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Lunch Break: They Write Letters, Haiti Edition


By Julia Rosen

Here at the Courage Campaign Institute we often receive letters from the general public. Sometimes they are complementary other times, they are like this one from Bill:

Dear Rick: I am quite sure the earthquake in Haiti was directly caused by the gay marriages that were allowed to remain valid before Prop 8 took effect-I know it is the reason I didn’t get a deer this year-not to mention the aneurysm that killed my wife a no. of years ago!!! Bill

I can’t think of a better response then to give a donation to the Red Cross to aid those in Haiti.

We are on a lunch break right now. They are scheduled to resume at 1:40. I hear there is a lot more explosive stuff from that Tam deposition. Hopefully, we will be able to get some more from that.

Paul has done a great job this morning filling in for Rick. I’m pleased to announce that Rick will be returning for Thursday and Friday. Thank Rick’s partner Shaun for being understanding, as Rick canceled a long planned trip with Shaun to be available during the trial.


  • 1. James Sweet  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Oh come on, this is obviously a poe. "I know it is the reason I didn't get a deer this year"?!? It's too much the caricature of your stereotypical redneck. It's got to be a prank.

  • 2. Scottie  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

    On a related note, Raw Story has a developing story saying that Pat Robertson blames the earthquake on this sort of thing… I believe they said "a pact with the devil."

    It's not surprising since Robertson and Falwell blamed 9/11 on gays and feminists.

  • 3. couragecampaign  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:48 am

    It's been a bit of a debate among the staff. Real or snark? What do others think?


  • 4. Alec  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:50 am

    It's almost 4pm EST. What happens if the SC doesn't respond today?

  • 5. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Doesn't matter if this one is a fake, others out there think the same thing. A good way to get back at them is to donate anyway. If this one is a joke, shut up the rest before they start.

  • 6. Adam Sanford  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I think it has to be snark. But then I like snark, so I'm biased.

  • 7. Kevin  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    The order expires in seven minutes at which point the stay is lifted.

  • 8. Pete  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Thanks Shaun :).

    And I vote prank as he would have used another word for gay, probably less complimentary…

  • 9. kristin  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    A big thank you to Shaun for being understanding and agreeing that Rick could come back. I really like Rick's updates and commentary and I look forward to Thursday and Friday's updates.

  • 10. Brendan  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Thank you Shaun, for giving up the trip. We appreciate it.

  • 11. elw  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    thank you, rick for being here. hopefully you can resch the vaca, you will surly need sone after all this!

  • 12. Jennifer  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Not real… Someone is playing games :)

  • 13. DCH  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Although I'm constantly surprised by the unfathomably ridiculous comments that come out of the right-wing, there are so many jems in that letter that I'm inclined to think it's a bit of satire composed by someone on the left, lampooning the Yes On 8 crowd.

  • 14. Adam Sanford  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    They have to. Otherwise the stay expires and from then on, the trial gets televised (at least until another appeal-and-stay happens, which with Pugno-cious at the helm, it certainly will…)

  • 15. Adam Sanford  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Thank you Shaun!

  • 16. Leslie  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:55 am

    It reads completely as a snarky comment to me, probably because it's precisely the type of sarcastic thing that I'd likely say, especially after hearing Pat Robertson's asinine and disgusting comments.

  • 17. Warren  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:55 am

    Pat Robertson is a revolting creature. Earthquakes happen because plates move slowly over time on the surface of the Earth which is how the continents have drifted apart and why we have the evolution of animals like jaguars in the Amazon and leopards in Africa from a common ancestor that used to live in Gondwanaland. They are a consequence of life on a planet with a rocky surface and molten core. Of course Evil Uncle Chuckles has such a warped and perverse view of the world that he thinks it was magically created six thousand years ago and earthquakes happen when the magician gets annoyed and he sends his lazer beam eyes down! What a disgusting piece of carbon that creature is.

    I highly encourage donating to the people of Haiti. They fear hundreds of thousands have perished and the country was destitute even before this event.

    This sort of event should be a reminder that even as we are locked in this great fight over our civil rights that most people reading this blog have privileges beyond the comprehension of many hundreds of millions of people on this Earth.

  • 18. Mykelb  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Too bad it wasn't Jamaica that was struck.

  • 19. JAB  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:56 am

    The original was certainly a joke, but after Pat Robertson's comments it might cut too close to the bone to be in good taste.
    Thanks for the real-time documentation of this trial, which is turning out to be truly historic. Let's hope the outcome lives up to testimony.

  • 20. AlexL  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:56 am

    I wholeheartedly second that. Thank you Shaun!

  • 21. ofstoneandice  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:57 am

    That's just ludicrous, but judging by the way it's written… I doubt it's authenticity.

    Please send my sincere thanks to Rick and Shaun! I honestly can't thank Rick enough for all he's doing. And Paul, of course, is doing a lovely job as well.

  • 22. Scottie  |  January 13, 2010 at 5:59 am

    There you go gettin' all science-y on us. Heathen!

  • 23. evenevan  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Let's not even joke about that sort of thing. There are probably thousands of people dead–hardly a joking matter.

    And if you didn't mean that in snarky/jest, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • 24. Anna  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Holy crap, I caused 9/11?

    But back to the moment at hand, yes, donate to Haiti, if you can. There's so much hurt out there that we have the power to redress, from discrimination to natural disaster.

  • 25. Jacob McClain  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:03 am

    You're kidding me, right? Of course there is probable cause to believe that this email comment could be real. It's not that far fetched among the logic leaps that the 'other side' consistently makes.
    I worked for the No On 1 Campaign/ Protect Maine Equality on a volunteer vacation for 3 weeks and came face to face with far worse and demoralizing sentiments than this. Including people trying to perpetrate bodily harm against me.
    The Courage Campaign is the reason I went to Maine to fight for equality. (vol vacation email0 I love the work this group does, thank you for everything.

    I already donated to the Red Cross last night before I went to sleep.

  • 26. Ann  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:05 am

    A huge thank-you to Rick, Shaun and Paul. Your efforts and sacrifices are enormously appreciated.

  • 27. David from Sandy  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Kudos to the Institute for providing Q&A coverage, including the interesting (and humanizing) comments.

    Every citizen here in Utardia—The Pretty Hate State (a.k.a. Utah) should be following this proceeding closely. After all, members of the Locally Dominant Sect provided millions of dollars and uncounted hours of volunteer time to strip our fellow citizens of equal protection before the law. (Anyone have a citation to a “best available estimate” for the dollars and hours donated to Prop. H8 from LDS sources?)

    Unfortunately, most of the citizens of Utah are preoccupied with what to put in their green Jell-o. Local news coverage is minimal at best.

    Again, thanks for the blow-by-blow updates.

    Sandy UT

  • 28. rox  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Shaun, MERCI BEACOUP! In your heart you know it is the right thing to do, supporting Rick and the service he is providing to all of us. I will say though I am also enjoying Paul.

  • 29. Anna  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I'll join the ranks: Thank you, Shaun, for sharing your dear Rick with us!

  • 30. Dave in Canton, MI  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I'm not a SCOUTUS scholar; however, I think that the stay expires and the vids can go up

  • 31. Melissa  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Fellow Utardian here.

    Depending on what source you read the estimate is between 8 and 10 million dollars.


    And while this isn't the most forward-thinking State in the Nation, SLC has been passing some pretty rad stuff lately. Also, one of our Legislators (Christine Johnson) is a lesbian and is currently being the surrogate mother of a child for some of her gay friends.

    We're not as retarded as we like to pretend.

  • 32. Michael  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:21 am

    This morning when i saw it was not Rick posting i immediately had this "he better do as good a job as Rick was!" attitude. i personally think he has done a better job today, i appreciate his insight and commentary on the reasoning behind the line of questions.
    how funny that even progressive people can be so reluctant to change!
    Thank you VERY MUCH Paul!
    Thank you Courage Campaign!

  • 33. Query  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

    and I spilled my latte today because gay marriage is being talked about…..EVERYWHERE! aaaaah!

  • 34. Steffi  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Shaun THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    a thousand hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would totally love you two having a nice trip and I am so greatful you postpone it cause Rick is doing such an amazing job!!!!

  • 35. Clark  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I'm definitely going to have to vote for snark on that one; as a purveyor of dry witticisms (I hope that's what they are) myself, I'd like to think I recognize it when I see it more often than not, and that sounds just like something I'd say.

    Gay marriage will make us lose the war! It will also curve your spine, kill one parent and rape the other! Don't all those things sound scary? We certainly can't have any of that going on! BAN GAY MARRIAGE!


  • 36. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Heck, Pat Robertson is saying Haiti's earthquake is due to their "dealing with the devil" (voudun, I presume). I would not be at all surprised if that letter were real.

  • 37. christopher  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:46 am

    In regards to Haiti might I suggest donating to Doctor's Without Boarders?….

  • 38. bbock  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:52 am

    He spelled "aneurysm" correctly. Fake!

  • 39. Tori  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Supreme banns coverage you youtube for the remainder of thr trial!

  • 40. drjams  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I really think it's meant to be funny. It's too ridiculous!

  • 41. Tori  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Oh and on the subject.. snark or not, anyone who could say thoes things even in a joking mannor only adds fuel to the fire.

  • 42. Brigid  |  January 13, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Anything anyone can do pray or whatever will be deeply appreciated. Our convent in POrt au Prince was totally destroyed, the cathedral, school, and we believe the school for the handicapped. We are told our sisters (3) are alive, but we don't yet know where they are…

  • 43. anon  |  January 13, 2010 at 7:38 am

    not to mention, the aneurysm was a "no. of years ago" but the marriages were upheld last year? :-)

  • 44. A  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Thank you Rick and Shaun!

  • 45. Rebecca  |  January 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

  • 46. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    thank you shaun and rick for giving up your hard earned loving time together….hopefully there will be plenty of time to be together in the future.

  • 47. Jennifer  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Absurd. As a caring American, I jave made a donation to Haiti and pray for the survivors. I also pray for equal rights for my gay family members.

  • 48. Eric  |  January 18, 2010 at 7:44 am

    A word of caution to the liberals who like to mock the redneck hunter stereotype: I'm a pro-gay rights libertarian who is also an avid hunter. Alienating a class of supporters based on their being raised in families with hunting traditions might not be the wisest tactic.

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