January 15, 2010
By Rick Jacobs
Finally on redirect of Dr. Michael Lamb.
G: Do you need a break?
L: See the end in sight. My eye is on the door.
G: Let’s get in a time machine and go back from before that cross all the way back to when you first said that kids are better off with a father, back before I was born.
[LOTS OF LAUGHTER]
Judge: (Laughing) He’s your witness!
G: Has fatherless family term ever included lesbian mothers?
L: Some, because we want to see what happens without men, but in main it’s children being raised by hetero women without hetero father/man.
G: Conclusions about lesbians based on these fatherless studies?
L: Studies provide one way to see how kids do without male figure? Cannot draw any conclusions whatsoever on fatherless family studies as they relate to lesbian mother families.
G: Any conclusions to draw from divorce studies re: g and l families?
L: No. Not looking at sexuality of parents.
G: Who is Dr. Marks?
L: Expert on other side.
G: Did you review Dr. Marks’s depo? May I play clip?
Prop. 8 objects to it being in evidence but not to it being played.
[Video of handsome, dark haired guy in white shirt with tie.]
“Married lesbian couple that adopted child after birth. No bio connection. Like hetero family, need separate category and I did not use that this in my report.”
G: Do you agree?
G: In course of T’s examination of you, you mentioned study by Rosenfeld.
L: Important because it’s only study we have, compares all children in country with respect to family environment in which reared. Couple of thousand children raised by lesbian, couple of thousand gay couples, compared with hetero couples against index of kids being held back at school. Shows no difference whatsoever among kids.
G: Is a sample based on US census of adequate size?
G: Why need to maintain as control group for gay and lesbians as heteros raising kids.
L: Unmarried and married in all groups (debunks completely Thomas’s idea that you have to use married hetero couples compared with g and l couples vs. all who have kids.)
L: Children adopted into two-parent family often included with children bio parents. Would include some of parents who have no genetic relationship to child.
[UPDATE] 3:10 Longer clip:
Prof. Marks again. Lawyer reads to him “teens living with both bio parents significantly less likely to use illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. “both bio parents.” Why?
M: Going to point that bio is important in marriage.
Lawyer reads out: Data from National Council on Drug Abuse, teens living with both bio parents are less likely to abuse than parents.
M: I don’t know if researchers use term bio parents in same way as I do, but there are always exception.
Lawyer: If researchers in this report define bio parents differently from authority they cite, wouldn’t that mean their conclusions are not correct?
M: Yes, I’d say that’s a mistake then.
[The video is erratic up here. Maybe Rush got hold of the signal. The sound is scratchy and the video in and out, but we can here and this guy does not have a leg to stand on.]
Lawyer: What is Johnson’s (researcher’s) conclusion in this study 1996 study?
M: Don’t recall.
Lawyer: Most studies do not distinguish between bio and adoptive families. Did you read footnote before signing report?
M: I don’t recall reading that report.
M: I will delete the word biological from my definitions.
G: Was Marks correct to withdraw his emphasis on the word bio?
L: Yes, he was. The word biological is not supported in this context.
G: Take judicial notice.
T: We object to taking notice without report in totality.
Judge: We’ll take it up when we get to evidentiary admission phase. What I’d like right now is the page and line.
G: Right now?
Judge: Of course not!
G: Fatherless in America—Blankenhorn’s book.
L: Concerned that Mr. Blankenhorn had not properly used gender. Confused issues of correlation and causality. Misrepresented data and studies available of that time.
L: Reads excerpt from review of book: “Blankenhorn’s tendency to paint alternative visions in absurd or ridiculous terms in order facilitate his dismissal of them undermines his own conclusions.”
L: Not a favorable review. (Laughter).
[This undoes Mr. Thompson’s effort to say that L favorably reviewed Blankenhorn’s book.]
G: Anything else you wanted to say about Seranticos study that T brought up with you?
L: Key problem is noted by Seranticos himself. Groups of two hetero and two same-sex parent groups not appropriate. Children had experienced parents’ divorce and moved home and all factors that affect their adjustment as well. In many ways more illustrative of effects of divorce than on same sex parents. All of data gathered by interviewing teachers. Seranticos acknowledges that teachers had homophobic views which biased their reports. Finally, not good ways of getting study samples. While results are out of step with rest of research literature, understanding context makes clear why results are outliers. Results have never been duplicated. Expect to find local variations with large body of literature. No other study shows same results of Seranticos. Published in Children Australia. I don’t think it’s peer reviewed, not on electronic data bases that appear in my field. None of my colleagues have never cited this study and have same concerns about study that I do.
L: The hundred or so studies I have cited and used in my work show consistency in the healthy raising of kids. Also consistent with other research. Children of conflictual lesbian parents are less well adjusted than children of conflictual hetero families. So data are consistent. Having a gay or lesbian parent does not make children more likely to be mal adjusted than children of hetero parents.
L: I think that I feel comfortable opining about gay parent children because we look at totality of research. We can see that gender or sexual orientation of children not important. Growing number of studies that look directly at children raised by gay parents. Overall body makes confident that children raised by gay fathers and lesbian mothers and hetero parents all similar.
G: At outset of cross, Mr. Thompson said you are a member of ACLU, NAACP, Nature Conservancy, and even PBS. Did CPB influence your opinion in this case? Did anything other than your own findings guide you?
3:00PM Totally unimpeached and unflapped, Lamb steps down.
[UPDATE] 3:18 Prop. 8 opposed to having witness author Helen Zia. Think we just want to put her up to counter Dr. Tam. She’ll only testify regarding messaging and her own feelings about discrimination.
Danny Chu: (City Attorney) She will testify to her own discrimination experiences during Prop. 8 and how it affects city of SF.
Prop. 8: We’ve had four experts on this. For one person to come off the street to speak is cumulative. Her opinion is not probative and she is not an expert. Her experience with same sex marriage is not probative.
Danny Chu: She has actually gotten married. She demonstrates that marriage does change things for people. She’s the only in the case who has gotten married. That’s the point of this whole case.
Prop. 8: That kind of testimony is for experts. Need to provide sample size. One single person cannot do.
Judge: One advantage of a bench trial is that evidence can be submitted and weighed. Defendant-interveners have made point that it’s not weighty. It does appear that witness can speak to issues relevant. I’ll allow witness to testify and decide how much weight to give. She’s being offered on issues overall pertinent.
[Once again Prop. 8 wants to stop stories and the truth from getting out.]
Z: 57, from NJ, in CA 18 years five sibs, four alive, mom in bay area. JFK HS in NJ. College at Princeton. Graduated with Bachelors of Arts. Honorary Doctor Laws from CUNY School of Law. Writer. Written two books and edited a bunch. “Asian American Dreams: Emergence of an American People” about Asian Americans and civil rights trials and tribs over last forty years. “MY Country Vs. Me” about Wen Ho Lee who was falsely accused of spying at Los Alamos for PRC. I co-wrote. Was exec editor for Ms.
C: Lesbian all my life.
C: When did you come out?
Z: Coming out is process. Lots of ways to describe. First became aware might be lesbian in college when I first learned term lesbian. Look back now and see clear signs of what team I was on at 6 or 7 (laughter).
Z: 6, or 7 or 8, at school, neighbor lady asked me what I wanted to do when grow up? Want to get married when grow up? No, I don’t want to get married. Lady was very surprised. Here I was little girl and didn’t ‘t want to get married. Could not imagine getting married to a man. Not in my worldview or imagination.
C: When did you come out?
Z: I guess clearest way to say was had first relationship with woman in 1980s, twelve years after college.
C: Why did it take so long?
Z: There were many social pressures to …
[READ THIS. Just do.]
Z: Well society did not want me to come out. I had a lesbian trial. I went to med school, but for a time was community organizer like our president. Trying to help get women into construction trades. One day, called to meeting and all of my friends in movement asked me to sit down in middle of semi-circle they had formed. Was also involved in work in women’s movement.
“We’ve noticed that you seem to be working with a lot of women and lesbians. In our community of color, Asian community, we don’t have lesbians, homosexuals. We would not want to have a homosexual work with us because homosexual said homosexuality is petty, white bourgeois. African American woman said same. If you are homo, we don’t want you. So Helen tell us, are you a lesbian?
“I was about 23 then. Looked at people I trusted who said that. I knew lesbians. I knew that I had attractions to women, didn’t have girlfriend, didn’t have membership card, toaster over saying welcome to lesbianism. So I said no, I’m not.
“Meeting disbanded. Trial over. I had stepped into the closet and slammed the door.
“I got the message very clearly that I thought I was not a lesbian. Work in women’s movement. Lesbian not okay. Stopped seeing all of my friends in women’s movement in Boston. Stopped all contact. Really did shut the door.
[I’m about to cry again. That thing my stomach, ‘cause I did this too.]
“Kept diaries. Had written down thoughts that maybe I’m a lesbian. I find so and so attractive. I have these feelings. After trial, I was going to leave Boston for Michigan and I was going to drive. Worried that I’d get into accident and someone would see that I thought I might be a lesbian, so I burned my diaries in a construction fire.
“Was discriminated against. Was invited to give speech in early 1990s at Notre Dame where lots of anti-gay stuff going on (in country, too). Person who invited me asked if I would say anything about being a lesbian? Well I said now that you have asked, I might. So she rescinded invitation.
“When I was delivering a lecture in NY area, I have cousin out there. Interested in books I had written. Came to my lecture. Talked about discrimination people of color give toward lesbians. Small part of my talk. Tried to talk to him. Won’t talk to me at all now.
“I feel constantly aware that my sexual orientation could for whatever reason provoke violence toward me or my loved ones. As I walk through life, especially when with my wife, I feel very aware of whether we hold hands in public, show affection. My wife is very affectionate. There are times at movie or other times when Leah wants to show affection and I push her away and say look where we are. Even in my own neighborhood I feel fear.
[I’m truly having the tear thing now. Have you felt this? I have and do, even here in this courtroom now. My partner is a few feet away, but should I kiss him here? Of courses, but I feel self-conscious.]
“Prop. 8 messages were that I am an abomination, that my relationship to Leah is wrong. When we were out on street on Oakland working to get no votes, people would come up to me and say, excuse my language Your Honor, “you fucking dyke.” To read the literature of the Yes side and see that my marriage to Leah would cause the end of the human race, lead to bestiality, more polygamy. People would look at our literature and say, “No more people. You end human race.”
“Said essentially we are so offensive, we are not worthy of same rights of every hetero to be married, that we’d end human race. What do you do when someone is going to end human race, harm your children, what do you want to do? You want to stamp them out. It all made me feel endangered.
[NOTE:] The thread was getting a bit long so, I moved to another one for the rest of the day’s proceedings.