wait a minute … You’re not saying that 5% of gays are getting married.  You’re really saying that 5% of married couples are gay.

M: No, I said that 5% of gays in Belgium are getting married.

P: But I”m struck by the difference between that data (based on your hypothetical) with the research I have done in Massachusetts.  Assuming your hypothetical are correct, it may be because Americans are more “pro-family.”

[UPDATE] 3:28 PM: Now, Moss is bringing out statistics from the government of the Netherlands.  “Thankfully, unlike in Belgium they have their information available in English — so I didn’t have to translate it.”

According to Moss’ hypothetical math calculation, 8% of Dutch gays are married — and 42% of Dutch straights are married.

P: It would be a difference, but I would have no way to understand or think or explain what that’s telling us.

M: Do you agree that one of the reasons of marriage is that (hopefully) fewer children will be born out of wedlock?

P: Well, by definition.  Because “wedlock” means “out of marriage.”

M: Are gay and straight couples similarly situated about accidentally having children out of wedlock?  Do you agree that gay couples accidentally have children?  It has to be planned — it has to be an intentional birth, right?

P: I would agree that same-sex couples do not have accidental pregnancies.

[New York high court upheld banning gay marriage on the rational basis that straight couples “might” have kids, and so the state has a “greater interest” in allowing straight people to get married.  So the NY constitution does not mandate marriage equality.  This is clearly what the defense is pushing for.]

3:34 PM: Moss asks Peplau if she’s not an expert on the “social meaning” of marriage.

P: Well, I’ve done some analysis of public opinion on marriage.  But I’m not a sociologist.  On the other hand, I’ve done studies on the attitudes of marriage — division of labor, etc.

M: We’ve established that you haven’t done research on the relative benefits of domestic partnerships.

P: I have not done that empirical research, no.

M: The only survey on the benefits of gay marriage is the one Massachusetts survey.

P: Well, I’ve drawn conclusions based upon numerous studies on the effects of marriage.

M: Was it a representative sample?

P: It was a volunteer sample — based upon 500 people’s opinions that were solicited.

M: Yeah, but this survey was disseminated by a large gay and lesbian rights advocacy organization.

P: The group had a large e-mail list, so the Mass Dept of Health chose to collect information.

M: We know that 40% of the respondents in the survey said they got married because of “society’s visibility” of gay relationships.

P: Well, they were asked to pick a whole series of choices (and could do more than one.)  93% chose “love.”

M: Wasn’t the sample 90% white?  And the average age of respondents was 48 years old (… high levels of education, 52% of them were wealthy.)

P: Well, lesbians and gays on average have high levels of education.

M: And it was a self-reporting survey, right?

P: All surveys are self-reporting.  That’s the nature of that kind of research.

M: So there’s no way of knowing if the “happiness” of these people is representative of gay couples?

P: That’s an issue that every study has done.

M: But we know that it was sent out by a gay rights advocacy organization.  And 40% of them said (as one of the 3 reasons) the need to have gay relations be visible?

P: Gay marriage is a well-discussed national issue.  Every gay person who gets married (although its private) knows that it will be

M: You said that gay marriage won’t hurt straight marriage, and won’t increase the divorce rate.  What about the harm to the institution of marriage — as opposed to harm to individual married couples?

P: The issue — as far as the health of the institution of marriage — is “entry” and “exit” (i.e., divorce.)  That’s what I’m concerned about …

M: Quoting in a study by Peplau — “there is growing acceptance of divorce, and unmarried co-habitation.”  You also state that no-fault divorce laws make it easier for couples to end marriage.  And those are factored by “growing individualism.”

P: Part of the studies are that in earlier terms, when a more important part of marriage was marriage as an economic unit — that over time, we have come to expect personal fulfillment through marriage as a bigger factor.   “Marriage is no longer just a place where the laundry is made … It’s more about achieving our potential.”

[UPDATE] 3:52 PM: Peplau talks about “shifting American values (individualism) has changed marriage.  The gay rights movement has had nothing to do with those.  The higher divorce rate is completely independent of the marriage equality movement.”

Moss is now quoting the fluctuating divorce rate in Massachusetts.

P: If you look at these kinds of data, what you see is minor fluctuations.  That’s why my study is that there really hasn’t been a change since gay marriage was legal.

M: Have you analyzed divorce rates in Massachusetts with other states, and nationally.

P: No, I did not.

[The Prop 8 side is opening up a can of worms.  Massachusetts currently has the lowest divorce rate in the nation.]

P: If we really want to get technical, the average divorce rate in Massachusetts is lower now than when it was before 2004.

M: As to the effect same-sex marriage will have any impact on individualism, you don’t know because you’ve done no studies?

P: The question is do I think gay marriage will lead Americans to become more or less individualistic?

M: Really, have you studied that issue so you can offer an expert opinion on it. [Her tone is hostile and obnoxious.]

P: My opinion that gay marriage will not cause harm is based on a lot of research of marriage and same-sex couples.  All the theories about it lead to “no harm.”  Any possible theories that it would cause harm are not there.  And I’m confident with that asssessment.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY:

A: Do you believe there is more enforceable trust in marriage than domestic partnership?

P: Yes, I believe that there is.

A: On the issue of exclusivity — that study of gay men was done 25 years ago, when there was no marriage?

P: And … there were no domestic partnerships.

A: So none of the findings of that study have anything to do with married couples?

P: No it doesn’t.

A: And there are no restrictions in the country of exclusivity on straight married couples?

P: No, there isn’t.

A: Do you know how long opposite-sex marriage has been legal in Belgium and Netherlands?

P: I imagine it’s been a long time.

A: Individualism — Has your study found that gay couples have more emphasis on individualism than straight couples, or less concern ofr the well-being of children?

P: No.

A: Massachusetts — Do you feel you need more data from them to have an opinion?

P: I don’t, because my opinion is based on so much more than the Massachusetts data.

Tags: ,

197 Comments

  • 1. Anna  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Defense Attorney Moss needs to learn she doesn't need to end questions in "right" repeatedly…bloody irritating.

    I'm not really sure how Moss can discredit the APA statements…this should be an interesting cross examination.

  • 2. Lymis  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Since gay people aren't real people, you obviously can't expect us to be affected by things the way straight people are.

    How do these people think that "Hey, if marriage is good for people, maybe we can float giving gay people some of that, but not all of it" isn't a textbook definition of both discrimination and second-class citizenship?

  • 3. bui  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:54 am

    The defence attorney makes it sound like the research done on straight couples wouldn't apply to gay couples because we all know that a straight person has a completely different physiology and mental capacity than a gay person.

    The reason that there's no research done on gay couples is because of things like Prop 8.

    Frustration overload.

  • 4. Elizabeth  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I really like the idea of marriage being an "enforceable trust" instead of just a contract. You could see moss saying "well why couldn't gay people just write the same contract for eachother" or some banality that isn't possible. Plus, it's just a great way to put how important marriage is.

  • 5. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I'm feeling a little Brown V. Board of Education here…..Separate has never been found to be equal, yet they're trying to say that separate is equal or if not equal, 'just as good'.

    Note to SCOTUS- Think about the Brown case when/if this case gets to you!!!

  • 6. LTN4FUN559  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:57 am

    OMG… I wish this was being televised… I can't seem to take my eyes off of reading this blog. I am no expert and I know every piece must be looked at in court cases but does it not seem like Prop 8 is grasping for straws.

  • 7. Anna  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Grasping at straws is putting it mildly. Unless there's something huge I'm missing, it feels like they don't have a leg to stand on.

  • 8. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

    It's like they think up some theory, put it before the witness and then the witness shuts it down almost completely and then the Plantiffs' lawyers come in for the kill on redirect. I love this trial.

  • 9. Eric  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:00 am

    It sounds like the cross examination to Peplau didn't do a good job…..

    She made the defense look like the no brainers that they are.

  • 10. LTN4FUN559  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I love how well we are doing… I think the fact that we are even have a trial is sad… but this is a wake up call to all of us and to america again….

  • 11. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

    guess that's because homosexuality is a mental disorder in their opinion…

  • 12. Nick  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I am troubled with this exchange:
    M: You talk about marriage being a legal contract — and an enforceable legal contract.

    P: No, not really. Marriage is about enforceable trust — it enhances the trust and commitment that these acts will be enforceable. People associate with marriage a seriousness and gravitas that people will take their relationships seriously.

    I read it as P saying Marriage is NOT a legal contract…which I am sure is not the intent. Too bad we can't see or at least hear the exchanges-inflections of voice sure would help-SCOTUS take heed!

  • 13. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I agree Calvin. And like comment #6 by LTN4FUN559, I wish it was being televised. There is such a difference between hearing someone speak vs. reading transcripts and interjecting our own emotion in their speech. I am less emotional reading the transcript and would be on edge at the TV if I were seeing/hearing it as it happened.

  • 14. Bry  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Maybe I'm seeing something a little different but it seems like they really put our faces in sh*t on this one with the monogamy argument. Because of that old study showing (unless I'm reading it wrong) that gays are LESS likely to be monogamous, it seems like it just hit a vunerable point so I'm a little worried. I don't really think that's the case personally but hey it's 2.5 years of psychology classes vs. about 20 years of a professional psychology CAREER so…what do I know.

  • 15. Elaine  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:08 am

    As part of a married straight couple, I feel psychologically harmed by the denial of equality for gays. Like I told my husband, I felt that the meaning of marriage–for any and all human beings–was lessened when Prop 8 passed.

  • 16. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I find this whole "Gay men are promiscuous" thing hysterical. Most of the gay men I know here in Des Moines, IA are in committed, loving and monogamous relationships. But I also find it sad, because people still think that gay men are just horny all the time (which isn't necessarily false, because can't people be monogamous and horny?)

  • 17. Alexandra  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Where is the line of questioning going regarding gay males and sexual exclusivity?

    I mean, what are the rates in straight married men? I think of all the men in pro sports, most recently Tiger Woods…former President Clinton…Mark Sanford and all the rest of the conservative Republican men…I could be here all day writing more.

  • 18. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    @fiona64: no checks and no money order available with my bank accont. only transfer (with high fees up to 50€ or more)

  • 19. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Agreed on the offensive part. Once again, we see that stereotypes are running rampant. I myself am an openly gay male that prizes monogamy. Marriage or not, when Im in a relationship, I am always exclusive. Regardless of how many people this is true for, however, the consensual sexual practices of any couple, gay or straight, should not be on trial here. There are thousands of "swinger" straight couples in America who are completely happy with that lifestyle.

  • 20. Todd in nYC  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Hmm… and don't 50% of straight married women and 60% of straight married men cheat?

  • 21. JT62  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Please remember folks, ALL of these witnesses have been called for the plaintiff's side. NONE of them are for the Prop8 side. Wait ti they come out. It will be a different point of view then and we'll be having a lot more fun breaking down their 'arguments" at that time.

  • 22. Adam Sanford  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:10 am

    "As an openly gay man, I find the current line of this cross-examination to be extremely offensive."

    You're not the only one, Paul.

  • 23. Daniel  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Its as if as soon as they know they aren't going to be televised they get dirty

  • 24. Holcombe  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    if someone could show the NUMBERS of people reading blogs and tweeting to a MAJOR NETWORK, i wonder if they wouldn't put some weight behind further lobbying to televise?

  • 25. dawn  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    I would hope the outdated material would have less weight.

  • 26. Melissa  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    RE: P: One way in which gay men differ is that there’s a higher percentage who say they don’t value monogamy. Sexual exclusivity is not a marker of a happy marriage among gay men.

    Sexual exclusivity isn't much of a marker of happiness in STRAIGHT men, either.

  • 27. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

    "Would you agree that the practice of monogamy in gay male relationships is different than in heterosexual relationships?"

    I think the term 'relationship' can be misconstrued in the above statement. I can't quite find the words though. Heterosexual relationships has 50% women, 50% men. Gay male relationships has 100% men. Of those 50% men in heterosexual relationships, minus the women, I would think a balance starts to happen in the practice of monogamy.

  • 28. kristin  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I can't believe they're making an argument for their case based on a paper that is two decades old!

    I especially like the point someone else made about the number of married straight men who haven't been faithful.

  • 29. Jason F  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:13 am

    3:01 PM: As an openly gay man, I find the current line of this cross-examination to be extremely offensive.

    As a gay man in a long-term non-monogamous relationship, this comment raises some hairs. We're all on the same team, here.

  • 30. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:13 am

    But Moss keeps referring to studies that are 20 years old or more, which does not help Prop 8's claims as much as a study that was one year ago would. And that was also a time in which gay men thought that they were never going to be able to get married. So what's the point of monogamy if you never get to have a completely recognized marriage? And living as a gay man 20 years ago meant being under the radar or risking harm to yourself, your lover and your family.

  • 31. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:13 am

    that was what I was thinking too! cause a promiscous straight guy can marry too can't he? and also having a sexually open relationship (i.e. allowing each other to have sex with other partners) is not a restraint when one wants to get married. I could have an open relationship and let everyone know about it and no marriage office would object to me getting married. nor would as a matter of fact church.

  • 32. Rick  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Not allowing gays to marry doesn’t exactly promote monogamous gays. I don’t think it fair for you to deny us society’s accepted form of monogamy, only to then tell us the reason we don’t get it is because we aren’t monogamous.

  • 33. Matt in Seattle  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

    It will be interesting to see how, or even if, our side will address the monogamy issue.

  • 34. Sam  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:15 am

    The Prop 8 people definitely are looking weak, and they really don't have a leg to stand on in any sense that matters (morally, ethically, intellectually, etc.), but even if the Prop 8 people fall apart and their case is in shambles (like all their bogus arguments always are), there's still a chance they'd win on some stupid legal loophole… That's the problem. Even though Prop 8 is discriminatory and just plan wrong, it could win on some technicality…

  • 35. J.P.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    ARG! this has been difficult reading these points at 3:01 PM. These studies about men and having more open relationships were studied during a time they had to be secretive about their sexual orientation or at least they were not as comfortable publicly having a relationship. if society was more accepting of gays and our relationships, they would flourish. i'm on edge here… keeping hitting refresh.

  • 36. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    NO, we don't. what are you thinking! we NEVER have extramartial sexual intercourses! We "never had sexual relations with" others than our spouses! didn't you know? 😉

  • 37. Nick  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Well, Monogamy should really have nothing to do with the trial, do you think? Do they really think all married people are monogamous, I mean, really? Touching on that as an argue point opens up them to pointing out the foibles of their own chosen lifestyles, I should think…and that is not the only reason straights get divorces, either…it is a weak argument and can o worms to open in defense of marriage as the str8s see marriage.

  • 38. Madjoy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:17 am

    This.

  • 39. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Agreed Jason, like I said, how consensual adults choose to share their sexual identities is of no concern to stable relationships.

  • 40. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:19 am

    True, but we have to fight for equal rights. It may take time, but I have so much faith that one day I will be able to marry the one I love. I might be 80-years-old…but I do have faith I will live to see the day.

    However, reading these trial transcripts, I see some outstanding points being made.

  • 41. Cassie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Who ever said that not being monogomous is illegal? Does the government give a crap if a husband cheats on his wife? No. So why are we discussing monogomy in gay relationships? I agree with calvin when he said he was feeling a little bit of the Brown vs. Board of Education. Seperate has never been found to be equal. Even if that landmark case hadn't have happened and we still believed in separate but equal, LBGT people are most definetly separated, but we are in NO way given equal rights. In some states it's still legal to discriminate against someone for their sexual orientation. Has anyone heard of someone being fired because they're straight? And domestic partnerships are NOT the same as marriage. We don't get the same governmental benefits, we don't get to see our "domestic partners" in the hospital when they're dying because we're not family!!! And doesn't the phrase domestic parnter feel slightly demeaning compared to husband or wife? I think it does.

  • 42. Theresa  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:20 am

    if monogamy is the sole basis for the right to marry, wouldn't the logical thing to do to "protect marriage" is to outlaw divorce?!

    I, with Rick, find the cross-examination offensive. but then again, the defendants' themselves, are offensive.

  • 43. Melissa  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Amen!

  • 44. JimB  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

    ah, but the Pro8 side is now narrowing the scope of what 'marriage' means, by requiring the litmus test of sexual exclusivity? Yes?

    Or

    Indicating that gay men are less worthy of marriage because sexual exclusivity is less important to us statistically?

    innnnnnnteresting!

    Did I miss anyone mentioning that we might be more likely to be sexually exclusive if any gave a poop about our relationships?!?

  • 45. Rev Byrd  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I agree! Good Grief, if having an affair while you are married were actually illegal and they inforced the law, almost all of our elected officials would be in jail right now!

  • 46. Trey  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Hear hear

  • 47. Chana  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I think someone needs to bring up the question of how monogamy actually plays out in straight marriage. Not that well, statistically. (i.e., so because gay men are realistic in their expectations of each other in larger percentages, they shouldn't get to be married?) But it's also not clear to me where they're going with this. At no point have they said that in order for people to have a right to marry they have to BELIEVE in monogamy (i.e., do all Muslim immigrants believe in monogamy? Do all Mormons believe in monogamy? Do all Scandinavians believe in monogamy? And yet none of them are barred from marriage in the US due to that belief…) It's also conspicuous that the percentage of lesbians who believe in monogamy as cited is high-so if they're going to make that a criteria, how can they justify lesbians' exclusion? They'd need to justify the exclusion of both in defending Prop 8.
    I think the ruling on televising makes it pretty clear how a Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 would go (not well-the conservative justices mentioned several times taking seriously the efforts to "harrass" Prop 8 supporters). And I guess the Prop 8 lawyers know that too. But it's nice that they're having to sweat and shit their pants a little here before that ultimate end.

  • 48. JoeInOakland  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Agreed. I like the way Rick put it above too ("I don’t think it fair for you to deny us society’s accepted form of monogamy, only to then tell us the reason we don’t get it is because we aren’t monogamous.").

    However, is there relevance here anyway? Even if it is proven that gay men as a group are less monogamous than other demographic groups, is that a legitmate justification (in the eyes of the court) to uphold Prop 8?

    I'm actually VERY interested to know where the defense is going with this, and if there is any substantive ammo here that our side needs to be prepared to defend against.

    Anyone have thoughts on this monogamy angle?

  • 49. Caitlyn Ortenberg  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I hate that Prop 8 Supporters, when citing this kind of data, never seem to get that lower rates of monogamy among homosexuals (even if the statistics were the same today) are BECAUSE our society doesn't accept their relationships. Among heterosexuals, there's a societal standard to be monogamous, but there's no such societal pressures on homosexuals because society would just rather they don't exist.

  • 50. Eric Thut  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I think it is just that Gay men are more honest… As a straight man in a monogamous marriage, I know that mono is important for my wife so it is for me…if the situation was different, eh, biology pushes me to try and spread it around.

  • 51. Nick  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Cassie: "We don’t get the same governmental benefits, we don’t get to see our “domestic partners” in the hospital when they’re dying because we’re not family!!!" Not sure where your partnership is, but here in CA I am in one, and the statement about Govt benefits is true, but my partner was welcomed with open arms to my hospital room when I was near death. At least we got that-still not equal by any means.

  • 52. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

    actually I'd guess most straights arguing that monigamy is important are saying this cause this is what is expected from them. in science this is called reporting bias. guess gays are just more open about it since if both partners think alike about monogamy its easier to actually admit it. whereas a (probably) married straight guy or a straight guy who some day WANTS to get married would not admit it since (subcinsciously) this would lower his chances to find a good wive because it seems that women would tend to rate the willingness to monogamy quite high when considering someone as partner

  • 53. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

    agreed

  • 54. Rev Byrd  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Amen again! It just may be that being allowed to get married would ENCOURAGE fidelity. Sigh No garuntee though.

  • 55. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

    <blockquote cite="Moss is providing evidence on married and single people in Belgium. Dr. Peplau, would you agree a conservative estimate of gay couples in Belgium is 2%? [Plaintiff sides objects because she's only an expert on America, but Judge overrules]…[Moss is walking Peplau through this painstaking process of calculating the number of couples in Belgium. It's a little difficult and frustrating to follow.]">

    The above looks like a child's game. I would ask Moss, "If Belgium asked you to jump off a bridge, would you?"

    This is the USA Moss, not Belgium. For now, my fight is here, not there.

  • 56. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

    guess yes on8 just ties to find ANY argument be it as laughable as it may

  • 57. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Wait what? How does he know how many gay people there are in Belgium?

  • 58. Mark  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Likewise. During the Prop 8 campaigns, I was reminded of Lincoln's "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master."
    Just as I would not abide my loving relationship being considered less worthy than others', I can't abide it being considered more.

  • 59. K  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Not to mention, how does he know that everyone who's gay is in a relationship??? Just because you are gay, you can't be single?

  • 60. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

    "But I”m struck by the difference between that data (based on your hypotheticals) with the research I have done in Massachusetts. Assuming your hypotheticals are correct, it may be because Americans are more “pro-family.”

    Slam dunk Dr. Letitia Peplau.

  • 61. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:32 am

    exactly what I mentioned! also maybe it isn't so important for straight man but they are saying so in an interview cause thats what is expected from them (try imagine answering the interviewers question on that when he knows you're a married man or the look on a wife's face when she sees him filling in the questionaire… better not risk 😉 )

  • 62. JoeInOakland  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Likewise, what does it matter?? Again, even if only 5% (YEAH RIGHT) of gay couples wanted to take advantage of marriage, is that a reason to preclude us from that option. Gimme a break….

  • 63. Melissa  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I was thinking the same thing. Very weak indeed. And even then the studies are based on opinions of monogamy, not the % of how many straight men, women and lesbians actually ARE monogamous.

  • 64. Julie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

    As for civil unions and domestic partnerships being the same as marriage – the CA Clerk who authorized the heterosexual marriage license of my former same sex partner did not seem to think they mattered. When she asked if she needed to bring in proof of dissolution of our DP, the clerk said – no, those "don't count". Guess what – it was 2005 and they did count, and we had to get a special court ruling to dissolve our gay DP so reinstate her marriage, and allow me to marry my wife – all before Nov 4, 2009. But hey – DP's "don't matter"…. this from a county official who is supposed to know how the law works.

  • 65. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    M: Do you agree that one of the reasons of marriage is that (hopefully) fewer children will be born out of wedlock?
    P: Well, by definition. Because “wedlock” means “out of marriage.”

    Another hit. Dr. Peplau rocks!!

  • 66. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Not only that, but even when in committed relationships, there are less pressures on homosexuals to marry. No shotgun weddings because a kid is on the way, no pre-arranged marriages, no families telling the girls "you really should settle down soon" etc.

  • 67. MJFargo  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Just a side thought….

    I appreciated your "side thoughts" and commentary early in the day. You clearly stated it was your opinion and I could aacept or reject it. However, it also helped make the cross examinations clearer as to intent, which made reading the blog a richer experience. Thank all of you for making this effort. It's superb.

  • 68. Robert A.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    The defense attorney is Nicole Moss. Children out of wedlock….now there's a term my Grandmother understands.

  • 69. Query  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    What are the base qualifications to marry in the US aside the forced DOMA laws? Be of age, consenting and not related. Did I miss anything?

    On another note, why do we have to pay taxes if we can't receive what we pay for? Seems we are either owed money or rights. How about both?

  • 70. Calvin  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    "New York high court upheld banning gay marriage on the rational basis that straight couples "might" have kids, and so the state has a "greater interest" in allowing straight people to get married. So the NY constitution does not mandate marriage equality. This is clearly what the defense is pushing for."

    Thanks Paul! I was getting really confused with where she was going with this line of questioning.

  • 71. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I greatly love peplaus answering! it's really really great! Well, by definition. Because “wedlock” means “out of marriage.” 😀 also he propably DID get the statistics wrong as she implicated! cause even most scientists do if they're not statisticiants

  • 72. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    My favorite line of her entire testimony "I would agree that same-sex couples do not have accidental pregnancies."

  • 73. Robert A.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I didn't know anyone used that term anymore

  • 74. Becky  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Their arguments are patently ridiculous. Can't get married b/c marriage is for procreation? Well, too bad for straights who don't want kids, are past child-bearing years or are infertile? I don't remember taking a vow to have children when my H and I got married. They are insane, just insane. Can't get married because they aren't getting married in enough numbers in other countries? What?? Because they might not be monogamous? Seriously??

  • 75. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    But we know none of them are pushing to disallow women who cannot bare children, or elderly couples (out of child-rearing age) from marrying.

  • 76. David Mudkips  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I am *really* looking forward to the defense witnesses taking the stand.

    Given the quality of the questions and testimony thus far (and the weak cross-examination)… it's going to be a hoot watching the prosecution's witnesses get torn apart for fear-mongering, circular logic and deliberate attempts to conflate Christian beliefs with the rule of law.

    Seriously — the defense trying to interject that majority Christian beliefs is a reasonable argument for upholding prop 8 is a MAJOR footbullet.

    They stepped on the own air hose with this one.

  • 77. David Mudkips  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:40 am

    er, "…it’s going to be a hoot watching the defense's witnesses get torn apart…", rather.

  • 78. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    P: I would agree that same-sex couples do not have accidental pregnancies.

    Because no lesbian has ever been raped and impregnated??

  • 79. Madjoy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I love how this was then just ignored :/

    Sounds like it would have been a question for Cott, not Peplau – is preventing childbirth out of wedlock a major reason for the importance of civil marriage? It sounds like circular reasoning to me.

    Also, if that IS a valid argument, then: If you want to prevent childbirth out of wedlock, surely allowing more same-sex couples who want children to marry, will mean less same-sex couples having children outside of marriage.

  • 80. Bry  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I'm STILL confused what they're aiming for, so far it seems to me to be a "So what?" issue.

  • 81. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Why in the world isnt the Judge or plaintiff questioning the relevance of these questions?

  • 82. Bry  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Ooooo, good point.

  • 83. Wren  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Well, it looks like I'm a minority within a minority. I'm gay, but would not want to enter into the archaic institution of marriage in a million years. Of course, this case is about equal treatment under the law and I stand side-by-side with the plaintiffs in this case in advocating for their right to equal treatment, including the right to marriage. As my straight brother says, "gay people should have the same right to be miserable as straight ones." :)

  • 84. Matthew S.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I like where Judge Walker was headed at the outset of the trial with his "Should government even be in the marriage business?" line of thinking. I've often thought a practical solution would be for what we now term "marriage" to be redefined on a legal level as "civil union". If you want the gov't. to legally recognize your relationship, it's a civil union– regardless of whether you're a gay or straight couple. Then the fundies and religious fanatics can have the word "marriage" that they covet so dearly and it can mean (legally speaking) a religious ceremony and nothing more. If everyone has a civil union, then nobody's left out in the cold anymore. I realize that it's a purely idealistic solution, of course, but I can't help but play the "what if" game in my mind.

  • 85. G.M.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I don't see how statistics from "relationships" formed in the 1970s or 1980s between gay men, relationships which had NO LEGAL STANDING, can be compared with a marriages which DID have legal standing. It seems to me that the 36% monogamy rate among gay men at that time might have been significantly higher had marriage been available as an option. This kind of evidence cited by Moss actually helps to make the case for gay marriage even stronger.

  • 86. L.A. Guy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:44 am

    If it's a rape then it's not "the couple" having a pregnancy.

  • 87. Katie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Uhhh, how about, who bloody CARES how many couples are or aren't monogamous? Who cares if you sleep with a hundred men and a hundred women? Unless you're going to make it illegal for heterosexuals in open relationships to marry, that is not an argument. Who CARES how many of them do it? Who cares if one opposite-sex couple in the entire country is in an open marriage, and 100% of same-sex couples are? Who. Cares. If you let that one opposite-sex couple get married, and you don't let the same-sex couples get married, then monogamy of lack thereof is NOT, repeat, NOT, a valid criteria for the denial of legal marriage.

    This clown is hand-waving and leading the witness down an irrelevant rabbit trail, when what the witness should really be doing is shutting down this entire ridiculous line of questioning with the above.

  • 88. Nick  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Just goes to show that Clerks in the County Courts do not know the law as it reads. When I asked the Clerk in my County (VERY RED BTW) how to get my name changed to my DP's she said "Oh, you have to call the Newspaper, they know all that stuff and can tell you how to do it"

    The State told me to fork over $ to the paper for legal publication, obtain the correct docs,( and $1500 or so to the local Fed Court, file the papers and hope the Judge agreed to change the name.

    I haven't even tried-had we waited a few years to get the DP the chance to change names would have been Law-(as it currently is in the law)-that law is NOT applicable to past DPs, strangely enough. Good old CA!

  • 89. Robert A.  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Wasn’t the sample 90% white? And the average age of respondents was 48 years old (… high levels of education, 52% of them were wealthy.)

    P: Well, lesbians and gays on average have high levels of education.

    Snap

  • 90. redwraithvienna  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:46 am

    A short look at wikipedia tells me that 6 % of the TOTAL Marriages in the netherlands are marriages by same sex couples. which looks like a much better and more realistich number then the 8 % of all gay people in the netherlands.

  • 91. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:46 am

    "volunteers Samples" are always prone to really great bias. given that only those will contribute to whom the object of the study is in any way important or interesting. the odds of it not being representative is rather high!
    (assuming that by voluteers she means that she asked ppl. who want's to take part in the questioning)
    so whatever she found, it's very likely gonna be biased in either direction depending on the topic that was written when inviting ppl. to participate.)

  • 92. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:46 am

    This cross-examiner is crazy. Who cares what race/education respondents to the survey are? Its like hes just reciting every piece of information because he dosnt know how to end his tirade.

  • 93. Matty  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Agreed. Strike out and replace the word "marriage" in every law, contract, benefit, etc. and replace it with "civil union" — and then make a civil union available to any two people who are of legal age and want to enter into it.

    Remove religion completely from any legal aspect of this contract.

  • 94. Jeremy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Defense is bringing up marriage as an inducement to forming stable families for kids who would otherwise be born out of wedlock. SO…. because G&Ls do not have unintended pregnancies, they don't get equal rights. Isn't that like saying because Jews have high literacy, they don't get to go to public school?

  • 95. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Yes, they believe we are the dirty, diseased, pathological, pederasts recruiting children into a life of abomination.

  • 96. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    apparently 52% being wealthy is somehow skewed? I was of the impression that when given 2 options (wealthy and not wealthy) that a near 50/50% was a good cross section…

  • 97. Jeremy  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Meant "can't go to public school".

  • 98. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

    if that happens tho, there is no legal way for marriage not to be given to homosexuals who find a church willing to marry them. So either way gays can have marriage.

  • 99. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Hopefully on re-direct our side will point out the statistics on heterosexual male monogamy (it cant be any worse, 85% of all straight marriages between people below the age of 25 end in divorce, I bet that figure is due to a lot of non-monogamy).

  • 100. Lymis  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:52 am

    This is utterly backwards – as is common of so much anti-gay crap.

    The assumption is that non-monogamy is a threat to marriages, and therefore a group who has a higher tendency toward non-monogamy will be less successful at marriage.

    (Read that as: if a straight person cheats, the marriages ends.)

    But then he trots out statistics that say that gay men are more likely to be perfectly okay with non-monogamy, and that non-monogamy affects the stability of gay relationships far less than that of straights.

    Even if you take this at face value, ignore the sampling, and ignore the age of the studies, the logical conclusion is that this factor makes gay men are MORE suited towards marriage than the way it affects either lesbians or straight people, not less.

    Gay male marriages are more stable in the face of non-monogamy. How does that threaten the institution, unless we go with "hey, the boys down the block get to play around, why can't I?"

  • 101. Ann  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Why are homosexuals held to a standard that heterosexuals are not. If a homosexual does something considered immoral it is because he is a homosexual. If a heterosexual does something immoral it is because HE or SHE is immoral. Who cares about the stupid statistics on monogamy, or relationship stability. I am a citizen of the u.s, follow the laws of this land and pay taxes, If marriage is a legal contract,and it is, by Constitutional LAW I am entitled to the same protections and rights as any other citizen. If marriage is religiously based and can be denied to people, then it should not come with gov. rights and individual churches can choose whom they marry.

  • 102. Katie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Unless he plans to make it illegal for sterile opposite-sex couples to get married, then that is not an argument, either. The ability to produce biological children through sexual relations is not a requirement for marriage. If we allow even one sterile straight couple to marry, then the only difference is now gender, which is — wait for it — DISCRIMINATION.

    This guy is a fool, but the witness needs to step it up, too. His line of reasoning is clearly irrelevant, and someone needs to shut him up before his rhetoric convinces anyone.

  • 103. Ziad  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

    This trial is really getting to the point of showing how fear due to misunderstanding is a cause for hate and resentment against homosexuals. Let's just hope all this overwhelming evidence in favor of gay marriage isn't a bust. Hell, even if we somehow lost this trial, its mere occurrence is worthy in its own right.

    This made me giggle inside:

    "Well, lesbians and gays on average have high levels of education."

  • 104. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

    P: Well, lesbians and gays on average have high levels of education.– really?
    so If I was against education let's say some 60 years ago I could now argue that educatuion increases homosexuality rate. cause there seems to be an association between the two :) or on todays arguing; it's not same sex marriages that will increase the nr. of homosexuals but education 😉 one should shut down the universities they seem to promote homosexuality … 😀 kidding

  • 105. Lymis  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Add too, that the combination of that "gay men are more non-monogamous" and "gays can't have accidental children" also dramatically cuts down on one of the big issues with straight non-monogamy – the accidental non-marital children.

  • 106. michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    One major reason many straight people dont have higher education levels is unexpected children in their lives, or planned children that detracted from them pursuing higher education. As a point of fact, most homosexuals choose to have children (if at all) at a more stable part of their life) and so have the means and opportunity for more of their life to pursue a higher education.

  • 107. Katie  |  January 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Even IF you humor his moronic line of reasoning (that "practice of monogamy" is a requirement for marriage — which it is OBVIOUSLY NOT, therefore making all of this irrelevant), there is probably no significant difference between the lesbian group and the male heterosexual group. (I'd have to do the stats to be sure, but my guess is no, and there might not even be a sig diff between the heterosexual women.) By that logic, we should allow lesbians to marry but not gay men.

    Who wants to argue THAT one? Any hands? I'll wait.

    (Oh my god, why can I figure this out and not the 'expert' aljflsajf.)

  • 108. Matthew S.  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Even if this trial ends up going the way we all hope that it will… I am scared to death about what the SCOTUS will do when it reaches them. For pity's sake! They even vote along the predictable political lines over whether or not to televise these proceedings! Is it terribly wrong to hope at least one conservative justice will have to be replaced– for whatever reason– very, very soon with an Obama appointee?

  • 109. JimB  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Yes, gay people have a different mental capacity.

    Didn't Peplau state "lesbians and gays on average have high levels of education"?

    So yeah – homos statistically are better than heteros, in the respect of education

  • 110. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    But the far right ALWAYS uses outdated studies, pseudo-science, and cherry pick real scientific papers to twist the truth about us. This is nothing new. See all the background on this kind of stereo-typing and lying at http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.co

  • 111. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I guess no one is objecting to the relevance of these questin cause they're all curious what it intents to lead to…
    btw: we need a new part… but I guess trial is over soon so thats why..

  • 112. Katie  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    ETA: Oh, thank god, our lawyer called the monogamy lunacy. Now let's wait and see if she calls the sterility/~unplanned chilluns~ lunacy.

  • 113. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    28 STates still have adultery laws on the books, but they are not enforced.

  • 114. Katie  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I have big, damn objections, Steffi!! ;D

  • 115. redwraithvienna  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Not if you compare it with the general population and how you define "wealthy".

    I dont know about the US but in Austria (where i live) roughly 25 – 30 % of the population are "wealthy".

  • 116. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    guess what? we just gonna ignore those obvious reasons (like prop8 guys do) and shut down the universities after all :) need to have sth. to be bigot about 😀 kidding.
    guess you're right

  • 117. Jeremy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    That was a totally different issue than what is being brought up in this trial. I wouldn't put too much into it. There is nothing stopping say, Roberts and Kennedy from voting for our equality, or Roberts, Kennedy, and Sotamayor from voting against it. There are many ways The Court could rule on this case.

  • 118. Phoenix  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I was curious about whether they weren't mentioning lesbians because there is no data, or because the data works against them (society supporting male promiscuity more than female, I would expect lesbians to be the most monogamous group) but Google suggests that there is in fact no data on this. I won't comment on why, because that would get long, but it is interesting.

    I think our side would benefit from talking specifically about women, to be frank, because the "eww, homosexuality" thing is so much more focused on men. Talk about gay people, people think young, white, well-off, childless, and male, and toss the stereotypes out without another thought. Make them think about the poor, middle-aged, black lesbians with small children, they have to think a bit about their assumptions and prejudices.

  • 119. Matthew S.  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

    "A: And there are no restrictions in the country of exclusivity on straight married couples?

    P: No, there isn’t."

    One question and one answer pretty much negated all that ridiculous 'gay men/monogomy' B.S. in one fell swoop. Sweet!

  • 120. HJB  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Just want to point out – Per FireDogLake, the DI doing the cross examination is Nicole Moss. Seems like everyone here is refferring to her with the male pronoun.

  • 121. Vincent Pinson  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Be careful when you brag about MA's low divorce rate. One reason why it has the lowest divorce rate is because it has one of the lowest marriage rates (Census and CDC caluclate on a per thousand basis). One of the arguments of the anti-gay marriage side is that gay marriage reduces the attractiveness of marriage for heteros. IOW, it can be used either way.

  • 122. Jeff  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

    And this is why you don't necessarily want to object to things like that during the cross-examination – it can be far more effective to let them yammer on and on about a point, then show why it's irrelevant on redirect. It makes the opposing side's case look weaker.

  • 123. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    When they brought up the subject of monogamy, our side should have just played a clip from the TV show "Cheaters"

  • 124. Mr. HCI  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Sadly, I have heard that argument made by Jack Malebranche, author of "Androphilia: Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity."

    He said in an interview that marriage is for lesbians, not male homosexuals. Then again, he also said that becoming a woman happens when you have a kid, but being a man is something you have to achieve.

    The man is an ass.

  • 125. Liz  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Thanks for being our eyes and ears, Rick. I am also glued to my monitor on the edge of my seat wanting to know what's going on. Must know more! Must know more!!!

  • 126. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

    did you guys see the other side's perceivance of today? hilarous!
    but it makes me guess that sc just didn't allow streaming of this trial cause of the lack of a precedence on that. http://www.protectmarriage.com/blog/2010/01/plain

    oh and they are SOOO greatful they don't get harassed for being biggots! (and the supporter of the plaintiffs? they would not be subject to harassment? they don't seem to mind..)

  • 127. Mr. HCI  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

    You talk like a faggot, college boy.

    [yes, sarcasm]

  • 128. redwraithvienna  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

    The divorce rate is only given in % of the marriages. Not total numbers. So a low marriage rate doesnt affect the divorce rate since the # of marriages is always 100 % no matter if the number is 10 or 10000

    You can argue now that only people who are really really sure about their feeling marry in mass. But well … why shouldnt gay couples do that too.

  • 129. Barb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Apparently they do mind…comments are closed on their blog :)

  • 130. RW in LGB  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

    The data people are probably citing just came out on Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com site. The divorce rate he calculates SPECIFICALLY is computed in relation to the number of MARRIED people in the state in question. It's a divorce RATE (number of people divorcing per number of married people in state, in percent), not a raw statistic.

    It pays to understand statistics, kids.

  • 131. Alex  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I think what she is saying is she doesn't talk about marriage from a legal standpoint. She's not talking about marriage being a contract under the law, she's talking about it being between two people and how they see it.

  • 132. RW in LGB  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    There IS a case to be made that the divorce rate in the US is positively correlated with the rate of evangelical, fundamentalist Christianity among believers. But it is important to note that MA's data suggest that legalizing same-sex marriage has NOT negatively impacted heterosexual marriage.

  • 133. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    You can't talk specifically about women when two of the four plaintiffs are men.

  • 134. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Well, even retarded people can get married (those with IQs below 70), so if they can, why can't we who have higher levels of education and can contribute so much more to society as a whole? They let incarcerated people marry, who not only are not contributing to society, but stealing, raping and murdering us.

    Have I missed why we shouldn't be allowed to marry? Simple answer is bigotry and religious hatred.

  • 135. Allen B.  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but it seems like prohibiting same-sex marriage would do more damage to marriage than allowing it…if we look at the acceptance of co-habitation without marriage as a measuring stick.
    If same-sex couples can live in "civil unions" and "domestic partnerships" (cohabitation without marriage, state-sanctioned to a greater or lesser degree) with "all of the real benefits of marriage" without stigma, then it seems that THAT would erode the desire/drive for different-sex couples to get married.

  • 136. John Kusters  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:29 am

    From an idealist point of view, I agree with you. However, from a pragmatic point of view, trying to implement this change would be a logistical nightmare, requiring a massive re-write of legislation at all levels, each piece requiring approval from the governing bodies, then countless lawsuits when one jurisdiction drags its feet. If it's not done at a Federal level, then with the way things are now, no state will be required to recognize a "civil union" performed by another state.

    Then there'd also be the huge hew and cry from the fundies that "they're destroying my marriage!!!!". I'm not sure yet whether this is an impediment or an encouragement…

  • 137. Holcombe  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Nicole Moss' behavior here, combined with the Prop 8 people's need to shield their obvious animus behind a closed courtroom door, leads me to wonder:

    How can I be a contributor to the public vetting of all of the people involved with the Pro-8 side in this case?

    I don't mean a smear campaign – I mean simply published statements, published public information – collected, displayed, twiterr-able, facebookable links. For example, a page on Nicole Moss. Or any of the attorneys. Complete with quotes, professional history, public information on alliances and campaign contributions.

    I say fight secrecy with publicity!

  • 138. jrw  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:32 am

    is their blog foxnews?

  • 139. Rev Byrd  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

    FYI, although you can make the arguement (Bogus though it may be) that the Bible is opposed to gay men being married (remember, in the same passage it is just as wrong for a man to masterbate), NOWHERE does it have a problem with Lesbians. In fact, Ruth and Naomi are set up as role models.

    just a thought . . .

  • 140. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Wealthy, like a pro-football player, Paris Hilton, or Bernie Madoff? Not bloody likely. I bet that of the 1% of those who own 70% of the wealth in the U.S. have very few LGBT persons in that group.

  • 141. Matty  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    And… a gay couple "might" partner with a lesbian couple to produce offspring… or adopt… or be foster parents… or already have children from a previous marriage… or might not be exclusively gay (hello, ever heard of bisexuality?)… or…

    blah, blah, blah.

    Faulty logic is faulty.

  • 142. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Me three.

  • 143. Phoenix  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Why not? They're talking specifically about men, using data specifically about men to try to discredit both gay men and gay women.

  • 144. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:37 am

    My husband and I married in Canada 4 years ago. We knew each other for two years before that. How many straight people wait 2 years to get married after meeting? My mother met my father her first semester in college and was married before Christmas. That was 49 years ago.

  • 145. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

    and the propagating of children who have stupid parents and therefore are raised in ignorance perpetuating heterosexual stupidity.

  • 146. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I would guess that it's more difficult for a gay Belgian to find a compatible gay Belgian, than it is for straight Belgians, if there are more straight Belgians. I mean, let's say there are 100 Belgians. If 90% of Belgians are straight, than a straight Belgian man would have 45 women to consider (assuming he was first to the party). Whereas, a gay Belgian man would only have 4 to consider ( if half the gay Belgians are female). It's kind of like the pioneer effect in biology – you end up choosing between 3 homely looking girls all wearing gingham. Nobody wants that.

    But I digress…

    Moss tried to pull some pretty shady math in her extrapolations.

  • 147. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Everything is on a state-wide basis. In Michigan, I had to provide a doctor's note that I had been counseled on STD's. I think Oklahoma requires a syphilis test.

  • 148. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I am! Those barren harlots are threatening the sanctity of my traditional marriage!!! Next it will be box turtles!

    /snark

  • 149. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

    If my wife were raped it would be "our" issue. It's a good point. Would Ms. Moss subject the unfortunate child to be raised by a single mother?

  • 150. Lymis  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    This is one of those badly modeled conclusions.

    OUT gay men and lesbians on average (in the 80's) have higher levels of education.

    In general, this kind of statistic comes from marketing research that was distributed by glossy gay publications to potential advertisers based on their subscription lists in the 80's, and was picked up by anti-gay people who wanted to use the data for things it was never intended for.

    The people who compiled the data were telling potential advertisers that they had a captive, untapped market of self-reported educated, moderately wealthy people that they could sell stuff too.

    These are the people who, in the 80's who were willing to subscribe to a gay publication (and letting their mail carriers know it). That self selects against people who either can't afford magazine subscriptions, or are deeply closeted.

    So, let's see, what part of any given population is least concerned about being identified as something potentially negative? The wealthy, the educated, the white collar, the urban.

    Somewhere along the line, someone took the same info from magazines like Jet and Ebony and pointed out that the same "logic" would lead to the conclusion that the average black family makes something like $100 grand.

  • 151. Bonobo  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    If they keep this line of questioning going, what say we bring in some private investigators? You know the ones, they take pictures and report on "cheaters". And what exactly are the stats of people that decide NOT to divorce even when caught red handed?
    Personally, as Lesbian, I won't stay in a relationship where my partner is cheating, been there, done that, WON'T do that again. But then, I wouldn't want to deny my now ex the chance to marry, even if she does have that side hobby. She just can't marry me.
    As for DP's? I hate it. It means everytime I want to talk about DP, I have to decide if I really want to come out of the closet to the person I'm speaking with. (Is it safe, could my boss find another way to get rid of me? etc.)Because I'm too young to be "old", the listener assumes that if I'm in a DP, rather than married, I MUST be gay. It's just impossible.

  • 152. Lymis  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Wait, women matter? This will be big news to the conservatives.

  • 153. Billy  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:58 am

    What level of intimacy would constitute a breach of monogamy between lesbians?

    Just curious – I'm stuck in a penetration-centric world over here.

  • 154. Phoenix  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Billy — I'm pretty sure most people would consider making out with someone other than your SO a breach of monogamy, even if clothing stayed on &c. Not sure why definitions of intercourse would be a factor.

  • 155. Mark  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Monogamy and reports from the 70s and 80s….
    Back in the 70s homosexuality was very closeted and something that could have personal, financial and even criminal implications if "outed". (Look at the movie MILK and see what the pioneers in SF dealt with.) In the 80s as homosexuality was becoming more accepted and hence promiscuity was prevalent among gay men.. the concept of long-term relationships was the oddity within our community. That was a long time ago and not the case now.

    The seventies and eighties also became the "swinger" era for a portion of the heterosexual world.

    Monogamy is no guarantee in either world. There have been so many documented cases of infidelity in the media that fidelity is not a guarantee through marriage. Point in case, how many stripper clubs and massage parlors exist in our societies that cater to single and married men.

    Most wedding vows include verbage to honor and love each other forsaking all others… how many straight couples have upheld their marriage contract?

    Based upon the argument of Prop 8 proponents that marriage between a man and a woman is to procreate. Does that mean that my transgendered friend should not have been allowed to marry her husband some 25 years ago? They were married in a church, benefited from all of the legal and social privileges of husband and wife, the Social Security Department changed his record to female after her operation, the state re- issued a driver's license at that time as well.

    I read somewhere in this or the previous transcript about insurance or healthcare. Very few employers provide the option of coverage for non-married couples, which is another reason that same sex marriage is a major issue for us to win.

  • 156. Josh  |  January 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I do have to say that that was probably my favorite part of this blog post.

    A mentor of mine that I really respect taught m when I was very young that the 'first response toward higher intelligence is always fear'.

    …and so it seems.

  • 157. Karl  |  January 13, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I absolutely agree, the Prop 8 supporters don't want the country to see their ignorance and prejudice. Light them up, make them known!

  • 158. Elliott Balsley  |  January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Sadly though, one of Brown's primary arguments was that:

    since black students are less intelligent than white students, their education would suffer if they were not exposed to white students in the classroom.

    Obviously Brown didn't agree with that argument himself, but he was able to use it to swing the judges' decision. It was a low move on his part, but it worked. Fortunately, in the Proposition 8 case, I don't think the plaintiffs are stooping that low.

  • 159. Jason  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I hope those involved in the movie "Milk" can release a film soon to educate Americans about what's going on in this trial and the injustice we've endured. If the public can't watch the actual trial, can Hollywood produce a great movie with wide-ranging appeal in the next 6-12 months? There is no time to waste getting this produced. For roughly the past seven years I've followed the fight for marriage equality and yet I've learned some new information from reading the trial account here.

    There is so much the general public needs to know about the history and propaganda against GLBT people. If a wider audience knew of the pure lies about gay people perpetuated by supposed honorable people, we'd have many more Americans supporting us. People would get a chance to know about Anita Bryant and the campaign she promoted to demonize gay people, a campaign alive and well in prop 8.

  • 160. Sam  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Oh my god, that is so good to hear – thank you for posting this about hospital visitation. It keeps me up at night sometimes thinking how destroyed I would be if my partner was dying and I wasn't allowed to be with her in the hospital. Bless you.

  • 161. Marlene Bomer  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Just remember, Calvin… this same bigoted mindset as already evidenced "exposing my kid to *those* people will harm them and make him gay!" was exactly the same excuse used to try to justify segretation in schools: "My child will be irrevocably harmed if they go to school with *those* people!".

  • 162. Marlene Bomer  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    How much you wanna bet that when the bigots lose their case (which I hoping it will!), that NOM and the other bigots will try to base their appeal on inept counsel and venue of the trial (the f*g mecca San Francisco)!

  • 163. Cy Guy  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    If Peplau ever gets to do a study on civil unions/domestic partnerships, i wonder if she would find that restricting same-sex couples to this lesser status would actually discourage marriage among hetero couples since they see that co-habitation is considered by the state as equivalent to marriage, but without the same legal entanglements.

    If the Yes on 8 people don't think an everything but marriage option is discriminatory against same-sex couples, they had better watch that that sword can cut two ways.

  • 164. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    When we married in Canada, the only document we had to show was our passports.

  • 165. Chana  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I doubt Sotomayor would vote against our equality, for what that's worth. She has a pretty strong reputation as a narrow ruling, by the law, kind of judge-and I think the precedent set by Loving v. Virginia in terms of this kind of argument (the logic is almost identical in both cases) would be too strong for her to ignore. I suspect that the conservative justices would feel free to ignore it, though.

  • 166. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Cy Guy, that conclusion has been found to be true in France.

  • 167. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Yeah but it was the gay male statistic that was dramatically lower… And statistically, males just plain value sexual exclusivity less than females, whether they are straight or gay. Is it possible that men just are men and that straight married males aren't fessing up to their real feelings on monogamy as much as gay men are?

    (Not attaching judgement at all here, folks, I am poly myself, just saying…)

  • 168. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    What this really brings to light is a puritanical understanding of human sexuality, plain and simple- one that says homosexual sex is an abomination because it is purely pleasurable, not procreative. (Yeah, because all hetero sex is strictly procreative… 😐 ) It says that sex purely for pleasure is a sin. It says that we cannot acknowledge in American society that we are, by nature, sexual beings. Remember, sex is something dirty and debasing and you're going to burn in hell for thinking about it, let alone acting on it. Hell, women can't even breastfeed in public without harassment for goodness sake!

    Is The Handmaid's Tale ringing a distasteful bell for anyone else here?

    Also here is the assumption that marriage must connotate monogamy- which is not the case in straight marriage (otherwise there wouldn't be a large and thriving underground poly and swinger community in America,) and certainly doesn't need to be in gay marriage either.

    If we weren't so frickin hung up on sex in this country, this trial would be non-existent. Birds do it, bees do it, Bonobos do it in trees just to pass the time- people of all walks of life do it- get over it!

  • 169. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Although I acknowledge that philosophically, my arguments are opening up a can of worms that would make the Reicht's collective head explode at this point.

  • 170. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Oh, and also-

    "A minority group has 'arrived' only when it has the right to produce some fools and scoundrels without the entire group paying for it." -Carl T. Rowan

  • 171. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Hey now!
    I am Bi and had a child resulting from a family-planning mishap in my early 20s. I am neither ignorant nor stupid and neither is my son. Neither is my straight best friend who had a child before 20 and at the age of 26, just graduated from one of the most prestigious law schools in the country as a single parent and won multiple family law fellowships.

    Not all people who have "accidental" children raise their kids in ignorance. You're starting to sound like the other side, throwing around kinda nasty stereotypical snarks. Let's be above that.

  • 172. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Its said that information will lead to bycots of their businesses. Well, DUH.
    They happily take our money but don't want us to feel equal. Heaven forbid we know it.
    Of cose we don't want to do business with haters.

  • 173. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    And "these people" are allready in our schools.
    Gay students are all ready sitting next to those religious zelots kids and its not hurting them a dam bit.
    If they stop their own harrassment of those students, and listen to the teachers class instructions, there would be no upsets, no distractions from learning.
    Their own teachings at home are what disrupts class and harms their kids and their education.

  • 174. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Its true though, we're smarter in SO many ways.

    If its a disorder I want to call in to work gay.
    Can I get disabilty for being LESBIAN?

  • 175. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I agree that things look well for our side at this time but I to know that we are ready a blog we want to. What blogs are the defence putting out, I wonder? Do theirs look just as bright?
    Can anyone give a link to such a blog?
    Tho I don't want to read such hate, information should not be turned from.

  • 176. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    A statis thing.
    There are a lot of contracts in the world, few are put in the public eye the way marriage is.
    Few people walk down the street showing off pics of the new house, car or boat with pride in the contract but MANY walk arm in arm to show the world the statis of their marriage contract.
    There are only 18,000 california gay couples that can do that right now and any and all straight couples can do that with the assumption being they are married.
    At this time, when two men or women walk arm in arm the assumption is that one is drunk or high; or at best, that they are simply lovers. Not married, only lovers.

  • 177. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you elaine ,mark, billy.

  • 178. Magesa  |  January 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I find it ridiculous that we need to hold a trial, full of legal jargon, to determine what the definition of the institution of marriage is (how can you possibly define something that has lasted so long under so many definitions?) and whether gay people are worthy of it or not based on how many sexual partners they have and if we have to protect kids out of wedlock. Each couple defines marriage and their values for themselves! And their assumption that gays are somehow less moral is grating, as well as their presumption to dictate from on high what IS moral and what IS the purpose of marriage.

  • 179. Magesa  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I couldn't agree more. Marriage becomes something that I don't believe in any more. And the power for me to define for myself what marriage is has been taken out of my hands.

  • 180. Magesa  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    All straight people are perfect Puritans. It's built into our blood. We can't help it, unless we are CORRUPTED at a young age by satanic gays!

    Honestly, this is what they're saying.

  • 181. Magesa  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I'd leave out the "as if" there!

  • 182. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    If they want to talk of out of marriage births then that would mean every birth a strict lesbian has would be outside of marriage. Married or not, because the father/sperm donor would not be part of the marriage. Women don't have to adopt most of the time.
    If gay men want a child they have to look to a woman to carry it, outside of their marriage.
    True there are not 'hunny the condom broke" baby's in G/L unions. Which means no "shotgun weddings" either.
    A far as straight couples and out of marriage babys,, most of the women I know had at least their first child before marriage and few married that childs father. In fact I've come to realize that 70% of my friends have more then one baby's daddys or baby's mommas.
    Just sayin…..

  • 183. Magesa  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    And there would be another excellent example of protecting (Puritan) marriage at the cost of actual people. *sigh*

  • 184. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Good to see you are fallowing Byrd.

    Once adultry was illegal and that changed because it was out dated and little could be done to inforce it. When it was inforced it was usually the woman that took the fall. Today one can not even sue the thrid party for causeing a divorce in California. It was called 'alienation of affection'.

    Steffi a church might not learn of a player's behavor but if known not agree with it and refuse to conduct the wedding. This is allowable.
    The claim by the defence is actully that churches won't have the choice on who they marry if they disagree with gay marriage and was part of the fear campaine. The reality of it is that any business/ and paying clergy to perform a service is doing business/ can refuse service for any reason.
    My ex was a minister and allways said she wouldn't marry a couple if she didn't like them. Its allowed.

  • 185. Lise  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for your support Elaine. While I do know some straight people who I feel supported by, I'm shocked by how little many "liberal" straights seem to want to stand up for us. I guess for many, they don't see it as their issue. But I do believe it is important for all of us to be valued and protected by our government and our society. When the hate crimes bill didn't include transgendered people, I for one thought "how can we (gays and lesbians) accept protection when our brothers and sisters are left behind? Especially those who need it most." I feel like marriage is something the GLB community really needs (ironically the T's have it, unless they also identify as G,L or B). We don't need marriage in a way that suggests we won't survive without it, because we always have and will continue to do so. But I truly believe if we were granted the right to marry, many of us could open our hearts even wider… to dream in a way we've been too frightened to dream before. It's really painful to want something as powerful as marriage, and to know that you can't have it because certain people believe their values have precedence over yours. For me, there's nothing more valuable than love. And while I do love, and I love big… it would be nice if that love was given every opportunity to thrive.

  • 186. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Hey! some of the best people I've know were Satinists.

  • 187. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    That's the point. They knew they them selves would be tried in public minds for the things they are stuping to and wanted it put on hold for a while.
    Yeah right, like we still don't know any thing about events before TV.

  • 188. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Like the bible they can be counted on to "Tell it like it was."

    They'll argue about marriage being a straight tradition. Duh, because it was with-held from gays and lesbians.

  • 189. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Good point steffi

    A marriage is legal under the law weather the oficiant says anything about monogamy during the wedding or not. Its totally up to the couple and their trust in each other weather its included or taken for granted that monogamy will be part of the marriage.
    Actully a ceramony isn't even needed. The parties geting married only need sign the agreement that they are married. No vows needed.

    This is the Public Trust that one witness spoke of. A marriage includes the publics trust and visa versa. Monogamy is only a part of it if the couple so choses.

  • 190. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Wait till they try to redefine "love".
    Thats one they really angered me here in Bakersfield on. One perponet of H8 actully said that "if its not lust but love, then we need to redefine love."
    Dumb Ass

  • 191. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    They act as tho not televising will keep us from knowing who they are, the things they say or the things they do, their faces, their familys, where they live, work, go to school.

    They know all those things about us. A lot of us are scared for our familys and ourselves.
    We're standing up for our beliefs and putting our faces out there though.

    If they're so bible minded why aren't they chanting the names of the marters from the bible and PROUDLY supporting their actions?
    I'll tell you why, because in America we don't have to stup to bullying to get justice, WE CAN SUE YOUR ASS! Like not televising will make this the last law suit. LOL

  • 192. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    LOL thanks for the honesty Eric.

    Lets face it monogamy was never needed to assure there would be a male ( hunter / warrior) to protect offspring and it sure as hell isn't needed today.

    Only trust can do that. Trust that the other will stand by you in hardship.

    My dad did any female that stood still long enough but my mom stayed with him till the day they died.
    .

  • 193. Mary Lee  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Yep but it was caught. Layers think everyone is stupid.

  • 194. drdanfee  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Yes, the equality side of this case has evidence, reasonable empirical inference, logical legal and social or public policy assertions, all on its side. Yes, the antigay side of this case continues to have vigorous, negative circular arguments on its side, consistently drawn from fairly negative starting or pre-existing negative presuppositions. The most active of these negatives are (a) queer folks are dirty, inferior, less capable … focus on relationships, period, plus (b) queer folks are therefore dangerous … ranging from mildly amusing and less capable to alarming-predatory high danger, plus (c) equality of marriage would be damaging on two counts … lessening the traditional value of marriage by linking it to the dirty-inferior queer folks, and damaging to straight folks since straight folks would be mistaking straights only real gold marriage for Pyrite Queers Too marriage. Truly, I think the outcome could finally go either way – Dred Scott had a case, but he lost in the short run, and strangely that loss somehow contributed to his equality point of view winning in the long run. The gay bashing may have to be even more obvious and mean in the outcome, before it provokes a wider re-evaluation of the negative, circular presuppositional thinking among the Pro-P8 and related (religious) folks. The really scary danger is that the P8 folks also have a plan: The USA Right has long planned to use bans from equal marriage as a future further basis for asserting in law and public policy that since gay folks legitimately cannot get married – gay folks should be always have less access to other public institutions, resources, protections. Most of the fearful voters who knee jerk to protect traditional marriage don't quite get that these same principles can be applied to newly equalizied workplace, school, or other public social domains – all to shut down and de-legitimize fair access and accountability. Of course, the religious right further tries to deny and disguise this well-published plan or strategy, which confuses and spin doctors to cover up the longer term outcomes. All of this may have to get even worse before it can be widely seen for what it is, and then have any chance to get better for queer folks – after, that is, a ton of additional legal and public policy damage has been inflicted on ordinary queer folks in daily life access.

  • 195. jack  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Actually, in CA and several other states, its legal to marry your first cousin and all the rest of your cousins too. So really you just have to be old enough and consenting. Unless your underage and pregnant, in which case your parents can give signed permission allowing you to marry and then force you into a shotgun marriage. Ahhh….the sanctity of marriage. Makes it even more disgusting that we aren't allowed, doesn't it?

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