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Welcome to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker: Please introduce yourself

Community/Meta

By Julia Rosen

Hello and welcome to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, a project of the Courage Campaign Institute. This site has exploded in the past week in traffic, comments and attention. In seven days, the site has attracted more than 600,000 views and 4,504 comments posted.

We are about to start week two of covering Perry v. Schwarzenegger AKA the Prop 8 federal trial. We’ve been making some tweaks as we go along, so this post may be useful for our “Trial Trackers” — the community gathered here — as well as new visitors to the site.

We are liveblogging the trial as it happens, posting updates in chronological order with a very rough transcript of the trial’s proceedings, interspersed with commentary. Rick Jacobs, the Chair and Founder of the Courage Campaign Institute, has been doing the bulk of the liveblogging, with some pinch-hitting from Brian Leubitz and Paul Hogarth, both longtime members of the California blogosphere. Brian and Paul are also contributing commentary and legal analysis each day of the trial. Robert Cruickshank, Eden James and myself, all Courage staffers, are also contributing posts to the site. Throughout the rest of the trial, we will also be featuring other guest posters.

Curious to learn more about this site and about the trial?

  • You can read more about Courage and this project on the About page.
  • Each day, multiple liveblogging posts are compiled into one Daily Summary. All Daily Summaries are posted here.
  • All of the posts are categorized by topic, which you can see in the “Categories” tool bar to the right. Each post is automatically added to the pages linked in the category toolbox. If you’re looking for the easiest way to navigate through the site, this is it.
  • For those coming to this site as a result of a Courage Campaign email, you can read our response to Prop 8’s cease-and-desist letter here and Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision banning cameras from the courtroom here. (If you would like to sign up for Courage Campaign email alerts, click here.)
  • If you like what we are doing here, please contribute whatever you can afford to help us expand coverage of the trial in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision banning cameras.

There will be more to come, so stay tuned as we update the site in the coming days.

With the trial not being televised, it is more important than ever that readers spread the word about the proceedings to their friends and family members. As many of you know, the testimony from experts and plaintiffs has been riveting, moving more than a few people commenting here to tears. Don’t underestimate the power in sharing what you find on this site, from liveblogging threads to the robust analysis posted daily. So, please share links to the Trial Tracker via your favorite mechanism, whether that be email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or carrier pigeon. One small step at a time, we can collectively change the conversation about equality across our country.

Finally, if this is your first visit to the Prop 8 Trial Tracker or if you’ve been following along closely but haven’t introduced yourself to the community gathering here, please take a moment to say “Hi” and introduce yourself, even if it’s brief. If you have time, share your story. Also, if you have any feedback for us or suggestions on how we can improve the site, we’re all ears.

512 Comments

  • 1. jstueart  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    My name is Jerome. I grew up in a conservative Christian home. I had no idea i was gay until I was 34. I just thought I was broken. I grew up believing you couldn't be a Christian and be gay, and that "gays" were just people who the Devil had deceived into doing gay sex. Imagine my surprise at discovering I was gay.

    With this crisis of faith–I came close to suicide, believing I couldn't serve God as a gay man. But I read the stories of other gays who had a faith, and it encouraged me.

    I came out last year and was quickly asked to step down as a deacon of my church. I was vilified as someone who had chosen now to live "the gay lifestyle" . I have stayed in my church, if only to show them an example of a Christian gay person.

    Reading this Trial Tracker has been like a lifeline— even though I now live in Canada, where it's legal for gays to marry, I am under the same persecution in my church as if I were still in West Texas. Inside the walls of the church, gays have won very little—and if we want to serve God, or develop our souls in the church of our choice–we still have a lot of work to do.

    I'm so glad that Boies and Olsen and Team Freedom is working so hard to expose the lies. I don't want anyone else to grow up like me, unaware of who they are, or fearing when they do find out, that they have to make a choice between their God or their lives.

  • 2. Maseca  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I'm a lurker here, but have been following this trial with baited breath. I'm the straight, adult daughter of lesbian parents, sister to a gay man, and friend to many others directly harmed by Prop8.

    Although I don't comment, I'm among those of you who have been hitting the F5 key far too frequently at work during the past week. I haven't allowed myself to get hopeful yet, but the more I read on this site, the more I'm starting to believe we have a chance.

    Thanks for all the hard work that's gone into this site. It's a wonderful service, not only to we "Trial Trackers", but to history itself.

  • 3. Alan E.  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I have been meticulously following the trial since day 1. I live just outside of Berkeley and work in San Francisco. This blog, along with Firedoglake.com, has been a source of rollercoaster emotions for me. My favorite feature is the mobile site. I also like the lyout of the comments, except it's difficult to see newer comments caught in the middle after refreshing the page (which many of us have been polishing our F5 keys fervently).

  • 4. ZackFord  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Hi! I've commented before, but I just want to say thanks again for your important work!

    To everyone else, do your best to share what you learn about the trial with others that you know. I wrote about this point today: Why You Should Absolutely Care About The Prop 8 Trial (And How!)

    While the end result of the trial could make a big difference, so too can be the awareness we raise with it!

    Keep up the good work, P8TT!

  • 5. Maria  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hi, I'm Maria, and I'm also a lurker here. Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place. Why can some people vote on others' rights? Thank you for maintaining this site!

  • 6. ZackFord  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Hi! I've commented before, but I just want to say thanks again for your important work!

    To everyone else, do your best to share what you learn about the trial with others that you know. I wrote about this point today: http://zackfordblogs.com/2010/01/why-you-should-a

    While the end result of the trial could make a big difference, so too can be the awareness we raise with it!

    Keep up the good work, P8TT!

  • 7. Randy  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hi. I'm Randy. I'm a gay physician on the faculty of a medical college in the suburbs of New York City. Among other things, I teach the students and housestaff in the Department of Medicine about the appropriate way to talk to and deal with gay and lesbian patients. I have a passing interest in the law, and this law in particular, so I am following the liveblogging with great interest.

  • 8. Maia Dee  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, I'm Maia. I got married in San Diego on October 10, 2008. My wife and I live in Arizona. Our marriage is legal in California, where my wife was raised, but not in our state of residence.

    I am following this trial obsessively. I do have reservations though as to weather the outcome of this even matters…given that regardless of the decision it is going to be appealed to death…

    I so much want my marriage respected on my state and national level…what impact other than launching board will this decision in either way have?

  • 9. Alex  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Hey Trial Trackers,

    I've been following your site since day one, and it has been amazing having at least SOMEONE reporting on it. Though I completely understand with what happened in Haiti and everything else going on in the world, it is still surprising that this trial has such limited coverage.

    Thank you for this site… the biggest frustration with the trial not being televised is the fact that though I cannot see it firsthand, it will directly effect my life. As many have stated before about themselves, my sexuality is on trial here… I felt helpless about how I could do nothing. However, after reading these blogs and getting to see where we stand, I don't feel so isolated. I can help, and I can see whats going on day by day. Thank you!

    Love conquers all!

  • 10. Brandy  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I am one of the few lucky people that got to keep my married status despite prop 8. It breaks my heart that it's only valid until I cross the state line. (How's that for THE SAME EXACT RIGHTS?)
    Anyhow..
    Thank you for keeping the world informed and supporting individual expression through open commentary such as this. The opponents don't encourage discussion or education and I think that's why we find that so many choose to share their thoughts here.
    Play nice, play fair!

  • 11. Meghan  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Hi everyone!

    I think I commented once before (and some of you may have spoken to me last week on the 365gay chat). I'm Meghan, a 19-year-old poli sci major from Sacramento. I'm gay and proud. :) I campaigned against Prop 8 in 2008 and have been canvassing with Equality California ever since (although, I've been lagging on that since the holidays).

    Thank you guys so much for putting together this site, and for all the other great work Courage Campaign does for the LGBT community!

  • 12. Tanya  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Hey guys, like many of you I'm introducing myself as requested. I'm Tanya, I'm straight, and I grew up being the best darn Mormon a girl could be. I did everything right, including going to BYU, and that's where my life changed. Around Christmas time, back in '98 or '99 I guess it was, the university newspaper published a suicide note from a gay man who had killed himself because he couldn't reconcile himself with what the Church said he should be. He gave up. It was the first time I'd every realized that following the Church's teachings to the letter could make a person miserable enough to kill himself. After that, it was only a matter of time before I walked away.

    Since then I've been lucky enough to meet a number of gay people fighting the good fight here in Salt Lake City. They inspire me, they make my smile, and I'm so honored to be allowed to call them friends.

    I won't be commenting much, but I'll be hanging on every word of the trial, laughing at the cease and desist orders and crying over the frustrating stories. I'm here with you, my friends.

  • 13. Linda  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I'm another one of those 'raised in a Christian home, didn't know I was a lesbian, just thought I was broken' people. I knew I wasn't 'right', but I didn't know how to 'fix' it. As a young adult I found myself fantasizing about having a marriage with another woman, not from a sexual standpoint, but from a psychological/emotional standpoint. It just seemed so much more natural to me. But I wouldn't allow myself to think that way, for fear that I would 'go that way' and 'turn homosexual'.

    I've struggled with myself for decades; even enduring a miserable marriage. I believed that I was heterosexual. I tried to be heterosexual.

    But I'm not. And that finally clicked about 18 months ago. And what a relief! Suddenly I could understand myself; I knew myself.

    I follow this site constantly, checking in between classes (I'm a teacher). I applaud the careful coverage you are giving. I find our glbt community to be quite literate and intelligent as evidenced by all the comments. I also find it very telling that the opposition provides no forum for discussion. Their minds are made up; they do not need to hear facts.

    I believe this trial will be a landmark case; one that will be looked back on as being pivital in our struggle for equal rights.

    I look forward to being able to marry the woman I love.

  • 14. David Crane  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi, I'm David and I've been following your coverage of the trial very closely. I have a request: could a commentator here review the spectrum of possible outcomes anticipated, pointing out what is good (and bad) about them? For example, even if prop 8 is upheld by the Supreme Court, could the ruling at the same time recognize glbt as a suspect class (saying prop 8 met the standards of strict scrutiny)? While that ruling would be a loss on the issue of marriage, wouldn't that still be a huge step forward for other equal rights issues?

  • 15. Ricky K  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Hey everyone! My name's Ricky and I've been following the trial closely through this site. I'm from the Pasadena area and I'm soo anxious/nervous to hear the results of this trial. I've learned so much about myself, the legality of this case, and also the perspective of the "other" side just from reading this site. Thanks so much for your efforts, and it's so encouraging and refreshing to know that this is slowly, but surely, evolving into not just a "gay" issue, but a human rights issue! Keep spreading the word to those around you! Just because they're trying to keep the trial in the dark, doesn't mean we need to let that happen!

  • 16. bjh  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I'm a married california man, deeply disappointed that my fellow citizens, by however narrow a margin, deemed my friends and family "unworthy".

    One thing I haven't seen nearly enough of is is the outrage I feel at some people claiming a terribly narrow "meaning" for my marriage. We – married folk who are secure in our actual relationship with our spouses – need to make it clear that it is offensive to claim that our marriages conform to some specific nouveau-traditional form.

    Equality is always the most important thing, but if anyone makes claims that any narrowly defined false "tradition" has anything to do with marriage, give them hell – for all of us!

  • 17. Jake gottfredson  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Jake is my name. Following this case from salt lake city where I am a university student. So glad there is a blog about these proceedings, I want to take advantage of this opportunity to experience history as it is being written. Thanks to all who make this happen-

  • 18. Jane  |  January 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I'm Jane. By mid-week last week I followed my heart and took two days off from work so I could press F5 in the comfort of my home. This proved to be a wise decision Thursday, the blog and the comments that day had a profound and unexpected impact on me. I'm so thankful for the blog coverage and I'm so proud to be part of the warmth, knowledge and civility on this site. Thank you all. xoxo

  • 19. Sean  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I just want to thank everyone involved with this site to bring us the trial as it happens. It's great to be able to follow it since I am not able to be in the courthouse or watch it on youtube.

  • 20. michael  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Hello all, my name is Michael. I was never even aware that gay people existed. I always just knew that something was different about me as far back as I can remember. We were raised in a Pentecostal home. Surrounded by Pentecostal people. When I started showing "warning" signs that were obvious to everyone else but me I was pushed to act more like everyone else. That didn't work so my pastor and my parents decided to send me away for almost a year so that I could get the "counseling" that they had decided I needed. I was only released when I totally emotionally shut down and played the role they were forcing on me. I hid my true self. I died inside. The pain and shame that they placed on me was so incredibly over powering because I really didn't even understand what was wrong with me to begin with. How could I change the way that I had always just been? What was wrong with me? But in order to hang on to any type of sanity and my family I pretended to be what they expected of me. Not only was my family important to me but so was my church family and my faith. (My belief is something that has never wavered because I know that I am also made in His image and I am the way that he made me to be.) I got married and had a child with my wife. 1 year later we divorced. Even after I was no longer married I didn't know any Gay people(or I never thought I did) I can remember the first time I walked into a Gay Bar and it was like an electric shock.
    I had finally come home to a place that I didn't even know that I had belonged. A place that I didn't feel shame, pain, judgment, hate, anger, disgust coming at me from every direction. It was the most freeing and beautiful thing that I had even experienced. I met a nice man. He was also just "out" and we have been together ever since. We have been together for almost 15 years. We are also raising our Son together since his mother dropped him off at our door 11 years ago.
    My family and my church completely cut me off at first. My parents have since come around. And they actually finally left that church. My family had been going to that church for 40+years. My parents actually met there. My grandparents went there. Everyone in my family went there. During a sermon about "gays" my parents looked at each other grabbed each others hands and walked out and haven't been back since. We have been able to have an honest and real relationship.

    I want to be married to my life partner. I was raised to believe in marriage. I know what being married is like. And I want that again with the person that I love. I also want to work to make sure that this next generation of kids coming up know that they are fine, the are good, and that nothing is wrong with them.

  • 21. Josh  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    My name's Josh, and I'm a twenty-one year old student from Madison, Wisconsin. I'm heterosexual, but I've been following the fight for marriage equality for a very long time.

    I was often mistaken for gay throughout high school, because I was always upset when I heard others around me use the words "faggot" or "gay" as an insult (and I wasn't afraid to speak up about it, either). Those who knew I wasn't gay just took me for an overly-sensitive "PC nutjob".

    However, confusion over my sexuality persisted, in large part because my favorite t-shirt at the time was a rainbow t-shirt with the word "Equality" on it. When my parents – both very ardent Christians – objected to my wearing a "pro-gay" shirt, I objected by saying it wasn't "pro-gay" at all, but merely pro-equality. Since when, was my point, can equality be a bad thing?

    Kids would make fun of me, and I got called "faggot" a good number of times myself. This culminated in my getting attacked by three other students during my senior year of high school. They did a pretty good number on me. At the hospital afterward, my dad – who loves me deeply, but isn't exactly the model of sensitivity – insisted that it never would have happened if I hadn't "advertised myself as a fag". I couldn't believe that he was holding my responsible for the attack; I couldn't believe the implication that the other students' actions were somehow justified by me "appearing gay" – that this was all a big, unfortunate misunderstanding, and if I really were gay, there would be nothing wrong with beating me up at all.

    This incident, of course, strengthened my conviction that our society is in need of major changes, tenfold. And while the law can't eradicate the bigotry and ignorance that I and so many other homosexuals have faced, it's a huge step. Reversing the homophobic mentality that surrounds our society will be a painfully slow process; having a government that stands up for our cause and the rights that should be afforded to everyone is the first step. If we can't put our faith in the law to discourage the discrimination and dehumanization of gay people, how can we expect the people living under that law to do the same?

    I'm hanging on every word posted on this blog, and several other news outlets around the web. It troubles me greatly that this case could never mean as much to me as it does to many others here – with the fact being that I could go and get married right now if I wanted, the stakes will never be as high for myself (something that makes me feel more than a bit guilty, even). Despite that, this trial is my life right now, and I hope this all ends with a big celebration for all of us.

  • 22. Katherine  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Hey! De-lurking for a minute…

    My name is Katherine and I've been following this site pretty religiously since I first heard of its existence last Tuesday. I'm a student at Cal and volunteered briefly with the No on 8 campaign in 2008. I've been following this saga closely since the California Supreme Court decision to invalidate Prop 22 back in May 2008. Classes start again tomorrow, so I can guarantee I'll be bringing my laptop to class to keep track of what's going on. Thank you Courage Campaign for this wonderful site!

  • 23. David Crane  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    A little more info: I ask because I have been struggling to make a case for the importance of this trial to people – even to fellow gays and lefties – who either don't believe marriage is an important issue or think that the potential setbacks presented by this case are too grave.

    As for me – I'm a gay Californian in his late 20's who wasn't really invested in marriage until Prop 8 – it was an unprovoked slap in the face but also a much needed kick in the pants! I think you all are tremendous. Thank you.

  • 24. Jennifer Diane Reitz  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I have to admit I am feeling tiny twinges of hope from this trial; the side of inequality seems to be faltering, thus far, and the side of equality seems to be doing well. It almost physically hurts to dare to hope again.

    I am so used to seeing only bigotry served, and in princely fashion, that I almost fear a win in this trial, as some part of me expects that win to be then immediately crushed by a later action – such as some awful ruling by the supreme court establishing bigotry even further.

    I have lost all faith in America, over the years, and should this trial somehow lead to full and true equality one day, I don't know how I will react. I suppose with some faint feeling that not everything is utterly corrupt; an odd sensation when I imagine it.

    That said, I cannot help myself from looking in every day, in the hopes of seeing the inverse of a horrific train wreck – an antihorrific victory for equality, perhaps, or even just a modicum of political payback to the narrow scum that work ceaselessly toward the suffering of innocent, good people.

    Oh, a win here, a win here. It would be a shock to my worldview that I would welcome so very much.

  • 25. Chris  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    So, I've commented but never introduced myself. I'm a straight white male. I was born and raised in East Texas then joined the military. Then I grew up and realized life is too short to go around hating everyone.

    I too was raised a strict Christian(pentecostal) until I saw the light and headed for Unitarian Universalism. Really? A church that lets Quakers, Gays and Atheists teach on Sunday mornings? I was home.

    As well as being straight, I don't live in California, but I still feel this trial affects me. Not to jump on the coat tails of the holiday, but as a man once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

    Seeya around.

  • 26. Marius Senekal  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I am a South African man who met my husband (a Texan man) while I was living in the States. After 20 years together we moved to South Africa and finally got married. I cannot tell you how empowering it is to live under the legal protection of marriage.

    I follow these proceedings closely hoping that I will live to see an America where Gay people no longer have to ride on the back of the bus.

  • 27. Chris  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Josh, I wish I had the words like your last few sentences. All I can say is I'm right here with you.

  • 28. Vaati  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Hello, I'm a 19 year old from Colorado who has been keeping an eye on this ever since I knew there was a Proposition 8. I 'Joined the Impact' and was one of thousands and thousands across the nation to march against it. (Brought my 'Free Hugs' sign too, a lot of people needed one that morning.) The night prop 8 passed I was feeling a bit bipolar, not knowing if I should be happy over our new President or mourn how many more years are going to pass us by, fighting for what we already should have.

    My Mother has always been supportive of me and admitted that when I was 5 years old, I told her I wanted to marry a girl in my class. I never went to her and said, "Mom, I want a domestic partnership." At the time I hadn't realized that you couldn't marry people of the same sex, it was my understanding that you married who you fell in love with.

    A 5-year-old can understand that, people against gay marriage can't possibly argue that I was a sexual deviant back then. I just knew girls were pretty and someday I would marry one. I still have that hope, no matter how long it takes.

    Thank you folks for setting up the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and providing wonderful coverage of this issue and thanks to everybody for their insightful and thought provoking comments. Will see you lot on facebook!

  • 29. Stephen Sallis  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I am a 49 year old gay guy in San Diego, Ca. I was reared in North Mississippi and came out in 1978. I had cars trashed and had my butt whipped more than once, back in the day. It is a blessing from the Goddess that we entertain the thought, the ideal of true marriage equality in so short a span of time. Whether this is the time for change, or in the future, it WILL happen, of that I'm sure. To all those who fought and marched and died for those of us who stand at the brink of a new era in the human condition, I say thank you from the very center of my Spirit. Be well.

  • 30. Lance Lanier  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Hello, I'm Lance Lanier in Statesboro, GA. Born and partly raised here and Alabama with both states being very conservative. I'm thankful for a mother that didn't force religion and for a mother that has grown with me in our spiritual beliefs. I'm also thankful for a loving brother and sister who also accepts me for me. I realized at 13 I have been gay since my earliest memories of 4 and since the age of 20, I have hoped to one day marry the man that is my best friend. Thank you again for all the great work you have done since this trial began.

  • 31. Aya  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hi, everyone.

    My name is Aya, and as a third year law student in Northern California who's very interested in this trial, the trial tracker blog has been a godsend to me.

    I grew up in the small-town Midwest and did a brief stint as a teenager in small-town Georgia. I was Christian, and I don't recall really having met anyone aside from people like myself (meaning, white and protestant) until college.

    Compared to some of the stories I've heard, I feel like I was one of the "lucky" ones. My church wasn't overtly anti-gay, to my knowledge (although I can honestly say the subject never came up that I noticed). Likewise, my parents weren't verbally anti-gay. I think I asked my mother what was wrong with gay people once when I was 15 or 16, and she explained that the Bible didn't approve but never brought it up further. Neither did I, though, come to think.

    I grew up questioning my identity but rarely my sexuality. I still don't really question it, to be honest. I identify as bisexual, being more interested in a person's personality than their gender when I'm looking for potential dates.

    That said, I've been pretty involved in the anti-Prop 8 campaign and the LGBT group at my law school campus. It is my hope that this trial will be the first step to full, federal equality. If not, though, we'll never keep fighting, and that's comforting to me.

    Nice to "meet" everyone. :)

  • 32. Athena  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hi, my name's Athena. I'm an 18 year old bisexual college student from Washington State. I'm probably not going to comment much, but I've been obsessively checking this site since I discovered it sometime last week. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

    Apart from the fact that Proposition 8 is completely unconstitutional and unconscionable in general, I have a very personal stake in wanting to see it repealed. I may not live in California, but at the very least declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional would set a precedent for my state to follow.

    I'm in no hurry to marry (I'm 18, for goodness sake), and there's a good chance the person I would like to marry in the future will be male, but I don't want the State making that decision for me.

    Even more important to me than my right to marry who I choose is my cousin's right to do the same. He has been with his "partner"–who should be his husband–for almost a decade. They have one of the healthiest, most stable relationships I've ever seen. My cousin's partner is as much a member of my family as my blood cousins are. And he's definitely as much a member of the family as my cousin's spouses are. it breaks my heart that the law won't recognize that fact.

    (I apologize for any incoherency. I need sleep.)

  • 33. jstueart  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Just adding a note: I feel like this trial is not just trying to overturn Prop 8, but trying to overturn the attitudes and long-held beliefs of people everywhere, whether they live in California, the US, or abroad. The testimonies by the Plaintiffs and those who are testifying to the truth about gays and lesbians make me feel more and more confident about who I am, and more and more sure that the arguments against the GLBT community are ridiculous and fragile. Funny what holding them under the light can do!

    I post the summaries on my facebook everyday. Thank you Prop 8 Trial Tracker!! Rick and Co!

  • 34. Pedro Lopez  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Hi my name is Pedro, I live in Costa Mesa, CA. I am a straight but feel that this is important and relevant to me even if I don't directly benefit from the overturning or upholding of Prop 8.

    I am actually new to the marriage equality movement. At 18, I voted yes on Prop 22 believing that marriage was something that only men and women should have. As recently as 2004, when I was going to college, I continued to hold these believes. Then I read about Mayor Newsom's efforts to give licenses. At first I wasn't too happy about it. But as questions kept getting asked, I found the most significant justifications for prop 22 and DOMA at odds with core human values like tolerance. I saw the sincere joy it gave those couples and the disappointment it gave them when marriages were anulled. In college, I read research articles that said a certain region of the brain is different in size in gays than in straight. I read other stuff suggesting the strong likelihood that genetics plays a significant role in ones sexuality.

    Then in 2008, I saw the shear joy when the courts struck down the anti equality laws. I then watched in horror as I saw one of the worst and disgusting smear campaigns I've ever seen (Yes on 8 was essentially Willie Horton on steroids). I was questioning my 2000 vote for a while, but when I saw that sickening hit job from Yes on 8, it was a done deal. I was going to vote no. I found it strange that as a straight person, who has no benefit from the passage or defeat of Prop 8, I was constantly updating the results on Election Night. For the first time, I felt absolute shame for supporting Prop 22. To think that I was a party to discrimination, lies, and bullying that reminded me of how popular kids treated unpopular kids in high school…

    It was this idea of the popular kids picking on the "undesirables' that did it for me personally. I kept hearing about how gays had no respect for democracy and that they wanted to deny people the right to vote. But how are the unpopular kids going to get relief from their grievances if the majority of their high school won't back them up. One difference between high school and the equality movement. At least high school was more merciful in that graduation would save those kids from their misery thus allowing them a new start in college or wherever they go. As an unpopular minority, gays don't have popular support or even the ability to rally it, at least in the near future. That is why they and allies such as myself cannot be shot down by the petty "let the people" vote argument and way I agree that the courts are the way to go.

    So that's me… oh and I'm vegetarian and love indie music. And no, I am not a hipster, cause I'm way broke, cannot afford to live in Williamsburg or the Mission District, I am friends with all sorts of people, do my best to not be insular, and try to see the good in everything…even the hipsters I criticize a lot.

  • 35. Derrick  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Hi! I am a 26-year old CPA living with the man of my dreams in Irvine, CA. I grew up in the Mormon religion and attended BYU. Like many others, religion kept me in the closet, in denial, and in a constant state of self-hatred.

    Since coming out of the closet and learning to love myself as well as others, I have realized the damage that religion can do to people. I am following the trial very closely.

    I have never been one for advocacy, but seeing the lies and misinformation that was being spread by people I was close to during the election changed that. Thank you very much for your dedication to getting information out to the public.

  • 36. Lawrence  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for all your work and a great site with intelligent dialog and community. I am a hetero, white, 50 , married, English immigrant with a 21 year old daughter and 18 year old son, who I won't classify and who can be who they want. To me the injustice is obvious and striking. Prop 8 actually dimishes my marriage and I fully support equal marriage for those who want to choose this. I am sad to read the ongoing struggle of the young people already posted who continue even now to have to suffer and fight to be themselves. Perry will be a big fight but there will still be plenty of attitudes to changevbeyond this. I do feel better about the changes that today's young people are bringing. Regards to all — Lawrence

  • 37. Doug K.  |  January 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Hi, Doug here. I have commented here a few times… but have not formally introduced myself. I am a 32 year old gay man. My partner and I moved to the Bay Area in November 2008… We moved from Los Angeles County where Prop 8 indeed passed by a small margin. At the time we were in an adoption process, waiting for a match with a birthmother, and we knew from all that was going on over Prop 8 in CA that it would be a healthier environment to raise our child in the Bay Area… even though we both had lived in L.A. for over 15 years. So here we are, and our beautiful daughter was born on Oct 23, 2009.

    My husband (I still am not even used to saying "husband") and I first met in 1996. We totally fell in love. As I was just 18 at the time, I was not out yet, did not know what I wanted… and so I left him heartbroken two months later. Eight years later I found him again… To make a long story short, we got back together almost immediately, moved in with one another and bought a home. We finally got married (although we had been engaged since Feb 2006) in Boston, MA on 12/12/09. With our daughter here with us, we didn't feel we had the stomach to continue waiting to marry here in CA… we knew we wanted this for ourselves, and for our daughter… and at the same time were heartsickened that our homestate of CA would not marry us.

    I recall a plane flight just a couple days after Prop 8 passed, it was the first weekend in November. I was flying from San Jose down to L.A., listening to "The World I Know", by Creed. And so the lyrics go: "So I walk up on high, And I step to the edge, To see my world below. And I laugh at myself as the tears roll down. 'Cause it's the world I know." At that moment, we were flying over Central CA, the heart of Yes on 8, and indeed, the tears flowed. So much so that all of a sudden a flight attendant was trying to get my attention to turn off my ipod. I turned around to look at her, tears rolling down my face… she looked stunned but did not say anything. I thought to myself, "she must have no idea why I am crying, while everyone else is celebrating (obama's win.)" It was so surreal.

    At any rate, this is my story, this is our story. I am deeply grateful to all of those of you blogging here. And to plaintiffs, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Sandy Stier & Kris Perry for their your courage, determination, and grace. You are representing all of us. And if I could, I would be there in court to support you every day. And to David Boies and Ted Olson, your are our heroes.

    All the best… Doug, Aaron & our dear daughter Ariella

  • 38. Kelly  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hey there! I've been following the trial from the very beginning, mostly making my comments on my twitter (kle_hungry). I really appreciate everything the P8TT has been doing! It really helped me last week when I was still on Winter Break and would sleep through the start of the trial. XD

    And let me also add that some of you are incredibly witty and completely make my day.

  • 39. Kevin  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Hi everyone I'm Kevin. I'm a 26 year old gay man living in MI originally from MS. I've been following this trial since it started via this site. Work blocks the site because it's a blog but they can't stop me I have my phone so I read it all day there. I haven't posted previously but I have been reading the comments along with the blogs. Some of the things I've read have made me cry, smile, laugh, and be thankful. I want to say thanks to everyone for this site!

    My story is a little tame compared to some. My family has been great! My brother was the first person in my family I came out to. As I was trying to come up with the courage to say I'm gay he looked at me and said "are you coming out of the closet" I said "I'm trying" his exact words to me were "Its about time!" I was shocked then he says "what you thought I didn't know. I've always known and I don't care I love you no matter what. Now I'm going to bed" a few months later I told my mom who said "so" I said "what do you mean so!" she said "did you want me to mad because I can pretend if you want" I just shook my head and couldnt believe I waited so long to tell her. Everyone else was pretty much the same. We love you we don't care. I did lose some friends but if they couldn't accept me for me they weren't really my friends anyway right.

    Thanks again to everyone – bloggers and commenters

  • 40. Mareike  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Hi, I'm Mareike, a 23 year old bisexual from Germany. I've been following the development of gay rights in the US for years and I am very thankful about this possibility to follow the proceedings of this trial, which I am sure will soon be a milestone in GLBT history. I have already learned so much reading the live blogs and analysis and I have been moved to tears more than once. Keep going and a thousand thank yous to all involved, you are all doing a truly wonderful job in taking this story to the world.

  • 41. Rikaishi  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Yo! Straight supportive Australian here. Been following the trial fairly obsessively, mainly because it's relevant to my interests, but also because Australia's politics tend to reflect America's and I've been picking up pointers for the day we tackle this issue ourselves.

    Best of luck to you all. I really hope you succeed, if only because it will show our pollies how backwards their thinking is.

  • 42. Susan R Barnes  |  January 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    My name is Susan and I've been glued to this site since late in the afternoon on Day One of the trial. Until then, I was becoming increasingly frustrated at how sparse the mainstream coverage was. Frustrated, but not surprised.

    I'm a 48 year old lesbian from Northern California, about to celebrate 10 years together with my wife Lynne. We have known each other since we were 12, riding bikes and building treeforts together during our childhood. I was outside gardening on the afternoon of May 15, 2008 when our 14 year old daughter came running outside to breathlessly tell me about the CA Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. I was so stunned at the news that I just sat on the ground and cried. Until that moment, I had nevMy name is Susan and I've been glued to this site since late in the afternoon on Day One of the trial. Until then, I was becoming increasingly frustrated at how sparse the mainstream coverage was. Frustrated, but not surprised.

    I'm a 48 year old lesbian from Northern California, about to celebrate 10 years together with my wife Lynne. We have known each other since we were 12, riding bikes and building treeforts together during our childhood. I was outside gardening on the afternoon of May 15, 2008 when our 14 year old daughter came running outside to breathlessly tell me about the CA Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. I was so stunned at the news that I just sat on the ground and cried. Until that moment, I had never allowed myself to imagine the possibility of ever being able to legally marry
    Lynne, but there was no hesitation after hearing the news; we knew we wanted to marry on the
    first day possible, and we did so on June 17,
    2008 in Placerville, CA. We drove past several
    protesters carrying signs depicting lovely
    Christian values such as "God Hates Fags," and
    "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" in order
    to park the car, but otherwise it was a lovely
    day. Both of our daughters were with us and
    both were able to witness our wedding, which, as it turned out, was the first gay wedding performed in El Dorado County. I will always be grateful for the unexpected and supportive presence of PFLAG and a photographer from the local paper. We are now among the 18,000 who remain legally married despite the passage of Prop 8. I look forward to being able to tell my future grandchildren about our struggle for equality, and to hopefully hear them say, as our daughters have said many times, "Why are people so hateful toward gays? That's so messed up."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    married despite the subsequent passage of Proposition 8. We were the first gay couple to wed in El Dorado County. I am forever grateful for the local representatives of PFLAG who were present to witness our ceremony and offer congratulations

    I know I'm rambling, but I want to thank you for this site, and for all the folks who post comments. We are a community, gay and straight.

  • 43. Dave  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Hello. I live in Santa Ana, California. I haven't posted here because I've been too busy reading, but I am thankful for this website for keeping us up to date on this trial.

    I met the person who would eventually become my spouse in December 1991. We were married in 2004 in S.F. We were going to get married again on our celebrated anniversary in December of 2008, but decided to marry on Nov 4th, 2008 (election day), just in case. Like many of you, I have had some incredibly painful experiences in my life journey but none so incredibly painful as what Prop 8 has brought. I can't believe how these so called Christian people continue to inflict additional pain in our lives.

    I grew up as a Mormon and did all the things good Mormon boys are supposed to do including getting married in the Temple. Although it was a mistake to marry (we divorced in 83), I will never regret being blessed with two wonderful children.

    My children were raised Mormon but they grew up knowing my partner and we spent as much time together as possible including our vacations. My partner became very close to my daughter when she came to live with us for a year. The two children in turn were married in the Temple and we grew close to their spouses and absolutely adored the three grandchildren that came along. In 2008 when marriages became legal we were making plans to have a family vacation with our children and their families so they could witness our marriage. They seemed to be excited about that.

    Then the Mormon Church made their announcement asking all Mormons to do whatever they could to support Prop 8. It was as if the chips planted in their brains took over. Our daughter cut off all communication with us and communication with our son became extremely painful. My spouse was very hurt because he had grown to love them and especially the grandchildren, very much. We didn't even know we had a new four month old grandson until he tragically died in a Christmas day accident a couple of weeks ago. I wish I could have been there for them, but we weren't even invited to the memorial service. It's hard to believe when we were so close just a few years ago, what Prop 8 instigated for our little family. And the tragic stories are repeated over and over.

    Mormons have a phrase that they are proud to share: "Families are forever." But it should really be modified to what it really is: "Familes are forever, unless you're gay."

  • 44. Susan R Barnes  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Sorry for the jagged post above. I'm new to my iPod, and I'm very, VERY tired!

  • 45. Ryn  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Hi, I'm Ryn, I've been lurking but haven't commented before. Anyway, I'm one of those under-30 evangelicals that the right is always complaining that they're losing in the culture wars. Funny thing that is, when you realize that you've spent your childhood having religious authority figures telling you that listening to certain kinds of music or watching certain movies was of the devil, when you figure out that's bunk you tend to wonder what other things they've been taking out of context in scripture. You're also less likely to listen to organizations who claim they want to protect traditional family when you've spent your childhood hearing those same organizations being cited as the authority for why you, as a woman, should aspire to be nothing more than a housewife because that's what God designed the traditional family to be. By their definitions, my desire to continue a career after I get married means I'm threatening the institution of the family too, so I don't see why I'm supposed to get worked up about their claim that same-sex marriage is going to threaten the institution of the family.

    I'm straight, Prop 8 doesn't directly effect me, but I strongly believe that the strength of a society can only be judged by how the majority treats the minority, and people shouldn't be able to vote away the rights of others. America is stronger when everyone has equality and we all benefit from equal protection under law.

  • 46. kristin  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    My name is Kristin, I'm a 24 year old Junior at SFSU. I'm a liberal who comes from a family of Republicans and I've been posting the links here on my FB every single day.

    Although the trial doesn't have a personal impact on my life, I've been following it obsessively and am so grateful for this blog and its updates.

    I never want to get married and I feel it is such a crime that at anytime I can change my mind at any point and turn around and marry just because I was born attracted to the opposite sex. That's just so wrong to me and I am hoping that eventually this trial will help to change that inequality.

  • 47. Barry  |  January 18, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Hi, I'm Barry. I am a law student from the Netherlands. Although I am not gay or bisexual I am enthralled by the court case. Perhaps it is my fascination with human rights and anti-discrimination, or perhaps it are the ludicrous statements made by those that defend prop 8. In Europe still not all countries recognize gay marriage, but the number is steadily growing, Portugal just legalized it last week I believe and I wonder what the new outcome would be if there would be a court case concerning this at the European Court of Human Rights. I believe it is but a question of time before it will be legal in most of the western world and I hope this dat comes sooner rather then later.
    I know quite a lot of gays and although I do not know whether they are married it is comforting to know that if they want to, they will be able to, everybody should have the right to be in a committed relationship and have this recognized by the law.

    A funny thought, several years ago, before the introduction of gay marriage in the Netherlands a different solution was found, civil unions, quite similar to what many other nations still haven, with all the rights and responsibilities that marriage grants, it was open to everybody. Nowadays gays are allowed to marriage and more straight people go the civil union way than gay people, perhaps that is what the prop proposition 8 people are scared of. 😉

  • 48. Mike  |  January 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Like everyone that has left comments – I, also, follow this site every second…even on Saturdays and Sundays (I guess, hoping that the Judge will wake up on a Sunday and issue a favorable veridict)

    This issue is important to my family – for more than one reason.

    But the main reason: we live in Exile in Switzerland.

    Despite the fact that I am an American Citizen, who pays its fair-share of taxes, and have a Constituional right to "pursuit my Happiness" …the current US Immigration Laws DO NOT recognize in any-way-or-form my relationship with my Spouse. I am left in a "Catch 22" situation : having to chose between my family or my Country.

    EQUALITY is really what is at stake here.
    Not just the right to marry
    What WE are asking the Federal Courts is to stop the abuse and the unfairness.
    WE have been bullied long enough.
    From being kicked-out of our parents' homes, our neighborhoods, our States, to even our Country !

    The irony of it all : I probably pay more taxes than Dr Tam; and don't even have the priviledge to live in our (MY) Country with my Family – as he does !

  • 49. Rebecca  |  January 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hi! I'm Rebecca from San Francisco. I have been posting here since the start and have read every word posted about this historically important trial. Thank you for all your hard work.

    While this case does affect my current situation it is something of interest should it be a choice in the future. It is also important to my friends and family.

    Speaking of family, I need look no further than my own genetics to know that a person is born lesbian or gay and it is as immutable as race. When I look around at my large family on my Mother's side and see so many lesbian and gay cousins, uncles and aunts I know it is genetic.

    My uncle and his partner have been together longer than I've been alive and in two weeks I turn 43. How anyone can say we do not have healthy, loving and lasting relationships is ignorant or just blinded by hate. This trial is more than one of Civil Rights it is one of Human Rights.

    Thanks for listening.

  • 50. Thomás  |  January 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Hi, My name is Thomas and I am following the prop 8 Trial from my home country in Brazil. If in one hand this trial may change the lives of all LGBT peoples in the US, on the other it can set a legal example to the rest of the world which has in many other occasions followed the lead of the US in decisions such as this. My hope is that if you guys can win there, we here in south america will have to start talking about it. It won't be an option anymore, since the most influential country in the world has changed things. Our neighbour Argentina has already started moving in this direction, as has Uruguai. Canada, Spain and other european counries also have changed to accept LGBT as first class citizens. This is indeed your fight, but it will be a victory for all of us if justice is done.

  • 51. Steffi  |  January 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I've commented a lot on the trial tracker already nevertheless I wanna introduce myself anyway.
    I am a straight 24year old woman from germany.
    I am of course not affected by prop eight neither is anyone I know personally or am related to.
    I have no gay family members and I only know one gay in person (at least only one openly gay. the others I wouldn't know of).
    I keep mentioning this to show to people that I don't support gay rights only because I have family and friends whom I have to defend or protect somehow but that I support equality out of deep personal believe for equality. I am christian and I could not find ANY argument in the bible that REALLY says anything against gays and I looked deeply :)
    Gays in Germany don't have marriage equality either but I think it's only a matter of time.
    I am a very strong supporter of gay rights and equality and the fact that it doesn't affect me personaly nor most people I know doesn't alleviate this strong support. On the contrary. I think I can show by this, that fighters for equality don't only fight for their own benefit or for the benefit of their beloved ones, but simply out of the believe that ALL people are equal and deserve equal rights!!

  • 52. Steffi  |  January 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    where in the wonderful country of switzerland do you life if I may ask?
    cause I live near and study in Basel 😉

  • 53. MillennialDad  |  January 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    My name is Scott and I'm a straight ally. I'm a Catholic-in-training (currently in RCIA), and identify politically as a libertarian conservative.

    I've been following the trial since Day 1 and really, really appreciate this blog. Besides 'gay friends' (no, actual gay friends, not, the hypothetical 'gay friend' that every evangelical claims to have), my first cousin recently came out as transgendered and it's been a rough time for him in our very-much-conservative family.

    My wife and I recently had our first son and, as we're both 24, we look forward to the day when equality can be achieved in this country. I started a blog a little over a year ago (when we first found out we would be having a baby) about millennials raising children, and early on, my wife and I had a heart-to-heart discussion on the values we wanted to teach our child. And equality was the first one: http://millennialdad.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/equ

    Again, I praise this blog and I praise all of you for your courage in this battle. I'm honored to be an ally.

  • 54. Care Bear  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Good Morning from ATL. What an exciting event we are witnessing and thank you for your blog so we have some different insight into the proceedings. I grew up in an amazing Christian home and knew I was gay probably in high school. I didn't act on it because I really wanted to "fit in" with my family. Little did I know that I would always "fit in". Now, happily living with the love of my life for the past 14 years and raising 2 amazing children. Very active in our school, church and community and very well accepted as a family. Marriage is something I dream of from time to time and I do believe that one day it will happen. It's very sad to me that some people oppose me having the opportunity to enjoy the same rights they enjoy. What arrogance!

  • 55. Steffi  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks for this story! I think it's a pretty amazing one! And thanks for your support:) I am a straight too likewise with no benefits but I still believe in equality as you do

  • 56. Steffi  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    so am I!

  • 57. Scott G.  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    My name is Scott. I am an attorney and somewhat of a Constitutional law geek. I am also a gay man in a committed relationship who cannot marry my partner. I live in Virginia, which is a place that gay marriage is never going to happen if the matter remains left up to the the state. After all, Virginia is the state that made the Lovings go all the way to the Supreme Court just to be able to have an interracial marriage. Its history on matters of fundamental rights is not great, to say the least.

    I cant tell you how happy I am to see this case brought. I have been following it since the beginning. My interest stems not just from the perspective of a gay man, but from the perspective of an officer of the Court who is tired of seeing the right wing attempt to usurp our Constitution and give it a meaning it was NEVER intended to have. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your organization's coverage of this trial and its exposure of the Prop 8 defendants and their "evidence". This is truly a historical event, and I am proud of these Plaintiffs for having the balls to finally stand up to the state and fight for all of our rights. I am in awe of them.

    I have to add that I am amused by recent news stories that the proposition 8 supporters are crying that they are "outgunned and outfunded" in this case, and they they are suddenly calling themselves the underdogs. It makes me wonder: Where is that big "moral majority" that started this dispute to begin with now? Apparenlty they are not willing to put their money where their stupid, bigoted mouths are. I never thought in a million years that I would say this, but Ted Olsen is my hero.

  • 58. BobbiCW  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Hi all. I'm Bobbi, a 60-something lesbian living in VT. My wife and I will have been together 43 years next month. We got a CU in 2000 and were married in MA in 2004. We have a grown married son and 3 beautiful grandkids we don't get to see too often since they live in another part of the world.

    Thank goodness I'm retired because if I were following this trial at work as closely as I am at home I'd be fired.

    When my wife first proposed to me (back in the mid 1990s), I laughed because it seemed like such an impossibility. But when she was diagnosed with cancer and our family doctor wouldn't talk to me about her case (because our medical powers-of-atty didn't kick in unless we were incapacitated) marriage and the rights and responsibilities that come with it suddenly became the most important thing in the world to me. Thanks to that idiot doctor we both became marriage activists.

    We were incensed when the people of CA actually voted to take away your rights. That can't possibly be what the Constitution was meant for! So we're following this trial minute by minute and are very hopeful for a favorable outcome.

  • 59. Randy  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Hi! I'm Randy from tiny Sophia, NC. I've been following from day 1. I consider myself a reactionary atheist. Trying to convince people that gays are a "people" has been the defining fight of my life. For me, this trial isn't about marriage. It's about the validity of my very existence.

  • 60. ns  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Hi, I'm following the trial from New Jersey.

    I grew up in an orthodox Jewish home, and while I knew queer folk, I also knew (don't ask how) that that was supposed to be ok for them, not for us. It caused a bit of a faith crisis to find myself falling for a woman, but she was patient, and waited for me to be ready to date her. We've been together 3 years now, and I couldn't be happier with my life. It's just better with her around.

    New Jersey recently suffered quite a blow. Our new governor will veto anything smacking of equality that comes across his desk. Though my love and I are not yet ready to take vows, I think we will be someday.

    We were planning on going out Saturday night. After figuring out what we both really wanted though, our date was sitting at the kitchen table, reading this trial tracker aloud to each other.

  • 61. Ryan H  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Hi I am Ryan from Southern California. I hope to met someone one day and get married, legaly, and have been fallowing the blog faithfully since it started! Thank you so much for doing this. Incidentally, if my prince charming is out there…what is taking you so long! :)

  • 62. Rebecca  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Dear Dave,
    What a moving story. You brought me to tears.

    It's stories like yours and Helen Zia's and so many thousands of others that everyone needs to hear to see the harm their bigotry is causing their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

    A huge giant {{{HUG}}} for you and your spouse.

  • 63. Marjorie  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Hi! I'm from California originally but am following the trial from my adopted home of Qatar (a very tiny country next to Saudi Arabia — if you haven't heard of it, you're not alone!).

    It's fascinating to read the introductions and see that I'm not the only one following the trial from outside the US. This trial really does have far-reaching consequences!

    When I first heard about this lawsuit I was opposed to it; I thought we should concentrate on changing hearts and minds so that gay marriage could be passed democratically. I'm very grateful to these trial transcripts for helping me understand Prop. 8 in the historical context of miscegenation laws and other injustices that were overturned by courts years before the tide of popular opinion changed. Now I understand that it really is the court's place to overturn laws that are bigoted and oppressive. Keeping my fingers crossed that that's what this court will do.

  • 64. David from Sandy UT  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Hei

    I’m following the trial from Sandy in Utardia—The Pretty Hate State (a.k.a. Utah). I spend a fair amount of time speaking out against the irrational fear-mongering nonsense being spewed by members of the Locally Dominant Sect (and their ilk) on The Salt Lake Tribute TribTalk comment boards (http://www.sltrib.com/).

    Thank you for covering the trial with updates and comments. If I had two dimes to rub together, I would send one to support the Trial Tracker. Unfortunately, I’m usually broke by the tenth day of every fourteen-day pay period (I have three adult sons still living at home, and they eat way too much food and drink way to much diet cola compared to the household income).

    Please click my name above to visit the Utardia blog.

    David

  • 65. Daniel A  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Hello!, Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Daniel and I live in Houston, TX. I am a gay 22-year old Christian man and grateful that ya'll have kept us updated on the trial. It really is sad that everything has to be so hidden. I have learned so much through your posts. I am originally from Venezuela but moved to the US after political instability. I have been here for most of my life now.

  • 66. Peggy  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Hello, I am a 53 year old mother of two daughters, one straight and one gay. As you know, NJ has just denied equality to our citizens! Anger is too mild to describe my feelings on that day. I have been following your blog daily. Thankyou so much for your hard work and intellect that goes on behind the scenes of courage campaign.
    I am placing alot of hope on winning this case. The discrimmination makes no sense!!!!!
    Thankyou all again from New Jersey.

  • 67. Dave T  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I'm Dave, an attorney, gay, and I met the love of my life exactly 1 year ago today! We're not ready to marry yet, but as a previous post noted it's also about hope and expecations, and so my boyfriend and I are both watching this case very closely.

    As a matter of fact, I have this site as one of my four iPhone dock buttons, alongside mail, messaging, and settings. It's that important to me.

    At first I was angry at Olson and Boies for pursuing this case. I thought it would have been far better for them to try to overturn Virginia's constitutional amendment, which is so draconian that two people of the same sex can't even enter into contracts approximating marriage! (Section 15-A of the Virginia Constitution and section 20-45.3 of the Virginia Code for those of you want to look 'em up.) I felt, and still kinda feel, that counsel would have been better served by testing their arguments before conservative judges in Virginia and the 4th Circuit before letting them loose on the Supreme Court.

    Nonetheless, I'm absolutely giddy about the job they've done so far, and I'm even hopeful we'll win at the top. Just keep pitching to Justice Kennedy, guys….

  • 68. Colleen  |  January 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    So I'm supposed to leave a note saying "hi" – well, here it is. I'm a 32 year old woman living in Minnesota – usually a pretty liberal place, but definitely behind the times in the marriage department. My partner of 3 years is currently suffering from cancer, and I want nothing more than to be able to make her my wife in the time we have left. And, of course, DOMA has made it so that I'm not able to get FMLA – not a "qualifying relationship," of course. That's my biggest gripe at the moment- and boy, is it leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.

  • 69. Kim  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Hi, I am Kim, Dutch gal living in Florida with her girlfriend. I am following this case intently because even when I would go to a gay-marriage friendly state and marry, I cannot get a greencard based on marriage because of DOMA. So, I am trying hard to find me a job that gives me that option, but that is hard. If we were to move to the Netherlands, I just have to go to the Foreign Police and tell them that my girlfriend is living with me and she gets a temporarily visa, which automatically becomes a permanent visa after three years. Whether we are married or not, as long as we are living together.

    I am SICK about the empty rhetoric about family values in this country. I have never seen so many dysfunctional families, in which people only accidentally see each other at the microwave or in church.

    Anyway, work waits, but I fear this afternoon will be mainly F5…..

  • 70. DanN  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Just wanted to say hello,

    I am 24 yrs old and currently living in Ohio. I have been following this trail as close as i could since it was announced because of its great importance. This website really provides a window into the court room and i am very grateful for the opportunity.

    I'm at the age where it seems all of my straight friends and family my age are getting married. The weddings are large celebrations where you can feel the excitement and love in the room, both families coming together and having fun. Its kind of depressing that right now i can not have the same experience and even if i was able to get married a good portion of my family wouldn't even show up.

    I really hope this works so not only people in California can marry but all of us in all 50 states.

  • 71. Chelsea  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Hi everyone – I'm a Canadian married to a Californian, one of the 18,000 married in California. We recently immigrated to Canada because of the limitations on immigration to the US for binational same sex couples. Obviously, it's an important issue. I want to thank the Courage team for everything they're doing, being able to follow the trial as it happens is so important to us here, and we wouldn't be able to do it without the efforts made by everyone contributing to this site.

    We faced discrimination in the US on a daily basis, be it from family members, some friends, and even on our honeymoon in Big Bear which we discovered on arrival was full of Prop 8 supporters. I believe it is a stance of misinformed ignorance, combined with fear. The Courage Campaign's directive in fact-based argument and sharing our stories is one I whole heartedly believe in.

    We won't win this fight by focusing all on their wrongs – but by focusing on our truths, and sharing them.
    Thank you everyone, for doing just that.

    Love to you all,
    Chelsea

  • 72. Ryan  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Good morning everyone! I guess you could call me a lurker as well, as I haven't previously made any comments until now. I'm a 30-year-old mostly straight man (I fervently agree with Kinsey's scale) who is married to a bisexual woman and have many, many LGBT friends, many of whom are close enough that I consider them family. This trial means a lot to me on multiple levels. Not only do I obviously want to see some of my best friends have the ability to LEGALLY marry here in Virginia, but I also have a vested interest in seeing to it that religious institutions have less say in public policy. I'm a practicing Pagan and have even performed a handfasting ceremony for a lesbian couple I'm very close to in the courtyard behind the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. I would LOVE to be able to re-do the ceremony for them and legally declare them MARRIED!

  • 73. Erik  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    My name is Erik and I am following this trial closely, from Lincoln, Nebraska. Thanks for keeping this blog up and going. I don't know what I'd do without it.

  • 74. zozz419  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Hi. My name is Sara and I have been lurking here since I found out about this site on Tuesday. I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you are doing here, both the Courage Campaign as well as the community that has grown here.

    I am a 31 year old lesbian from Colorado who had the blessing of growing up in a liberal household in Iowa City. Coming out to my family wasn't the tragedy it was for so many people here (and elsewhere). It was more of my parents saying "Oh, well, we knew that." That said, one of my friends in high school committed suicide because he was gay (but I guess that's okay, since we have Will and Grace–end sarcasm). I am hopeful that with more understanding in the world, there will be more people with my story, and fewer with my friend's.

    This trial is sending me into paroxysms of joy and despair several times every day, so thanks for your coverage and the great community here.

  • 75. Marlene Bomer  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Hi, everyone… I've been commenting on the blog since it's inception, but I wanted to fill in the gaps.

    First, I'm a 50-year-old male-to-female transsexual. I live in rural Ohio, just south of Toledo, and I've been an out and proud activist for a couple of decades at least. I've done panel presentations and guest lectures for so many college classes I've lost count.

    Being from a conservative area, I've lost jobs and lost opportunities for work because of my activism. That's a price I'm willing to pay, even though I'm in poverty.

    I remember the history of discrimination in the country, but the trial has educated me as well.

    We also need to realize that our movement needs to grow up and throw off oppression too!

    When the beginning of the gay liberation movement began, only gay men were involved, and the lesbians were relegated to making coffee and other "women's work".

    At one of the early Christopher Street Pride Parades, a group of drag queens performed and a bunch of separatist lesbians protested and nearly caused a riot.

    At the 25th anniversary of Stonewall, the organizers completely and *deliberately* excluded recognizing Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two drag hustlers who were there that night, along with a few other men in drag.

    Sylvia in particular was active supporting gay liberation, but when it came time for them to support her group, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, she was shown the door.

    At the Michigan Womyns Music Festival, they allow female-to-male transsexuals along all points in transition, but deny access to MtFs, claiming we are trying to take it over, using our so-called "male privilege".

    I don't think I have to mention the fact that many TLBGs of color feel themselves welcomed in their local TLBG organizations.

    We need to be *united* in this struggle, NOT do the work of the bigots by squabbling amongst ourselves! It's time we started working as one: the Castro clones and the femmy queens, the second wave feminist lesbians and the transsexuals, the Africans and the Asians, the religious and the non-religious — we ALL have to work for our freedom… together!

  • 76. Marlene Bomer  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Aaaand of course, I forgot to mention, I'm lesbian.

  • 77. millennialdad  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    *

  • 78. MarkOH  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Hi all. I am new to this site but have been fascinated by the discussion. It truly gives my heart a lift that the truth that is coming out will be heard. I realize the supporters of Prop 8 are doing everything in their power to block the truth from getting out because they know fair thinking people will not agree with them. Please keep up the good work, this is an important time in our country and it should be documented.

  • 79. Sarah Kaiser  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I think you're a pretty amazing guy to stick with your church and fight it out for the sake of both your beliefs and the LGBT community.

    Not too many would be willing to stand up in the face of that sort of scrutiny and stick it out when they could find another church or even abandon their religion (like so many LGBT people I know who've become understandingly disillusioned with Christianity because of what man has done with it. Myself and my girlfriend included unfortunately.)

    You're a good man, I hope the people of your church come to see that. And thank you for being strong for those of us who aren't as much.

  • 80. David Cox  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Hi-

    This is Dave in Maine. I grew up in LA and have been living in Maine for 12 years. I worked on the No on 1 campaign and I am very glad to have the trial tracker here to keep up with what's happening in my home state. Thanks!

  • 81. Karen  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Hi, my name is Karen and I am a 44-year-old lesbian. Nine years ago, I met the love of my life! To say there was divine intervention in our coming together is an understatement! I knew immediately that ours was the connection and love I had been longing for. We committed to each other and have enjoyed a loving, supportive and delightfully fun relationship ever since. We had begun talking about starting a family and in 2005, while on a trip, we were married in Boston. It was important to me that our child-to-be would come into a family that was recognized by all as a family. It was so moving to be "legitimized" in that way, even though we knew the moment we left Massachusetts, it would no longer be valid for us in our state. Imagine our joy when, soon after that, we were permitted to marry in our own state. We made plans to travel to San Francisco, to get married here in California, but sadly, before our appointed day, the courts told us we could no longer get married. We were crushed! We went on with our lives and lived happily, as we had before. We got pregnant and began to prepare for our daughter's arrival:) Wanting our family to have a shared last name, I went through process of legally changing mine. In 2007, we welcomed our daughter into the world, and the love we felt was so powerful it's difficult to describe! How anyone could say that our family is any less valuable than any other is unfathomable to me. I chalk it up to ignorance. Our daughter has only known that she is loved and treasured beyond measure since the day she was conceived! A year later, the opportunity to marry came our way again. Of course we were reticent to do anything and put ourselves in the path of such disappointment again. Even so, as the battle over Prop 8 grew to a climax, we quietly went to the court house, only days before the vote, and got married. The drive home that day was filled with mix of emotions. It was hard to enjoy the moment while passing the "Yes of 8" signs that dotted our neighborhood. Even harder was my own private dialogue with my mother who clearly felt "protecting" the word marriage was more important than supporting her daughter and equality for all. For me, this issue is one of total equality, not just for me, but for all those who come after me. I want my daughter to be raised in a world where she can be proud of her family! You see, my father left my mother for a man when I was two years old. Try feeling proud of your family in 1965 America, when divorce is the exception, rather than common place, and your dad has fled the scene because he feels that being gay is so despicable, he's doing you a favor by abandoning you! I know that pain first hand. There has to be a better way. Today, I take heart in knowing that enjoying full equality across this nation is only a matter of time. This trial is paving the way for this, and I am so grateful to those who are making it possible for the rest of us to partake in this God-given right! I ask God's blessing on this entire process!

  • 82. Stacy  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, I'm Stacy. I identify as an asexual meaning I do not experience sexual attraction towards either gender. This campaign does not affect me directly because I am neither from California nor do I plan on marrying. However, I strongly believe that descrimination of any kind in this country affects us all. I believe in standing up for mutuality and justice regardless whether the discrimination directly affects me or not.

  • 83. Sarah Kaiser  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hey guys, been perusing the site for a while so I thought I'd drop a line.

    I'm a 20 year old college student up in Rochester NY.

    I didn't think I was a lesbian until I was 17. I grew with a single mother in a pretty redneck, oddly conservative town considering it was in upstate NY and where 'lesbian' was considered an insult.(and one used on me frequently, ironically, maybe they were just trying to tell me something)

    My relationship with Kelly made me realize why the thought of going out with my guyfriends made my stomach turn. All my life I've had close girl friends who I'd end up quite literally hurting myself over as 'punishment' for thinking sick thoughts about them. (Like the urge to lean over and kiss them at sleepovers, and more that I'm sure you can imagine.)

    My mother and I didn't speak for months after she figured it out a year after I'd gotten together with her. My mother is a pretty decent fox-news watching god-fearing type person, and though she still thinks I'm 'confused' I'm lucky that she loves me anyways.

    Kelly, whom I'll have been with for 3 years starting next month, is by far the person who makes me happiest in life. I love both her, and her family who seem to have adopted me. I'm a very lucky person to have her and them.

  • 84. James O'Neill  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    My name is Jim and I am a hetero Unitarian Universalist. My church had a talk about getting straight people involved in the gay rights movement last Sunday. We had the person who started PLAG speak at out church which was great.

    I have been BLogging about gay rights since 2006 and have hit it much harder in the last 2 years or so since everything has gone crazy.

    Thanks again for all of the coverage. I really appreciate it.

  • 85. Jaxon  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Hi! I'm from Nebraska, home to this gem of constitutional law:

    "Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in Nebraska. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in Nebraska."

    I, and many others here in Nebraska are closely watching this case. Thanks so much to the Courage Campaign for their hard work!

  • 86. Dave  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Hi everybody! I'm a straight 40-something Canadian married to a Californian & living in Oxnard, California. I'm here following the trial because it just seems so obvious. I am saddened and horrified by the stories I read and I don't understand how folks on the other side can hold the views they have.

    Regardless of how this plays out, what's most important to me is that my 6 month old son grows up with the right values: two people who love one another should be free to express that love any way they like without being afraid and without being subject to hate. These are the real family values.

    Finally, a hopeful story: a while ago, before the California supreme court ruling that began all this, my wife & I got to know one of the staff at our local Starbucks, a young openly gay man. One afternoon we were out shopping and ran into him. After saying "hi", he ran over to the next aisle and dragged his partner over to meet us, who he introduced as his husband. It's a small thing, but I saw this as a sign that things were (are) changing for the better.

  • 87. Cody  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    My name is Cody Murphy, and I greatly appreciate this site…even though it can make me burst into tears at the most unexpected locations…. Thank you very, very much.

  • 88. Nathan  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Nathan here – 26 yr gay male, Chicago resident, Pittsburgh native. I've been following the trial via prop 8 trail tracker from the beginning. I'm become obsessed!

    Everyone is doing a fantastic job here and I extend my hand in thanks for keeping us all informed as well as a thanks for interjecting your own personal insights on the trial. The briefings provided before and after testimony or at the end of the day are so valuable.

    Great work and keep it up!
    :::sending support::::

  • 89. Lisa  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I'm Lisa, and I came out to my mom this Sunday. I'm an undergrad right now interested in law school, so following this trial is fascinating and emotional for me on many levels. Thank you so much for this, I was so disappointed when the video of the proceedings was blocked!

  • 90. CS  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you all for your great work — it's essential that this landmark trial be covered, and I have been glued to the site since day one.

    I'm a married gay woman living in New York City, lucky enough to have the support of my family. My wife and I still face discrimination — we constantly monitor when and where we feel safe holding hands, for example. On a fgew occasions, we've ridden the subway next to people who are having casually homophobic conversations, threatening violence to out gay people. On the other side, sometimes men on the street proposition my wife and me for sex, a totally degrading experience.

    I challenge any straight couple to walk in a gay couples' shoes for a few weeks. I dare them to go even a day without mentioning each other to friends, family, or co-workers, or to be satisfied in a world that does not show them represented positively in all sorts of media all the time. Anyone who thinks domestic partnerships and/or civil unions are equal to marriage should 1) read up on the thousands of rights that are NOT provided by those lesser institutions, and 2) register for a civil union instead of a marriage license. Tell your family you're doing that instead, and see what happens and how you feel. Say goodbye to the entire straight wedding industry, and then tell me it's "just a word."

    "Separate but equal" is wrong — and this isn't even "equal," anyway. History is on our side, and I am looking forward to today's testimony working to help win our civil rights.

  • 91. Layne  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Hi,

    My name is Layne, and I live in Chicago, IL. When I lived in Portland, OR I volunteered for the No on 36 campaign in 2004. [36 was anti-marriage equality ballot measure to amend the Oregon constitution] Unfortunately, the amendment passed, but during the campaign I met some amazing people and saw the impact this issue had on so many lives.

    Since then, I've been following the progress of marriage equality, and this is the current battlefront.

    In reading P8TT I've been riveted not only by the stories of the plaintiffs, but also the great care that the attorneys on the plaintiffs' side have taken in presenting their case. The arguments they have presented are both compelling and reasonable, and hopefully they will both help to win marriage equality, and change peoples' minds about this issue.

    Thanks for the invaluable service you provide by providing coverage of this trial – coverage that has been denied to us by almost every other outlet.

  • 92. Aaron C  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    I am more of a lurker than a poster. My name is Aaron, I am 29, gay, and living in the Washington DC area. I have been telling my straight and gay friends alike to this site.

    You are doing a great job, I love all the different perspectives!

    -Aaron

  • 93. CS  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Congratulations on coming out to your mom! No matter how she takes it, it's the best thing you can do. Coming out makes change possible.

  • 94. Sandy Snyder  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Hi,
    Introducing myself per your request! My wife and I are one of the 18,000 couples who got married in California between May and November, 2008. We live in Virginia, a state that passes a new law every year to remind us how much they hate us, just in case we had forgotten from the previous year. We have been together 25 years, and are hopeful that our marriage will be recognized Federally in our lifetime.

    I have been reading your transcriptions of the trial and your analysis and opinions, and very much appreciate your doing this. Thank you.

    Sandy Snyder

  • 95. SpoonmanTX  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

    My name is Kyle, born and raised in Houston, went to Baylor University (yes… the big Baptist one), and now live in what seems to be the only slightly liberal bastion in the state in Austin.

    To what I'm sure is the dismay of my boss I have been refreshing this site every hour to follow what has been happening. Thank you so much for the work you're doing.

    Today is also my birthday… I am now officially in my 30s… it would be nice to see equal rights and protection under the law before I get to 35!

  • 96. Greg  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

    What's up everyone?! Personally, I'm not Gay, but I support equal rights for all, and I'm following the trial closely because of the important ramifications for all of us. I feel like looking back, we're all going to view this trial as a pivotal moment in civil rights. It's shocking to me that the Supreme Court put the trial in the dark, which makes this website all the more important. I just hope someone writes a great book / play / movie based on the trial so that the general public will actually pay attention to some of the testimony (it worked for the scopes trial!). Keep up the great work!

  • 97. Terri  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I'm Terri in Memphis. I'm a straight female follower of Christ. Like one of the previous commenters I started out on the wrong side of this issue. Ironic because I have always been a strong supporter of GLBT persons in other issues and areas. Believing that marriage was primarily a religious institution I really didn't see what the big deal was about "keeping marriage as God defined it, one man, one woman" I had no problem with civil unions, in fact my ideal solution to the issue at the time was get the government out of the marriage business and let everyone have a civil union for state purposes and whatever religious or civil ceremony they wanted to celebrate their relationship beyond that.

    Fortunately by the time my state voted on Constitutional Amendment #1 I had changed my views and I voted no, one of less than 20% of our voters to do so. I am so sad that the very first amendment ever added to TN's constitution is one which denies marriage to our GLBT citizens and I am praying for the day when it is overturned. I am watching this site multiple times daily keeping track of what the court is doing and hoping and praying for a successful out come. Many times during the last week I have wept at the testimony along with the livebloggers here.

    I move in very conservative circles being a homeschooling mom (academic not religious reasons drive our decision but that is not often the case here) and sometimes have felt as if I am in a closet of my own knowing that if the extent of my true views were known my child would be shunned by certain of her friends. I guess we broke out of that closet a few months back when we participated in a local world AIDS day event and my daughter ended up featured in the newspaper coverage of the event. I am becoming a voice in those circles that is at least being heard arguing the other side.

    So many of us in the church in America are trained to be afraid to think outside the box. One thing I think this trial is beginning to expose and one reason I wish that it was getting more coverage is the fallacy of the position that ss marriage in any way threatens 'traditional' (whatever that word means…and didn't Christ have a lot to say about not being bound to tradition over doing justice and loving mercy?) marriage.

    Anyway, enough rambling from me. I don't know how much I'll comment but since we were invited to delurk I thought I would let you know I was here.

  • 98. Alice  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Hi, I'm Alice. I'm a 20-year-old gay woman from Scotland, where same-sex couples are allowed to get civil partnerships but not yet marriages. I'm not out to many people in real life or online, because not everyone I know would react well or even believe me, and I don't want to put my relationships through that stress. I am comfortable with my sexuality, but outing myself or even thinking about doing so makes me incredibly anxious. I would like to get married one day, and I'm hoping that eventually it will be possible to do that with the full support of the law as well as my loved ones.

    I have never understood the rationale for forbidding loving, committed same-sex couples to marry. The transcripts and analysis on this blog are proving again and again how flimsy the arguments against marriage equality are. It is incredibly heartening to see so many people, including many who will never be directly affected by the outcome of this trial, standing up for justice and truth.

  • 99. Niles  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Hi, I'm Niles, mostly lurker but I've dropped one or two comments. I'm a straight man in Chicago, IL attending Seminary with the ultimate goal of becoming a Lutheran pastor. My mother is also a Lutheran pastor, and has been the senior pastor at an open and affirming congregation for the last 11 years. My church body, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted last summer to develop policies and rites that would allow same-gender couples to commit to their relationship the same way opposite-gender couples can in marriage. We're not calling it marriage, though it's likely that we'll start having that conversation at some point.

    GLBT equality is one of the issues that I, as a religious leader, care most deeply about. It's a justice issue for me, an issue where the conventional wisdom within my faith tradition is quite clearly in direct opposition to the very teachings we claim to uphold. I hate the fact that so many Christians are intolerant, and that the faith itself has caused so much harm, grief, and pain. I make it my business to challenge the assumptions so many people make about the church, especially the ones ostensibly based on scripture.

  • 100. Alan E.  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:15 am

    To add, I am 25 living in the SF Bay Area. I got married to my partner on Nov. 3, 2008 (day before election). We had a small ceremony in the courthouse, but have been waiting to throw a reception party since. I feel lucky to be living in the tines and area where I don't have to hide who I am most of the time, but I felt most upset in the trial when Chauncey was discussing the history of gay people in America. What disturbed me the most is that most gay youth today feel comfortable with being out without knowing the pains many people had to go through to get to this place. My hope is that this case helps shine a light on repression and vitriol in the country (and world) today and yesterday.

  • 101. Joan  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for sharing your story, Doug. And thank you for always holding your faith in the possibility of your family. You did it! Now the rest of the nation is about to catch up with you. Love to you, Aaron, and Ariella!!

  • 102. Lymis  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Hi, I'm Peter.

    My husband and I are one of the out-of-state couples that flew to California during the equality window and were married on September 10, 2008 in San Francisco. We live in Illinois.

    I'm a 49 year old gay man, Navy Veteran and graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. Raised Catholic, I eventually left the church when I got pitched out (oh, so politely) of my parish after I came out in my 30's.

    My family, after some rough and bumpy periods, has been very supportive of me, and have embraced my husband as a member of the family.

    Even so, it has been very clear to us how critical this lawsuit and its parallels are. I'm one of seven kids, and when each of the others married, there were gifts and phone calls, and parties, and even those who couldn't attend the events (military family) demanded details and sent gifts, and all that.

    When Jim and I got married, we got nice cards from a few of my family, one gift, and a couple of politely worded notes saying how nice we looked in the photos. It's obvious to us that, even though the family accepts us and loves him, they don't see us as "really" married like they are.

    HIs brothers and sisters don't speak to him since he came out, and definitely don't recognize our marriage.

    The parts of the trial about the financial realities hit home for us too. I'm looking for work, but since I can't be listed on his insurance, over half my unemployment goes to my insurance premiums. Even though I am a veteran, since our marriage isn't recognized, we couldn't use my VA benefits to buy the house, so we're paying more for the mortgage than a straight couple would, and so on.

    I'm riveted to this trial. Thanks to everyone for keeping the information flowing.

  • 103. Nathan  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Hi Lisa – I want to say reading your post put a huge smile on my face. It takes an extreme amount of courage to come out. You sure have my support.

    Coming out to my parents was a good experience. They both excepted and supported me one-hundred percent, and that type of support really makes self-acceptance and the transition from being into the closet to being open about your sexuality much easier. It also opens the door for you to become more confident in opening up to others.

    So, hey if you need support outside of those you open up to, please know there is tons of support out there, including myself.

  • 104. Joan  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Thank you, Karen, for sharing this beautiful story. And thank you for your ongoing commitment to and faith in the reality of marriage equity for everyone. I believe that we are about to see your dream be something real for all of us–in every state!! God bless you and your beautiful family!!

  • 105. Mairin  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:25 am

    My name is Mairin; I'm a single, Catholic woman living in Chicago. (I point out the Catholic part as proof that we don't all suck)

    I can't understand why more people can't see this as a social justice issue. I can't fathom the levels of hate people have toward their brothers and sisters in humanity. I can't fathom that people's RIGHTS were put up for a popular vote. It makes me ill.

  • 106. Mairin  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:26 am

    hmm… that should've said single, straight Catholic woman. That might've further emphasized that not all straight Catholic suck.

  • 107. Don Davis  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:35 am

    My name is Don Davis. I'm a 29 year old openly gay bankruptcy attorney in Raleigh, NC. I'm following the trial closely through this blog and I very much appreciate the hard work and the insightful analysis. I share the feelings of the plaintiffs. I have been dating a great guy for about a year now, and for us, like the plaintiffs, the natural next step is marriage. But we can't, because both the State of North Carolina and the federal government say that our relationship isn't equal to that of a heterosexual couple.

    As a practitioner in bankruptcy law, I see gay couples on an almost weekly basis who are forced to file separate cases (thereby incurring two sets of court costs and filing fees and two sets of attorney fees) because they are not permitted to marry. Having to seek bankruptcy relief costs gay couples twice as much as heterosexual couples. They also have to file separate tax returns, which costs them a great deal more in time and money. They also have to endure the awkwardness of trying to explain that they live and commingle finances like married couples, but had to file separately because the law says they can't marry. These are constant reminders to me that our society and our country treats us as second-class citizens.

    The fear-mongering and hate-mongering that the proponents of anti-gay initiatives have propagated must end. I hope that this blog will serve as a part of the solution that is educating the public about our community and our lives. Our souls and our spirits are no different than yours. We feel the same pain and hurt that you do. And right now, we're feeling it pretty intensely.

    As I am sure is true of so many who follow this blog, I am emboldened by the testimony in and the progress of the plaintiffs' case. Many thanks to those at the Courage Campaign and everyone else who makes this blog possible. God bless you all.

  • 108. George  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Hi I'm George –

    I'm the resident troll here, at least that's what I've been accused of by the other commenters.

    I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and any other combinations of sexes is not a marriage. I think that the only reason that gay marriage is even an issue today is because perceptions of marriage have been distorted over the last 40 years.

    Marriage never needed to be defined because it was a matter of common sense: men and women produce children, and those who create children should be responsible for their nurturing and upbringing.

    Selfish attitudes and anti-establishment views of the 1960s, spawned a generation that wanted to turn marriage from a selfless institution in which the man and woman gave up their individuality to become one person and formed the basis of the family, to a selfish institution in which each partner is seeking personal happiness and children are irrelevant. This attitude of selfishness led to the degeneration of marriage such that divorces are commonplace: "If I am not happy, then I am ending the marriage, reagrdless of how it impacts my spouse or my children."

    Today, many people decide to get married only "for love," "to be happy," for the government benefits, and other reasons separate from procreation. And that's why marriage is the mess it is today. It's why the divorce rate is so high and why the number of children having the benefit of both parents is so low.

    The argument of gay rights advocates is essentially thus: that since marriage has been bastardized in practice by the heterosexual population, that we might as well bastardize it further and allow any two parties to get married.

    I think we need to go in the other direction and repeal the no-fault divorce laws, re-emphasize that marriage is not a vehicle for rights or providing happiness, and restore the respect of the institution to what it is: the selfless union of men and women to become one, procreate and provide children the security, love, and right of their mommies and daddies. I think that non-procreating couples should be able to marry as a public symbol to society that this is the union that society values; the only union that implicitly leads to children and promotes parental responsibility for those children.

    If other people wish to pair up and obtain the government rights given to married couples, then they should seek those rights via civil union, not try to change the definition of marriage to something which it is not.

  • 109. Jen  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Hi everyone, I'm Jen. Born and raised in MO, I'm a 26 year old cube-dweller by day, law student by night.

    I had some minor turbulence growing up and coming out (dating a Mormon girl will do that), but I have been blessed with supportive family, friends, teachers and co-workers. My heart aches for those who have had a less positive experience.

    Four years ago I met my wife at school, and three weeks ago we were married in Vermont. I look forward to the day that our marriage will be recognized across the country.

    Thank you to all that have been involved with the No on Prop 8 campaign, the amazing Trial Trackers here, and our legal team – the dream of marriage equality is in good hands.

  • 110. Pam  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Hi, I'm Pam from Cincinnati. I'm a 46 year old lesbian who celebrated the 20 year anniversary of my first (legally unrecognized) wedding with my wife in 1989 by finally changing my last name to hers and by marrying her officially in P-town this past July. We grew tired of waiting for Ohio to come around to legalizing our marriage and hope that eventually our official P-town marriage will be grandfathered in once the federal level recognizes our union and compels all states to recognize all marriages conducted in any state. Thanks so much for the coverage. It has given us a lot of hope that this will happen during our life time.

  • 111. Don Davis  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Congratulations, Lisa. Best of luck in your law school endeavors. A legal education is a challenging and rewarding experience.

  • 112. Jim B  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:52 am

    My partner and I have been closely following the trial here. We live just outside of Seattle so the fight over the Ref71 signatures is also important to us.

  • 113. gypsyknitter  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I've read this blog since Day 1. I am living in El Sobrante as a bisexual woman in a hetero marriage. Prop8 never should have been on the ballots, and at the time I laughed thinking this would never pass. o.O
    To say that this is not affecting how I see my marriage would be a lie. I am embarrassed that people think this is the only way to go, and everything else is wrong or endangering children. I don't think that having gay marriage would negatively impact my marriage, but having Prop8 enacted certainly does.
    Reading the trials (and refreshing every 5 minutes) has taught me a lot about history in this country. And has anyone else noticed that on the Protect Marriage site, they aren't showing the real words, but only their interpretation, always followed by "wahh, wahh, the gays are going to come after us! But we're winning!" It was best said in "…it’s easy to make claims and threats behind closed doors, because you can do so without those claims and threats being challenged." That's exactly what they are doing by not showing what is really being said. They are simply manipulating everything, and it sickens me.

  • 114. Lisa  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Thanks guys :)

    Coming out to my mom was kind of insane – I hadn't planned on doing it, and then all of the sudden I had the words, so I did. Her only response was, "I know", which I guess makes me laugh. I just wish I knew how she FELT about it – I know she loves me no matter what, but we're very close, and I feel like shes not giving me the whole story, so its kind of frustrating.

  • 115. cytyger  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:56 am

    You and your husband got married on the exact same day as me and my wife! We had our wedding in Dubuque, IA to make it legal. Congrats on your marriage!

  • 116. Ben  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:56 am

    My name is Ben. I am 34 and I live in PA with my partner of 6 years. I can remember the horror and the sadness I felt when I learned about the passage of Prop 8. I grew up in a very small town and I have always been aware of the self-loathing and the personal trauma caused by living among people who treat us as second class citizens. I have been luck enough to have a strong and supportive family; but, that doesn't change the fact that the government under which I live views me as less-than-equal.
    Prop. 8 is an example of just how powerful hatred can be. It is a black stain on the American belief in freedom and justice for all. I can only pray that this case succeeds in undoing this grave and shameful assault on LGBT people in California and across this country. The men who took this case to court are a credit to the true meaning of what it means to be an American.

  • 117. SF Bay  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:59 am

    My name is Terri and my wife Morgan and I are one of the 18,000 same sex couples who got married while it was legal in 2008. It's true, marriage is much more than DP or any other unoffical title.

    I am so emoitional reading the live blogging about this tiral. I have to believe that we will prevail.

  • 118. abbe  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Hi I'm Abbe & I'm 27. I've been with my partner for 4 years. When we first got together, I was part of the "I don't need a piece of paper to validate my relationship," crowd and thus not really concerned about marriage equality.

    Currently living in Chicago where I am fortunate enough to be able to participate in my partner's health care plan (taxed benefits of course). We rent an apartment, have a dog and bought a car together. We share credit and checking accounts. But for all this, our relationship doesn't hold any real weight.

    I think for people on the outside, it may seem like a small thing. But it adds up. If she & I were married, there would be no question when I wrote her in on the family tree at the reunion. We would have a clear response to the frequent "Is this your sister" question. Our friends and family wouldn't have to introduce us as "This is my sister S and her … uh… and this is Abbe."

    I don't hate the word "partner." I think all spouses should be partners in their relationships. But being a partner is not the same as being a wife. I didn't grow up hoping to be someone's domestic partner.

    I'm hoping that good things come from this trial. I'm reading along and passing on as much info as possible. Things will have to change. I hope it's soon.

  • 119. Scott  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I've been watching this trial incredibly closely. Because of the information you have on this site, I've been able to inform (in the form of tirades) my family and friends who are interested in the case.Thanks so much for what you're doing; the combination of transcriptions and commentary is incredibly valuable. You guys rock!

  • 120. Lisa  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Happy birthday! I too shall be refreshing this site often and being slightly less than productive at work, as I'm sure many of us are.

  • 121. Lexi  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Hi my name is Lexi, and I've been lurking here since day one, following the wonderful coverage this site is giving us. I'm very grateful for everyone working on this site and I'm doing my best to inform everyone I know about this site. Thank you!

  • 122. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Spoon I'm hoping it happens before your 31!

  • 123. Korbinos  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Hello, My name is Corbin, and I am only 21 and going to college for Anthropology. I grew up in Colorado Springs (just a <5 minute drive away from Focus on The Family) and I came out to my friends in college first. I am VERY fortunate to have the parents that I have, as they are not your typical suburban family. They were very excepting of me being gay, and they would get upset with the other locals about gay rights before I told them about me. What's particularily hard is that my best friends growing up were home-schooled Fundamentalist Christians, and I still care for them, but it's hard not to just tell them about the real me and then get into a huge debate about homosexuality and evolution. But I don't see them as much now that I have moved.
    I have been religiously following this trial, and I hope that this case will open up more dialogue about what it is to be gay. (and once my parents move, those old friends of mine won't know what hit them :P)

  • 124. Don Davis  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:12 am

    You clearly haven't read any of the testimony of the experts in the trial… people who have devoted their professional lives to studying marriage.

    Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but that doesn't mean some opinions don't hurt others.

    So, consistent with your proposition, if our courts decide to continue to deny equal marriage rights, then marriage should return to what it was in the most traditional sense of what marriage used to be, as in the medieval ages. Women should be the chattel of their husbands, purchased for the price of a few barnyard animals. Women should remain in the home with the many children they are forced to bear because they have no say over when their husband forces sexual relations upon them. Women should be relegated to the role of cooking and homemaking. Women should not speak in church. Is that what you want? You want traditional marriage? I doubt you do, unless you're a total misogynist.

  • 125. Paulo  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Hi, name is Paul (Paulo preferred)

    I am 53 and happily partnered to the most wonderful special beautiful man in the whole world. (Yeah I am in love) We have been together now for 13 years.

    When I was a boy we were pretty much dirt poor and the only truly large and important gathering was when one of my older sisters got married and relatives we had not seen in years would show up to celebrate. At these events my mom would polka, the only time she ever danced and it was a family tradition among us kids that you were never truly married unless mom danced at your wedding.

    My coming out at age 39 was pretty traumatic. I had spent my life believing that I was destined for physical abuse, mental problems, sexually transmitted diseases that would kill you and a slow degeneration into pedophilia if I ever let this side of me out. Fortunately I did it (with lots of help from an awesome friend) When I came out to my parents it was a nightmare, Dad still won't speak to me about it and mom wanted to know if I wanted a sex change.

    Mom grew though. She made a point of coming up to my house for the holidays and staying with me and Todd. It was her way of making a statement to the rest of the family that we were a couple in her eyes. She was in her seventies at the time and the trip was taxing. Before she left she promised me that some day she would dance at my wedding.

    Mom died two years ago. I miss her of course. One of the reasons that I am so furious about marriage equality is because she never got that chance to dance at our wedding. To mom that was as big as affirmation as anything else I ever received, that promise to dance for me.

    Keep up the good work, you restore my faith daily that my mom will someday look down at my wedding and dance.

  • 126. Kim  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:20 am

    You know George, I could live with that if the use of the word marriage is going to be restricted to religious marriage only, and that the state would call the legal union between two people the same regardless of make-up of the couple. That would also lead to a much greater separation of church and state, and take away what I think is the biggest issue for the anti same-sex marriage crowd (See Salt Lake City http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-11-ut… ).

    Then, because the word has been reserved for religious contexts, it would become a fight between pro-SSM and anti-SSM churches.

  • 127. Pyoung  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Thanks, Tanya. When people have been hurt, It's easy to think that all people raised mormon/religious are not tolerant or supportive, so your support gives me hope that with truth/knowledge, people can change.

    My name is Patricia. I too grew up being the best mormon girl I could be in Southern California (although I did write that paper on the importance of separation of church and state while in high school, that must have started my downward spiral into free thinking). I moved to NYC and "went wayward" even more with a liberal arts education, a growing penchant for tolerance, and tendency to question everything around me.

    When I was 23, I fell in love with my first and current girlfriend/partner. We have been together almost 5 years and have a loving home. At the start of Prop 8, my mother who has never been the model mormon called to say what the church was telling her to do. They somehow transformed her into someone who holds signs for Yes on 8 and gives money to the cause. On top of that, when I tried to explain why I disagree, she said I was ruining her eternal family and then threatened to kill me and my girlfriend. Prop 8 has hurt in so many ways. Even though I feel stronger now, there is still some pain so I watch every word on this blog: knowledge is power. Thank you CC!

  • 128. Balu  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:21 am

    I am from India, moved to Bay Area in 2006, knew I was different since age 14, confirmed I am gay when I heard about the word on internet at age 20. Came close to suicide, self humiliation etc etc until 25 and then moved to Bay Area. Came out to friends and then family in 2008, best thing I ever did. I faced some bad but mostly positive experiences. I converted a YesOn8 family of 4 voters, a strict roman catholic, my mom and my best friend who once was "scared of gays" into supporters of equal rights and donors to NoOn8 campaign.

    Life is good when we live it. I really hope everybody in LGBT community can come out of the closet and change minds of people around them.

  • 129. Nettl  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Hi Linda,

    I just wanted to tell you that I so related to what you wrote here. I, too, was raised in a very conservative Christian home in Oklahoma and always felt that I was "broken". I was always attracted to women emotionally – their thoughts, their feelings and struggled with this all my life. I endured a miserable marriage to a Southern Baptist minister for 18 years before I finally met the woman who was/is the love of my life. We've been together for 10 years, now, and although I have endured the rejection of my family and many friends, I have never been happier or more complete.

    ((((hugs)))) to you.

  • 130. Mark  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Hello, my name is Mark and I'm from Chicago, but I got married to my husband in San Francisco on June 27th 2008. We were … furious and sad and hurt and confused when Prop 8 passed during the same election that elected Obama President. It is even more imperative for us that marriage equality passes because my husband is not a citizen and our family could be torn apart because the government doesn't recognize us as a family. I hope that justice, equality, and love win the day at this trial and nationally, before it's too late.

  • 131. Rachel  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Hi My name is Rachel Fuchs. I am a 24 year old bisexual and I am blessed with a family that taught me God is love in all forms, for if we are all made in his image he also made us EXACTLY how we are. I personally am a Wiccan and I have the biggest problem with someone telling me from a different religion if I have the right to marry who I love.

    My brother is also gay and we both had an amazingly easy time telling our parents. My family has supported us both.

    I want nothing more than equality in actuality not name.

  • 132. Brian  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:40 am

    One comment lost in a few hundred I guess, but its heartening to see the response.

    I'm Brian, 29… grew up as a straight guy without any real concept that gay people existed in reality… they were something people rumored about, and stories they made up to scare children. The word 'gay' was an insult you used with people you didn't like.

    Slowly over the years my homosexuality manifested itself in different ways, but it was always suppressed.. so it came out in the worst possible ways (some night you find yourself at a seedy little gay bar without knowing why…).

    I met a good friend of mine in the military…. I found out a couple years later that he was gay (I was just blind to it the whole time)… and for some reason it made the difference. There was literally a click in my head… and I realized… "yeah.. so am I!"

    Been out since I was 27, and its a whole new world to explore. I still have a very hard time not using the 'thats so gay!' phrase, because it was so ingrained in me for so many years… its like being reborn as a new person, and its difficult to get used to sometimes…. but at least I know its right.

    This trial is a statement to the world. Whether we win or lose, that statement is being heard nationwide. Thank you to everyone involved, and for what its worth I wish I could be there blogging or cross examining or something. Or hell, at the least I could let the air out of Thompsons tires during the day. =)

  • 133. Laura  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Hey, you're doing a great job. I'm addicted to your coverage. Really wish this thing was being televised.

  • 134. Abbie J  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Hi everyone, my name is Abbie and I currently live in Los Angeles. I am straight and am following this trial because I believe that we all have the right to marry the person we love, no matter their gender.

    I married my boyfriend of 7 years on December 31st of 2009. Being married just this short time has strengthened my resolve over the issue of Prop 8. No one should be denied this happiness. I feel that my own marriage is somehow diminished knowing that there are others who cannot have what I have. I do not want to be held in some higher light just because I am a woman and my husband is a man.

    I don't really know many openly gay people, but I do know that their fight is my fight and that we all will benefit by being equal.

    *hits the refresh button again*

  • 135. Pen  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Hi I am Pen from Australia. Just imagine if you were a Lesbian and you found yourself blessed and fortunate enough in this life time to have found your "One". You wish for nothing more than to be together and live as a loving couple. But you cant get married which means you cant immigrate which means you just have to live your lives separated. Knowing she exists and needed you with her whilst you try to impossibly just get on with your life whilst needing to be with her just as much. I think that would be a little more than painful. All I hope that the beautiful, productive, loving, honorable Gays and Lesbians of this world are soon granted all the respect they rightly deserve in all the forms of legal equality. Supported, Protected and Included.

  • 136. Emmy  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:43 am

    My name is Emmy, I'm 15 from the NYC area and I go to a Jewish school where people are particularly adverse to gay issues because they dont want to upset a single person. I came out for the first time when I was 10 to a group of girls at my yiddishist social activist camp where many faculty and campers alike identify as LGBT. I hid my sexuality for 2 years because I got beaten up in middle school for being "different". I then started going to a Jewish school. I didnt come out for the second time on purpose, but I'm glad it happened. I am now the first openly gay student at the school and just helped form a GSA. As a former resident of California and a friend of many gay people who live there, I am really passionate about this trial and have been with courage campaign since day 1. I hope that by the time I want to marry, I will be able to thanks to people like you at the prop 8 trial tracker.

  • 137. Tom  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Hi, my name is Tom. My daughter whom I will call "Meghan" recently came out of the closet. She is in her early thirties. As a high school senior she tried to commit suicide. Her mother and I were beside ourselves with worry, but never suspected that it was because our daughter was gay. It wasn't for some years later that we began to suspect that she might be. Now, about 15 years later, Meghan has a partner and is the happiest we have ever seen her. Because of my love for my daughter and concern for her, my political views have done a 180- degree turn. Now, I want for her what my wife and I have always had and what other married couples have – protection and rights.

  • 138. Shelly  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Dear Jerome,

    I grew up in a conservative West Texas Christian home also (in Abilene), and I know what you mean.

    I am not gay, but when my family found out that I had gay friends, they disowned me.

    I believe that this sort of prejudice will change, just as other prejudices have changed. Partly by court cases such as this one (and this is very exciting), but also because people will gradually find such an abstract prejudice to be irrational and insupportable.

    I send you my support and love.

    Shelly
    College Station, Texas

  • 139. Richard  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I grew up in West Virginia, in a religiously divided home. My adoptive mother was a Christian, and my adoptive father was a self-avowed atheist. He was also an alcoholic, and abusive. I was the youngest of five, and the only boy. They yongest of my older sisters moved out when she got married. I was 9 at the time. My earliest memories of John were of the verbal, emotional, mental, and other abuse. then when I was 7, physical abuse was added to the mix, and after catching me with my boyfriend when I was 12, the sexual abuse began and continued until I left home for the Navy after graduation. I met a wonderful man while in San Diego, whom I still miss. I have gone through a world of agony for many years because of having to deny to myself and everyone else who I really am. Now, at 47, I have a loving husband in fact, if not in name, and it is time for the hate-filled, bigoted rhetoric to cease and desist. A civil union does not grant the same rights as a legal marriage, and until all 50 states and the federal government recognize same-sex marriage as legal, and grant us the same rights and protections everywhere that straight couples have, we will continue to be treated as third-class citizens, just as the other minorites have been.

  • 140. DW Jenner  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Hi folks, my name is DW. I've been following this blog since the beginning. I'm a lesbian. My wife and I are married in Canada, but of course the USA doesn't care (yet). I'm following from work, and I'm amazed my iPhone hasn't pooped out on me yet. Thanks for doing this!

  • 141. Erin  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I am so proud of the trial's success thus far! I am waiting with anticipation to finally receive the equality I deserve! I live in OK so marriage equality is a distant promise if that…I can only have faith that this trial will succeed in eliminating the Constitutional Amendment do I can marry my partner before our first child!

  • 142. Shannon W.  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Hi,

    My name is Shannon. I live with my partner Carleen and my three children. We met right after gay marriage became legal but didn't want to get married before the elections that year because we hadn't known each other long enough. Now we're ready and have been engaged for almost a year. We've been following this pretty closely.

    I wrote my story for another site and you're welcome to view it here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2570077/

  • 143. Brian  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:48 am

    The world would be a better place if only more people could overcome their prejudices. Thank you.

  • 144. Jae  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Hi everyone! I'm Jae. Here to support equal rights for all. Justice is still black and white for gays and lesbians, yet the courts are allowing more color into their pages on different matters. Why not add the raindow??? How could it be any more beautiful with all those colors?!?!

  • 145. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    I've been trying to comment about the trial, but have been trouble getting my comments to appear.

  • 146. Karin  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    George – While I don't agree with your position, I do respect your interest in participating in this forum, so long as you're disagreeing without being hateful. Open discussion can be enlightening on all sides.

    I must say that you lost me completely when you stated that "non-procreating couples should be able to marry as a public symbol to society that this is the union that society values; the only union that implicitly leads to children and promotes parental responsibility for those children." I would argue that a male/female union does not "implicitly" lead to children, unless you're also advocating the elimination of all forms of birth control.

    If male/female couples aren't procreating, and procreation and providing for offspring is (your) only reason for marriage, then how, exactly, do they "symbolize the union that society values"? Simply because they each have the anatomy that brings the possibility of children?

    If you truly believe that marriage is only for procreation and providing for offspring, I would think you'd support only civil unions for all others, including those who cannot or choose not to procreate. But how would you legislate that? Have male/female couples take fertility tests to verify their capability to reproduce? Require progeny within a certain time period, or the marriage license expires/changes to a civil union? What would your scenario have happen to families that adopt, or who require medical assistance to conceive, perhaps using donor sperm or eggs?

    What about those of us (GLBT) who have children with our partners? Do we not also have an obligation to provide those progeny with security and love, and the right to both their mommies or their daddies? Seems to me that, if children's welfare is the catalyst for marriage, gays with kids have a better claim to the institution than couples who can't or won't procreate.

  • 147. Melvin Cobb  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Keep up the good work. We all need to hear what is being said and to digest the hate and move forward.

    I am a 68 year old male raised in West Texas and tryed everything I could including marriage to solve the fact that I was Gay. After a divorce I found the love of my life 30 years ago this April. We have made a home and raised my daughter from my marriage and have two wonder grandchildren. We married in California before the Prop 8and are one of the 18,000 married couples in California.

    WE live in Texas and still have fears and are not comfortable in everyday lives. We both want a Church to worship and are rejected and made to feel as second class citizens by the churches. We have to worship our God at home and feel unwanted in the Christian Community. How can Christians continue the Hate toward others. I was taught that religion reflected Love and not Hate.

    Again thanks for working so hard to make us feel freedom, love and a wonderful life

  • 148. Beth  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I'm Beth, one of the 36,000 married couples from California. I have a 7-year-old son from a previous relationship, adopted when he was under a week old. Because we lived in Virginia at the time, my ex had to adopt as a single parent and as such, I am a legal stranger to him. And because there is no divorce when your relationship was never acknowleged in the first place, I rely on the kindness of my ex-partner for every interaction and decision related to our child. Luckily, she's not a total jerk and we split custody 50/50.

    On the other hand, if I move outside of Virginia, she won't allow me to coparent him, so I split my time between San Francisco, where my wife lifes and where I consider home, and Virginia, because my son is awesome.

    This trial is enormously important to me! Thank you for the coverage and the analysis. It's been wonderful to follow.

  • 149. Leslie  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Josh, it's young adults like you who give me hope for this country's future. Thank you.

  • 150. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I am a straight married woman who is appalled that homosexuals are being treated as 'others'.and being denied the privilges that I enjoy.It is trul shocking to me.

    My NO on Prop H8te sign is still in front of my house. It will be removed when this hideous dicriminatory law is over turned.

  • 151. Kris Wright  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I am a 66-year-old white great-grandmother of hispanic descent. I fully support the repeal of prop 8 and all the repeal stands for.

    My heart breaks when I think of the misery and torment that many LBGT men and women have gone through.

    While I am a Christian and believe in Jesus Christ, I do not believe he would condemn for eternity LBGT men and women who also believe in Him and practice monogamy.

    Once gay marriage is accepted country-wide, if not world-wide, then people can come out of the closet and live normal lives–at least as normal as the rest of us anyway. lol.

    Go Courage Campaign!

  • 152. Richard  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Shelly,

    Your comments may have been intended for Jerome, but I just had to take the time to thank you myself for the tears of gratitude I am now wiping from my eyes because of your support for all of us in the LGBT community. I am so thankful for you, and you remind me that there are Gentiles who are not actively, incontrovertibly, and irratioally ignorant, that there are some out there who choose to learn the truth rather than hide behind the lies they have beenn force-fed for so long. You are such a blessing to the human race. Baruch HaShem for men and women like you, and may you be richly blessed.

  • 153. Leslie Wilde  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

    I'm Leslie,

    I live in Dunsmuir, CA with my girlfriend (we didn't get married during the open window period and we sure regret it) and her 18 year old son.

    I run medical pot dispensary in Dunsmuir and follow this coverage by the minute., F5 baby!

  • 154. Sharon Simon  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:54 am

    I am still trying to keep the faith through all the years of hoping that there will be equal rights for ALL someday in this grand country of ours. My gay brothers and sisters deserve to be free at last! I cannot believe that we are still having inane discussions that should have ended when the Constitution was written. However, and obviously, the writers of that precious memo were not completely free from their own prejudices, and so we have now through the years to continue the struggle to set people of all shades of color, lifestyle choices, sexual and religious pursuits FREE from unjust judicial, intellectual and emotional chains.
    Thanks for all you do!

  • 155. Colt  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Hi, I'm Colt. I'm straight and I've been proud to call myself an ally since they first started a GSA in my high school. My parents have always had gay friends, and always impressed upon me that they were equal to anyone else (I have awesome parents). One of my best friends came out in the sixth grade; however his parents handled it, I know that within our group of friends it was no big deal. My very best friend now is gay and I remember how hard it was for him to come out to his family. And how relieved he was when they all still loved him the same. No one should have to worry about revealing who they truly are to their family. Having friends and family members who are gay, it boggles my mind that anyone would deny them basic rights. Many thanks to everyone at this trial tracker–without it I think I would go nuts!

  • 156. J-dV.  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Hi. My name is Jedidjah. While originally from California, I currently live in Amsterdam, and so am particularly gratefully to have a way to follow this trial. Despite the time difference I have been glued to my computer non-stop, and despite the distance the thousands of miles between me and the court room emotional strength of the plaintiffs and everyone working on this has shone through.

    Thank you so very very much,
    A hetero white male.

  • 157. David Kimble  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Hello, I am David and I was raised in a very conservative Mormon home in Washington State. I grew-up believing I was somehow inferior to the rest of the boys in school and I have always been adverse to physical battling (perhaps because I was beaten for even saying I was gay, when I was 12 years old).
    When I was 19 years old, I went on a Mormon mission for the Church, since "it was expected of me", but I was not happy on my Mission and even considered suicide, while I was there (note this was in 1973 – 1975). After my mission, I returned home and moved to the Tri-Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland) in Washington State, where my twin sister lived.
    It was there that I came-out and was finally able to talk openly about who I was. By the way, it was also at this time that I was ex-communicated from the Mormon Church for being gay.

  • 158. Rose W.  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:55 am

    My name is Rose. I'm a 23 year old bisexual woman, and I'm engaged to another woman. We're unable to marry because of Prop 8.

    Regardless of the legal situation, I still call her my fiancee (and gently correct any gender assumptions). And when we're married, she will be my wife.

    But it still hurts that we have to struggle through financial loopholes that others don't. It's just plain unfair.

  • 159. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Well, that seems to have worked. So I'll give the introduction thing a try.

    My name is Robyn Elaine Serven. I'm a transsexual lesbian, now living in New Jersey. I'm also have been a PFLAG parent since the 90s. Formerly I was Education Director for the Arkansas Gay and Lesbian Task Force, as well as Heartlands Regional Coordinator for the PFLAG Transgender Special Outreach Network, also both in the 90s.

    I'm now a professor of computer programming and mathematics at Bloomfield College in northern Jersey.

    I am a frontpager at the blog Docudharma and also a frequent contributor to Daily Kos.

  • 160. Lies  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Hi all! I have been lurking here the past week, but I thought I'd introduce myself now!

    My name is Lies, I'm 21 and I'm from Belgium. For the past 1,5 years, I've been in a very happy relationship with my girlfriend, who's from Kentucky and whom I love very much. In my country, gay marriage has been legalized for six years now, gay adoption for – I think – four years, and until I got together with her, I didn't realize how far the US still had to go in this respect. I realize we are a lot luckier than other binationals, since at least, once my studies are finished, I can marry her in my country and we can live there together.

    However, it is just unfair that gay people should not have the choice to marry their partners in their own country, and that, should we decide we'd rather live in the US, we would not have that choice. That's why I have been downright stalking this page for the past week, and I really feel that this trial is going to be very important in regard to civil rights in your country. To me, getting married is an universal right for everyone – that should be basic logic, but sadly, it often isn't.

    Thanks for creating this page! I keep linking people to it over here, and I really, really hope this entire trial turns out in the best possible way. It's only fair that it should!

    Lies

  • 161. Davis  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Hi Courage Campaign… my name is Davis… I'm a monthly Courage Campaign contributor… and I'm a board member for WhiteKnot.org… working for Marriage Equality just like you guys… because "everyone has the right to tie the knot." I'm also a guy that just wants to get married to his partner after 8 wonderful years together. With that said, I just want to comment on what a great job you are doing and that I wait on pins and needles for every one of your posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping us informed.

  • 162. Patrick Regan  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:57 am

    My name is Patrick. I'm a transplant into Ohio following the love of my life. She is going to school for her PhD, and I am now a working stiff.

    I'm a straight man, but feel very strongly about this issue. I have friends who are directly affected by this type of discrimination and I watch everyday for new news. I comment occasionally and have even contributed to the CC because of this blog. I don't live in, or know anyone in, California, but I know that this is a cause that needs to be heard from around the world, not just in our country.

    I know that I'm not the only straight person supporting this site, but I will add my voice to those of us heteros here who are outraged by the crap the prop8 supporters are flinging out into the public.

    I walk a straight path, but not a narrow one.

  • 163. michelle  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:57 am

    I am in my 40's and as young as 10 I was in a black hole. I liked girls way back then but I didnt or couldnt identify with that. So I was attempting suicide way back then. I struggled with this for years and became an alcoholic and drug addict, the whole while hiding this small part of who I am. I served in the military and hid. I am currently working at a job I have to hide this from, along with the community because I could loose my job.
    I met a woman who I want to spend the rest of my life with and we are raising a daughter that was conceived from me being raped.
    The only thing that is saving me and my sanity is my church and friends. I belong to a uu church and evryone is accepting of me, my partner,our daughter and my family.
    I want to thank the Courage Campaign for all the true work they are doing and this site has brought a lot of hope to me. My lifes dream is to marry and not have to have any doors that are closed.

  • 164. katzien  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Hi guys, I'm rooting for all of you here in Austin, Texas. I'm straight, 39, married, white, spiritual not religious, dem/indy, and your typical city dweller. I'm probably not like your supporter, but I'm with you all the way! Go get'em!

  • 165. James Parmley  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I'm from San Diego County, currently living and going to school at University of South Alabama in Mobile. I'm going to be so happy and proud to "listen" to Mayor Sanders testimony today! I'll be in class this afternoon, so my viewing will be delayed, but this is an advantage of the live blogging with it's archiving.

    Also, excitied that Big Hollywood Producer (I'm terrible on names this morning. Just to know that Honorable Mayor Sanders will be on the witness stand for Perry is all…!) is beginning today to reenact the trial testimony today on YouTube!

  • 166. Si  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Hi,

    My name is Si. I'm a bisexual man in a hetero marriage. I've been lurking here since day one, as a crucial development in what for me has been literally a lifetime of GLBT activism and advocacy (when I was a child, my parents were running retreats for gays and lesbians in the church and working for the NAMES quilt). I am one more of all of you striving for a more accepting and loving world.

  • 167. Suzanne  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Hello! I am a straight supporter. My sister is gay. I was in law school in Massachusetts at the time the landmark Goodridge case was decided, and witnessed the struggle to preserve this legendary decision first hand. I have been actively involved in Mass Equality in Massachusetts and now Maine Equality and the No on 1 campaign in my new home state of Maine.

    I've often been asked why I care so much about an issue that "doesn't affect me." The answer is simple: none of us are free until everyone is free.

    I look forward to the day when Prop 8 and the Yes on 1 campaign are seen as low points in this country's history, part of a shameful past that eventually gave way to a future where all families share equal rights under the law.

    Thank you all for your continued vigilance. Thank you to all who have bared their souls and exposed their families to put a face on this issue.

  • 168. MKrumm  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

    I'm Margaret, I'm a Christian, I'm a heterosexual, and I'm married. I have been following closely, have commented once, and stand in complete support of gay marriage despite the stance my church, most of my family, and some of my friends take.

    May logic and love prevail.

  • 169. Rickie Dickerson  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Thanks for staying tough and defending my right to live. That's what it is, you know. My right to be alive, right now, without anyone trying to hang me for my difference. I am 56, single, maybe someday I will find the right woman and will want to marry and maybe because of your "Courage" I will have the right to…
    Carry on!!!

  • 170. Jay  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Hey! I'm Jay, a 25 year old omnisexual from the UK. I'm thankful every day that we have civil partnerships over here – the good kind, with the equal rights – but it hurts when other countries refuse the basic human right to be treated equal. Because, to me, this isn't just about marriage – it's about the systematic dehumanisation of LGBTQ people. And if LGBTQ people are being treated like that in one part of the world, it affects us all, because attitudes like that affect us all personally. (Or, in my opinion, anyway – I know that everyone's experience is different.)

    I've been a supporter of the NOH8 Campaign since it started – I have a bracelet that I wear every day, which works quite well for raising awareness over here – and I found this website (and of course the Courage Campaign) when I googled 'Prop. 8 trial'. I read this site every morning, and the posts – and comments! – give me hope, and strength. I was brought up Catholic, and when I came out to my mother one of the first things she said to me was, "You know that I don't agree with it?" I don't think she realised how hurtful it was to be told that she didn't agree with something which is as inherently a part of me as my eye colour. My dad is much more accepting (he's not religious at all), but he still told me he wouldn't walk me down the aisle if I married a woman.

    All I can hope is that if we break down this barrier to equality, if we can let all heterosexual people see that our families are no less valid than theirs, then maybe it will lead to greater acceptance for future generations.

    So what I'm trying to say is – thank you. Thank you everyone who updates this blog and takes the time to keep us informed. Thank you to all the heterosexual allies who take the time to comment with their support. You are all amazing.

    (Also, this is why I don't usually post comments – I tend to use a LOT of words to say something I probably don't need that many words to use.)

  • 171. Jeanine B.  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Just wanted to add my voice –
    Standing proudly for equality with all my GLBT friends and family — those I've met and those I haven't yet. There is unlimited love to go around in this world, and it's obviously foolish to attempt to restrict or hoard it. Those who might try are acting out of fear, but love truly will overcome all obstacles. Keep choosing love!

  • 172. Tom  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Just in case anyone scrolls down this far, I've been lurking here but refreshing the page obsessively since the trial began last week. I'm 41, male, live in Seattle, happily married with three kids to the woman of my dreams. One of many ways this case affects me directly: should my wife and I both die, our wills give custody of our children to our best friends, a married pair of women. If that happens, they'll be far too busy driving my kids and their own around to file separate tax returns. :-)

    Horrified at the bigotry on display in the trial – how could anyone look at a loving married same-sex couple and begrudge them the same basic recognition and rights that my wife and I have? And as a devout Christian, I'm upset at the bad PR this gives my religion. How could anyone read the words of Christ in the Gospel and spend their lives opposing God's love for us all?

  • 173. Leslie  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:03 am

    My name is Leslie. I am 50 years old, and on 8/9/8 I was blessed to have the chance to marry my spouse, who is now 57. We have been together for 8.5 years, and keep busy raising our grandchildren, including our 3.5 year old granddaughter who lives with us full time and our 14yo granddaughter who lives with us part time. I posted a link (click on my name) that describes more about our wedding.

    So we were one of the privileged 18,000 couples, but we live in Delaware where our marriage is not just not recognized, it's actually a criminal offense: We could be arrested, fined, and even jailed if we refused to pay the fine.

    I pray that in our lifetime, we will be allowed to be married here in our own state, and have that marriage recognized by family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and our state and nation. Marriage DOES make a difference over domestic partnership: it has changed the way our relationship is viewed by my spouse's daughter, who has long had issues with having a gay mom, changed the way our relationship is perceived by other family members and by our coworkers, and even has changed how we see our own marriage.

    As part of our marriage ceremony, we asked those in attendance, do you promise to honor and support our commitment to each other, and to fight for our right for our marriage to be universally recognized and respected, to which they responded with a loud and emphatic, "we DO!!!" It gives me hope to read about so many others who are willing to make that commitment to validate my marriage. Thank you.

  • 174. cytyger  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Hi! I am a 37 year old lesbian living in Madison, WI. I have been reading the blog since the beginning of Day 1. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian house with a foray into the Pentecostal churches as a teenager. I knew I was attracted to women from a young age. But my Christian upbringing made me believe that these feelings were temptations from Satan or demons to make me stray from God's path and be in danger of going to hell.
    When I was in high school I made the mistake of telling one of my close friends that I sometimes had the urge to kiss her. I lost all of my friends over that comment. After that they all avoided me in the halls and none of them would even look at me much less talk to me. I felt as if they saw me as some kind of predator that would force myself on them. I made a new resolve to destroy my feelings for women and immersed myself completely in the church to do so. I prayed every day for God to make me straight and believed that I must not have had enough faith because it never worked.
    In a final desperate attempt to no longer be gay, I got married when I was 18. I didn't know him very long before we married, but he seemed to profess all of the good christian rhetoric that I also believed at the time so I didn't worry about not knowing him that well. Little by little his abusive nature started to show and by the time I saw what was happening I felt it was too late. I couldn't divorce because that was against God's will.
    He was severely verbally and emotionally abusive for the seven and a half years that I stayed. His Christian beliefs tended to be a bit to the right of even the most fundamentalist churches. He was severely homophobic and would often accuse me of having lesbian tendencies. Multiple times a week he would talk about how gays should be given the choice to convert or be executed… and then he would act out in front of me how he would execute them.
    After my divorce I decided that it was time for me to stop denying to myself that I am gay and so came out to myself in Jan of 2000 and started dating a woman for the first time in February. I also walked away from the only religion I had ever known.
    I had a few short relationships that usually didn't last more than a year until I met the love of my life in January of 2007. I didn't know when I met her that we were so perfect for each other though. We were friends for a year and a half before we considered dating. Once we did start dating it was pretty obvious to us (and to most of the people around us) that we were a perfect match. I proposed to her on Dec 12, 2008 and we were married in Dubuque, IA on Dec 12, 2009. We had people at the wedding telling us it was the most incredible wedding they'd ever attending (including my wife's mother!)
    I have been amazed at the transformation that legal marriage has made, not just to us as a couple, but to our families as well. My mother has only accepted my "lifestyle choice" within the past couple of years. I remember her telling me at Christmas of 2007 that she was still having a hard time accepting my choice. And yet this morning, I got a call from my wife telling me that my mother emailed her to ask her what my wife would like to call her. My mother had written that 40 years ago when she was married she called her in-laws mom and dad, but she wanted to know what term my wife wanted to use. Her mother calls me Daughter #2 and her Dad has offered that I can call him Dad as well. When Helen Zia was giving her testimony on Friday about how her family changed after the marriage I was sitting here nodding my head saying "Yes, it transformed our families, too!" This would not have happened if we had only been able to get a domestic partnership. It would not have held the same meaning to us and to our families.
    For the Far Right Wing (I was going to say Christians but not all of them are against us), this isn't about marriage. This is about the normalization of homosexuality in the culture. The ad agency hired by the pro prop8 people talked about their methods at the 2009 AAPC Pollie Conference. It was recorded Edward Headington Media group and posted to YouTube. They admitted that they would not be able to convince people to vote for Prop 8 on the basis of the 'traditional marriage' argument. They wouldn't get more than 50% because people didn't see how allowing gays to marry would affect them. They had to find ways to convince people that gay marriage was going to affect their lives personally so they chose to use the argument that their children would be taught in school that homosexuality is ok. They don't care about marriage. They just don't want homosexuality to be seen as acceptable in our society. And they've been using this argument directly in the churches for a much longer time (I remember churches in the 80's warning against allowing the 'gay agenda' to convince people that being gay was acceptable.)
    So, these people would honor and recognize my marriage to an abusive alcoholic who ranted about killing people and yet they believe that my desire to marry the woman I love and settle down into a happy married life with her is somehow going to destroy society. I just don't get it.

  • 175. Strangy  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Hi, my name is Amanda. I am straight and angry about prop 8. I like to call myself "strangry" and I wish more people were because until everyone is truly equal, everyone in society is hurt, straight or gay. Thank you to everyone at Prop 8 Trialtracker for your voice. That is what is most important now, as regardless of the outcome, there will be appeals. Now, what is important is that our voices must be heard inside and outside of the court room. I will be hanging on every word.
    -Strangry

  • 176. Rachael M  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I'm a 39 y.o. student who's been with her partner for 21 years and we share a wonderful daughter. I would LOVE to see my daughter grow up in a world where she's free to choose to marry whomever her heart leads her to. My partner lost a job because she and i were seen together by her employer, not doing anything other than holding hands. That said, we are blessed with a large circle of friends straight, bisexual, lesbian, gay that all know each other, know us and care. The amazing thing is we all live in the central valley, and it's about like living in the bible belt, our city has over 500 churches and only 11 or 12 of those are "welcoming" churches. I'd like to see the day when all of those churches would gladly perform a marriage without caring the about the gender of the parties involved and solely caring about the love that's in those peoples hearts. I hope and wish that this will go all the way up and we'll see marriage equality for all people in this country of ours become the law of the land.

  • 177. Alex  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Hi,

    I'm Alex. I'm in a committed, 4 year lesbian relationship with the love of my life. I've been following the trial since day one thru this site. Thank you! I keep my girlfriend and all of our friends updated. We understand how important this trial is not only for us personally, but for everyone, especially the LGBT youth.

    I am 24 and my girlfriend is 23. We just got engaged 3 months ago. We bought a house together, our first home, 4 months ago. We want to have kids soon, but would love to get married before then. When I found out Prop 8 had passed, I called my girlfriend at work to let her know. We both stayed on the phone and just cried. But then we realized that was not the end, we needed to keep fighting. So we went to rallies and started volunteering at our local LGBT center in Santa Ana.

  • 178. Sandy O  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Hi everyone. I'm a married Calif lesbian, one of the 18,000.
    I am retired so I have the time to spend most hours during the trial right here on this blog, waiting for the next posting of trial dialogue. My wife took me to SF on Friday to sit in n the trial all day. It was so exciting. I had to control myself each time the defense team passed me in the hall. Mr Cooper smiled at me in the hallway, like you do when you pass a stranger on any street. I just couldn't bring myself to smile back. We had to stand in a que before the morning sesson began and again after lunch to get a seat in the actual courtroom. There were only about 6 rows of church-like beaches and 2 rows were labeled for lawyers and another for press. I was starstruck to see our heros in action. During the proceedings, awyers came and went from the courtroom quietly like a ballet. Each one seemed to know what moment to come and go as if it had been rehearsed. Each team has use of a conference room (like a war room). It was quite a day.

  • 179. Marlene Bomer  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Amen, Don!

  • 180. Stu  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I'm a straight male that grew up Jewish in South Carolina, and as a kid was persecuted without even knowing why it was happening. I found out about Prop 8 when I lived in Los Angeles the past 8 1/2 years and was able to vote, "No" on the ballot – I had never felt so strongly about my vote in my entire life. Any kind of non-equality is wrong, but this actually makes me literally sick to my stomach. When I think of how far we've come as a society, and how far we still have to go (especially in the 'Bible Belt') – well, it's sad. Love is universal and should be treated equal, universally.

  • 181. Tara  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I'm a 29yr old Tranwoman and a Lesbian in a long term relationship.

    As a former Californian I have a strong heart in this fight.

  • 182. joey lesperance  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:09 am

    My name is Joey. I do not live in the U.S.A. where I would have to fight for my rights. Instead I have the privilege of living in Canada where my rights are strongly protected under the charter of rights. Of course our consevative goverment fought to stop gay mariage in Canada, but in doing so they made us stronger, got us organize, loud and efficient. We won and nothing could be done against that. Even if the Consevative would win a majority goverment. We are queer, we are here, get use to it! To you my dear neighbours I say keep fighting those bullies. I support your cause and been following it.
    Joey Lespérance

  • 183. Andy  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Hello, all. I am a high school teacher in the South Bay and the advisor of the campus GSA. I have family, friends, and students who are gay and I believe that all Americans should be equal under the law. All people deserve the right to marry someone they love and have their marriages respected. The good news is that most young people seem to share share that view. I have great hope for this country and pray for the complete overturn of Prop H8.

  • 184. George  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Don –

    I read the testimony; my point is that their testimony is irrelevant but for the fact that marriage has been distorted from its very essence.

    While the rights of the spouses to marriage has changed over time; what hasn't changed is the fact that men and women procreate, and that's why we have marriage in the first place. Procreation is the essence of marriage.

    Take away the procreation, and two people can get married – any two. Nobody is talking about a "love" test for marriage or a "sex" test for marriage. So all you're left with is a series of accomodations originally made by the government for men and women who created families now given to any two people who demand them.

    So, my daughter can just pick a girlfriend to get married to – she doesn't need to love her, promise to adopt kids with her, or even live with her – she just needs a warm body to make sure she gets those government goodies today. Tomorrow, we'll see who she decides she wants to marry; maybe the girl who got the great benefits at her new job.

    And what does that say to society? It says that marriage has nothing to do with kids; it's all about the benefits. And so we get more and more kids born to unwed parents, more fathers not taking responsibility for their kids, more kids denied the opportunity to be brought up by their parents.

  • 185. Mark 'RikerBear  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:10 am

    My name is Mark. I have posted many comments over the course of this trial but thought I would as others have introduce myself and give a brief story of my/our life.
    My husband robert and I met in San Diego in 1983, and like the fairy tales it was truly love at first sight. We had our 'Holy Union' cerimony at MCC in San Diego in 1988 before relocating to Seattle to start a new adventure together.
    Our life here in Seattle has always been a good one, and now that we have full DP benefits we thought it might be enough….sadly we were wrong.
    Due to some very nasty financial woes we are in serious danger of losing our home and all that we have worked so hard for these past 27 years. The banks won't work with us as a couple, inspite of the DP law that exists here in WA, since most of the banks are from other states they aren't bound by the laws and rules of WA. They refuse to see us as a couple, but rather two 'single' men….because of that we do not qualify for any of the Fed programs to help us save our home.
    We have sold everything we could to try and raise the monies needed, but still are thousands short of what is needed…..and no help in sight.
    It amazes me how we are expected to be good law abiding tax paying citizens but yet treated like so much garbage.
    Thank you all for your wonderful stories and postings…and of course Thank you for the great work in keeping this site up and running and informing us all of what is going on.

    Mark and Robert
    Seattle, WA
    beargardener@yahoo.com

  • 186. michelle  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:10 am

    To Melvin Cobb:
    Just wanted to let you know there are churches that are very accepting of homosexulaity. They're called Unitarian Universalist Congregations. They might be considered Unitarian or Universalist but I belong to a UU congregation and the love I get from them is wonderful.

  • 187. Laura Kolker  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Been watching your coverage closely since it started last week. I mostly use the RSS feed. I'm bi, and heavily involved in my local queer community, and I think what you're doing is a huge service to everyone. Thank you!

  • 188. Terri  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Hi,

    My name is Terri (popular name it seems), I am straight, married, with two kids.

    I live in California and I was a no on Prop 8 vote. I know that there is a long road to equality but I hope that I see it in my lifetime.

    Nice to "meet" everyone here!

  • 189. Nancy  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Just a note from a middle-aged California lesbian in a long-term partnership. We're also ardent free-speech supporters. This blog is fantastic, and I thank you all for your commitment. People my age remember the torture and pain of being closeted and the self-hatred that had to be overcome.

    What a proud moment: to step forward and say, "I DO." Unfortunately we procrastinated too long and now must wait for a better day. Thanks to you it may come while we're still alive to see it.

    Bless you.

  • 190. Casey  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Hi, my name is Casey and I'm a straight-ish wife, mother and full-time office worker in Idaho. I just want everyone out there reading this in the gay community to know that so many people believe in you, love you, respect you, and will not quit fighting until you truly have equal rights in front of all the world.

    Don't lose your faith–we will not give up. Love and peace.

  • 191. Elsie  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Just wanted to say thank you for all of your efforts in keeping us informed. I am a married woman (28 years this year) in that 50+ age group and I fail to see how people of the same gender marrying will affect my marriage. I stand for the right and dignity of my LGBT family members, friends and neighbors to enter into the valued institution of marriage.

    Mostly I just want to let people out there know that there are "old" married couples out here who support marriage equality.

  • 192. Tom  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:21 am

    George, what about gay couples with kids? Isn't it far better for the kids for their parents to be married?

  • 193. Wanda Platt  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:22 am

    We all miss so much richness in our human experience because of bigotry, fear and misunderstanding. I hope we can see the day when we strive not just for tolerance but for a true celebration of our differences, whether it be religion, race, sexual orientation, nationality or any of the rich diversity we share as human beings. I am a 64-year-old, twice divorced mother of two great kids and grandmother of two adorable grandsons and if I can teach them anything it would be as Martin Luther King Jr. said to judge a person by 'the content of their character' and nothing else. We are all in this together, as someone said, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Everyone has the right to love, marry and have families.

  • 194. Dolores  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Thank you for providing the trial coverage. I am following the trial, not because I am gay, but because of the fundamental right that is being fought for! Equal rights for all humans is on the line here! I pray that the outcome is in line with the the founding fathers of our great countries' original plan. All of us should have the right to decide to marry the person we love. No one has the right to tell us who that person is the "correct" person. Again thanks for providing us as close to live coverage as we are going to be allowed. Shame on the "right-wing" activists judges on the Supreme Court who don't want the American public to hear and see what is going on in the courtroom.

  • 195. sugarbritches  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Hi, I'm Rex, a 53-year-old single gay man with an incredible 17-year-old straight son.

    Coming out really wasn't much of a concern for me, since I knew at a very early age what I was and didn't seem to have any problem accepting it. I attribute this to the over-the-top stereotyping and firebreathing condemnation of gay men to which I was exposed as a child. It was pretty easy for me to see that although these may have been valid for some people, they just didn't apply to me. As a result, it was easy to accept that I was supposed to be who I am.

    I would have to say the most difficult thing about being a gay man has been the lack of support (family, society, government) for committed relationships. I was partnered for about 19 years, until my partner passed away from complications from diabetes. During that time my family never acknowledged I was in any type of relationship, much less something equivalent to a marriage. We hear a lot about gay men and promiscuity, and I have to wonder how this lack of support for relationships affects that. For what it's worth, I've had sex with exactly one person in my life.

    My son is a far more outspoken and in-your-face advocate for equality than I could ever be. He's got a rainbow flag sewn onto his book bag, an HRC bumper sticker on his car, and a personality that would charm the socks off of anyone. At this point (he's a high-school senior), he's perceived by all his friends as the one with the coolest parent. It's amazing what simply being exposed to a positive example can do to combat prejudice.

  • 196. Greg  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I'm Greg from the SF Bay area. My husband and I moved up North from Southern Cal to be closer to our two kids that live with their mothers, with who we shared a double wedding last year…a truly wonderful experience for the six of us, our families and friends. No person should ever be denied the right to marry and I am optimistic that one day soon…hopefully soon…that will be a reality. Definitely worth the fight. Thanks to the creators of this site and to everyone sharing.

  • 197. Nancy  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:29 am

    My name is Nancy, I'm a straight, married mother of two young adults. We just want to live in a country (and a world) where everyone is respected, encouraged to fulfill their potential and permitted to exercise their rights as human beings.

    Thank you to everyone for your hard work. I send you my love and support.

  • 198. Jacqueline  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Hello all – and thank you for all the work you've done to bring this trial public.

    I'm a straight adult female, raised very Catholic, conservative, Republican parents who were also wonderfully open-minded and, well, reasonable thinkers. Despite their "conservative" nature, they believe that no one has the right to judge or take away rights from another human being. I have seen gay couples of my parents' friends spend their lives together with deep commitment and love, many whose unions lasted longer than my "married" parents' did.

    I'm an actor/writer and have lived in several states. Because of my work I have many gay and lesbian friends. There is no marked difference in who they are or what they contribute to the world just because of their sexual preference, no more than my giving to the world has anything to do with my being straight. My heart gets twisted any time I think of their rights being unequal to my own, simply because the body I was born into. There is no reason I deserve more rights under the law in this country, no reason they deserve any less.

    I am currently in the beginning stages of becoming an interfaith minister, and will wholeheartedly support the marriages of anyone of good faith, and be proud to witness their union.

    This trial is an epic one for anyone who believes in equal rights, and I thank you for letting so many more of us be a part of that through this site.

  • 199. Jacqueline  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:35 am

    "It’s amazing what simply being exposed to a positive example can do to combat prejudice".

    Bravo to that, and to good parenting in general.

  • 200. Marcia  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:39 am

    I am 68 years old and have been with my partner for almost 6 years, ending a happy, but unsatisfied hetero marriage. I met my partner 23 years ago, when we were both married. We struggled with our relationship for 17 years, before I finally opened up to my husband and got a divorce. My family (2 daughters and their families and my ex-husband)) and my partner's family (3 married children and 6 grandchildren) are also supportive of our relationship. Life is good.

  • 201. Frank  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Name's Frank. When I came out in the mid 70's, I was very politically active both with the Gay Student Unions then and also later. After college, I lost jobs for being gay, so wound up back in an almost closet. It ain't a nice place to be. I'm proud of what I (we) did to help make this fight possible. I'm also disgusted that at this point we're still fighting for our basic rights as citizens. I also think we need to be doing a better job of actually getting out to the other communities and showing them we ain't boogey-men.

  • 202. Nancy Elizabeth Clar  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:41 am

    hi, i am a straight married woman in canada. this case is very important to me, for a lot of reasons. i have had and still have many gay friends, teachers and family members who are important to me and loved very much. i want to see them and all gay people treated equally…being able to marry the person they love, being accepted by friends and family, having the same rights as we all are supposed to have. …being covered by insurance etc as a spouse…i can't stand bigotry of any kind..we are all just people trying to live our lives with as much tenderness and love and dignity and respect as possible, aren't we? how can anyone believe gays shouldn't marry?

  • 203. David  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:42 am

    We are a gay couple that have been together 20 YEARS and got married while it is still legal. We have a beautiful 5 year old daughter through surrogacy. Forget about our rights, what about hers? The Connecticut Supreme Court pointed out that children of gay parents shoud NOT be made to feel any different than children of straight parents and that includes having their parents MARRIED. Our concern is more for her than it even is for us. Straight people have kids, marry, divorce (in that order) and take for granted the relationship. Gay people go through A LOT to have a child and usually are in more committed relationships when they do have one that some straight people whose concern for their kids are secondary. How the Supreme Court could not see that this is discriminatory is mind-boggling. This is merging church and state. As someone pointed out, when the oath of office was taken, the hand is placed on the bible to swear to uphold the consitution — the hand is not placed on the constitution and sworn to uphold the bible!

  • 204. Chris  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Thank you for this venue. The struggle for equality has brought me both great angst and great hope. I find strength in others whose continued optimism and willingness to fight on inspires me to do the same. Let us continue to support one another and our youth. As a group often excluded from the traditional power structure, we must reach out to one another and lift each other up.

  • 205. Bryan  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Hi,
    My name is Bryan. I don't have a story, I just believe in equality.

  • 206. Robert McGinty, Ph.D  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Equality means just that, equal treatment under the law and in all social-economic circumstances. Overturning Prop 8 is the right course of action to be taken by the courts and by the people of the world.

  • 207. Ben Gutierrez  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:45 am

    My name is Ben, I live in San Francisco. I was raised Mormon and left the church when I was 22. My wife and I got married in 2008. The uncle who married us was a Mormon bishop at the time and shared a few embarrassing words about marriage being between a man and a woman only. While on our honeymoon, the California supreme court gave it's decision on Prop 22 being unconstitutional.

    Despite my Mormon upbringing, I believe everyone should have the same opportunity for happiness that my wife and I have.

    And I'm grateful for all the work that is going into bring this trial to us.

  • 208. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:45 am

    "it was an unprovoked slap in the face but also a much needed kick in the pants!"

    This is *exactly* how Prop 8 felt to me, too.

  • 209. Jason Zenobia  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:46 am

    My name is Jason and my husband and I have been together for 15 years.
    We were among the 3,000 couples married in Oregon in March of '04 and we were devastated by our loss at the ballot box and at our state's supreme court.
    I had minor surgery during those few months of marriage equality in Oregon. Hospitals are stressful. When the nurse came in to prepare me, I was tense and anxious when he asked, "Who is this man waiting with you?"
    I was shaking, prepared for a sneer or disapproval when I answered, "This is my husband."
    The nurse just smiled at us. He knew what "husband" meant. "Congratulations," he added. It was such a relief not to have to explain what a DP was or what CU's are.
    I have been to the hospital since marriage equality was taken away from us. I had to bring dozens of pages of paperwork, just to show that I am related to my husband. It is humiliating.
    The campaign to undo marriage equality in Oregon was ugly. The "traditional marriage" campaign said the most horrible things about us and implied that we were dangerous, filthy people. They succeed at the ballot box over and over again by dragging out the same, tired, hateful stereotypes and bigotry.
    Thank you for live blogging. It means a lot to all of us who are waiting to see if equality includes us too.

  • 210. mike995134  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Hi All …

    lol … not getting much done in the office as I've been glued to all of this throughout the day. So first-and-foremost, a BIG THANKS to everyone at Courage Campaign, and our legal team for making this happen.

    Name is Mike …. 20 year USAF vet, live in the SF Bay Area, and and my husband (Daniel) and I were finally married in Oct 2008. So we're one of the 18,000 ss married couples in California … and we feel so very -very fortunate to have been able to tie the knot during that short window of opportunity. To say that it was an extremely emotional day is a mild understatement !!! :>)

    And yes, it was so hard keeping things in the closet during my AF career. I guess what hurt the most was always being invited by my staright married friends to join them at their special occasions (weddiungs, holidays and the like) … and always thinking that I would never-ever be able to have the same. So yes there were lots of hurtful and teary-eyed moments for sure.

    But there is so much more to do … and we've vowed to keep fighting these injustices for our community until we have all achieved full equality!!!

  • 211. Nancy Elizabeth Clar  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:46 am

    absolutely right david. children totally deserve to have their parents marrried if that's what the parents want too. the thing about prop8 and any other anti gay marriage law or statute is that it doesn't affect just one person, or one couple, it affects everyone whose lives are entwined with them..millions of families and friends who want their loved ones to be happy.

  • 212. Anthony  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I'm Anthony and I live in Philadelphia, PA. I (gay guy partnered for 13 years)have been glued to this site since day 1. The forces that conspired to keep this trial off of TV knew what they were doing, as it's incredibly obvious this trial would have had a monumental impact on the hearts and minds of many people. The transcripted historical information is fascinating.

    I have used the covert disrcimination example from day 1 of the hotel clerk basically forcing us into twin beds (which has happened to us many times) versus a king often in the past week. That really seems to resinate with my co-workers and those I discuss the case with on message boards. People are left scratching their heads and the example has a big impact.

    I thank you folks who run this site from the bottom of my heart for doing this and doing it so well.

  • 213. Mairin  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:48 am

    I keep reading in the comments that there is no "benefit" for straight people who are supporting same-sex marriage.

    A just society benefits us all. Injustice harms us all. Perhaps at different levels, but I firmly believe that I, as a straight woman, will benefit from destroying legalized discrimination against ANY group of people.

  • 214. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

    I just want to say that you are incredibly, incredibly brave, and thank you for speaking up about gay slurs and gay rights. I'm so sorry to hear about your getting attacked and your dad's lack of support. The world needs more people like you.

  • 215. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:51 am

    (Hi, fellow Cal student!)

  • 216. Eddie  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Since you asked, I figured I should say hi. I've been following the site since last Monday. I'm hoping for the best here!

  • 217. Bradley Soule  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Hi everyone. My name is Brad and I live in Washington DC. I am hetero and an active duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Just wanted to let everyone know that there are those of us in the armed forces, mainly younger, who believe that raising your hand to defend the constitution means defending equal rights for everyone. I firmly oppose DADT and support Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund as well as organizations such as this that aim to bring equal opportunities to everyone.

  • 218. kenny  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you….

  • 219. roxanne  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:56 am

    I've been following this site from work since I found it last week and will add my introduction as well.

    I'm a 40 something transwoman working in a professional career in San Francisco. I married my wife 23 years ago before my transition. We have five children and lived the typical hetero lifestyle for years. I knew something was always wrong with me and I felt "broken". It took years of therapy to finally figure out who I was which led to my decision to transition about six years ago.

    My wife stayed with me during the transition and our relationship is deeper and more honest now than it has ever been. While we have five children and live in the suburbs, we are not a traditional family by any means. We lost all our relationships with friends and family, even though most claim to support us both. We are both stronger as a result of it all.

    I'm an active Board member in a LGBT center. I work in the financial district at a very supporting company where the president is a lesbian, but I still find I need to remain stealth at work to maintain credibility on the managment team. Transpeople are years behind gay and lesbian social acceptance and I truly appreciate being included as the T portion of our community.

  • 220. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I love your coming-out stories! Your family sounds wonderful. And, if I may say so, kind of adorable.

  • 221. Becky  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Hello Everyone! I have been following this since day one. Wow so much info to digest.
    Want to thank CC for covering this and thank all that have commented and shared your stories. Haven't felt this sense of community since the 70's. Stay strong
    Becky Charlotte,NC

  • 222. Jason  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I just recently came out, and have been glued to these proceedings since I heard about them. I am apprehensive about the possible implications for what might happen.

    I really hope that this trial ends some of the prejudices that are in this country.

  • 223. Mel  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Just checking into this site for the first time.

    I am a straight, married, mother of two, stay-at-home-mom and full time student in History. I was raised Catholic and in the last couple of years have had a serious crisis of faith because of Prop 8 and its supporters and outcomes. I think that before that I was disillusioned into thinking that Californians were more evolved and supported tolerance and love for ALL people. I cannot believe in a God that does not love all his children and would not want them to be married.

    All of that really does not matter when it comes to this landmark court case however. What matters is the LAW and the civil rights and liberties that our constitution protects. The fact that many of you have brought up religion only furthers my main argument in support of same-sex marriage. The opponents of same-sex marriage are coming from a religious view, which has no place in our laws because of the separation of church and state established in the first amendment.

    Okay, I am going to stop there, because I could just go on and on about this (as I am sure we all could!). I just want to lastly say that it is so important that those outside the LGBT community also show our support and belief in marriage equality. This is not just your fight, but should be a fight by all for human rights.

  • 224. Happy  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:03 am

    I am Happy – board name, not real name. I chose Happy because that was how I felt when I found this site and read the trial coverage and comments on it; happy that our side so far is doing extremely well, and happy that there was a place where intelligent, compassionate and understanding people were gathering to follow and comment on this, ultimately, possibly life-altering trial.

    I consider myself VERY fortunate not to have experienced rejection, condemnation, nor hostility from the majority of my family and friends. Only one friend told me to "Go to a Dr. or get some kind of help" – she was a Baptist, whadda ya gonna do? But from my faith, from the Biblical teachings of my youth, from the basis upon which everything I believed about my soul, the greater meaning of life present and eternal, and the fiber of my own moral fabric, the crisis of conscience was nearly unbearable. It took me nearly 10 years to come out – which was about as long as it took me to believe that I wasn't a bad person doomed to eternity in Hell for being gay.

    Otherwise, it's only society that seems to fear and hate me. Society that doesn't know me – and doesn't want to know me – which is ridiculous. How do hate what you don't even know?

    Anyway, I am in a committed relationship with my girlfriend/fiancee of almost two years. We love each other so much and want to get married as soon as this is overturned. We're keeping our fingers AND toes crossed!

  • 225. Michelle Bell  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Howdy everyone. I'm living in Ann Arbor MI, and am in a relationship with a really nice guy. I've been reading since Monday of last week and been kind of obsessed. And I have to agree with Mairin that it's a bit silly to think that straight people don't benefit from same-sex marriage.

    Thanks, Courage Campaign for keeping this trial available to those of us outside of California. Here's to hoping it all turns out okay.

  • 226. George  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Karin –

    When I speak of implicit procreation, I mean that when you look at two married people of the opposite sex, you assume they can procreate or have procreated; you don't think, "Hmmm, I wonder if she's sterile," or, "I wonder if they got married late in life and never had kids." Those who would like to procreate assume that others want to procreate. When you meet a married m/f couple without kids, you wonder whether there's a reproduction problem.

    So, regardless of whether they actually do or can procreate, married m/f couples suggest procreation and promote marriage.

    You should also know that I think cohabitating m/f couples send out a bad signal to society; they suggest that marriage isn't necessary, and, of course, we end up with a bunch of kids without moms and dads when these cohabitating couples get pregnant and the fathers hit the road.

  • 227. Bob Brining  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I am a 65 year old straight white male (full disclosure, I have a gay son) and I just want to offer some word of encouragement and approval. The best thing I can think of to say is that I'm sure Rosa Parks and Dr. King would be proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Don't stop until ALL men and women are equal.

  • 228. Alejandra  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Good Morning, My name is Alejandra ,Im 30 years old and it really hasnt been until following the trial on here that i've come to truly understand the importance of becoming involved in our own community, im ashamed to admitt that.. but growing up as a Latina Lesbian woman I never ever wanted to classify myself or be looked at as being disadvantaged socially in any way because of those things, so in hind sight I think I purposely desensitized myself into not "caring" if the government made it legal for us to marry, "it was just a piece of paper anyway" but now, especially after the emotional testimony of those wanting nothing more and nothing less than to marry the person they love.. im ashamed I was ever so complacent.. I am no longer willing to be complacent and not care or speak up about the injustice that the narrow minded are trying to impose on us.. History is being made and I have all the faith that the just, true and correct history will be written and we too shall overcome!
    And Thank you and blessings to our Straight Brothers and Sisters that also have the Faith and Heart to speak up for what we all deserve as equal human beings and citizens of this Country

  • 229. David McKeag  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Hi,

    My name is David. I have always tried to live my life in an honest way, but being gay quite often meant be deceitful to others. Either lying about my sexuality or just keeping my distance so no one asks why I'm not married at this age.

    I'm a romantic at heart and have always imagined having a family and being in a stable loving relationship with someone for the rest of my life. Just like my parents. When I was 18 I realized that that someone was going to be a man. I was gay and there was no turning back.

    When I was 23 I found that someone. 20 months later he died of complications from AIDS. I was, and still am HIV negative and that meant possibly living the rest of my life without a love so great. It only took 20 years to find my fiance. Only problem is we were just realizing the strength of our love when our rights here in California were stricken down by the vote of the majority.

    No one's rights should EVER be held up to a vote!

    This past November while on a trip to my partner's home state of Iowa, we were doing some sight seeing on capital hill in Des Moines. We were taking pictures of the new monument to Iowa's record of civil rights. This monument was in the front lawn of the Supreme Court building where gay Iowan's received their right to marry by unanimous vote.
    I asked him to take a picture of me standing in front of the monument. He wanted a more dramatic view showing me and the 20+ foot monument behind, so he got down on his knee. When he was finished, he said "While I'm down here…Will you marry me?" I cannot lie, I started to cry and said yes so fast I even surprised myself.

    We are planning to go back to Iowa later this year to get married. We have also, to cover all bases applied for a Domestic Partnership here in California. What is sad is not only can we not get married in the state we live in, but just in case the "majority" takes away the right to marry in Iowa, we have go this route. Is that fair? No. But that is our reality in this country where theological extremism rules political policy making.

  • 230. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:15 am

    And that is more than enough!

  • 231. Hugh Yeman  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:17 am

    The benefit to straight people who support same-sex marriage? You get to lay your burdens down.

    Mark Twain said that "Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." Based on twelve years of trying to divest myself of anger, I know how heavy it is, and how much damage it does to your insides. I'm coming to believe that the best thing I can do as a straight ally is to offer that simple boon to those who would carry around anger and hate all their lives.

    I'm a straight guy who's a few days away from being 40. Up until the end of May I didn't think about this subject much. I was happy to be almost wholly apolitical, since I see most political discourse as masturbation. But then I attended a wedding in which the minister took the opportunity to say "It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" in the middle of the ceremony. I was enraged that he had turned it into a political forum. So I started a blog in the hopes of showing the world that non-straight people are normal people.

    I'm not terribly hopeful that we'll win this one, but I know that the trial itself will insinuate itself into the national consciousness, so I believe it will be a good thing. Thank you for the updates.

  • 232. Twilley  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Hello Prop 8 Trial Trackers!!!

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing here, and thank you all for joining this great impromptu community. I love it. I read it every day.

    My partner and I are from Alaska and Tennessee, respectively, in the U.S. we live in St. Louis, and right now we're in Siegen, Germany (!) so I can research for my dissertation. Being away from the US is tough when such a big trial is going on, and we've watched our friends be activists for the past few months from afar with jealousy. All of you keep up the good fight! We are encouraged by you.

    This trial is incredibly important to me personally–right now, I'm here on a federal grant which provides support to married spouses of grantees–including a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a few little perks along the way. Of course, despite all my prodding and working and asking, we, as a lesbian couple, get nothing. Zip. Puts me out about $5,000 at the end of the day. We have to go to a conference for all grantees in a couple of months. If I were a man, my partner would be able to attend for free and get all meals and hotel room for free. As it is, they are making us pay–150 Euros (210 dollars or so) for the conference fee alone–we've elected to stay elsewhere, otherwise with the hotel it would be 280 Euros (420 dollars!!) AAARGH!! They know how little money I make, for Chrissakes–they pay me it! I can imagine it's not going to feel too good getting up forty five minutes early every morning so we can get the train to the hotel… and then get asked by the other participants why we aren't staying there like everyone else.

    Joke's on you, U.S. government, my dissertation is still about gender non-conformity.

    Fight the good fight, everyone, it's only a matter of time :o)

  • 233. jc  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:19 am

    hi there, i'm joseph. loving that there is this coverage so we can see a truthful (rather than spun) view on this trial. one thing i've discovered since this has started is how disappointed i am in the lack of progress of our country. i really thought prejudice and hate towards us gays was minimal, but the hatred, vitriol and nastiness i've seen really reopened my eyes.

    i hate to sound naive, i'm no pollyanna in general. i'm really appalled and amazed at some of the things i've seen written by people who go out of their way to seek out a pro gay marriage site and leave their hate on the page. i'm truly hoping they are the minority, only showing their faces because they can get away with it in the semi-anonymity of cyberspace.

    on the other hand i am pleased to see how many people ARE in support of gay equal rights and/or supportive to their gay friends/family members around them. these people touch my heart and give me hope for our society!

  • 234. Michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Hi,

    I'm Michael
    I truly appreciate the work and efforts of P8TT bunch, and I'm enjoying the family we're making online.

    Quick story: I'm 50.
    I was 14 when I came out to my parents. It really wasn't by choice: I was beaten to a pulp by some teammates of my then boyfriend (all very innocent, truly), who didn't want me to "turn him queer." It turns out my family was very supportive. I am lucky. This is not to say that all has been easy: I lived and worked in the south, and though my core group of friends was – still is – enlightened and supportive, I believe I had greater barriers in business, social and community acceptance, and many other areas, leading me to live a somewhat closeted and conflicted life. I've survived, and am doing fine, and live in the Boston area now, and loving life.

    Thanks for sharing all the good stories, everyone.
    And stay positive – we're getting there.

  • 235. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:21 am

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

  • 236. Loren  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Name's Loren. I'm a 25-year-old straight man and a lifetime California resident. I grew up in the Catholic Church and always felt like they put blinders and punitive weights on my vivacious and magnificent sexuality. It was as if God had handicapped me and stranded me in a world of traps then waited for me to fall and become snared in sin. I learned to hate myself, little by little, at each weekly Mass for being so intractably desirous of a sinful lifestyle.

    I can't pretend that I know what it's like to be gay. But to hear of the immense power of both church and state being used to direct and punish the harmless and wonderful love and sex decisions of individuals makes me furious.

    I married my incredible wife in October of 2008, but I've taken my ring off in solidarity. I hate it; my finger is naked. I feel exposed, I feel disrespectful – but I can't wear it knowing that to be married is a prejudicially exclusive privilege.

  • 237. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Heck I'm crossing my eyes too…lol

  • 238. Diana W.  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:27 am

    I'm a lurker to and have been following Prop 8 since last year. Something Alan E. wrote struck me and I just had to reply.

    I'm not gay, but I am black. During my 35 years I have experienced blatant racism only once in my entire life. I grew up not "knowing the pains" my people had gone through. At least not intimately. I've never been turned away because of the color of my skin or refused service at the lunch counter. I've never been hosed or witnessed entire schools being closed to keep people that look like me out. My knowledge of what people suffered during the civil rights movement comes from textbooks and stories told by the elder members of my family.

    Maybe it shouldn't be seen as disturbing that many gay youth don't know this pain first hand, but seen as a sign of progress. Let them know that the fight is not over by sharing the stories and feelings. Hearing how those who came before me fought for freedom inspires me to do just that when I see others being oppressed – even when I don't have first hand knowledge of that oppression.

  • 239. Pete  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Thank you Tanya!

  • 240. Alli Berry  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hello all. I'm Alli, a Christian woman who is straight, married, and a stay at home mom. I believe that all people should have the same rights and that voting on those rights is insane. My prayer is that by the time my daughter is ready to marry she will be allowed to marry whomever she pleases.

  • 241. Christina  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hi, this is Christina, 37, following the trial avidly from Canada. My wife and I are both American citizens, but we moved here for my job in 2003. We were so excited that we actually could get married that applying for our marriage license was one of the first things that we did when we arrived–and then we eloped. Six years into our marriage (and eight years into our relationship), we're now parents to a wonderful little boy.

    Since coming here, we've watched the progress of GLBTQ rights in the States with alternating joy and dismay. Although history and demographic change is on our side, I'm sickened by how in the short term, the bigoted majority is making the day-to-day life of queer folk in the US so needlessly hard.

    The people in our community here aren't so different from those where we lived in the States: most everyone is accepting and a few are well-meaning but clueless. Homophobia and heterosexism haven't vanished from the landscape, of course. The big difference, however, is that the law on our side. Things like both being listed as parents on our son's birth certificate–with no additional paperwork, being covered under each other's insurance, owning a home together… it's all a no-brainer. There's scarcely a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed to live here.

    Crossing the border back to the States often feels like a slap in the face, and frankly, I find being there with my family a bit terrifying. My heart and admiration go out to everyone who makes their lives work there–and to those who are working to change the system.

  • 242. Pete  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:32 am

    What a wonderful story!!! Thank you!

  • 243. Steve Crane  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I've been following the tracker religiously since it began. Thank you for the tremendously important work you are doing to make this trial public, particularly in light of the SCOTUS ruling.

    I identify as a strong liberal, and I believe in marriage equality because anything else is discrimination with no place in our society. This is also a personal issue for me. My brother David (who posted near the top) is gay. David was the best man at my wedding in 2008, and I'd like to attend a wedding for him one day (and maybe return the favor).

    Keep up the good work!

  • 244. Alli Berry  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Hi David. Your post made me all kinds of teary. First because of your experience with a partner with AIDS–my uncle died of it in 1986 and I still miss him every day. Then I had happy tears, reading about your engagement. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story.

    BTW, I LOVE what you said, "No one’s rights should EVER be held up to a vote!" Amen.

  • 245. Sheila Smith  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Thanks for the coverage of this event. I am Sheila, a single, 50ish woman who cares deeply about the civil rights of all people. I am appalled that there exists such blatant discrimination of any group of people, and am particularly offended by the religious fundamentalists' fear of being known for who and what they are. While LGBTQQI people have long been facing discrimination and violence, these folks are afraid they might be harassed for saying some relationships are less valuable or right than others–and so they want "protection" from cameras in the courtroom! I guess they don't have the imagination to see the irony of their stance!

  • 246. Jeff Stevens  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Jerome,

    Hello from a liberal Pastor serving in a United Church of Christ church just south of the border. I'm a straight man who is watching the proceedings in California with rapt attention, largely because I have too many friends with stories like yours, kicked out and alienated from a variety of Christian institutions (Catholic, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.) because of their sexuality. In each case I have been appalled and horrified. God's church is for everyone; to deny it to anyone is a sin.

    My own story is starkly different. When I was growing up my church was an ark floating on the rough seas of a crazy world. It was a place where we fought for justice and fairness, listend carefully to everyone (with particular care to hear the voices of the poor and the marginalized), and insistently loved and supported one another as God instructed us to do. We had some ridiculous fights over trivial things (the color of pew cushions, "communion cup silencers") but when the best organist we could find was openly gay, we hired him without a second thought or a single comment. When, before each communion, the Pastor announced that "this table is open to all" she meant it. God loves everyone; who are we to argue?

    That's how it should work. There are no walls between you and your faith save for those placed there by the acts of men. Jesus didn't condemn gays during his ministry, and instead insistently reached out to the marginalized. God loves you and longs for you to be happy, healthy and whole. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

    As for me, living in New Hampshire, with Vermont to the west and Massachusetts and Connecticut to the south I am privileged to be able to marry anyone to anyone. That's a heck of an honor and I hope and pray that what is happening in a California courtroom will eventually lead to Pastors everywhere enjoying freedom equal to mine.

  • 247. Petra  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Hi, My name is Petra and I came out a bit over a year ago when I was 31. It's been a weird journey, especially because as a "straight" person I had always thought I wanted to get married. The only problem with that was that the idea of marrying a man never sat comfortably with me! Oops! I came out about when the No on Prop 8 campaign started going, and suddenly I was fighting for MY rights, as well as those of friends! I've been incredibly open about what it's been like and very out, and I think because of that, I've helped disperse some prejudices.

    I also realize why it took so long to admit to myself that I was gay, despite supportive family and friends… Being queer encompasses every part of your life and you are CONSTANTLY editing what you say to others, based on whether they're "safe" or not. Some part of me knew and didn't want to face that. However, I'm facing it now and I'm so glad to know of others that are watching the trial with baited breath!

    This trial is keeping me on the edge of my seat and while I think we'll win this battle, the Supreme Court battle scares me! However, we'll win in the end, NO DOUBT!

  • 248. familyguy  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:39 am

    I am a 46 y.o. white male. My husband and I have been together 20 years. We have twin eight year old daughters. My husband and I were among the 18,000 couples who were legally married in California in the Summer of 2008 (class 2 of our 4 class system in California). In August 2003 we were married in Canada. We were also among the first to register for San Francisco DP status and the state of California's DP registry. We have done everything possible to announce ourselves legally and socially as married.

    There are many things about this public discussion taking place in federal court that I could comment on, but the bottom line for me is this: I am a citizen, I pay taxes just like everybody else, and my CHILDREN do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens. We have been very open with our girls about the fact that gay people are discriminated against, but we have tried to make them feel protected and cherished. It's important to them and to us to have our commitment legally recognized without any "taint" associated with second-class citizenship. Our girls and our family are first-class human beings, and governmentally-sanctioned discrimination is just wrong, period.

  • 249. Richard West  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Alan, Rather than be disturbed by…. I am happy for the gay youth of today in that they are comfortable being "out." I am one of the many who lived a "life in a closet" and wouldn't wish that upon anyone. I grew up in NJ and remember Stonewall and other clubs that were harassed for catering to gay patrons. I'm sorry you feel disturbed.
    Respectfully,
    Richard

  • 250. Robin  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I'm a bisexual teenager attending college in the Bay Area. I'm lucky enough to have grown up here, in a sufficiently progressive place and time that I've had a much easier time than a lot of people. Still, when I read William Tam's statement that legalizing gay marriage will mean "every child would grow up thinking whether he would marry John or Jane," I cried, because I only wish I could've grown up thinking that. It would have made coming out to myself a lot easier. I hope I am part of the last generation of queer kids who have to realize marriage might never be an option for them. No kid should ever be told they don't deserve to have what their peers can have — something that's a cornerstone of our society, that's part of our most deeply embedded cultural narratives — just because they like girls instead of boys, or vice versa, or both.

    That said, I also realize I am extremely fortunate; I can't even imagine how hard it must have been for all the people who grew up in earlier, less tolerant times, or in extremely homophobic families. For every hardship or slight I've endured, someone else has endured a hundred times worse; for every right I currently enjoy as a queer person, someone else has fought and sacrificed and suffered to help give me that right. To all those who came before, thank you. I'm honored to be here with you to watch what the world will bring for us and for those to come.

  • 251. Justice Calo Reign  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Hello everyone. My name is Justice Calo Reign, and I was a straight conservative Christian boy who grew up to be a very liberal, gendered-variant person; a "transientsexual".

    I was a Captain in the Air Force, coached and taught at the Air Force Academy, and later went on to Coach at the University of Louisville. When I was outted, my career came to a screeching halt.

    My coming to the understanding of my homosexuality changed the game for me. Because I have worked to love myself unconditionally before I realized I was gay, realizing that I was gay forced me to change my entire viewpoint on homosexuals. I have never felt like a second-class citizen as a gay man. I will put myself up toe to toe with any person and bet on the odds. What I have found is an incongruence in the laws of the land that seek to shape my belief in myself to that of someone not as deserving as someone else. I refuse to look at myself this way, and am so excited that we are making progress in changing these discriminatory laws to reflect the regard and dignity of ALL!

    I'd love it if you all checked out my blog! Be Well! Nothin' but love!

  • 252. David McKeag  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:41 am

    Thank you Alli. Not only for your kind words, but your support. It is people like you that keeps me believing in humanity's ability for compassion and love. Not just war and hate.

    I also want to acknowledge the loss of your uncle. He is being remembered and will continue to live through you and your memories of him.

    Take care,

    David

  • 253. Petra  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:42 am

    AND THANK YOU FOR COVERING THIS!!!!!

  • 254. Kevin  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Thanks! They are kind of adorable. To be honest I was a little disappointed at first that my coming out was such a non-event but after reading some of the stories I'm beyond greatful now.

  • 255. Steve  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:43 am

    I'm Steve. I'm going to be 25 soon, I've lived in Sonoma County all my life, I spend far too much time in front of my computer, and I just so happen to be gay.

    I don't have much of a story yet, but I hold out hope that whatever story I wind up with turns out to be a positive one.

  • 256. Cel  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Hello Everyone. Thank you, Courage Campaign, for this live blog. Some of the powerful testimonies in this trial need to be known.

    I am straight, and I support full equality.

    I grew up in what had to be the most gay-phobic place in Midwest America: gay was absolutely the worst thing you could be. I was naive and honestly thought almost nobody was actually gay, and those that were lived in Florida or San Francisco.

    Almost 30 years ago, my best friend came out to me. We were close, very compatible and almost certainly headed toward an intense (straight) dating relationship with strong family support. I was home from college for a few days when Aaron told me he was gay. He asked if we could still be friends.

    The most gut-wrenching 3 days of my life followed. I loved so much about Aaron, but him being gay was just not something I could fathom. Stuck in the gay-hatred capital of the nation at the time, there was nobody I could talk to. I struggled alone. My heart broken, my stomach churning, not sleeping or eating, and my world completely upside-down.

    Finally, the answer came. Love shattered my prejudice. After waiting patiently for 3 long days, Aaron graciously received my answer. Of course we would still be friends. What had really changed for us, anyway?

    We've gone on to have a wonderful friendship. Aaron has been in a relationship with the love of his life for around 28 years and I've been married to my love and soul mate nearly 20 years.

    I will always be thankful to Aaron for having the courage to tell me the truth and not lead me on. By living in truth, we've both found happiness. And yes, if Aaron marries his partner, my family and I will proudly attend his wedding, our "traditional" marriage in-tact and not the least bit threatened.

    Be aware that full marriage equality will require deep soul-searching and probably quite a few complete spiritual re-alignments, like I experienced. I was not anti-gay in body or mind, yet accepting a close gay friendship still required a fundamental shift in my world-view. It was very painful and I think many in this world are not willing to do this. Though not necessarily bad people, their unwillingness is their own shortcoming.

    Perhaps I suffered 3 days of hell, but how much more do gays and lesbians suffer? It's timely and right to ask and strive and push for complete marriage equality. It's time for our laws to align with love and truth and summon the courage to uphold what is right.

  • 257. Matthew S.  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:44 am

    I don't even live in California (though I'm a CA native) and it felt like a slap to me too. I'll never forget the 5,000+ people– straight and gay alike– that showed up here in downtown Salt Lake City and shut down the streets around the Mormon Temple to march in protest of the passage of this abhorrent law. My boyfriend and I held hands and marched proudly among them. Even if it takes decades, I plan to relish the slap right back at the ignorant and intolerant when marriage is finally legal for us in every state.

  • 258. Robert  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Hello All!

    You guys do a great job! Thank you for keeping us all informed. I have found the trial extremely interesting. the expert's our side has called have been amazing! I look forward to this being settled once and for all. Keep up the good work!

  • 259. Richard West  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Very True Maria.
    And as for voting on others rights…. They do it because they can. It seems ridiculous to me too. I wonder if we can go to court and proclaim that heterosexual couples don't have a right to marry either?
    Richard

  • 260. rmfranks  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Hi
    I am a 69 year old gay man who has been in a loving relationship with my partner for over 32 years. We live in California so we enjoy the benifits of Domestic Partnership. Not on the Federal Level and as we all know this is not right. We hope to see that change in our life time, but who knows. Things have improved in our life time but much more needs to be done. Keep up the good work. Bob

  • 261. Pete  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I totally teared up reading your post!! And I also love "No one’s rights should EVER be held up to a vote!" That is such the central theme!! Congrats on your engagement and your soon to be wedding!!!

    One of my friends has had a similar past as you it sounds like, and wasn't able to get married to his partner while his partner was dying. He's had some fairly serious legal repercussions because of not being able to get married…. Before I realized I was a lesbian, I wanted to punch out the discriminators on his behalf! Now I want to punch them out on both of our behalves!

  • 262. Monta  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I was fortunate that I could marry my partner legally. I happened to fall in love with the right person in the eyes of the law. As a bisexual person, it could have worked out differently.

    I've been following the California debacle since the beginning. I don't have anything to add to the wonderful stories that have been posted here, but I did want to speak up and voice my support for those fighting for/hoping for the right to marry who they choose and lead the life that fits them best.

  • 263. kristen  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:49 am

    hello, just wanted to introduce myself and let everyone know that I've been following from my office at work, and often get chills when reading this because i can only hope we're onto something incredibly big and life changing for so many people in our state/country, and for people around the world. and sometimes im on the verge of tears because i'm so frustrated by the hatred and prejudice people can feel for others based on sexual orientation. keep up the good work, bloggers, since it's the only way we can follow the trial without it being broadcast.

  • 264. John  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Thank you so much for doing this work!

  • 265. Frank  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Hey there….I'm Frank, a 53 y/o gay man coming up on celebrating 30 years with my partner. I've seen a lot of change over the years, but not enough.

    We've experienced a fair amount of discrimination, mostly in the first 20 years. Little (but some) in the last 10. California domestic partnership would not have prevented any of the discrimination we've had, but marriage likely would have prevented a lot.. I think the word makes a big difference.

    I wish we had been able (or courageous) to have adopted a kid way back when, and we could now, but I don't want to be near 70 with a teenager.

    I'm fascinated to see the outcome of this trial and the appeals.

  • 266. carlwillis  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Thank you guys for providing real-time coverage and legal analysis of the testimony in this case. I'm 29 and live in New Mexico. I lived with a gay housemate for a few years and feel that I have a personal investment in this case. I'm also tired of seeing religious doctrine shape our laws; it's about time we entered the 21st (or the 20th, for that matter) century as a nation.

    Gay marriage bans are the most flagrant and damaging manifestation of religion's undue influence on public policy. I'm watching this case closely because it will not only shape the future of civil rights for gays, but will set precedent for how policy based on superstition is evaluated in court. And I gleefully admit to a bit of schadenfreude–I love seeing the thick-necked knuckle-dragging troglodytes behind Prop 8 struggle to sound reasonable in the courtroom when everyone knows–themselves included–that their horsecrap is not the stuff of reason.

    Keep up the good work!

  • 267. David McKeag  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Thank you so much for your support. But please don't punch anyone. They are not worth it. Just show them the way. Lead by example. As they say"be the change you want to see."

  • 268. John  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Hi, I'm John, 22 years old, a web developer, graphics designer, and tech news show host, from Davao City, Philippines, and been following closely the Prop 8 trial through this blog and by reading tweets with #prop hashtag. I'm single and gay, grew up being exposed to strict Catholic catechism but nevertheless ended as academic and open-minded person, shortly before I came out from closet in November of 2008. It was the best decision I made in my life ever and my family was very supportive.

    Every day, I always do a search in Google News about the progress of Marriage Equality throughout the United States. I'm very up-to-date since two years. I observed the Prop 8 during the election (of course, virtually), the public trial in the California Supreme Court that came after with it, the major setbacks in Maine, NY, and NJ, and progress in DC. And now, this trial.

    Although jurisdictionally my life may or may not be affected by the outcome of this trial, I personally feel that I'm involved because I could personally relate the stories and experiences that were exposed by the plaintiffs. It broke through whatever geographical barriers and great distance between US and the Philippines and in many ways, made me feel that my life and a good chunk of my future is on trial.

    I have a married lesbian aunt in Seattle, Washington, who was very instrumental in my coming out and I want her and her wife to have the full benefits of marriage as everyone else in the US. I fell the same for some of my gay relatives there, for all the LGBT communities across the region, and for myself.

    Thank you for the efforts in making this trial tracker alive even though the adversaries tried to bring this down!

    My Twitter account is: http://www.twitter.com/anmjoven

  • 269. Josh  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Thank you! I appreciate the support.

  • 270. John  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:03 am

    In my introduction I meant the third to the last paragraph as: "I FELT the same for some of my gay relatives there, for all the LGBT communities across the region, and for myself."

    Btw, it has been very difficult to do some work while this trial is ongoing. Reading tweets and updates from this blog made me real busy… but DEFINITELY worth it!

  • 271. MGinny  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Hello!

    I'm a 30-something married lesbian living in California — I've been following the trial tracker (and twitter and blogs and and and) since the trial began last week.

    Cheers!

  • 272. JD  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Thank you very much for doing this
    JD

  • 273. Amy  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Hey everyone. My name is Amy, I'm 21, and I'm from Ohio. I'm Catholic, raised evangelical Protestant, and I'm a panromantic asexual. I have no idea who I may end up with someday, whether that person will be male, female, or "other", or whether I'll even end up marrying at all.

    But every day, seeing my friends who want to be married but can't, seeing preachers on my campus proclaiming some of my best friends to be hell-bound based on who they love…it pains me that we in this country feel so threatened by love. The injustice of it screams out to me, and I can't help my fury that basic human rights were put to majority vote. That words like "husband" and "wife," words that everyone understands, words that have such significant meaning, are denied to people that I love. Based on nothing more than religious bigotry and moral panic.

    I feel that Perry v. Schwarzenegger is the Loving v. Virginia of my generation. Even if the issue weren't so personally important to me…I can't imagine how anyone could -not- be interested. This trial shows us whether we as a nation are going to read the Constitution for what it actually means, or twist it to fit our own cruel and hateful purposes. I can only hope and pray that we will choose the former.

  • 274. John Copeland  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:07 am

    In 1964 during the Viet Nam War I decided to enlist in the Air Force rather than get drafted into the Army as means of survival. The Air Force accepted me. After boot camp at Lackland AFB, Texas, I was sent to Cryptography school and then given my first duty assignment at the Pentagon, Washington DC. In my second year at the Pentagon I married my hometown sweetheart. I was then transfered to Easter Island, Chile where I was assigned for one year. No spouses allowed. After Chile I was transfered to Germany and took my wife with me. My wife and I had a wonderful time in Germany and made many friends there. When my four year enlistment was over my wife returned to the States and I was to follow. Shortly after my wife returned to the States a friend of mine from Charleston, SC invited me to go to with him to a German gay bar. From that moment on I became a married closeted gay man. My family had thought that I was gay prior but I did not know what "gay" was at the time and said that I was not gay. My stepfather said if I was gay that I could not live in his house. I did not know that I was gay. After experiecing what "gay" really meant in Germany I could no longer be "straight". I lived a lie with my wife who I did love and enjoy and we subsequently had a beautiful daughter together. However as more time went by and my attempts to cover my "gay" began to fall apart my wife asked for a divorce. Subsequently I fell in love with my partner of 20+ years and we lived as a "married" couple. However, we did not have the benefits provided to heterosexuals marrieds for tax purposes, hospitalization, death et. al. This is not right! Homosexuals should enjoy the same benefits provided to all other United States citizens. If in this case we as members of society do not receive justice then every homosexual in the USA should collectively refuse to pay taxes!!!!!

  • 275. A  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:08 am

    25-y-o straight ally living in Oakland here, been following the trial tracker since day 1. Can't wait to see how this trial goes, it's been a while since I've been interested in constitutional law! Now to go read up on what's happened so far today…

  • 276. Brian  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Thanks so much for this website!

    My husband and I have been together 12 years. We were married in 2004, and then again in June 2008. While our marriage is still considered valid in California, following the passage of Prop 8, we still feel that there is a little asterisk following our marriage that makes it less than equal. I often find myself explaining myself when I introduce my husband or tell people that I'm married. There are follow up questions, asking if I am "really" married and whether it "counts".

    We have been following this trial on your website with great interest. Thanks to all of you for your tireless coverage in the face of a cowardly camera ban. The summary of the testimony you have posted is by turns both inspiring and heartbreaking.

  • 277. kenny  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:13 am

    One day we will all Polka in the streets……….

  • 278. JimB  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Howdy. I've lurked more than posted but when I post, it's apparently a doozy! Woohoo! :)

    LOVE This site for the intelligencia sharing insights, and the knee jerk reactions sharing emotions, and everything in between. It truly feels like a community sharing this event, regardless of the outcome.

    I'm a mid-40's antagonostic/militant atheist dance instructor in Sandy Eggo (Jerry Sanders, yeah!) who apparently has way too much time on his hands to obsess about this issue. Apparently, I'm not the only one.

    I grew up in a house where it wasn't okay to be gay, went to catholic schools in the Bay Area, CA, and was on the verge of suicide. Came out my first year in college after falling in love with another guy — whose feelings were mutual (ah, the music swells…hearts & flowers…blah blah blah), so i've lived life as an openly gay man for more than half my life. Parents thought i wasn't normal, dad told me to get out. Instead, parents separated.

    Now my mom is in love with Adam Lambert (oh great, her son is a bear & she loves the twinks!) and relatively accepting, but still apparently clueless as to what it was like growing up homo.

    I probably won't ever have the chance to get married due to the baggage from my 2 long term relationships in my life. I would like the option – but moreso I would like to feel less like a second class citizen, not just some freakshow.

    The issues coming out in this trial are frighteningly on the mark. It's been very emotional, and like sharing any other emotional event with a group of random individuals…well, I think it just makes me feel a bit of a sense of community here.

    okay…now I wonder if there's more posted on today's trial thread….!

  • 279. Tim  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:21 am

    My name is Tim Church and I live and work in Sonoma County just north of San Francisco Ca. I have been following this trial with causious optimisim. (forgive me if I'm miss spelling). I married my partner of seventeen years Sept 29th 2008 in San Francisco, his birthday.
    Like jerome I am a christian.I have not been active in a church in a while but my heart is.
    I feel your anguish Jerome as I am feeling as the people that should be "all loving" are the ones that dislike me the most and that hurts.
    I helped organize a prop 8 protest in my town and on that day a car came closer to us than most. Inside that car was a woman 60-70yrs old and as they drove by she held up her Bible and brandished it at the entire crowd.
    That was the most disturbing awful thing I have ever seen someone of faith do.It was very dissrespecful to herself to me and to the Bible!
    I felt so hated and very much as a second class citizen.I feel I am being pushed away from Christianity and unwelcome. I have been wanting to talk to a pastor to try to make sence of all of this.
    So Jeff your kind words mean more to me than you can ever emagine!. Thank You! And thank you to everyone who is responsible for this website! It means so much.

  • 280. Stephen Pappas  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:23 am

    May we, like Martin Luther King change this hypocrisy. End this discrimination and all w/ equipoise and steadfast dignity!

  • 281. Christina Powell  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Hi. My name is Christina, and I am one of the many heterosexual opponents of Prop 8. I lived and worked in the Castro in San Francisco for three years during 2003-2006. During that time, I was overjoyed when Mayor Gavin Newsom defied federal and state laws and legalized same-sex marraige in California for the first time. I developed a deep respect for him, and seeing the happiness it evoked from my friends (LGBT and heterosexual alike) was one of the best experiences of my young life.
    One man I saw everyday was dying of cancer, and the opportunity to marry his partner of over ten years enlivened him in a way I'd never seen.
    I know without a doubt that federal and state laws marginalizing homosexuals as different or wrong has deeply disturbing effects on the LGBT population, and that is why I am committed to seeing equality in my lifetime.

  • 282. kenny  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Thank U

  • 283. Kristen  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I'm Kristen. My husband and I are huge supporters and can't wait for the day that everybody has the same opportunity to get married like we had. Can you believe the discrimination/problems we face just for being supporters? Apparently we are going to Hell for doing so. My husbands family claims that their church is going to stone them to death for having a son that supports gay marriage. Is this what this has come to? Wow. When we were getting married I wanted to put my gay, male best friend on my bridesmaid side. In order to keep the peace at our Russian Christian wedding (also done to cater to peace for my new Russian in laws) we had to stick him on my husbands side and hide who he was. The stupid thing was is that standing on my side wouldn't make him gay anyway!! But they insisted that that alone was a homosexual act. Oh well. Our florist was gay and his, as they put it, "filthy" hands had to touch them to put on their flower pins. Victory! The lies they come up with are unbelievable!! They get information from their other so called fellow Christians about how the gay community wants to teach children that they can be a boy OR a girl, that gay people are gender confused, and that religious people will be prosecuted for not showing support to gay rights. The thing they said that angered me the most was that "they will spread their filth to our children". Needless to say after that my in laws and I are no longer getting along. Other things they said: If you support gay people you will eventually become gay, gay people are trying to ban the bible, the apocalypse will come because of the gay right movement and Christians will be hunted down for not being supporters, gays are the cause of AIDS and spread to EVERYBODY, gays will cause the population to drop so far that humans will face extinction….. there is probably a lot more crap that they believe that I can't think of. The lies they come up with are amazing. I can't believe that they are actually spreading this BS to others. Things like this need to stop. I have tried to show them how wrong they are and that gay people are human, too. My brother in law was also telling us that every gay person he has ever met was a pervert that hit on him and blah blah blah. My husband told him that he has no idea how many people he has met have been gay. The people he met WERE perverts but that doesn't mean that every gay person is like that. Then my husband described my gay friend to him that he had met before and he was shocked that he was gay. After saying all of these nasty things they claim that they don't hate gay people but just the sin. They are so blind to the damage they are doing and how much they are hurting the gay community. They make me cry because of the things they say and the way the treat gays like they are the plague. I hope for the day when these horrible mind sets disappear. Maybe my husbands family will wake up one day and realize how wrong they are. I doubt it but I can always hope. (my mom is catholic and she is a huge supporter for the gay community so maybe there is some hope 😀 )
    -Much love and support,
    Kristen and Konstantin

  • 284. Rick Heintz  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Hello

    Rick Heintz from Chicago and I have been following everyday and even needed a weekend fix so thanks for the postings. I volunteered for the No on 8 campaign when I lived in SoCal and am exited to see everything that I felt during that time come out in the courtroom. I can't thank you enough for this site.

  • 285. Tim  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Thank You so much Tanya!

  • 286. Rev. Bud  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Hi Marjorie. I'm glad to see you're also following the Trial.

    If you will go to your Dad's wiki spaces website http://same-sex-marriage.wikispaces.com/

    you will see the readers' theater drama depicting the change in who can be married and the history surrounding this change.

    Love,
    Dad

  • 287. Tim  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:38 am

    " an unprovoked slap in the face but also a much needed kick in the pant's"
    Thats GREAT and true David. Thanks…

  • 288. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Hi –
    My name is Lauren. I am a happily married (heterosexual) mother of three. I started a campaign called Tolerance For Peace in reaction to the passage of Prop. 8 last year. The reason I identified myself as a married heterosexual woman is that I believe this campaign goes beyond the Gay marriage issue. This is an issue of constitutionality. Our forefathers fought hard and sacrificed greatly for the freedoms provided us in this great, and unique country of ours. We are the original melting pot with a Constitution which guarantees each and every American the rights (among others) to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There are no footnotes or exclusionary paragraphs specifying who this does and does not apply to! the first argument people give against Gay marriage is religious – the Bible. What happened to the separation of Church and state? What happened to each and every one of us being free to embrace whatever religious and political beliefs we choose? Who gave any one of us the right to not only preach their own beliefs and viewpoints, but to expect every person to be accountable to those beliefs? And the argument for the salvation of the family… I do't know about you but I know a lot of heterosexual parents who are awful and destructive to the family unit. Why is gender a determining factor in good parenting?? This whole "Yes" on Prop. 8 campaign is a campaign driven by fear. Why does Gay marriage threaten so many people. Are they afrad it will somehow devalue their own marriage? And if so, maybe they need to spend a little more time and energy working on their own unions… Please check out my website : http://www.ToleranceForPeace.com. I would love to get some comments and suggestions.

  • 289. Carla Clements  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:42 am

    I'm a therapist in Northern California and I am straight. I raised my kids in a very affluent area crawling with hetero parents. I tried believing for a while that I was doing everything right because having one female and one male role model for my kids seemed to make sense. Eventually I had to admit the reality that I was surrounded by atrocious parenting. I am prepared to say that the great hetero experiment that is supposed to create the ideal environment for children has simply failed. Two people who love each other and want with all their hearts to love a child is the only definition of good parenting that makes sense. For those who say gay marriages hurt children, I say stop being so afraid of change, because I am now clear that prohibiting gay marriage is directly harmful to children.

  • 290. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I'm a straight married, Roman Catholic who is appalled at the experiences many gay people have had in churches. I know people who have been frozen out, humiliated, fired etc in churches. I am ashamed but I am still a Christian. What a terrible misunderstanding of Jesus.

    A suggestion to all you straight Christians out there. I will no longer go to church unless I am wearing a rainbow pin or GLBT friendly button. If we all did it it would change people's perceptions. There are lots of us.

  • 291. Rebecca Smith  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Hello,

    I'm Rebecca and I'm from Ontario, Canada. My girlfriend Heather directed me to the site. I am grateful for the rights we have achieved up here and want you to know that I stand in solidarity with your struggle. Keep up the good work.

    Take care.

  • 292. Tim  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:47 am

    WOW! Michael that is a wonderful story. Share it with as many people as you can!! Much love…

  • 293. Jennifer  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I am a straight, married mother of two living in San Diego and a strong supporter of gay marriage. Every American should support this cause regardless of their background as it is a simple matter of equal rights as provided by our constitution. Discrimination is unacceptable in any form.

  • 294. Cherylynn  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:50 am

    My name is Cherylynn. I am a lesbian married under Massachusetts law but, thanks to my wife's citizenship, live in the far more hospitable UK.

    I want to send a huge THANK YOU to Rick and Co for putting this out there. It is not only my way of keeping up with what is going on politically back home but it is hope that this will lead to the right people questioning DOMA. It being repealed is the only way I will be able to bring my wife (married in the US) into the US as my wife.

    It is also really sobering because I do take for granted everything I have here in the UK, which is a hell of a lot: being able to hold hands and kiss in public without people batting an eye, telling colleagues and new acquaintances without anyone looking at me differently, automatic rights to her property should something happen and even to be named as other parent on the birth certificate when she has a child. All this with a Massachusetts marriage license. (And I can't even bring her into the U.S. as my wife? The hypocrisy is befuddling..)

    It saddens both of us how far away from equality the U.S. is but we live in hope that this trial will be the stepping stone to change that the U.S. needs.

  • 295. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:50 am

    I agree with you both! Why should anyone have the right to "approve" the person you want to marry? As long as we're talking about consenting adults, should love and commitment be something to celebrate and revere? Someone wrote in our local newspaper "Gay marriage doesn't destroy marriage, divorce does." maybe people need to concentrate on their own marriages rather than trying to dictate others…

  • 296. Samantha Lavin  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

    Hi,

    My name is Samantha Lavin. I am so moved by this trial and all the comments. I have been watching since the start.

    I am also a filmmaker and I last summer a producer friend and I made a No On 8 video that won the People's Choice Award in Project Pushback's PSA competition last year. I was hoping that the video would be used to promote marriage equality by the Gay/Lesbian Center in L.A., but unfortunately I haven't seen the video used at all. If anyone knows of any TV stations, websites or organizations who this could be of use to please let me know, its a virtually free ad and I'd love to see it used somehow for this cause.

    The mayor of SD is just fantastic. So have all the witnesses for our side been. This has been an absolute top notch education in gay history and I hope this gets turned into some sort of volume or printed material that is accessed for years to come.

    You can watch the video at this link on Funny or Die: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/e5f5c020b3/the-b

    In solidarity…

    Samantha Lavin and Lori Brrener

  • 297. tamra wilcox  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:52 am

    hi my name is tammy, and i am an Army brat whose father still stands by the DADT. because of this i have yet to come out to him for fear of disownment. I live in Utah( the mecca of mormonsim) and it is still frowned upon to be gay. My hope is for the world to see us as humans.

  • 298. Jacques Graber  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:54 am

    I am Jacques Graber, California NATIVE, born in San Francisco, raised in Fairfield, California. I am educated in University of California Berkeley, residing in Sacramento- Rancho Cordova, California for 33 years. Met my Partner V.A. Abad in 1976, and have lived together with him since December 1976, 33 years. We registered for Domestic Partnership immediately when the law was enacted in California. We married in 2008, 7 days after the Judgment was handed down legalizing Same Sex Marriage. We have fought the indignancies of bigotry from the religious right fascists including the rabid attacks from the Slavic communtiy running rampant in the Sacramento area, attending the trial of a Murderer from the Slavic community who killed a gay man, Mr. Satender also in 2008. I am sick of the religious fascists dictating my rights and freedoms. This trial MUST reverse the past legalized hatred perpetrated by the religious community on Gays and Lesbians. Enough of the hate.

  • 299. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Stories like this is why there has to be a change. We can do it, and it's sites like this than are going to help get it done!

  • 300. Tim  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Could someone please, please publish the stories in this blog! It would be an AMAZING book. Josh you are an inspiration and Thank You !!

  • 301. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:00 am

    This is totally a human rights issue, and I believe, a constitutional issue. I am a heterosexual, married mother of three who wants to see a more just and tolerant world for my children and their children.

  • 302. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Absolutely! Shouldn't commitment and love be the defining factors? Judging from the horrific divorce rate in this country, seems the heterosexual population sure hasn't got it all figured out yet!!

  • 303. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

    This is definitely a human rights issue. I, too am heterosexual but pro-equality. It's hard for me to believe that there is another side to "pro-equality". Things need to change and I believe that we can effect that change. We need Tolerance – Live It, Teach It, Spread the Word!!!

  • 304. Scott Wilbanks  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Hi everyone-

    It is Wednesday morning in New Zealand and I'm sipping my first cup of coffee as I read these posts. My partner, MIke, is still asleep. I can hear him snoring lightly in the bedroom. He will wake up shortly, pick his way slowly downstairs, we'll hug, and start the day. Oatmeal is my responsibility. He makes the eggs.

    MIke and I were engaged on June 21st, 2008. Family and friends from across the country came to our engagement party in San Francisco. It was one of the defining moments of my life. And my sweet mother gave such a speech that there wasn't a dry eye in the house. She talked about the power love has to bind all things together.

    We plan to be married soon. Where the ceremony takes place, won't be decided by us. It will be decided by the good 'ol US of A. You see… I'm here in New Zealand, because The United States won't let Mike immigrate as my partner. I had to leave my home, my family, my job, and the country of my birth on March 7, 2009 because, for reasons I cannot fathom, that traditional door for entry in America has been closed to MIke.

    Like my mother, America clearly recognize love as a powerful force, so powerful that it legislates aggressively on its behalf. Yet ours is deliberately ignored. I find it hard to understand why America will go to such lengths to advocate on behalf of love that it will protect an inmates right to marry while, at the same to, working equally as hard to refuse the institution to us.

    New Zealand, however, has welcomed me with open arms, and I am so grateful to this beautiful country. But it is not home.

    Like any other couple, Mike and I should have a choice. We are still waiting to be given it.

    I miss my family desperately.

  • 305. Lauren Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:13 am

    You keep on hoping because it's up to us to make sure that changes are made and that bigotry does not win. Tolerance – Live It, Teach It, Spread the Word. We can do it!

  • 306. Stephen Carver  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Glad you guys are doing this. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  • 307. slignot  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:13 am

    My name is April and I live in Salt Lake; I've lurked here, feverishly refreshing at work to read the most recent testimony. I can't express how grateful I am for the dedicated coverage of the Perry case here, particularly in light of the wrongheaded decision by SCOTUS.

    I'm straight, but always try to keep in my mind the daily discrimination, persecution and harrassment faced by my LGBT friends, family and colleagues. I had the good fortune to have family who taught me the importance of diversity and equality, and their perspective continues to drive my actions.

    Reading some of the comments here has made me weep, particularly because I know that so many of those who were responsible for the oppression in California surround me every day. How anyone could be unmoved by compassion is beyond my comprehension. I watch this trial hopeful that private religious beliefs will no longer be able to dictate governmental discrimination in our nation.

  • 308. Heather  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:17 am

    I'm a thirty-five y.o., straight, married woman who is desperately looking forward to the day that marriage becomes truly equal. I'm following this trial with hope and tears. I want my brother-in-law to actually be my brother-in-law. I want my brother to be protected. I want people who are against gay marriage to wake up and realize that this isn't about their distorted views of the "gay lifestyle" (I'm looking at you, Mom). I am confident this will happen, but I want it to happen NOW.

  • 309. fiona64  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Hi, Don. It seems to me that George is pretty unclear about the history of marriage in Western civilization alone, as you point out. I found a really cool link that talks about that: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/ATLAS_EN/html/h

    I have another really cool link that contains the text of the Adelphopoiia rite, used by the medieval Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches for same-sex marriages: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/2rites.html.

    IMO, George, you need to work on outlawing birth control and divorce in their entirety, as well as the other things listed. Otherwise, you're an enormous hypocrite Let us know how that goes.

    Oh … I'm Fiona64. I'm a straight ally for marriage equality who has been working on behalf of this issue since 2004. I know that my traditional marriage is not harmed by any other marriage, gay or straight. What I *do* recognize is the true slippery slope of being able to put any unpopular group's rights up for a majority vote because of the precedent set by Prop 8.

    I wonder how many people got to vote on George's marriage? I have no doubt he'd be just fine with voting to outlaw mine, as I'm childfree.

  • 310. Jen Swanson  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Although I'm a straight ally, I am a strong supporter of marriage equality. I fought in Maine for the No on 1 campaign, and would have been in NJ too if I could have been. I am so thankful that I live in MA! While working in Maine, I met some wonderful men and women and it brought it all home to me and made it even more personal. I've become good friends with some of them even though I was only there for 3 days and nights. I joined Mass Equality and PFLAG to help the fight in any LGBT cause they support so that I can give back to the community as I am an author of gay romance stories. I hope I've also been a good fole model for my teenage daughter, who is a member of the Gay Straight Alliance at her high school.

    Keep up the good fight, CA — we're behind you in MA and ME! And thanks, Courage Campaign Institute for giving us this chance to follow history…I'm one of those F5 polishers. My heart is with you all as we watch the fight for equality.

  • 311. Julie  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:24 am

    I am the 40 y/o mother of 7 y/o twin boys. I can only hope that by the time they are old enough to consider marriage, they will be able to marry whoever they wish.

    My marriage is no more real than anyone elses. I was married once in a Catholic ceremony and ultimately divorced. It was never anulled, so technically, the Catholics don't acknowledge my current marriage. I don't care because I know and God knows what's up. But this is easy for me to say. I have the option to marry/divorce and marry/divorce as much as I choose. This simply isn't right, it isn't fair, it isn't equal.

    I give my full support to anyone who wants to commit to another; I don't care who you are or "what" you are, you are part of our human family and that means you are me.

    I just hope for sensibility to reign and this stupidity ends.

  • 312. nicole  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I'm so sorry, Dave. such a sad story.

  • 313. Seth Thayer  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Hey all: Just wanted to log in and say that your coverage is wonderful. I check every day to see how you are progressing there across the country. My name is Seth and I am a 43 year old gay man living in Maine with my soul mate. We've been together for almost 11 years. We worked really hard for the NO on 1 campaign here in Maine. Sadly, our civil right to marry was stripped away by a scared, ill-informed populace who were influenced by a brilliant mis-information campaign that the big bad gays were coming to eat the children of Maine unless we were stopped short. We have registered domestic partner registration here, which costs $35, a humiliating $15 more than a marriage license.
    We wish you well California and we are watching closely…go get em!

  • 314. Steven Gutierrez  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Hi I'm Steven, I'm 20 from Los Angeles, California. I might not have a vast plethora of degrees, nor am I married, but I believe strongly in equality for all on any issue that prejudices against a minority. Most people my age could care less or don't even realize that this trial is happening right now – I'm not one of them. I just wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you, from the bloggers, to the commenters, to the hetero married individuals who support us. Obama might be slow about bringing change for us, but we're making it clear that we can also do it on our own. Thanks guys!

  • 315. IT  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:48 am

    My wife and I are one of the 18,000 couples who married prior to Prop8, a lovely wedding surrounded by friends and family. I am still outraged that the mob was able to vote on our rights! I blog at Gay Married Californian and cross post to Daily Kos and Street Prophets. I believe a key to repeal and justice will be to mobilize fair-minded people , familiers, and faith communities so the pro-H8ers can no longer claim children and religion for themselves.

    You guys are doing a great job.

  • 316. Andy Webber  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Pyoung, I am devastated that your MOTHER could say something like that to you, even worse if she did not apologize or reconcile. I hope she remembers her daughter. As painful as it is, I am glad that you are finding your way.

  • 317. Roger Sinasohn  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I'm happily married and can't see how letting other people get married is going to affect me (other than — hopefully — being invited to the weddings). More importantly, It's a simple case of what's right. There are just so many reasons why prop 8 is wrong that I don't even know where to start.

    I've written about the issue on my own site (http://www.sinasohn.net/notebooks/), at the Parenting sites ParentDish and Strollerderby, and via twitter/facebook. I also started a group Straight Guys for Equality (http://www.straightguysforequality.com). My kids and I have participated in protests as well.

    Anyway, I'm an old straight guy with a beautiful wife and three awesome kids and we all agree marriage should be about love and family, not sex.

    My biggest challenge is remembering that not everywhere is like San Francisco; some people were taught to hate as children.

    And many, many thanks to the people who are covering this for the rest of us who can't be there.

  • 318. Roberta K  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Haven't formally introduced myself so here goes:

    Silicon Valley resident, 50 (51 in another 6 weeks if we're all still here), in "opposite marriage" for 18 years and full supporter of marriage equality. Important that everyone have equal treatment under the law especially if/when relationship turns sour; mother-in-law's lesbian goddaughter raised children with her partner, partner "found Jesus" and took the kids, goddaughter unable to get visitation rights. Marriage equality would put these situations under standard laws regarding custody, visitation, spousal/child support, etc.

  • 319. Steve Zlick  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Hey, I'm Steve. Just sayin' Hi by the site's request. I've been following Trial Tracker since it started, but have had no time to comment – and I don't see that changing. I follow the trial all day long via tweets, and use the Trial Tracker as back-up info and opinion. But that's an all-day process, which I try to squeeze in while I'm at work.

    I'm an on-and-off activist, and I've lived almost my entire life in NYC and L.A., where I could count on one hand's fingers the numbers of times I've been harassed or discriminated against because I'm gay. That's great. Now where's my equal rights? They are mine whether or not I'm discriminated against, and whether or not I choose to be gay or I'm born that way. None of that matters. We all have equal rights, and I won't stop fighting until that is recognized in California and the United States.

  • 320. Roberta K  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Hi IT — I'm "Cali Scribe" over at the GOS. Glad to see you here!

  • 321. jamie d  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Live in Sacramento. Stay-at-home dad; my wife and I are committed allies. I've been reading here with rapt attention while the baby sleeps. It's getting unhealthy… I can't tear my eyes away!

    This whole thing makes me shudder. I remember Andy Pugno from college at UC Davis, where he was head of the College Republicans. He was a smug weasel then; he's just a more portly smug weasel now, with an only slightly thicker veneer of earnestness… a little miniature Rove wannabe.

  • 322. Beth  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Just to make my blood boil even more, I've been reading posts and comments from the other side. A lot of "sore losers looking for special rights" crap mixed with religious fallacies and the Ick Factor. And of course, the next sentence is "but we aren't bigots and we don't hate them."

    I hope Sanders' testimony gets through somehow.

    Meanwhile, it would be great if the plaintiffs would offer up some of these posts and comments as evidence of the amount of animosity and vitriol and extremism this issue inspires.

  • 323. Sheryl Carver  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Hi, Dave!

    I was born in Maine; left when I was 27 to join the USAF. Have only been back to visit family since then. Left mostly because of the "we've always done it this way" attitudes, which I hope have changed since the 70's. Followed the "1" campaign by reading the Bangor, Portland, & Lewiston papers' web sites. Sad to see so many hateful & ignorant comments there, but not much different than the "8" vitriol here in CA.

    Hope you are living in one of the more enlightened parts of the state!

    Sheryl

  • 324. Rick Heintz  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I wasn't sure about sharing my story but was encouraged by reading some of these posts. So here goes…

    I started the coming out process in a small town in Indiana when I was 14. At the time I was all sorts of wrapped up in religion at Fairhaven Baptist Church and School. I wanted more than anything to be a preacher but my family was not religious. I come from a divorced family and my father was out of the picture at that time so I turned to religion and God and they became my completed family. By the time I was sixteen I was ready to take the full plunge and come out. I was never a good fundie prior to this as I was the one to always question everything and I learned right from the start that sheep don't question… they follow. Well the coming out didn't help that and I was asked not to return to church.

    Feeling lost I tried everything from people laying hands on me to suicide to get rid of the disease that I thought was inside me. (Side note: The preacher that laid hands on me was HOT! Sorry…needed some humor in here) By the time I was eighteen I tried to kill myself three times. Thank God I wasn't good at it. My grades in school were in the tank because I was afraid to go to school and I was so stressed out when I got there I would fall asleep in every class. Teachers didn't care and neither did I. After five years of high school (I was held back due to absences) I finally quit school and eventually got my GED.

    A wonderful thing happened right after this though. A guidance counselor from another school had heard of my struggle and contacted me in June of 1992 and asked me if I wanted to go to Chicago for the Pride Parade. I cannot tell you what that was like for me. To finally found the place that I did belong and I instantly wanted to get involved. I wanted to join this club and that club and march in protests and life went along pretty well after that. I met a nice guy we settled down and life was good. Until March of 2000.

    I was at work when my boyfriends sister walked in to tell me that he had been killed in a car accident. We were young and didn't have the proper legal documents in place so I lost everything. Our home, our furniture and everything that I had brought into the relationship now belonged to someone else. I could handle that but what was hardest for me was not being involved in the funeral process. His family took control and I was left in the wings without a voice. I still regret feeling like an outsider at my lovers funeral to this day coming up on ten years now. But through all this, there was one person that did reach out to me and to this day I wish I could find him and thank him. The preacher that handled the service did reach out to me. I don't know why or how but he knew that Larry was not just my "friend" and without him I don't think I could have made it.

    This is why marriage is important to me. This is why we need equality and I want to thank everyone out there Gay, Straight, Bi, Trans, people with and without faith, Republicans and Democrats alike that are fighting for my civil rights. Unfortunately, my faith has never been restored but my dignity has and that is why we need more people like you.

  • 325. liz  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Liz Miller. Following along here and joined the fan group on FB

  • 326. JRolen  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Thanks for your words. They hit home and are welcomed into my heart.
    My name is Jill and I am a parent of two children and in a committed relationship with the woman of my dreams. I met her (after many years of finding the wrong people) and fell in love with her after returning back home to Clovis – from Seattle.

    Your words are comforting and are quite different from the woman (Pastor's wife) that I sat next to this morning. You see, she is the president of the Parent Teacher Club and she knows I am a lesbian and live with my girlfriend. She is polite, kind & treats me like the other members, except in this one way:
    Earlier this year, she typed up & handed out a list of all the PTC members' contact information. All the member's have their husband's name next to them in parenthesis, except mine. It is blank, even though she knows my girlfriend's name and she volunteers right along with me.
    Surprise! Her and her hubby drive a truck with a Prop H8 sticker on it. They also moved back from Seattle to start up a local church here in the area and have never invited us. I don't wonder why.
    We will be so thankful when this trial goes our way and we can get married. It will be such a relief to be able to say, "Will you please add my wife to the list." It will also be a relief to fill out the forms correctly at my daughter's school, the doctor's office and change the deed on our home so that it reads, Jill & Martina, a married couple rather than "a single woman and a single woman." And in so many other ways!
    I truely appreciate what you have said and hope that I may one day find a church with a Pastor like you.
    What a blessing that would be.

  • 327. Marc  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Long history of being a second or is it third class US citizen. Thrown out of the A/F in early '60's (and accused of being a Soviet spy which was popular at the time. Remember McCarthy and Cohen? Utter nonsense)

    Gay bashed 3 times over the years. Once seriously. Been with my other half for 40 years. Dismayed that the progress made in that time is negligible, in spite of what others sometimes say. Increasingly anti religion as I see what they, as a group represent, which is hate and viciousness.

    Disappointed in Obama, not because he has not done enough in a year for the LGBT, but more for his lack of integrity in standing behind his stated positions. He is a faker like most politicians and we the public continue to believe the lies they put forth.

    Scotus is rigged for the other sided. I was raised with the silly concept that it was a totally unbiased, fair minded group of men who were blind. That is a joke and naive of me. 2000 opened my eyes for ever more to the real power of $$ and the belief in Santa Claus or equivalent in this country. That is the bottom line for everything.

    Looking forward to watching this trial but have little hope that it will change anything as it is prejudged by the ultimate arbitrators.

  • 328. Kathleen Lardner  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:52 am

    I'm Kathleen, I live near Pasadena California and am a married straight woman with two children. I attend an Episcopal Church in Pasadena that is notorious for it radical inclusiveness. This is an issue near and dear to my hear as many of my friends are gay and I can no just stand by and watch their civil rights be taken away. This is a civil rights issue and I am in for the long haul. First, African Americans, women, etc have all had to fight discrimination and in hindsight we look back and are ashamed at ourselves. Let this righteous fight be victorious and let our children and grandchildren look back on this with bewilderment and horror. Godspeed.

  • 329. Tom  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

    My partner Michael and I live in rural Wisconsin. We are both out of the closet and open about our lives, and get surprisingly little blowback given that ours is a relatively "red" area of the state.

    I'm a retired lawyer; Michael is a librarian. We have four adult children.

    We became domestic partners under a new Wisconsin law in November. It isn't marriage, but Wisconsin's domestic partnership law protects us with respect to medical and end-of-life decisions, and affords limited protection in the event of death, so it provides important protections for us and for other gay and lesbian couples who are older.

    I'm old enough to have lived through the whole post-Stonewall history of the fight for equal protection under the law. I went to college when gay kids were summarily kicked out, literally overnight, if they were found out. I served in the military when men and women who were found out were dishonorably discharged. I worked my way up in a large law firm when there was a glass ceiling for gays and lesbians, if known, and helped change the situation. The law firm in which I was a partner now has a 100% HCR rating, and I'm proud of helping make that happen.

    I became outspoken about gay and lesbian equality in 2006, when I was an advocate for our side fighting Wisconsin's amendment. During the course of the year, I talked a forums and public meetings, and knocked on about 5,000 doors. We lost, but we also won, because gays and lesbians got into the fight all over the state.

    I've looked as carefully as I can at the legal issues involved in this case, and I think that we have a reasonable chance of prevailing by a 5-4 vote if the case makes it to the US Supreme Court. I hope we prevail, because it will accelerate the process of tearing down the walls of marriage discrimination.

    But whether it happens in a few years, or takes twenty, we will eventually win equal treatment. It is inevitable, because every time a straight person gets to know a gay or lesbian person as a family member, a friend or a neighbor, their attitudes change. That's why the demographics work they way they do, with younger people being much more inclined to support same-sex marriage than older people.

    So we will win this, sooner or later, but it is going to take time and a lot of work by all of us.

    I read Trial Tracker every day, from top to bottom, and I'm grateful for the folks who are doing the work to make this site possible. It is intelligent reporting, and a great gift to those of us trying to follow the trial.

  • 330. Sheryl Carver  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:58 am

    60+ bi-woman (didn't realize the bi part until 28 & in the USAF) currently living in SF Bay area. Am not currently in a relationship, nor do I want to be. I have a very low tolerance for injustice, unfairness, bullying, & attempts to rationalize that which should be decided rationally, like civil rights.

    Have been mostly lurking. Am hoping that this trial will actually be the tipping point to granting full legal Federal(!) civil rights to LGBTs in the US.

  • 331. Marc  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Go Steven. It is young guys like you that will make a really big difference in the future. Hugs.

  • 332. Kathleen  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Hi. Kathleen here, typing from Mountain View, California. I'm one of the many now with a repetitive strain injury on their F5 finger.

    I'm 54.8, married – twice now – to BJ, the most wonderful woman in the world. First time was in 2004, when we joined thousands of others standing in line in the rain in San Francisco that Presidents' Day weekend, when Gavin Newsom started the ball rolling. What a festival of love that was; I wasn't surprised when the marriages were invalidated, but I was surprised how much it hurt. Second wedding was July 27, 2008, which was a small family wedding in our back yard, and it stayed legal this time. So far. We've been together 18 years and counting.

    I didn't come out until my mid-30s because I got messages from my father, among others, about "preverts." And of course homosexuals led seedy, unhappy, lonely lives. I also wanted the husband, kids, and white picket fence. But eventually I couldn't avoid it any longer. Coming out was the best thing I ever did. It was hard, and it's a daily occurrence, but I am so much happier than I thought I'd be, because I am myself.

    It wasn't until I came out to my parents that I really felt like I had grown up. Despite being independent for years, I still heard them in my head second-guessing everything. When I came out, I started thinking more for myself. And my relationship to them improved. We started relating to each other as adults.

    My father has come around, my mother is a sweetheart, and my sibs knew I was gay before I did. So all in all my family has been great. They love BJ like a sister. And her family loves me unconditionally too, which is a great feeling.

    Thanks to CC and the live bloggers. I hope to attend the trial myself tomorrow, to witness history. Thanks also to everyone who's commented, including the poster who does not agree with us, for all the thoughtful discussion. I enjoy reading everyone's introductions and stories. Hearing from straight allies and from people around the country and the world is very comforting.

    -Kathleen

  • 333. Adrienne Morton  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I've been following the Courage Campaign from Australia. The stories I've read have touched me deeply. I have spread the word to friends here about the fight that is occurring across the seas. Keep up the good work! Marriage equality is worth it.

    All my love and fervent best wishes,

    Adrienne.

  • 334. Noelley B  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I'm a hetero woman in my mid twenties, and I was raised in the gay community. My mom left my dad and moved to Washington when I was three, and when I was five she met a woman who would be her partner for the next 10 years. The first boy I ever kissed had two moms. I learned how to do my nails from a drag queen. My babysitter had two moms, my moms were her mom's best friends, they were like family. I remember in 04, when Portland was handing out marriage licences, being a witness to their wedding, it was one of the happiest days of my life. They had been together for 19 years when they were married. They have seven grandchildren now.

    Anyone remember West Sound Family, of Kitsap County, WA from the early 90's?

    I grew up in my mother's closet, having to keep it secret, or face my own ostracism. Many of my school friends weren't allowed over to my house. My mom was pretty much out the whole time, figuring she was obvious enough that she wouldn't be fooling anyone. She sometimes had nightmares about people taking me away because she was gay. The sooner GLBT's are broadly accepted, the sooner kids like me can grow up without fear, never mind kids who are actually gay. Homophobia hurts everyone, gay or strait. How many "tomboys" are derided as dykes, how many "nancyboys" are assumed gay? I see this trial as not only a potential victory for Civil rights, but as one more chip taken out of the wall between men and women, as blow for artificial gender role enforcement.

  • 335. Jen Swanson  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Marc, congrats on your 40th with your partner! That's wonderful, although I agree that progress for gay rights has been a little slow. But I think it is now picking up steam, don't you?

  • 336. Doug  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I was with my last partner (Kevin) for 8 years. We registered as domestic partners 2 years into our relationship. Kevin had full blown AIDS when we met, and I always believed that we would see the right to marry…
    I lost Kevin in march of 2002 and have been single since…
    I'm still in love… just with a dead man.
    if that kind of love and loyalty is not worthy of Marriage, I don't know what possibly could be…
    I know in my heart that were he alive today, we would still be together

  • 337. kenny  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Thank you so much for this website and for all you have done.

    My husband and I are one of the blessed 18,000 couples who are still legally married here in California and we thank God every day for that. We live in (true) northern california where the political climate is very right, very mean and very scary. During the prop 8 drama we (along with a few friends and family) were the only ones out standing in the rain on the streets holding No on 8 signs. During this the yes on 8 sign holding hordes tried to bait us into word wars, they called us names, laughed at us and crowded in front of us to block our visibility. Drivers shouted slurs, gave us the finger and some even made mock gun pointing gestures while mouthing bang bang. Prop 8 passed here in Shasta county by 73%. I can only hope that some young person who is struggling with thier own sexuality saw us and was given hope. We prayed for the hurtful, anger filled people that live here, that God will lift thier hearts out of the dark religious filled wastelands that they have fell into. I am so happy to see posts here from TRUE christians that know if Jesus were alive he would have been there with us holding a No on 8 sign, but of coarse he was in spirit.

  • 338. Dr. Robb Kvasnak  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:47 am

    My partner and I, Dr. Edmar DaSilva, have had a really rough time living in the USA as a binational, gay couple. Edmar and I met over 14 years ago. He was a tourist visiting Miami Beach, where I lived. He went back to Brazil at the end of his vacation but we stayed in touch. He visited me several times and eventually we became a couple. He did not have a green card at that time, so he had to fly back and forth to Brazil and couldn't work when he was visiting me. I would have gladly gone to live in Brazil, but I had a very good job and my sick parents asked me to stay in Florida (I had lived 25 years in Europe previously and had come back at their request). After much work and many flights, we finally got him a green card and eventually US citizenship. All in all, it cost us around $20,000 – that is money that is gone forever. It is not in our home equity, it is not in our retirement accounts. It is gone.
    I must admit, that DESPITE heterosexual society, we have been successful. Due to our mutual love of academia, we studied and acquired doctoral titles together. Neither of us would have made it that far without the other. And we made it through working hard, so that I had no debt and he had taken out a small government student loan which we paid back within 6 months of his graduation.
    My mother passed away last year and my family requested that he not attend the funeral. So I did not go either. That hurt but I could not face my brothers with their girl friends and me standing alone. One of my brothers won't talk to me – he calls me Dr. Fag. That also hurts.
    I lost a job in 2004 because my boss found out that I am gay. She badgered me and berated me until I had a nervous breakdown. That also hurt. In Florida it is not illegal to fire people because they are gay.
    I have German friends (straight) who used to never mention my relationship with Edmar. In 2001, after Germany passed Life Partnerships, they called and asked me about my Life Partner! Suddenly, our relationshio had a name (Lebenspartnerschaft) and we were accepted as a couple. In 2008, we visited Canada and noticed that we were treated as a couple everywhere. Nobody made any negative comments about us being together. Maybe that is what the pro Prop Eighters (Haters) fear. They do not want to take away our status as untouchables. They do not want others to treat us with respect and friendliness. Sad. One day they will have to answer to their own god or gods on why they propetuated hate during their lifetimes.

  • 339. Sean  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:03 am

    The following incident is my most recent experience of prejudice. My partner is in the hospital in San Jose and has been for the last 3 weeks. We live in CA but are not one of the 18,000 legally marrierd gay couples–our relationship is too new. As his partner, I can supposedly visit him outside of visiting hours in this hospital. One evening, I went out and tried to come back in after visiting hours. The security guard asked me my relationship to Dave. I told the guard, "He's my partner." The guard (male) gave me a look and said with a smirk, "business partner?" I said, "no, committed partner as in marriage." The guard sneered and said, "not in CA." He would not let me in. And he clearly relished the power he had over me. And he relished the performance he provided in front of a line of people waiting to get in. I felt humiliated, debased and afraid. I did not report this man because I was afraid for my partner who is vulnerable and bedridden. Since then, I have felt fearful about my partner's care even though the nurses and doctors appear to be supportive of him and at least tolerant of our relationship. I know that it takes only one unbalanced person to do him irreparable harm.

  • 340. Erle  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Hi, I am a transgendered female, I have told no one that knows me except my wife who does not like it. I am a christain and see no problem with being a christain transgendered person. Though I know that if I told my church I would probably not be welcome till I repented. This trial means alot to me. If same sex marriage is legal then even if I seperate from wife we can stay married and she can benefit from my insurance and that I will be able to have equal statis with courts about my childern. And some day I might be able to be me with out fear of lossing everything I have.

  • 341. Dr. Robb Kvasnak  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Though gays in Germany don't have true marriage, they do have Lebenspartnerschaften, sometimes nicknamed Homo-Ehe (Homo-Marriage). In 2001, when that law was passed, the way that the average German viewed gay relationships changed measurably. Today, Germany's Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) and vice chancelor is openly gay and takes his husband with him to state functions (Guido Westerwelle). That is still unthinkable here in the USA.

  • 342. Shannon  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Hi! My name is Shannon. I'm a graduate student in California. I met my wife, who is from MA, while in college in MA. Because we thought we'd end up in CA after college, we flew to San Francisco and got married in October 2008 before Prop 8 passed, then flew back to school in MA. It was a whirlwind! I've actually campaigned to stop Prop 8, including phone banking and going door-to-door in Sacramento. I also helped organized one of the Nov. 15th 2008 rallies protesting Prop 8 in Northampton, MA. This whole thing has basically consumed my life since the CA Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage – I still remember exactly where I was, scurrying in the campus center to check my e-mail, and hurrying to meet my then-fiancee and tell her we would be able to marry in CA :) Everything has felt like an eternity since then. I've supported this federal lawsuit from the outset and my convictions have only been strengthened by what has played out so far. If not now, when? We must fight for our rights every step of the way.

    By the way, I am a scholar of LGBTQ American history, identities, and politics, and I'm such a fan of George Chauncey, so it was particularly exciting to read his testimony :) :) :) Let's do this!

  • 343. Shannon  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Oh my god, Sean. I am so very very sorry to hear about this. Maybe when he's out of the hospital you can report this guard… get his name etc.? This makes me sick and outraged. As someone who was able to become one-half of one of the 18,000 couples in that narrow window, please know that I'm fighting for you and your partner and everyone else <3 Do take care, and hopefully we will be able to remedy this terrible injustice soon.

  • 344. Dr. Robb Kvasnak  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Hey, Kim, we live in Florida, too. My partner is from Brazil. Please don't forget, that as long as we have the laws that we do, none of us have the right to consultation, if our partner is in the hospital. Some hospitals and doctors may permit it, but we do not have the right. Two years ago, a lesbian couple from Washington state came to Miami to go on a cruise. One of them had a heart problem and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. She ended up dying WITHOUT her partner and her children at her side, because the hospital did not recognize their domestic partnership from back home. This is also valid for European, Canadian and South African tourists who are married back home – their relationship will not necessarily be honored here in Florida. It might be a thought before visiting the Sundshine State.

  • 345. elw  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Very brave of you to stay with your church. It must be a test, everyday, in addition to everything else you are dealing with.

  • 346. Sean  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Thank you, Shannon. Your support is so vital–and much appreciated.

  • 347. James  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Hello to All, My name is James. I am a gay man, 54 yrs old, who came out prior to my 50th birthday. Having been in several hetersexual marriages, through many years of hiding and lying, I finally decided to live my life true to myself. I have a gay brother, who was out to the family and had been in a truly loving relationship for 16 yrs who's partner passed away the same time that i came out. I saw first hand the troubles he experienced in dealing with family and hospitals and doctors and such. Had they been married he would have had a much easier experience. I am in a relationship now and recently purchased a home together with my partner. Already we are experiencing tax related problems, given the fact that we are not married and therefore will have to hire attorneys to ease matters. How fortunate I was when I was married….I lived my life in a lie to be equal to others…..sad.

  • 348. Dr. Robb Kvasnak  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Once again, samesex married couples from Europe, Canada and South America should consider this before they plan a vacation in the USA. As I pointed out in an earlier reply, we had two lesbian tourists with a domestic partnership who had planned on going on a cruise with their children. One of the ladies had a heart attack and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The hospital staff would not recognized the domestic partnership from Wahsington state and the sick partner dies alone without her wife and children at her side.

  • 349. Julia  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I'm a gay Episcopalian from Washington state. My friends, family, and church are great. My high school was a little rough: I was never attacked for being gay, but some of my friends were. I look forward to a time when that won't happen any more and when the legality of gay marriage will be taken for granted.

  • 350. elw  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I'm Erika, and I am an engaged hetero female. And, according to much of the defense's arguements last week, we should not be allowed to be married because we have no intention of procreating. Imagine the absurdity! Looking forward to everyone having the freedom to enter into marriage.

  • 351. TheArtful2342  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hey everyone, my name is Devin. I've been following the progress of the Prop 8 Trial as much as I can, and the fact that it's even being debated is very exciting to me.

    I feel so grateful knowing that if I decided that I wanted to be in a relationship with another female, my family would accept me. However, the girl I'm in love with is not as lucky, and I got a bitter taste of how well it would go over when her mother accused us of being lesbians and threatened to call the police on me if I ever came to their house again. Fortunately it blew over, but the fact that some people truly feel that it's that much of a sin makes me sick.

    I look forward to the day when my friends don't have to be afraid of being who they are, and this is a step in the right direction.

  • 352. Aja  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

    My wife and I were married in September of 2008 here in San Francisco, where we reside with our 12-year-old daughter. We'll have been together for five years next month and this case means a great deal to us, of course.

    We're a young, happy, hardworking couple raising a confident, outgoing, whipsmart young lady (who announced that she was joining her school's Gay Straight Alliance last week – we're so proud!), and we want equal rights for our family.

    Being able to follow this trial is, in a small yet significant way, life-changing, and I imagine being able to watch it would make it even more so. Still, I'm grateful beyond words that it exists, that it's being worked on so tirelessly, and with that resilient sense of humor we absolutely require for sanity and to get through all of the hate-soaked absurdity, and I thank you profusely and from the bottom of my heart. Love.

  • 353. TheArtful2342  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I wonder about that all the time. If you truly love someone, it shouldn't matter who it is. At all. That kind of dedication deserves recognition. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  • 354. Ginger  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hi, I have been in a relationship with the same woman for 32 1/2 yrs. When we became domestic partners (hate the word partners) I just felt relief that she would get my half of the house if I died, etc. As soon as I heard that gay marriage was overturned and would be allowed in 2008 we began making arrangements to marry. We were so elated. We were married at the courthouse with two friends and a sister present. I felt really happy. Five days later we were married and had a reception. Our nephew officiated which was so cool because we had watched his birth. ( I just wanted everything to be done legally and correctly so we did the courthouse one for that). We were married in a courtyard in the evening. We had a wonderful reception with great people, food and wine. We both felt so elated, so happy. It was totally different than after the domestic partnership, which seemed just that: a partnership- a business deal. We married quickly because I feared that the law would not last. I felt devastated when prop h8te passed. We have been together longer than most of our nephews and neices have been alive. They have grown up knowing us as a couple. Maybe if more heterosexual couples had to struggle against discrimination and hatred and wait so long to marry they would understand. After prop 8 passed it seemed as if people were more open about their disapproval of me when I answered a question re: my husband and I corrected them to say "my wife". I am one of the 18,000 who did stay married but I feel the discrimination and I will until all of us can marry and unite to claim our place of equality. Now I wonder when all of this case is said and done, will we still be married? We have gone through this twice. How much do we have to suffer as lesbian and gay people? Where is the humanity in anyone supporting prop 8? They certainly are not acting like Christians. I don't understand why my constitutional right to freedom of and from religion isn't protected. If they are going to claim that marriage is between a man and a woman because it says so in the Bible then they are forcing their version of religion at me. I want protection from that form of religion also. I know I am trying to cover too many topics and not doing a good job at any of it but I think it is because I feel violated on so many levels.

  • 355. AJ in Anaheim  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

    My partner and I just celebrated our 35th anniversary as a couple in 2009. We are registered domestic partners in the state of CA. We have written legal documents, e.g. wills, power of attorneys, and health care directives. Still we worry that our relationship is not equal to that of a heterosexual marriage. We travel a lot, both in the U.S. and abroad. One of our biggest worries is if one of us became violently ill or even died on our travels. Would authorities recognize our relationship or would they waste precious time tracking down our next of kin. Our next of kin are siblings who we rarely see anymore. While people everywhere understand what is means to be married spouses, they don't understand what a domestic partnership is. We have a very personal stake in the outcome of the Prop. 8 trial. Many thanks to the Courage Campaign for its leadership on this important matter and for disseminating coverage of the trial. Keep up the good work!

  • 356. Jenny  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

    My name is Jenny, from central Ohio. I have been mostly lurking here since I found this site last week. I'm so grateful that someone is bringing us the details of the trial since prop 8 has made it so hard to find them.

    I'm not gay, but an avid supporter of equality. As recently as last weekend, I heard a friend of a friend say some really horrible, homophobic things. It was so disgusting that I can't stand repeating it, but the worst part was it was said in front of my best friend in the world, who I've known since 4th grade, and who is an openly gay man and about another lesbian friend of mine. I can't believe in the 21st century we still have such discrimination and hatred towards our fellow human beings. Every time I hear the hateful slurs and stories of discrimination I think of my gay friends and it hurts me as well. They are both such beautiful and kind people. I wish for them and everyone else to be able to live in a world where they are accepted and loved for exactly who they are. I don't care if that makes me sound hippie-ish… it's the truth :) and it's what our country is supposed to be founded on. ALL men [and women!!] are created equal.

    by the way- These introductions were such a good idea! I've really enjoyed reading everyone's story. My heart melts for every one of you. I desperately hope we are successful in this fight so everyone will get the right to marry the love of their life some day; just like I hope to.

  • 357. Frijondi  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

    George, marriage is no more a mess today than it was fifty or a hundred years ago. The difference is that when divorce was stigmatized and harder to obtain, the mess was (somewhat) less visible.

    I do not think society's best interests are served when people stay in loveless marriages due to outside pressure, and children are forced to grow up in such a household. There is no security in such an arrangement, emotional or otherwise; for a parent to stay with a spouse they dislike, or have grown to hate, or even fear, for the the sake of the kids, is almost guaranteed to harm them instead. It will certainly harm the spouses involved.

    That isn't self-sacrifice, it's a perverse and willful form of self-immolation. Almost as if Abraham had said to God, "Okay, I see the ram you sent, but I'm going to kill my son Isaac anyway just to be safe.

  • 358. Fred  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I have been following the trial with great interest and hope, and THANK YOU for your detailed coverage and analysis in light of the Supreme Court's camera ban.

    I'm 33 and teach high school in Los Angeles. I have LGBTQ friends, family, colleagues, and students and I am an advocate, on and off campus, of equal rights for all.

    I continue to be appalled that, in this day and age, so much of the population remains so firmly adherent to their grossly prejudiced religious and social indoctrination against the gay community.

    Following the shocking passage of Prop 8 (and its sister propositions across the country), I have great hope that this trial will bring the truth to light and spark a new era of understanding for all.

  • 359. Jenn  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I am a teacher at an arts school. My students are from so many backgrounds and I like to think of my kids as the future: very tolerant, loving, accepting, and they can't even fathom why their gay friends don't have the same rights. I just married a wonderful man last year, and we chose to get married in CA when marriage was legal for all. However, shortly before our wedding, Prop 8 was passed. We went ahead with the wedding, but my heart is still heavy with the fact that many of my wedding guests didn't have the same rights I did and they still don't. The church we were married at (and our home church) is a member of the Covenant Network of Presbyterian Churches (look it up!) which strongly supports gay rights. Recently, our church sponsored an event for the HRC, and we were also involved in the making of "For the Bible Tells Me So." I can not understand the Prop 8 side here. It reeks of homophobia, ignorance, and all the Bible mumbo-jumbo comes from simplistic, unchristian, legalistic tradition that does not fit with Jesus' word and message. Anyway, that's probably more than you all care to know, but thanks so much for all the hard work with the trial tracker! I'm doing my best to keep up and am so amazed at the dedication that goes in to keeping our democracy transparent, even when the Supreme Court steps in on the side of censorship. Keep it up!

  • 360. Frijondi  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Another gay Episcopalian here, who would rather be married than civil-unioned for reasons both legal and spiritual.

  • 361. Frijondi  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Alan, as a fellow resident of the Bay Area, I can report that gay-bashing is alive and well here. I could, by current cultural standards, be considered a "masculine" looking woman, and at least once a year, a complete stranger goes of his (or occasionally her) rocker at the sight of me and starts screaming homosexual epithets. On some occasions, I have been followed and threatened with physical violence. If you count the guy who walked up and spat in my hair, saying "You look like a man," I have also been assaulted. If few of your friends have encountered anything like this, rest assured, the rest will soon enough.

  • 362. Gary S  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

    My name is Gary, my partner is a Canadian citizen working on a temporary visa. If marriage were permitted to us and if DOMA were repealed, he could apply for a Green Card as my spouse. As it stands, we will likely move back to Canada when his visa expires, taking our expertise (IT) and money with us and possibly leaving an underwater mortgage on a house we love and are more than willing to pay for otherwise. If we move to Canada, I can be a Landed Immigrant (equivalent to Resident Alien in the US) in a few months as his spouse. I always thought the USA was the Land of the Free, but I see that land is north of us. I hope this trial's final outcome proves me wrong but I am not confident.

  • 363. Dan  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Just saying hello from Spokane, WA.
    I’m a 72 yr old gay guy who came out in 1950 at the age of 13.
    It was ugly in the ’50’s. I truly salute all my brothers and sisters in the fight for eqality for our commmunity. I have a hard time sometimes just thinking about how for we’ve come since I came out.
    Thank you all

  • 364. Kevin  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I'm a Canadian, very proud of the changes made here and particularly proud of my Dad and my new father-in-law now that they're legally hitched. I closely followed everything up here when the new law came in, and thus am also following it elsewhere in the world.

    The Prop 8 situation is one of the more unique occurrences in the history of all this – the only time I know of that the right has been rescinded – so I do want to see how it all shakes down.

    Good luck on all this, it looks like you could make some very significant history!

  • 365. Kevin  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Whoops, meant 'stepfather' there. Not sure how I messed that one up.

  • 366. Faith W.  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hello!
    I'm a college professor, straight, married, no kids. This means I am violating a key conservative "purpose" for marriage- procreation! I have a keen interest in issues of sexuality because it is the last frontier of crucial rights that impact everyone, not just LGBTQ folks. The more rights that are granted, the more the working class benefits as a whole.
    If same-sex marriage is made legal, then don't ask, don't tell will have a hard time remaining (and vice versa). If same-sex marriage passes, DOMA and its oppression ends- (are you listening co-habiting heterosexual couples, single parents?). The opposition to sexuality rights is a combination of false consciousness brought on by religion along with a distinct opposition to making life easier on the working class on the part of elites. For example, we need national, single-payer health care for all families, universal, affordable child care for everyone, free public education K-adult, and so forth. These are all issues that relate to sexuality and same-sex marriage rights are an important first step to a society that shouldn't have differential rights based on marriage/property standards to begin with. Conservatives know good and well that by regulating sexuality, they ensure that the working class will be held down and caught in an eternal cycle of racism, homophobia, and sexism. Shame related to sexuality is a major vehicle for doing this. Same-sex marriage is the first step in hopefully doing away with a system that partly depends on marriage as a vehicle for economic security. In the meantime, we need to support marriage rights so that the working class can at least gain some financial relief (contrary to stereotypes, gays and lesbians are not wealthy and privileged).
    This is also why we can't get mired in tactics like proving the biological basis of homosexuality- they tried that in the 1930s in Germany and it did nothing to stop the rounding up and execution of gays and lesbians. As far as I'm concerned, the stance should be sexuality rights for all, no matter if it's biological or a choice. The rights to sexuality should trump the so-called rights of religious groups to ban gay marriage or "protect tradition" etc. There should be no explanation required. Religion is a protected category and last I checked, no one is born religious nor do they have to "explain" how they got that way. Minority groups are certainly "born that way" but has that established fact stopped racist treatment throughout history? No. This is why trying to prove or disprove biology is a moot point. I wouldn't go there.
    The thing I'm hoping the most from this trial is the bald display of the sheer irrationality and time-worn concepts that hold homophobia in place. There's no Glen Beck to interrupt and shoot off his mouth. This is why the Prop 8 folks were so adamant about no video feed. Look at the Dover evolution trial- the PBS special about it with court reenactments was pretty devastating for the religious right. I can only imagine if the American public had seen it live, the devastation would have been even greater.

  • 367. Tess Treadwell  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Late to the party, but hello!

    I'm a gay-identified 26 year old woman in Orange County, California. I have always identified as queer – not just in my sexual orientation but my gender identity as well. I protested Prop 22 in high school, and found myself having to take up the protest signs again for Prop 8.

    I almost married a girlfriend, when I was in college – or rather I would have, but legally it wouldn't have been possible anyway. I don't know how I would have explained it to my Asian-American parents, who could not accept me growing up and only recently came to terms with who and what I am.

    I have friends who succeeded in getting legally married – and now their marriages are in jeopardy. Our civil rights as American citizens are in jeopardy. Thank you so much for covering the trial for us – good luck to us all!

  • 368. Theo  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

    The Problem with most pro-8ters is their insistence that Gay marriage is "not the same" as straight marriage.

    The reality is, of course, that NO marriage is EVER going to be "equal" to any other marriage. Period.

    For example, how is a pre-arranged marriage "the same" as the marriage between high school sweethearts? Is the marriage of someone with a spouse in jail "the same" as where spouse & soldier live with the threat of death? A marriage between a 2 drunks suddenly deciding to have Elvis marry them in Vegas & an interracial one? A Mass. gay couple’s 4 yr marriage & a str8 CA couple’s 1 yr. marriage? Is a marriage entered to pretend one or both people are straight the "same" as marriage for fun & profit? Is 1st marriage the "same" as 5th marriage? Is the marriage between 2 born & raised Americans the "same" as an abusive marriage, or with a national & the other an illegal alien?

    NO marriage is "equal" the way anti-equality folks interpret it, yet these same folks like this insist on using this observed "inequality" as a point of departure for denigrating all Gay marriages. Isn't it about time for everyone to own up to the animus behind the inequality.

    Equality and justice for all. Soooo simple.

  • 369. Carol  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I admire everyone who has posted here, especially the livebloggers but also those who go to the trouble of explaining in plain language and those who share themselves. I have been reading faithfully every day.

    I have been married to my husband for 37 years and we have one child, who is the light of our lives. Why shouldn't everyone have this who wants it? What other people do or don't do does not affect our marriage, and I don't see how it could if we don't want it to. It seems so simple that I can't understand how people who are reasonably intelligent and intellectually honest can want to bar those they stigmatize from enjoying what they enjoy. I don't expect this trial to answer that question, but you never know – maybe the truth will set them free of their fears and hatreds.

    Meanwhile, I appreciate what you all are doing.

    Carol

  • 370. Rhonda  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I am a 42 yr old lesbian. I came out at 19. I was so late coming out because I was unaware of homosexuals being contributing members of society, and being a So. Baptist, I wouldn't "choose" that lifestyle. My family still has difficulty accepting my homosexuality. I have found acceptance from people I never would have expected, and found rejection from those that "love" me. My Partner and I will be getting married soon, both legally (out of state) and symbolically here at home. One day it will be legal everywhere.

  • 371. Frank  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Hi, my name is Frank and I live in Connecticut with my partner of almost 22 years. We have legal same gender marriage here in Connecticut, but we have not rushed to the JP. Without federal recognition, we are somewhat reluctant to go down that path. Perhaps the Prop8 trial will pave the way to federal recognition of our relationships. We can only hope.

  • 372. Darrel  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    It is such a relief to read the positive comments and stories on this blog. I'm ashamed to admit it, but lately I've fallen into the (very) bad habit of reading the hateful comments posted to every story on Yahoo! or USAToday that concerns equal rights for our community. Those angry rants are not confined only to GLBT articles; any story concerned with progressive values is inundated by loud, bigoted voices from the far right. Reading the comments and stories here, especially from straight & Christian allies, gives me hope that those angry voices are not the majority…they just yell louder. Kudos to everyone here for yelling back!

  • 373. Dana  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I'm Dana. I am a straight, married, 64 year old mother and grandmother in California. Both my sons are straight, too. My older son and his lady have one child and another en route. They have stated that they will not get married until all their friends can.
    Last year my husband and I attended the wedding of a very dear cousin and her partner of many years. It was a lovely wedding, and we anticipate that someday even the US will realize this is simply the way it has to be.
    Oh, my Mother, who will be 90 next month went to the wedding, too and is of the same opinion we all are.
    I'm glad I found this site.

  • 374. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Thanks guys. We all do what we can with what we are given. I didn't really go into detail's about having to move when our boy was being harassed in his school when some of the parents found out we were the "invading gays" or the amount of friends that he has lost when their parents realize that we are "the gays". We can always tell when we encounter the 'phobes because we just never see the kids again. It hard to watch your child have to deal with other peoples prejudices about you.

  • 375. Dana  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Oops. Subtle but significant correction. The wedding was a year ago last October.

  • 376. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Rick,
    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks reading your post. Each of our stories are important to share with as many people as possible. Thank you for opening up and allowing others to see what really happens to us everyday somewhere even now.

  • 377. REV  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Hi I'm Ric,
    I feel like that I could write a book. Correct that…books, but I'm sure we all could about our experiences in this wonderful country…the land of the free (not bitter here…lol). A couple of things that I would like to share are how I use to feel about feeling gay. Of course, I grew up in the church and graduated from a private christian school (both the jerry falwell types). I must have prayed a trillion times for God to change me, take my "sin" away. Anyway, one year back in 1979 I was driving home from school (out of state) and decided as a lot of gay men, to stop at a rest area and "use the rest room". (it was the only way basically I knew how to meet other guys…I was so young and inexperienced). Well, I did make a "connection" and then went along my way, back on my trip to home. About a week later my oldest brother was killed in an accident (he was str8 and had two children). FOR YEARS I could not forgive myself…I just knew God was punishing me for being gay and crusing in that rest area.
    Here's another frame of mind that I use to have about being gay (it's funny now). I use to be really, really be afraid to go out to the State of California. For most of my life (I just came out 13 years ago) I thought that if/when I ever visited California (life dream) that is when God was going to have the biggest earthquake…and drop California in the ocean….I finally visited Cal 14 years ago.
    Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed my old fears and thoughts. I have found the love of my life and hope to be married one day, Thanks for letting me share

  • 378. Pickles  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:49 am

    As a general rule I don't put my name online, but wanted to say "hello" none the less. I am a Bisexual woman, married to a man for 16 years. Last year I came out as Bi and my father hasn't spoken to me since even though I am basically living a hetero life!

    As a Bisexual woman married to a man I know how fortunate I am to have the protection of marriage, especially for my children. I want that for ALL of us. It is imperative that Prop 8 goes down.

  • 379. Andrea  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Somehow I missed this thread while I was busy following testimony.

    Hi, I'm Andrea, 40, from Richmond, California. My wife and I got married at SF City Hall back in '04. Everyone knows that story. Didn't re-marry in '08 because we couldn't go through all that again, with 8 on the horizon, and why should we expect it not to be nullified again? Besides, we were already married.

    I'd love to see government get out of the marriage business entirely. Just let us mutually designate one person for survivorship benefits and so forth – I like the term "designated co-beneficiary," as it's suitably government-speak as to be otherwise meaningless – and we all go on our merry way. If your church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or grassy circular-shaped clearing in the woods is OK with marrying you, that's good enough for me.

  • 380. Karla A. Bell  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    My name is Karla, and I've been part of the same-sex marriage movement for a while now – I was part of Freedom to Marry in Massachusetts back in 2002-03, and i was so incredibly hopeful that this country would be doing the right thing and following Massachusetts a heck of alot faster than it has.
    It's amazingly ridiculous that I now reside in a state that doesn't recognize my relationship wiith my partner in any way (DE), but I can marry her in CT – where she currently resides. She cannot move down with me until she finds a job with medical benefits, because I cannot put her on mine. If we were to get married in CT, and then she moved down to DE, we risk the unknown with legal ramifications of anything if we should need legal recourse, because again, it is not recognized in DE. Oh, and it is actually ILLEGAL in DE for me to come back to the state in an illegal marriage as a Delaware resident. We still haven't figured out where to pay the $100 fine – so I guess I'll be spending 30 days in jail! And, I could go on and on….this is ludicrous – and I am praying every day that this country opens its eyes and realizes this is the same exact thing as what happened in the 60's with interracial marriage.
    I thank everyone who is fighting so hard against Prop 8, and I thank everyone who has been able to step forward and let the truth be heard. I do believe this country will end up doing the right thing – and ending the institutionalized discrimination that has been so embedded against the GLBT community – at least this step with same-sex marriage. Keep Hope Alive!

  • 381. Patrick  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    My name is Patrick, and my partner and I have biological children and are denied marriage. That is to say, he is FTM (legally male to the feds, and all 50 states) and recently gave birth to our 28 week twins who were "naturally" conceived (such distinctions are unnecessary and occasionally harmful, so we rarely use them. However given the emphasis in this trial on BIOLOGICAL children who are "NATURALLY" begotten by a heterosexual couple, I find it necessary to include the distinctions here).

    Anyway, our children, including a toddler who I adopted before our relationship began, are currently denied the benefits children have whose parents are not discriminated against. My partner had to be on medicaid for his pregnancy (despite the fact that I'm a doctor!!!) because as a federal employee, he could not be covered under my insurance plan (even though I already was paying for family coverage!)

    Marriage equality is perhaps the single most important civil rights issue for my generation (young 30's). Not simply for the equality concern, but also because once this degree of inequality is eliminated, other areas of inequality loose their already shaky foundations completely.

    My interest in constitutional law can quite acurately be called an obscession. As such, I think that I have a pretty good understanding of the legal issues involved here. I know the hazards of making predictions, BUT, if it makes it to the SCOTUS, here's the final outcome:
    4(the four libs/less conservatives on the court) say gays are a suspect class, over turning prop H8 and other acts of discrimination.
    2(Roberts and Kennedy) Gays are not a suspect class, but PropH8 does not survive rational basis test. Narrowly overrules propH8.
    3(Scalia, Thomas, Alito) in a lengthy, angry dissent, California/gov't has a rational basis for discriminating against gays.

    End result, prop 8 goes down, marriage equality returns to Cali, and is more secure in NH and the 4 other states, BUT it does not bring equality to the other states or the fed govt.

    For that, keep an on on the Mass case as well as the other DOMA case out there (can't remember the name but it involves the private couples who are suing for fed equality).

    Keep the peace, choose EQUALITY!!!

  • 382. Steven in Canada  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Im a 22y/o law student in Canada and Ive been watching this trial from a country where we have had same sex marriage for over 5 years now and am anxiously hopeing that the US will soon follow suit because it will hopefully send a message that can change peoples views on GLBT people as I really think it did here in Canada. But there is still a long way to go and I hope that WHEN the US accepts same sex marriage our society will become more accepting.
    Thank you for all of your work and having this site!

  • 383. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Sean,
    I think you should go to the Administration office of the Hospital and report this. It is important that you outline your fear that reporting this will also effect the care that you and your partner receive from the facility. Your partner will probably receive better care once the facility is made aware because they will be more concerned about a lawsuit then about one security guard. Once you outline your fear of reprisal you can always file an Anonymous Compliant.
    The Hospital also has a human resources department and if I were you I would request a meeting with the COO, CNO and the Director of Human Resources to discuss an incident with one of their staff members. I work in a hospital and I know that they will not want to be the next facility caught in the spotlight as supporting or allowing discrimination by a staff member. They will most surely handle this as a serious compliant from a patients family who wishes to remain anonymous.

  • 384. ZAviles  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hello Everyone from South of the border in Baja, Mexico. Thank you to the courage campaign and this site for allowing us to follow the trial day by day in so much detail. Hopefully justice will prevail. God bless you all.

  • 385. Greg  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hi all,
    Have posted a few times, but seeing as we were asked to throw our two cents worth in, herer's mine.
    I just wanted to let you know that this trial is being closely followed by others overseas.
    I've been following the SS equality debate in the US over here from Australia for a few years now (through some of your great bloggers like Joe My God, Towelroad, Good As You and others). Mainly because we do tend to follow the lead of the USA (not that I've always agreed with that! Esp during the Bush years!!!)
    I must admit that I have been surprised at times with the fact that things like employment discrimination (like ENDA) against GLBTI's is relatively new in your Fed jurisdiction – we've had those protections over here for a while now – and I had assumed – wrongly – that the US would have had them for far longer.
    That said, although we have some protections and legal recognition of civil unions for SS couples – which supposedly gives us all the same rights as opposite sex marriages, we are only just starting our 'marriage equality' debate; actually, we are mainly debating internally within our GLBTI community whether we need it or not, due to the above mentioned protections. This site has made me think though, that we do. Not for 'our rights' as such, but for a true recognition of what equality actually means!
    We still have a long way to go with our own battles.
    This trial is so important to the history of the GLBTI experience – not just in the US, but everywhere.
    Remember though, that whilst laws may be passed, that wont change bigotry and discrimination overnight. That will take time and a lot of effort by and on behalf of our community.
    Back in the late 70's and early 80's, I was a very political little animal, protesting Gay rights and fighting for the decriminalization of homosexuality. We won – but quickly learnt, it was only the start of our fight.
    I also spent the last 15 years or so working in and with various HIV/AIDS groups, and good work was done in that sector too, by so many people – straight, Gay or indifferent (as a sideline – over here in Oz, it was the Catholic Nuns that first started caring for our brothers that were dying by the hundreds in the early days of the epidemic – something which I will always remember and be grateful for. I learnt then that what the 'official' Catholic Church preaches is not always what their followers will do – God bless 'em!). Still, prejudice exists today in that area too (even within our own GLBTI community, I hate to admit).
    Yes, we've made a lot of progress – but discrimination still rears it's head. I suppose what I'm trying to say here is, that no matter what the eventual outcome of this trial is (and I am hopeful that it WILL be positive), it wont end there – it will just be a new beginning….
    I also want to add my voice to some others here that I hope that all of this is being copied down somewhere – not just the trial transcripts – but these post as well. I cant tell you how many times I've had to wipe the tears out of my eyes reading some of these moving posts.
    It's heartening for me to see so many 'straight' people contributing here too and adding their voices to ours – gives me hope that one day, the labels of Gay, Str8, Bi et al just wont matter anymore and people will be free to live as they choose, with the partner of their choice and no-one will think anything of it.
    Thanks so much to the team that are putting all of this together!!! Like others – my work is suffering because I cant stop reading these posts and transcripts. Keep up the great work!!!

  • 386. Holly  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks so much for the blogging–it's great to read history in the making.

  • 387. kristenb  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Wow, where to even start? I am an attorney at a legal-services organization in Oakland, CA. I have been devouring your coverage of this incredible civil rights case as it appears, learning so much and crying often. I want to thank everyone involved with the case and this site for their courage in speaking out. I grew up in NC, in a progressive Christian household (yes, this is possible) surrounded by prejudice and hatred. I thought CA was different! The idea that the majority could take away the rights of a minority through popular vote shocked me (I'm still wrapping my head around this whole California proposition thing.)

    I married my boyfriend of 5 years last September.I struggled with the idea of getting married, as it devastates me that my gay brother, who is still not out in NC except to our immediate family, does not enjoy the same rights I do. We decided to show our support for this civil rights struggle at our wedding with a beautiful reading from the MA decision legalizing gay marriage and a donation to the Courage Campaign on behalf of our guests. Still, the passage of Prop 8 put a cloud over my wedding. The plaintiff's witnesses are so right when they say that marriage IS different from DP or anything else; it represents a coming together of families and community. All couples, gay or otherwise, should be able to stand up in front of loved ones and have them vow to support the marriage. That was the most important part of my wedding- something you don't get while being processed through the dog-license line for a DP. The SD mayor really got it right when he said that pro-Prop 8-ers don't necessarily feel hatred, but they do feel prejudice. How else could you deny loving couples this right?

    My husband and I do not intend to have kids (please don't take away my marriage license!) The procreation argument for Prop 8 – really? My in-laws can't have kids, is their marriage a sham as well? We wanted to have a celebration of our love in front of the friends and family that help make our happiness possible. I am glad I was able to, but sick that my brother and friends can't. I hope this case will change that. Thanks for listening to my rambling! This is such an important case, and if we can't watch the whole thing, I'm so glad to have your reports and this community.

  • 388. Lon  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Kim, you are far from alone in this situation. My partner of half a decade is here on a working visa (H1-B). We dare not come out or we risk his not getting permanent residency. The topic of prejudice in the trial has been repeated a few times. It goes to all levels of our society and our government. This trial matters, in part, so that we can have fair and equal rights to immigrate.

    On the up side, while we certainly have our share of disfunctional families, there is a lot of real love and meaning as well. The stuff in the news is that which is sensational enough to keep people watching. The good parts are never in the news.

    Reading some of the stories right here has had me in tears a few times this evening. "Parents and siblings welcome coming out" is never in the news. It is heartening to read. (I'll post my own tale sometime tomorrow or Thursday … it's a little too late tonight).

  • 389. A.  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I am a lesbian in high school on the East Coast and hope to go to college in and eventually live in California. Thank you so much for letting me know what's happening to what might be my future.

  • 390. JRolen  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hi there,
    You state that the unrepeatable words you heard were upsetting to you and your friend. l just hope that they moved you to into to action. That is the only way to stop the discriminating comments.
    Being white, bi-sexual and from CA, I was in culture shock when I moved to Northern WA in the 90's. I had dated mostly african americans and when I overheard a blatant "black" joke being told by one of the salesmen, I was shocked.

    1) He was the VP's husband 2) He was 10 years my senior 3) He was male . . .yet, before he left the warehouse, I decided to tell him that his joke was inappropriate, especially at work. He replied, "I didn't mean anything by it." I told him that it didn't matter because it was racist.

    The look on his face was priceless and the satisfaction I felt was also priceless. It was hard to do, but it was necessary for me to act. I've always wondered if he told his wife & if he did, she always treated me with respect.

    I just hope you made the decision to take action and help bring the discrimination to an end. . . just one person at a time.
    Jill

  • 391. Jeff  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Hi.
    I'm Jeff.
    I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    I met my (American) partner in Montreal during the 1st World Outgames that took place here in the summer of 2006. He was living in Burlington, VT. (about two hours south of Montreal). Although same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada now for several years (and no, our country has not collapsed) for various reasons (health, housing) my partner decided to remain in the U.S. rather than move to Canada. I moved to Burlington for a while, and worked there under the North American Free Trade Agreement. My work status was not permanent, so I eventually had to come back to Canada. If same-sex marriage was legal, as it obviously is for opposite-sex couples, I would have been able to marry my partner in the U.S., and live with him there.
    I'm following this case with great interest, as the outcome would have a great impact on my and our future, as well as the futures of many "cross-border" couples.
    Thanks for keeping track of things.

  • 392. Elizabeth Oakes, Nat  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Hey all:

    Elizabeth here, straight ally in Los Angeles, wedding and marriage blogger for Examiner.com, and nondenom wedding officiant/authorized notary who has been stumping for marriage equality for years (lots of gay family members and friends.) As a minister who works with both marriage license legalities and end-of-life care, I know how important marriage rights are for families, especially when the chips are down; as a Mayflower descendant I am keenly aware that we must diligently keep civil government and religious dogma separate, or we will descend into a blood-soaked theocracy like the ones my ancestors left.

    It was a great privilege to perform many same-sex weddings both privately and as part of my duties as a volunteer civil officiant for Los Angeles County Clerk's office during our Marriage Equality Months, and I hope to preside over many more in the near future. I am so amazed and grateful for Olson and Boies, Courage Campaign, and the many brave people who are keeping the marriage equality cause moving forward. It's a long and steep road, but I wouldn't walk anywhere else and I can't imagine better company.

    Am posting about the trial at Examiner.com (http://www.tinyurl.com/weddingexaminer) and will keep the light on any way I can, as long as I can. See you online and in the streets, friends!

  • 393. Bob  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Let's hear it for the Canadians, watching and supporting, we've, advanced to the point where we know the only fight left is with the religious right.
    We can't be complacent until we are accepted in the church families we were born into.
    I have just finished a two year dialogue with my home church, Lutheran Church Canada.
    I highly recommend a book titled The Religious Argument Against Belief. It really helped me with understanding the difference between belief and knowledge, and how most religions who are anti gay, base that on belief. Soulforce is a great website for understanding and support in creating dialogues with religious people.
    I found a welcoming affirming community in the Anglican Church, but it only pushed me to go back to my home Church for dialogue,, and to make my presence known as a gay person. We still have this struggle ahead. Cheers Bob

  • 394. Eric  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Hi, everyone. I'm a straight, married, father of two kids. While we no longer live in northern CA (we live in WA state, now), we did when Prop 8 was on the ballot, and duly voted against it.

    I really don't have any stories to share, but did want to briefly say thanks to the livebloggers here for the awesome play-by-play. Above all, my heartfelt respect and support for those fighting the good fight for equality– friends, family, and strangers alike.

  • 395. Alan Lazar  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Hi my name is Alan and I'm an avid reader of this site – thanks so much for putting the site together. My partner Gus and I have been together for 12 years. We were spiritually married in 2004, and of course we are hoping so much one day we will be able to be legally married too. We are in a committed monogamous relationship, and I laugh when I read the Prop 8 side trying to say all gay males are promiscuous. Monogamy is beautiful!! We are hoping to have a child through surrogacy this year, and that makes the desires for the legal protection of marriage even greater. Ted Olson and David Boies, thank you for representing us and all the other gay families out there.

  • 396. BobbiCW  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    @Dan You came out in 1950????!!!! Amazing! What an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for being here.

  • 397. Ronnie  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Hey peoples!

    I'm Ronnie Mc from Hawthorne NJ

    so you can imagine how close to home this trial is since just a few weeks ago the bill to support gay marriage was rejected by a lot.

    Anywho, I am 25 and super gay…….lol… Hawthorne is also known as the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog of NJ. I grew up here but it wasn't easy.

    I wasn't out in high school but I know everybody knew… I did eveything I could to look masculine, varsity track, girlfriends, but the summer b4 senior year my friends realy wanted to step up the cheer squad. I joined and I think that's when I finaly started to give into my gay side.

    I mean I had crushes on guys since the 3rd grade…..lol

    I came out officialy freshmen year of college…. I felt free, and I went nuts.. My sister who is bisexual had never been to a real city gay club so I brought her to one in NYC… She convinced me to get on stage and the next thing I was offered to become a Gay College Party Boy and i've been dancing ever since….. Lol

    It wasn't hard for me to come out because my entire family is totaly gay friendly (that's well over 100 people). In fact my family has like 5 generations of known out homosexual Americans. My great uncle, my grandfathers brother, my uncle who was HIV posative and died in 1992, my aunt is in a lesbian relation for 6 years but is ex hetero married with 2 kids in which her youngest son is bi, my sister is bisexual but prefers men, I'm gay and I have another female cousin who is bi, another male cousin who is gay and 1 more that says he is bi but I think he's big flamer….lol

    So as you can see, if there is a gay gene my fam has it in it's DNA…..lol

    I'm go to finish this short because I'm typing on my iPhone because I had to leave my comp with apple to be cleaned but I will come back to elaborate more on MEEEE!

    I'm a cancer(69)….mmmm, single(sad), BA in Fashion Design, animal person(1dog,2cats) painter,dancer,professional shopper, good cook!

    Ok bare with be: African/Dutch/Irish/Canadian/French……

    But simply just say GAY AMERICAN MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE WHO CALLS EARTH HOME!

    Oh and I do want to get married to a man and start a family of my own!

    EQUALITY NOW!…….xoxo……. <3

  • 398. Wayne  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Everyone, your stories fill me with such a sense of admiration and I am proud of being part of a larger community – of people, regardless of sexual orientation, who support equality .
    Thanks for sharing. I grew up in Rhode Island and felt very fortunate to live in a place where it was possible to be out to family and friends without too many problems. Of course, gays don;t have equal rights there, but I felt pretty comfortable and was out to everyone. I didn't realize how the lack of equality could change my life until I fell in love with a Polish/French man who was on a 3 year teaching visa. In order to stay together after his visa ended, we immigrated together to Canada (hello Jeff…we live in Montreal too). We are in our second year here and I miss my friends and family, my old house and my career. It is wrong that lack of equality meant I had to choose between love and country. It is great to now live in a place with equal rights (and universal healthcare is pretty sweet too) but I read this blog with hope and I look forward to the day when living in the US together might be an option we can consider. Thanks for keeping us informed with such amazing reporting and analysis.

  • 399. SFMary  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    My name is Mary. At 42, I finally admitted to myself (after a lifetime of dating men) that I'm at least bi and quite possibly a lesbian (I believe in the Kinsey scale). The last 12 months of coming out has been easiest with friends and co-workers, and very difficult with my family (who live in SoCal). So far, I have come out to my mother and sister. Mom is having a lot of trouble with it and has begged me not to tell my step-father or brother. My sister, however, has been great. So I find myself having to hide who I am whenever I visit the folks, dodging questions from my loving and well-meaning step-dad about if I've 'met any nice guys lately.' I hope I can make some progress with my parents this year, but right now it's slow going. I don't want to cause anyone any pain.

    I've never married, but have been in a handful of medium to long term relationships with some very nice men. I just never felt a strong emotional connection and (for years) thought there was something wrong with me. That changed when I met the woman I've been dating for the past year. It was like a missing piece snapped into place and I felt whole. Whereas before, when I was in relationships with men, I could never imagine getting married. Now, the cruel irony is that I'm with someone I can actually imagine myself getting married to and formally sharing a life with, but I'm not allowed to under current state and federal restrictions.

    A snapshot: I'm a homeowner, and have a dream job working for one of the SF Bay Area's most revered tech companies. I'm an upstanding citizen, I pay my taxes and I'm a good friend and neighbor. I'm the 'favorite' auntie to my nieces and nephews – I take an active interest in their lives, and love them to pieces. I was also my father's main caregiver for 10 years before his death in 2004. Bottom line: I am not someone to be fearful of, I am not a threat to anyone's marriage, family, children or to society. I just want the white picket fence, the loving spouse, dreams for the future, and shared responsibilities just like any other American. And there are countless others just like me. To characterize us as a threat (and penalized for it) is completely ridiculous.

    I hope someday our loving relationships will all be recognized not just a the state level, but also at the federal level. It's the only way we can have true equality.

  • 400. SFMary  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    And thank you, Courage Campaign, for your amazing coverage of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, and also for your mobile site! Keep up the great work!!

  • 401. Ronnie  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I just thought I would eloborate on me a little b4 I call it a night

    I posted it in here but my 1st 2 years of high school were the hardest I was always picked and called gay. I always wondered what they saw that I didn't. I tried to kill my self 3 times. The 3rd was the hardest because my mother had to fight me from smuthering myself with a pillow. It almost killed her. That's when I first addmited to myself that I was gay. After that things got easier. Friends, comfort with family even though I wasn't out. Friends noticed a diff. And so did the school. My sophmore year one kis said if you look at me you fucking fag I'll kill you! He got expelled and now 7 years later works in a gas station…. Hmmmm karma!

    My last 2 years of h.s. were great though, populaity, sudden confidence, aware of who i was but still not out. But like every good drama and art major I hid my stress well.

    Ok I'm off 2 sleep now and hopfully I'll get my comp back 2morro…… Kisses!!!!!!

  • 402. Phia Westfall  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hi there!

    My name is Phia. I'm a 29-year-old Male-to-female transgendered woman in Vallejo, California. (There's a mouthful for ya! Try "transwoman" — it's easier.) I'm also very happy to be "out" as a lesbian.

    I grew up in a Mormon family — but one which i have realized was much more filled with love and acceptance than many I've heard of. I grew up doing my best to be a Good Little Mormon Boy, even though i didn't always feel it, because it was expected of me. For years I alienated people who could have been awesome friends, because I was struggling so hard to "keep up appearances" and deny anything that didn't fall in line with "Church Doctrine."

    It wasn't until late 2007 or early 2008 that anyone gave me the vocabulary, or asked the right questions to help me understand who i am, but now I laugh as I look back at my childhood: my friends in grade school — Jenny, Sarah, Heidi, Jessica, Patty…. my friends were all the other girls in the neighborhood. My favorite TV shows, Jem, My Little Pony, and especially Rainbow Brite — my brothers remind me that at age 5 or 6, when someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied without hesitation and the enthusiasm that only a child can truly give, "I'm gonna be Rainbow Brite!" I listened to the music a lot of girls did growing up in the late 80's: Belinda Carlisle, Cindi Lauper, and sometimes even New Kids On The Block. I still clearly remember smashing to pieces my cassette of NKOTB's "Hangin' Tough" when I realized that I "wasn't supposed to like that stuff" and that others would (and did) many unkind things because of their stereotypes and misconceptions.

    Reading everyone's comments here, and the testimonies of the plaintiffs from the rough transcripts we have, it has struck me that I've been more fortunate than most. When I came out to my folks (in a letter) in December of 2008 as "a guy," but wanting "to express more feminine traits" and named several of those, my mom wrote back with an analogy: "Your brother generally votes Republican; we don't agree with a lot of the things they do, but we love him and treat him the same as we always have, and give him the freedom to choose what he wishes. If he asked us to donate to their campaign or hold a GOP dinner party, though, we'd have to say 'thanks, but no thanks.' Your situation isn't terribly different. We may not approve of your choices, or accept them, but we will work to treat you as we always have."

    Though I chose to move out of their house a few months later, it was my choice to do so, and I know I am still loved by them, even if they don't fully understand or accept my choice to live full-time as the woman I am.

    It hurts, though, to realize that under current law, I can't get married at all — to a man or a woman. If I met a man, fell in love and knew he was my everything, I would be told that "same-sex" couples cannot marry; all of my official documents still list me as "Male." I wouldn't have any easier time with the woman of my dreams, because to be wed to each other, I would have to claim to be male, and I'm not. Whether walking down the street or walking down the aisle, there are few who would see anything but two women walking hand in hand.

    I don't want to get married in anybody's church. I don't need to be recognized as married by any religion, or to enter into any sort of eternal covenant with my future wife. I don't want to force anyone else to marry someone of the same gender, any more than I would force someone to do anything they didn't personally wish to do, that had no benefit for anyone else.

    What I do want, and all I would ask for, is to be able to stand side by side with the person I love, and to express that love by entering into a government-recognized marriage as spouses, with all of the things that entails — good and bad — and to be happy in having a beautiful person at my side to share my life. We're all human, and every one of us deserves to be recognized as a person.

    That's it — all i want. That, and the same for everyone else, regardless of their race, religion, height, financial status, country of origin, hair color, education background, gender identity, sexual preference, or even what they ate for breakfast today. Because really — how important are any of those when you're talking about love and commitment and equality in the eyes of the law?

  • 403. Derek  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you so much for writing the blog and making sure that we know what is happening in the courtroom even when others try to keep the doors closed. I find myself sneaking peeks at the blog all day between work and staying up at night to read the full account when I get home.

    My partner and I have been together for five years. We met serving in the US Peace Corps. We are both from extremely conservative states, Oklahoma and Texas, but decided to make California our home after our service ended. We were overjoyed when California allowed same-sex marriage in 2008, and were equally as devastated when Prop 8 passed as we hadn't moved quickly enough…we never thought there would be an expiration date on equality.

    We know that we are married to each other, but when we introduce one another as a "husband" even some of our most progressive friends/family will say things like, "Are you actually married?" or "Were you really able to get married?" as if the fact that we believe it isn't real enough…

    Thank you again for continuing to provide us with information.

  • 404. Lionell  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    First of all, thanks for the great coverage!

    I'm a mostly-straight guy from down in Australia. I grew up in a conservative-but-tolerant christian family, and firmly believed in the separate-but-different thing (D.P.s), that gay men were more likely to abuse kids, lesbians were misguided but harmless, blah blah blah. Being Gay is a sin, but who am I to judge people, they may be sinful but they're still worthwhile people. Lots of 'tolerant' christians seem to take these sorts of positions: they get to be anti-gay and still pretend to be tolerant.

    Once I started making gay friends, I started to work out how hurtful this attitude is. To say that I think a part of who my friend is is basically sinful but I'll still tolerate him didn't feel like any way to treat my friends. I still have one or two friends I need to apologize for things I said when I thought I was being tolerant.

    Now, I'm a big believer in gay rights; my dearest friend is gay. I'm keenly following what happens in the US as there's a good chance it'll influence what happens over here. Australia is going through the same sort of wrangling over gay marriage.

  • 405. Jen  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Jen here! Straight girl, engaged to a man, moved to SF two years ago after living in NYC for 10. I've been following the trial with baited breath here on P8TT since day one. It's a huge service you're doing here. I'll be spreading the word! You guys are AMAZING.

  • 406. Dena Celeste  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Hi there! I'm Dena Celeste. I'm a south FL author, a bisexual woman involved in a serious, committed relationship, and fully support marriage equality!

    I actually didn't check my emails for awhile, so my first visit to the site was today. I've now read through every single post (and it only took me…several hours)!

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the facts and developments, and let's hope for an epic win!

  • 407. Liveblogging Daily Summar&hellip  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    […] to everyone who introduced themselves this morning in the welcome thread. Our Trial Trackers are amazing. The stories you have been sharing have been painful and inspiring […]

  • 408. Chris Billing  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for your hard work on the blog, I am following closely. I am from Australia and we are still waiting for gay marriage to even be debated in politics : (
    Hopefully this trial will be the long awaited wake up call.

  • 409. LN  |  January 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for the tracker. I have learned so much from this site.

    I'm part of a binational couple and I am currently living in Eastern Europe.

    This trial gives me a lot of hope for the future. No matter what happens it is a step in the right direction.

    Thanks again! Part of me is happy that I can read this instead of watching on Youtube, because over here they charge internet by the gigabyte!

  • 410. Jennifer  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    My name is Jennifer and I’m a 36 year old instructional designer from Ohio. My partner Chrisy and I have been together for what will be five years in April. We work together and share a house along with our 13 year old daughter (mine from a previous life) and enough pets to stock a pet store.

    Chrisy came out to her mom when she was in her late teens. Her mother said, “Well honey I’ve known that since you were six.” I came out to my parents by bringing Chrisy home with me for dinner. (I was 32 and had moved home three years before, after my marriage fell apart) Never said a word, just let them drawn their own conclusions.

    When my mom finally confronted me about my relationship she said, “Your father and I think that you’re angry at men.” (I had recently gotten out of another hetero relationship) and concluded it by saying, “Don’t confuse tolerance with acceptance.” Nice right?

    My parents are lifelong Democrats. They are liberal about most things. We have long standing friends of our family who are gay. My cousin came out years ago. My aunt (mom’s baby sister) I would bet my eye teeth is still in the closet. I was STUNNED by her feelings. My dad, bless his laid back heart, never batted an eye. My mom confided sometime later that when she asked him what they were going to do [about me], he told her, “There’s nothing to do.”

    Well because my mommy loves me, lol, she got over it. She needed to get to know Chris and learn that she’s genuine and that she loves me and our daughter very much. You’d never know how she felt back then by her actions now. I’m sure she still prays for my immortal soul but she’s opened her heart to Chris and that’s all I can ask for.

    As you probably know, Ohio has a “constitutional” amendment saying that marriage is only between a man and a woman so there will be no wedding bells for us unless this issue goes to the Supreme Court. The Trial Tracker is on my Google reader and I follow it relentlessly. I have added a button to my personal blog; not sure you’ll get that much more traffic from it but I want to do what I can to spread the word.

    Thanks for dedicating your time, money, and efforts to keep us all “in the loop.”

  • 411. Pyoung  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks Lauren and Andy. It has been a gruelling year+ of not talking with my family and working through the pain (and that's just in relation to Prop 8). Things aren't great but my mom has made some progress. She sent a halloween card with my name and my partner's name on it. It's sad to think that something as small a two names on a card is the type of movement I have to appreciate in order to recover from the hatred that Prop 8 spread so rampantly.

  • 412. Katy  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I’m a hetero-sexual female living in Orlando, FL. In my more recent career, I had the opportunity to work in Marketing/Advertising at Walt Disney World Resort for six years, where they promote a culture of diversity as well as professionalism. They use the RAVE model (Respect Appreciate Value Everyone). I enjoyed my time there and always felt all of those things, plus safe and secure in an environment where there is no tolerance for harassment of any kind. I can’t say as much about previous work environments I’d been in. In my role, I worked with a few hundred individuals. As such, I had the privilege to “broaden my horizons” and work with several gay men. No one flaunted it and my “gaydar” is weak at best, but I discovered this over time (by meeting partners at company holiday parties or other functions). While I am a very responsible, good and hard worker, I would say quite frankly, that most of these individuals were more professional AND “stable” than I was or probably ever will be. As I was to learn, each of these men were in committed relationships of at least 15-25 years. I’ve had three relationships in my life—10, 3, and 7 years respectively–and by my own choice and right, never married OR had children. How can I possibly judge their decades-long relationships as somehow inferior to mine? I CANNOT AND WILL NOT. No one should.

    In this land where divorce, domestic violence, and cheating among heterosexual couples are ALREADY rampant, I believe that individuals (AND nations) are only as healthy as the truths they reveal; and conversely as sick as the lies they tell and the secrets they keep. In addition to supporting the rights of gays to marry, I support the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

    I REALLY believe the words of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." and the 14th amendment: "no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person the equal protection of the laws."

    Thank YOU for providing us the opportunity to follow the trial, since our government has decided not to.

  • 413. Nathan  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I'm Nathan, a gay Californian currently living in Germany.

    Rick, CC team, THANKS SOOO MUCH(!) for providing this site. When I came here on the first day of the trial I was shocked to see the near word-for-word transcription being uploaded to the blog. This must be a tremendous amount of work, and I'm so grateful that you all take the time and energy to keep us all updated.

    Funny, at the ProtectMarriage site there are very few blog entries, everything is "no comments allowed" and there is almost no information about how they back up their stance. I'm sure none of us are surprised!

    Keep up the good work! As soon as I'm no longer broke (I'm doing the whole starving artist thing) I'll be donating to our cause!

  • 414. Margaret Toigo  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I'm str8 against h8 and I've been following the trial here because I think it is important to all of the people, for as long as one is oppressed, all are oppressed.

    I truly appreciate the efforts of everyone who's working on this project, especially the live bloggers because I know just how challenging it is to live blog something like this.

  • 415. Chris  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Thanks for the trial tracker… I'm checking it several times a day. My partner Mark and I are together almost 20 years and are now engaged. We are waiting to get married in New York as it's the state we live in and a convenient location for all of our family and friends to gather. Judge Walker's decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court giving us our Brown vs. Board of Ed. Hopefully this will happen quickly or else we'll head to CT to tie the knot. Thanks for keeping us informed and keep up the good work!

  • 416. Rob  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Although I plan to remain essentially a lurker, I wanted to say thank you to the team for the ongoing blogs of the trial events. My husband and I are one of the 18,000 couples married during its legal period in California – we travelled to CA from Washington DC for it and celebrated with friends and family. We've been together over 17 years and despite that, owning a home, having been civil unioned and registered as domestic partners – there was something undeniably special and unique about the moment I married my husband. It's important for us all to remember that while the legal rights and benefits are important, the emotional value of marriage is just as critical. As we prepared I thought it would just feel like icing on the cake of our long committed relationship – but at the moment of saying I Do I was nearly overcome with emotion. It *is* special, and it is worth fighting for.

  • 417. Billie  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Ahaha, I'm late to the party, I guess! I let my blog-viewing slip while I was moving back into school, but now I'm here to f5 with the rest of you all again.

    I'm a bisexual girl going to school in upstate New York, but I still like to think of myself as a native Rhode Islander. I'm still closeted, for multiple and various reasons. My family's of the type where they believe in LGBT rights as long as LGBT people stay away from them and keep everything private.

    I know that someday I'll be in a position where I can come out in my offline life. Maybe I'll meet a boy, or maybe I'll meet a girl. I want to be able to marry either way. It shouldn't MATTER either way. Thank you so much for posting these trial transcripts every day. I'm hoping for the best, along with everyone else. <3

  • 418. Carol  |  January 20, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Phia, since you live in California, there is a way for you to get a new birth certificate for a name or gender change. Check this: http://www.cdph.ca.gov//certlic/birthdeathmar/Doc

    Good luck!

    Carol

  • 419. Jeff  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Hetrosexual supporter here.

    My wife and I did get married, but in a way that would probably …annoy…the prop * bigots.

    We had 2 weddings. The first was done by a female Judge, who signed our state marriage certificate. The second was by a Rabbi and witnesses who are friends of the family.

    The Judge could not participate in our religious ceremony, and the Rabbi et.al. were not certified in the state.

    This was so that there would be a 100% split between the 'Church' (Orthodox Jewish laws) and State.

    Thanks to my parents I find the anti group, including those in my religion, sad. I was first introduced to alternate gender identity when I was pre-teen and my father worked with a pre- then post-op transexual. Amongst our friends are people of many gender identities.

    Hoping for the reality based community to have a win.

  • 420. April  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:24 am

    WE *ARE* LEGAL WHEN IT BEHOOVES THE GOVERNMENT!!!

    I am 42 years old, unemployed, mother of five (two still living at home), and married (August 1, 2008 – California) to the most wonderful 35 year old woman in the world, who just happens to be very sick.
    My wife suffered many years back from Lyme's disease. She has many effects from this she still lives with. Three years ago last October she was diagnosed with a tumor on her pancreas. It was removed and classified as "just a tumor". She had no medical insurance as I was not permitted to put her on my policy or a policy through work and her employment did not offer it. Due to the Lyme's and her tumor, she (we) are approximately 200K in medical debt.
    My wife continued to have no medical insurance until she was hired in August of 2007. By the time she had medical, she was severely ill with said tumor again. We went to MD Anderson Cancer Center where they removed (via Whipple surgery) a life threatening tumor that had completely blocked her pancreas. It was then determined it had morphed into the most aggressive form of pre-cancer one can have without a live active cancer cell.
    We were in Houston for about five weeks on *my* credit card which is now maxed out at over 10K. We traveled again to Houston several months later due to further complications. Since this time, she has had two surgeries to repair stitch-work that refused to heal, a bout with possible TIA's (mini strokes), and a recent hold on her CDL (our livelihood) to clear her medically. She missed 5 months work in 2008 and 4 months in 2009. Most of her medical leave in 2009 was unpaid. We are now facing further complications and are headed to the surgeon again, with no built up medical/personal leave to support us.
    When I became unemployed in August (the day before my wife's third month long medical leave without pay for the year), *I* attempted to get public assistance. This was the second time I was laid off since her tumor illnesses. This was also the second time we were informed because we "presented legally" as a couple, her income had to be taken into consideration. Due to her being taxed as a single person, her inability to claim I or the children, and the huge monthly charge for her medical policy, she only sees (maybe) 60% of her $15 an hour pay. They look at the gross. We did not qualify for anything at first. A month later we were able to get the children on Medicaid and we did receive three months of food stamps. There was no cash assistance or utility assistance, etc. My question that I presented to the top officials at our local assistance office was,

    "Why is it that federal money, being distributed by our local state officials, both of which refuse to give my family any benefits of our union, have the right to take our "legal presentation" into consideration for public assistance?"

    I was assured that they have to view all households in this manner, married or not. At this, I reminded them that my household is not like straight households. *I* cannot go down to the local office and file for a $35 license that will gain us the benefits others can. I cannot claim medical bills for my wife because we are not "legal" in our state or the US. She cannot claim these same bills because they are on *my* credit card (I am the only one left with credit enough to insure her treatments continue). She cannot claim our family on her taxes, thus paying much higher rates without benefit of child tax credits, earned income credits, etc. Etc… Etc… Etc… You see…

    we are not "legal" until it behooves the system!

    The Federal Government needs to pick a side and stay there! Either give us the opportunity to be viewed legally coupled or don't view us legally coupled at all! The Federal Government is stripping us of our rights BOTH WAYS!

    The government needs to be called on this publically. I believe inconsistencies like this should be added to the list of reasons our families should no longer be discriminated against.

  • 421. Judi Johnson  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:36 am

    My name is Judi. I am a 51 year old straight woman, live in the SF Bay Area, and have been happily married for 21 years. I have always had LGBT kindred spirits in my life and been a gay rights advocate, but the passage of Prop 8 in this great state pushed me into activism.

    My life has changed deeply from this work. I have been amazed, shocked and saddened by the reasoning I have encountered from the Prop 8 side – working to enlighten them, as best I can, in a peaceful and loving manner. I have learned just how exhausting it is to immerse yourself in homophobic thought and reason your way to equality. Sometimes it is more than I can bear and I have to walk away. At those times I feel like a coward, all safe and secure in my marriage, while people I love are facing prejudice, hatred, and are being treated like second class citizens by our own government. And they don't get to walk away.

    I wasn't able to follow the trial the first week, but caught up on the holiday, thanks to this wonderful blog. I found it poetic that I spent Martin Luther King Day immersed in our own civil rights struggle.

    At the end of the day I reflected on my two favorite MLK quotes: "We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny…. I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be." and "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I let those words and my emotions wash over me as I wrote in my journal: "So fitting that today, MLK Day, I finished pouring over the first week of testimony from Perry v. Schwarzenegger – the federal challenge to Prop 8. These two quotes resonate deep within me as I sit here in awe of the courageous couples who are standing as MLK did, Americans proud of who they are, and who "have a dream" of a better future for themselves and their children. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support – all who are working tirelessly to strengthen and brighten that garment of destiny. The arc is bending before our eyes."

    With gratitude and unwavering support,

    ~ Judi

  • 422. Conisue  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I have been watching this from my office and home in NY/NJ. My husband and I got married on October 14, 2008 in SF. We had a blessing service by his gay brother who is a minister and he and his husband witnessed our marriage on the steps of City Hall. It was great!. My husband and I have been together for over 21 years now and hope this trial give the American public a look at how real our relationships are. We both were raised in conservative Christian homes (Me: Pentecostal, Him: Baptist) and we attend conservative colleges, but realized about a year apart that we were gay. I know we will never change the ideas of most conservative churches, but I hope we change the minds of the judges as I think in the end they are going to have to be the ones to make this a reality. In NJ our lackluster legislature, and i will not capitalize the l in that word any more, felt the need to treat me as a second class citizen. Even my senator refused to vote. Sarlo you are a WHIMP! I will try my best to vote for a change in our government hear, but it looks like it will be 4 years since the man who is in there now is a huge homophobic bigot. I wish the state of California all the best of luck in this and look forward to hearing and watching the end results. I think the SCOTUS is going to have the final say in whether I am a true US citizen or not.

  • 423. Tyrras  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Dear all,
    I just want to thank all of you– the bloggers and the participants here in this forum– for speaking out and up. My partner and I have been following every moment we can between teaching classes and tending to our toddler. We hope to share our story as well soon, but for now just wanted to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all of you.

    Tyrras

  • 424. Terra  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I am a 23-year-old, bi-but-basically-gay Christian male living in California. I regret that I do not wish to post my real name here, despite the sad irony of that fact, considering that this is a "Courage" campaign project.
    I have lurked the trial so far, but have followed it closely, having been linked to it from some of my friends in the Midwest on Day 2, I believe. I have a significant stake in this matter, as this trial is working to overturn a proposition specifically enacted in the state I have called home for my entire life–to say nothing of its potential ramifications for the rest of the country, which could indeed be mighty and sweeping…and I hope that they will be.

    My story is perhaps not all that out of the ordinary, but in keeping with others before me I shall share it.
    I was raised in a household tinged with a highly conservative practice of Christianity–to wit, my mother was essentially the sole religious figure in our family, as my father was raised Catholic, but now virtually never goes to church or performs any other religion-related actions, aside from saying blessings at the table when asked. For much of my young life, she home-schooled my sister and I, and she raised us to believe that homosexuality is an abomination, that Arabians will always be at war with the Jews because the Bible described Ishmael as "a kicking donkey," etc. So it's unsurprising that I refused to see signs of same-sex attraction in my own life for what they were, despite the fact that I now know I was exhibiting them at least as early as 5 years old.
    Eventually I went off to college, trained well to be homophobic and staunchly conservative. Yet, being out of the "gravity well" of my mother's deeply-held beliefs allowed me to determine what my own really were, and many of them changed as I began to realize how terrible some things were–and how simply untenable others were.
    I also reached out over the Internet to find friends, ones that I could keep in touch with no matter where I moved, and in time I came across one who became quite close to me (on an emotional, though not geographical level) after I helped him through a tough time in his life. We eventually fell in a kind of puppy love, and carried on a long-distance relationship. One of the worst periods of time in my life was when I went on a disastrous sailing trip with old friends of mine, but writing "letters" to him (that I later scanned to show him upon my return) helped me persevere.
    Then one day my mother "randomly" found a letter he'd sent to me over instant-messenger, that I'd neglected to delete after receiving it from him on a family home computer. It was quite tame, but it did have some sentimental language–and so my mom dragged my dad to the living room and banished my sister to some social event so that we three could "have a talk."
    Under immense pressure I was made to deny that I was gay (technically not a lie as I consider myself bi, but a twisting of the truth at best), and made to promise that I would excise my then-boyfriend from my life, since he obviously was trying to "foist a gay relationship" upon their naive son. When I asked why it would matter to my mother if I was gay, she told me that she "would want to know if you were going to be in a lifestyle that is disease-ridden and full of pedophiles and mental illness."
    I entered a state of profound depression for several months, after having to painfully tell my friend that we could no longer be together. He was shocked and confused, and felt betrayed that I could just snap my fingers and put him out of my life like that, after how close we'd been. But I had, as I felt at the time, no choice: I was still fairly dependent upon my parents, and I was not going to risk being put out of the house and jeopardizing the rest of my life's plans. I couldn't handle the thought of it. It was a moment of personal weakness, too, that I will likely always regret, but I was only 18 at the time. He and I have never been on good terms since.
    Since then I have learned that part of my mom's earlier career work were specialties in conversion therapy and electroshock treatments. You can perhaps imagine how reading this on her résumé made my blood run cold.

    I've had to live my life since then in a way that is full of compromises. I can't pursue a relationship while still in my family's sphere, even though I'm now off at grad school, for fear of immense reprisal. I constantly have to watch what I say and do, to ensure that nothing that might suggest I continue to have a homosexuality-encompassing orientation can possibly reach their ears or eyes. I find I cannot go to church, as the ones that are not open and affirming frequently reinforce the notion that God hates people like me (something I know to be patently untrue), and family acquaintances have derided churches I've visited that are open and affirming for being "basically not Christian; they let people do pretty much anything and even let gays hold office"–and some of these acquaintances speak to my mother essentially daily.
    I have always been and likely always will be naturally "straight-acting," so I realistically have little to fear–but all the same, that pressure, that fear, is ever-present. If I had less to lose in the event of reprisal, I would like to live my life freely and openly. But in the end, I'm a romantic at heart, and I see little point in taking that risk, that leap of faith, when if I -do- find someone to love, I won't be able to marry him due to systemic injustice. The overturn of Proposition 8 would likely send my mother into a tizzy ("the government is letting the gays push their agenda on us! We have to protect our children from their pedophilia!"), but perhaps in time it would blow over, and at least then if I decided to take a stand in my life that might generate immense animosity from her, I would have something real and just to show for it.

    Who knows–she might even forgive me if I let her plan the reception. But you don't usually have a reception for signing a domestic partnership license, and a "celebration" of a committed relationship rings hollow when the word "marriage" cannot be part of it (not to diminish any of you who have had one of these! You deserve every bit of it and more, which is why our success here is so important.).
    So despite the hypocrisy that comes with the word "marriage" these days, where you can take vows in Las Vegas drive-thrus and turn around for a no-fault divorce with attorneys promising bargain rates to officially break them, I want to be able to have one some day. Keep up the good work, trackers…you bring me hope and inspiration in a time where such things are hard to find.

  • 425. Wolfinlv  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I would like to thank the livebloggers et al. Who have put this together as I've been trying to follow this trial in the media and it's just not there. It's been eclipsed by Hatti and the electoral issues that we've been having in MA etc.

    This trial I feel is far reaching beyond CA in the fact that if we are granted suspect class status it's a huge thing effecting other states as well.

    I noticed the other day that the defense keeps bringing up Netherlands… well we could counter with I think it's Uganda which is making certain acts of being gay a death penalty and Malawai which it is a felony to be gay.

    Thank you again for being there and doing this for all of us!

    Wolf
    Las Vegas, NV

  • 426. Emilie  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I have been as glued to this trial as the rest of you. I grew up in a fairly liberal family, so the thought of gay marriage has never bothered me. The way I see it, pretty much everyone is different in some way. If we were to repress people for the ways in which they deviate from the norm, we would be a country full of repressed people.

    I think my interest in this trial could best be described by Martin Niemöller's poem:
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.

    Which of course prompts the question, how can I speak out on this issue? I have been wracking my brain for the last few days trying to think what I could usefully do to make a difference.

  • 427. Phyllis Lozano  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Hi Emily,
    I had that same burning question about a year and a half ago,('what I could usefully do to make a difference'). You can join an equality group thru Courage Campaign, you can start "Courageous Conversations" (telling people why marriage equality is important to you), you can donate to the Courage Campaign for the things they do (like this Trial Tracker blog, and millions of other things (like letters to your senator).
    That is where I started and I became an activist in my community and a field organizer with Courage Campaign and I feel extremely satisfied that I am making a difference and fighting for equality at the same time.
    I hope you join the fight with Courage Campaign, its a great place to start.

    Luck,
    Phyllis

  • 428. Nick H  |  January 20, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Hi, I'm Nick, and I've been an active lurker since early last week. I live and work in DC, and have been going around making sure everyone knows that this trial is going on, and what's being said in it; so, thank you for this vital service.

    I worry that people don't pay attention closely enough, while the far right tries as hard as possible to obfuscate their actions and arguments. This combination of factors is dangerous – it's how basic rights are taken away, and hatred is disseminated into policy.

    In any case, thanks, and keep up the amazing work!

  • 429. Jem H  |  January 20, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Hi I'm Jem.

    I've been following since day one from Ann Arbor, MI.

    I have mixed feelings about the trial. I believe without a doubt that we are doing the right thing, and that this effort to overturn anti-gay legislation is firmly planted on the right side of history.

    However, I imagine this will go to the Supreme Court, which I worry will be firmly planted on the wrong side of history. I keep counting the justices, reading past opinions, history, and I shudder to think this could all come down to the judicial prudence of Justice Kennedy as the swing vote.

    At the same time, if not now, when? When would it be a better time to have this trial, with all the suffering that continues while this issue remains unresolved? I feel it is equally foolish to wait until a Justice at the High Court dies or retires, because we are then showing ourselves to be more concerned with political realities than with the moral compass of our nation.

    I don't have answers, only questions, endless questions and worries, but I'm grateful for this window into the process. I'm grateful this community exists.

  • 430. Randy  |  January 20, 2010 at 5:14 am

    My name is Randy. I am a 51 y/o gay man who has been waiting all of his life for this trial. For the first time, there will now be a public record of the facts, the ugly realities, and the religion-inspired bigotry. This trial is important, most of all, for creating this public record. It cannot be erased. Reading Ryan's testimony left me in tears. How could it be that a man young enough to be my son was made to suffer so by my so-called Christian heterosexual parents? I'd always rationalized away the horrors of my teen years with, "Oh, that was back in the dark ages." What this trial is about is whether we are going to exit the dark ages into the 21st century.

    Thank you for this amazing blog.

  • 431. Susan  |  January 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    I'm on the shady side of middle age, and my gay friends call my husband and I "breaders" – LOL! Prop 8 and the results of this trial really don't affect me directly. But I'm a life-long advocate of tolerance and equality and have been vocal about this issue because I believe it's the right thing to do. I've attended two gay weddings so far, and I hope to be invited to many more. Fingers crossed for a swift and favorable verdict!

  • 432. Cat  |  January 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Hi,
    I've also been an active lurker, for all of last week, and this week too! I am from The Netherlands, lesbian and married (in The Netherlands). We had to enter the US on separate visas, obviously. It felt pretty sad to have to state that we're each unmarried, it's like denying our love. We're living in CA, in a quite liberal area.

    With all the rulings and prop's in the last two years we've been married on and off in the eyes of the CA law. AFAIK we are now married again, because of the ruling on existing marriages prior to prop 8.

    Both me and my wife have very supportive families & friends, so we can only imagine how difficult life is for many LGBT people born and raised in the US.

    I really hope this trial results in LGBT being a protected class, and the inclusion of same-sex marriage at the federal level. I strongly prefer that this would happen through elections, but given the grave misrepresentation of facts that is possible in election/voting campaigns I feel the legal process is the only practical way.

    Thanks everybody for their courageous stories, and for this website for keeping us informed!

  • 433. Abby Dees  |  January 20, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Hello all — been reading trial tracker like it's online crack. Thank you for this important service. Beyond the question of whether prop 8 will prevail or not, this trial has become a profound lesson in civics and how civil rights actually work in our country — I hope that more and more of our community and our allies tune in and take advantage of this opportunity to learn what the stakes really are for us all, now and in the future.

  • 434. Zoe  |  January 20, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I wanted to join others here in expressing my gratitude for all of the hard work and thought that has gone into maintaining this blog. The authors, producers–everyone who has been involved–you are performing a great service for the rest of us, capturing detail from the trial that would otherwise be almost completely inaccessible. As a native Californian who fits into the "B" of LGBT, I can't tell you how inspiring it is to hear other members of this community stand up to tell their story in court, in the media, on this blog. I view each comment as an exceptionally selfless act. Thank you, all.

  • 435. Val  |  January 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I just want to extend my thanks as well for this blog. Reading this trial is utterly fascinating. I'm a 24-year-old lesbian, and I've learned more in this past week about my community and our (lack of) political power than I think I have in years.

    It's amazing to read everyone's stories. I am so grateful to the people who came out in decades past. You've made it comparatively easy for people like me to come out.

    I have been in love for a year and a half, and if my lady and I stay together for another two years or so, perhaps I'll pop the question:) I'm crossing my fingers that at that time, gay marriage will be legal. Obviously, it would be meaningful to us whether our marriage is legal or not, but beyond the obvious rights we'd benefit from, I think my marriage would mean more to my family if it was legal. They're conservative, and sadly, I don't know if they'll ever treat my girl like part of the family unless the law legitimizes our (potential) marriage.

  • 436. babs  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the opportunity to connect with (mostly) like minded people. I watched my son stage elaborate weddings for his hot wheels and stuffed animals. He liked to practise "wedding kisses" (such a romantic). He is now in his final year as an undergrad, at a private liberal arts college in the midwest. Occasionally he speaks of the "someday", the wedding, the marriage, the family he will have. But, oh yeah, he is gay. I have always supported equality, but now it is personal. This in MY kid and his future we are talking about. He is not a second class citizen. He should have the same rights and opportunities that his straight brother has. I freakin want to dance at his wedding and have a son-in-LAW.!
    I feel helpless. I feel angry.
    I found this site thanks to a tweet by a young musician in LA I am following and to CREDO action. I am encouraged by the words and credibility of Ted Olsen. I am concerned by the closely divided country we live in. Lately I feel my world crumbling around me as I hear opinions from life long friends that are homophobic/heterosexist that I never imagined they held. My son attempted to start a GSA at his school and was shot down by the administration. He submitted a few articles to his school paper regarding DADT, DOMA, prop 8, that were published last year, but he has been informed that no more submissions will be published. Are we in the 21st century? Is this the USA?

  • 437. babs  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for all that you do.

  • 438. Kaylis & Clover  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Hi. We found this site because of Pam's Blend (Thank you Pam!). We're a pair of bisexual women living in rural Appalachia (in Virginia) in a small town where churches far outnumber service stations. They may even outnumber businesses in the town proper entirely. We're raising two wild and crazy boys (6 and 10) to be as happy and comfortable with themselves and others as possible. I, Kaylis, grew up near Boston and came out when I was a teenager. Clover grew up in rural New Jersey and came out in her 30's. She's legally married to her husband of 23 years, who's been very supportive of our relationship and lives near by.

    This past Fall our 10 year old son announced to me that he believed he was bisexual because he liked being around girls the same as he did boys. I felt honored, but told him he probably shouldn't tell his friends yet. They attend a very supportive parent co-op school where he wasn't even teased when he decided to wear a skirt (with cowboy boots) one day.

    This site, and all the added comments are wonderful. Thank you everyone!

  • 439. Kaylis & Clover  |  January 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention we're about to celebrate fifteen years together. We've been through Hell and back and someday we hope to get legally married. As Clover just said, "Gays get married every day, it's whether the government recognizes that legally is the issue. Marriage is a state of being, not a piece of paper." I agree, but that piece of paper is very important!

  • 440. Alex  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I can't say thanks enough for posting transcripts and trial commentary here as quickly and clearly as possible- it must be hard work to sit and type transcriptions all day. I commend the Courage Campaign for creating an easily accessible venue that provides information and opens discussion to the public. Getting the conversation going is key in winning back our rights.
    It especially puts a smile on my face to see the halfhearted attempt at the same going on over at ProtectMarriage.com, where Pugno is "blogging" about the trial, except with "Comments Off" noted next to each post.

  • 441. Carole L Vincent  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Hi everyone!
    There's lots of hope, and I see great change coming. I'm 68, straight, married woman and am a retired pastor of a United Methodist Church that's "reconciling." That's the term we use to affirm that all are welcomed and valued, especially LGBTQs and their families. I've heard too many stories of how "the church" has hurt LGBTQs. Know that many of us are working to change the church. I hope whoever wants to will be able to find a welcoming congregation. Meanwhile, the happiest wedding I've ever attended was a gay one last summer. What love and joy!

    Thanks, all!

  • 442. michael  |  January 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Terra,
    It's always darkest before the storm is over. Once you are on your own things will be different for you. Remember that you are not alone. You have a community of people, who you haven't yet met that shares your pain, heartache and even fear. When you are ready we will be there to be the shoulder to cry on, the people you laugh with, and someday you may even call your. family. You only have one obligation in life and that is to be true to yourself.

  • 443. Rhie  |  January 21, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Hi! I bet I am late to this party, but just wanted to say awesome work here. I have linked this page on my facebook and livejournal blog.

    I'm 27 and bisexual. I grew up Religious Right, and of course heard the lies about anyone who wasn't a heterosexual. I didn't consider anything except marrying a man, because I didn't even know the term bisexual until i was 19 because according to my family and the church, they don't exist. My parents still don't know, and probably never will.

    It can be tough finding community, since some people are automatically skeptical of a female bisexual. if I am kissing girls it must be to turn a guy on; if I am dating a man then I must not be really bisexual. Fortunately, I have only run into a few people like this.

    I have some wonderful friends who accept that sexuality isn't so black and white. I would like to get more involved in the community out here around Seattle, and at least help get out the news about LGBT issues through the internet.

    Thank you, again, for this wonderful service!

  • 444. Holly  |  January 21, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I was first "bashed" on a bus in Santa Monica. My friend and I were 17. I blamed her because she looked more like a dyke. If your out their Eleine, I'm sorry. I wish I had been as brave as you then, but I am now. Call me anything you want, this time I'm not backing down. No matter what it takes!

  • 445. Beck  |  January 21, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Hello, my name is Beck, I've been lurking here the past few days catching up on the trial. I'm a teenaged not so out bisexual living in Toronto, Canada, and so I don't know anything personally of the kind of discrimination others experience, but I'm very interested in LGBT history and am shocked at the atrocious things people have done and continue to do to LGBT people (the most I've ever gotten is indirect disgust and a middle finger or two while protesting Prop. 8 downtown). I've been following Prop 8 since before the election, have protested twice against it, and am gaining a lot of hope from this trial based on the way the pro-h8ers are being represented in court. I'm probably not going to post much, but I sincerely thank Rick and all the others at Courage Campaign for liveblogging the trial and keeping me connected. While I'm quite a ways away from where it's all happening, I'm fully there in spirit. Overturning prop 8 is one of the most important things we need to accomplish.

    It seems most of those on the pro-h8 side are the kind of people you'd categorize as "pro-American" (in the worst sense), so I say to them, if you really love your country, stand up for it's core principles and support full equality of your fellow citizens. Make America what it set out to be, a land in which all people are made equal.

  • 446. Candace Stamper  |  January 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

    My name is Candace Stamper. I was never raised to hate homosexuals. I was raised to love everyone equally. And, as a result, I DO love everyone equally… if you get my drift. So, you'll imagine my surprise when my parents were for Prop 8. I was a Christian for the majority of my life. My view of the church started to change my senior year of high school. I started smoking pot and starting sleeping without difficulty for the first time in my life. And, all I heard about it at church was that I was horrible and wrong. And, that's about the time I started assesing my experience with them. I always asked questions and never got answers. Especially on the topic of sex in general. It doesn't say anywhere in the Bible to abstain, for example, before marriage… But, we were told to do so. It doesn't say I couldn't hang out with homosexuals or even experiment… But, I was told not to. And, I was even discouraged from bringing homosexual frineds to church when I was 14… which confused me because I was asked to bring my friends. I was told God loved peace, but then told that he didn't want me to protest against war on Friday nights when I was in high school.

    Anyways… As I assesed the situation… I began to realize that my smoking weed, my infatuation with both the penis and vagina, and my love of my homosexual friends were all not wrong.

    Now, I'm 23… I've worked as a NORML advocate since I was 18… worked as a peace advocate since I was in high school… and for the last three years, I've had an increasing interest in helping out the LGBT community. I'm from California. But, not the awesome part of California. If you've ever seen a map of the counties here that showed extreme support of Prop 8, you've seen my county. Kern County, California… Bakersfield is where I was born and raised. If you know anything about the place, you know we've got a good ol' boy network that is very deep seated in money and Christianity. Our Sheriff's department, police department, board of supervisors, district attorney (his name is Jagels… you can find out more about him in the documentary Witch Hunt, narrated by LGBT ally Sean Penn), and even school board are all run by Christians. It is unfortunate to be a little girl with a big heart for the whole world in a town like this. Growing up, I became cynical of authority figures and law in general. (And, that was even before I smoked weed!) But, during the 2008 election, I was proven right on my distrust.

    See, I participate in this peace rally in my town. We have it every friday night at a busy corner in our town. During the Prop 8 trial, we showed our obvious opposition to Prop 8. We were met with churches bringing bus loads of supporters to camp out across the street from us. For the first time since I have been attending the peace rally, I felt actually and truly threatened. (And, we've had guns pointed at us, full soda and beer cans thrown at us, even people stopping in the middle of traffic to get out and scream at us.) These people showed up in wedding attire and brought local president of our high school school board. (Ken Mettler) We endured harassment and threats more during this time than I have every witnessed in my entire activist career.

    Our hearts went into this. We had violence brought upon us that was ignored by the police. But, the worst was when the police failed to arrest Mr. Ken Mettler after he assaulted one of our protestors. And, then our DA refused to press charges. You can see video of Mr. Mettler assaulting our protestor, Rob, here : http://www.youtube.com/user/plinfesty#p/u/70/4cTR

    I lost respect for my entire county when this happened. And, when Prop 8 won by a landslide here… My heart was just sad. The fact that the police let us be assualted and intimidated made me know I was always right to distrust them. Especially here.

    You can follow more of the Bakersfield gay struggle here : http://www.youtube.com/user/plinfesty#p/a

  • 447. theothertiffanie  |  January 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I guess I'll de-lurk for a second, as well!

    I'm Tiffanie, a 22-year old Social Work student in Maryland. I'm a lesbian, and I'm damn proud of it. My mom's damn proud of it too – she's got an ally pin and a picture of my friends and I at the NEM on the front door of her office! My brother loves his big gay sister, and he loves my friends, too!

    I'm indescribably thankful to have them around me because everyone who's posted here knows it's not always easy, and every single one of us fights the good fight every day. I'm also thankful for them because my dad's a completely different story – the proverbial shit hit the fan a few months ago, and I was shocked to get a call from my brother telling me he'd called our dad and told him to (in his own words) "lay the fuck off, and support your daughter." I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. And every time I have to see my dad (because he finds a way to bring it up, every time), I'm happy to go back home to two people whom I know love and accept me, no matter who I love.

    PS little brother, you'll be walking me down the aisle… One day.

  • 448. Kit  |  January 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Hi, I'm Kit and i’m following the trial from New Mexico
    .
    I’m a 23 year old, partial in the closet, partially out of the closet lesbian. I grew up in an very Southern Baptist home, and consequently, my mother and I aren't very close. I would love to tell her that I have a girlfriend, that I'm in love, but I know that she's not ready for it.

    It's been really interesting watching the trial, even if it is only through this site and the other bloggers that are following the trial. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  • 449. Jenny K  |  January 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I just found this site tonight and I can’t stop reading. I am Jenny checking in from Illinois. My girlfriend and I have been together for 12 years. We are heading to Iowa this summer to get married, knowing it won’t legally transfer back across state lines. For years we have struggled with the idea of a commitment ceremony of some sort, but it didn’t feel right. We wanted that equal right. We are still struggling with it, since it’s not legal in our home state, but we will be married somewhere, which is more than we ever hoped for 12 years ago. This trial is the single most important event in my lifetime so far. This will have such a huge effect, one way or another, and no one really grasps it because no one knows about it. It sickens me that the Right was so eager to pass Prop 8 and now that they are being held accountable, they don’t want anyone to know what motives were behind it. It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the SCOTUS is helping them. Well, I for one want the truth out. I’m e-mailing the link to this page to everyone I know and encouraging them to do the same. I’ll start a chain letter that may actually do some good. I’m posting it all over facebook and twitter and ask that everyone I know do the same. Sooner or later, televised or not, the truth will get out. Thanks for being there and providing us with the court proceedings. And thanks to everyone for just being there and willing to share your stories. It feels great to be part of such an important moment in history with such amazing people!

  • 450. Kate  |  January 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    My name is Kate and I am 21. I grew up in a very conservative, highly religious household. Both of my parents went to Bible College, I've gone to church every Sunday until I was 17, and all of my extended family on both sides are Christians. I even went to a public school that encouraged prayer groups. Growing up, I had no escape from God. Imagine my family and friends' surprise when I came out as a lesbian.

    I could hardly bear living in the environment that I was, so in high school I jumped at the opportunity to go on foreign exchange. I spent my senior year in Poland where, although it's a predominantly Catholic country, I felt much more free to be myself without the pressure of my parents and community. I traveled a lot and while visiting Budapest, Hungary, I met an Australian girl also on exchange. We clicked immediately. We only spent four days together, but as soon as I returned to Poland, she had booked tickets to visit.

    She came for a week and we grew even closer as friends. We were both confused but giddy at the strange connection we felt. As far as we both knew about each other, we were straight. (I had always known I was gay, but struggled with accepting it because of my upbringing.)

    When my exchange ended, I returned to the USA and we spoke through Internet and phone every day. We spoke sweetly to each other, saying we missed each other and often reminiscing of times we were together. We both felt that it was more than friendship, but neither wanted to put words to the feelings for fear of the other's rejection.

    Dying to see her again, I booked a ticket to Hungary for Christmas. My parents were confused why I wanted to spend the holidays away, to see a friend I'd only met twice. I spent two weeks with her and it was there that we shared our first kiss. We spoke for a long time about our relationship, and finally came to terms not only with each other, but with ourselves. In the moment that I stopped telling myself that I was a disappointment to God, I felt the most overwhelming relief and joy that I've ever felt in my life. Now, over two years later, we like to joke about who "turned" who gay. 😛

    A lot has happened since then. I've come out to everyone I know, (or rather, everyone has found out because I told one person,) I quit college to move to Australia, and lived there on a year visa. We had no choice but be thrown in the deep end. Since we are from opposite sides of the world, we had no chance to "date" before moving in together. We were nervous, but felt too strongly for each other not to try. And I have to sat, I only fell more in love over that year.

    When my visa ended, she came back to America with me on a 3 month visa. My parents actually let her stay at the house, but complained "what the neighbors think" and refused to call her my girlfriend. I think she grew on them though. :) Eventually she had to leave while I stayed.

    While there, I applied for a residency visa to Australia. We had no choice but to choose Australia because they provide a same sex visa, and obviously the USA does not. It took a year of preparation to apply (and I can't explain how much work it is to try to portray hard evidence that your relationship is genuine) and then four months to process, but in the end I was approved. I got back to Australia after six months of waiting and couldn't contain myself when I got to hold my girlfriend again at the airport.

    I am now a resident of Australia because here, they consider my relationship to be genuine and significant. I am living happily with the love of my life because of a (mostly) understanding gov't. I still follow the prop 8 trial and all other gay rights happening in the USA because it is still my home and part of me still lives there. I am now involved in Australian gay rights as well (they are a bit further along than we are–hence the same sex visa.)

    I am very happy with my girlfriend and if she'll have me, I would love to marry her some day when we are ready. Same sex marriage isn't legal in Australia either, and I don't want to marry in a country that I don't live just so I can travel back to my home where it isn't recognized. I follow this trial because every step that we take towards marriage equality is a step closer elsewhere in the states and even overseas.

  • 451. Rebecca  |  January 23, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Scott,

    I'm in VA too…. Cville to be specific.
    Did you by any chance happen to see the guy who wrote the Marshall-Newman amendment speak on it publicly? What a consummate tool- he spoke at UVA and basically had no rational arguments beyond the usual "gays are icky" sentiments and everyone laughed at him.

    You are only too right about VA's poor civil rights record. Consider that we had a state-sponsored eugenics program (forcing sterilizations upon thousands of black and/or poor folks) right up into the 1970's. Queer folks in this state don't have a chance unless we get federal recognition first.

  • 452. Rebecca  |  January 23, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Hello Ryan! Are you guys in Staunton? I'm in Cville!

    Good to see another queer-spectrum pagan Virginian on the board. :)

    MM,
    Rebecca

  • 453. Rebecca  |  January 23, 2010 at 7:29 am

    My turn to chime in… I've been following from Day 1, and have commented a bit, but not intro'd myself.

    I'm a 30-mumble yr old San Francisco Bay Area native, and have been out as bi since my sophomore year of high school. I was very lucky to grow up in such a diverse area where being out as a teenager was mostly accepted. Half of my family was Episcopalian Californians and the other half Pentecostal Texans… The ones that really mattered accepted me, and the ones who didn't accept me ceased to matter.

    Having now moved to Virginia, I've encountered a whole other paradigm of attitudes and can't say I like them. I was SO proud of my home state when gay people (friends of mine among them) were able to get married, I was practically crowing! In turn, I was so disappointed and angry when Prop 8 passed.

    As bi, it may seem it's not so bad for me, I can always choose a relationship that falls on the "reicht" side of the law… But love doesn't work that way. You love whom you love, convenience and acceptability be damned. If the next person I fall for is a woman, and we decide to partner up, I want to be able to enjoy the same rights and protections under the law that any other couple could.

    Here's to constitutional law! We will have equality someday folks, it's only a matter of time.

  • 454. Jenny O  |  January 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @ Kathleen

    I will do this! I need to find myself a button first (it's a shame I don't have one already). I am also a straight Catholic woman and although I'm sort of going through a falling out with the church- partly b/c of their stance on homosexuality- I still attend church now and then. I think there are a lot more Christian supporters of the gay community than people think. Although, I do attend a liberal church, so my perception may be skewed.

  • 455. Sean  |  January 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for all the hard work and effort to bring this to the attention of the American public. I will be forever grateful! I dream of the day that I too can legally marry in the state of Arizona to my spouse of 8 years. I would like to be EQUAL to ALL before my time on this earth expires.

  • 456. Richard  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Rebecca from VA: We had Eugenics in North Carolina too, until the late 70's. Horrible to think that could have happened in this day and age.

  • 457. Theo  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I, a gay Afro-American with straight A’s & model child, was kicked out of a so-called “religious household” after my disturbing epiphany that to marry anyone under false pretenses would certainly send me to Hell (From day 1 I was told that “those sinners would surely burn in hell”) & so at 16 I left with my crushing secret that couldn’t be shared with anyone lest my fiery fate become public. 31 yrs later I married the best man on the planet (26 yrs after living together) on 10/27/08. Nevertheless, the wicked Propaganda 8 passed; I had another epiphany: this hatred & bigotry might really be more of a tradition of actual jealousy: “The love that dared not speak its name” historically reminds us gay folks of our long history of knowing a TRUER LOVE that must silently survive ALL: (torture/imprisonment/agonizing separation/Godless zealots/untallied murderers). These fortunate gay people who have found their lifemates and struggled to protect such relationships – against all odds- know A Love That spiritually understands “to have & to hold for richer or poorer, sickness & in health ‘til death” (the TRUE "definition of Marriage, which will remain unchanged, despite what the miscreants behind Propaganda 8 are insisting). Even after so many years living together as One, our wedding day on Oct 27, 2008 was *MAGICAL*.

    …And no voter/bully can ever take that away. As for the eventual demise of Propaganda 8: God’s Love will win. Hate will not. (it never does…Gay people in love, know this in our hearts)

    Best to all!

  • 458. Leslie Stewart  |  January 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I've been reading this site all during the trial but just got around to reading some of the comments and learned about this thread.

    I'm a straight ally in my 60s who has been working on marriage equality since Prop 22. I'm married with two kids, both straight. My best friend in high school was lesbian, my best friend in college was gay, so I've cared about LGBT people and their rights for a long time. In addition to working on Prop 22, I've been on the board of my local LGBT center for 7 years and now work for the center. I'm also a chapter leader for my local marriage equality group.

    My family and friends care about this trial but they are depending on me to keep them informed. Not everyone has the time to devote to reading every word, but we discuss it frequently. I also have an e-mail list and have been sending them regular updates, info etc. I am sensing that even the limited amount that has hit our newspapers in the Bay Area does have people reading and thinking if not talking and following the blogs.

    Leslie

  • 459. REV  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Good afternoon everyone,
    I would like to make a statement/ask a question. How can a suspect class be based on religion? Or Discrimination can not be based on race, sex or RELIGION, right? I believe/know I was born gay…I DID NOT choose to be gay, BUT let's just "GIVE" the &*^% prop 8 side this argument for a moment (in other words, we have a choice to be gay…are you still with me?) WELL doesn't everyone choose their religion also? No one is born in the country Jewish/Jews. They may be born in Israel, but that doesn't make them Jewish and same with ANY and ALL religions: "Christians", Buddaism, Hinduism, Mormans, etc…(oh by the way, sorry for the bad spelling, there's not a spell check on here) Everyone chooses their religion, either by their parents and they are raised that way…but still everyone could change when they got of legal age…..So again, how can we have non discrimination for religion and not for ss marriage or even being gay (even if we chosed…) I hope that I wrote well/clear enough to make my point…if I didn't someone who can write better, please do so….thanks for letting me share…..

  • 460. REV  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Sorry, lol,
    I need to ramble on just a few seconds more…Isn't there freedom of religion in this country? Well I know of some churches/denominations that support ss marriage. It seems that these churches/denominations would have the right to do so and it be legal. But if everything has to be liscensed / issued by the state then don't we have separation of church and state. Prop 8 and every other right wing &^*% and at least 4 of the 9 Supreme Cout Justices are basing their decision on the Bible and what they have been taught by the church. If this pro ss marriage side loses and all states do not have legal ss marriages SOON….we really need to unite and take care of business like the African Americans did….thanks again for letting me share….

  • 461. Martha  |  January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Hello everybody,

    I am 23 y.o. bisexual/mostly-straight woman (I experience same-sex attraction, but have only seriously been involved with men – most of my friends know, but I never had a "coming out moment" per se because of my situation). I grew up in relatively liberal central Texas with several positive openly gay and lesbian role-models: my elementary school best friend's mom and her partner, the children's choir director at my United Methodist Church, and other church members as well. I remember when Ellen came out on TV wondering what the big deal was all about, and now it boggles my mind that in the span of my short adolescence we went from no openly gay characters on TV to having a pretty consistent queer presence (which isn't to say that there's no work left to do in the entertainment industry, clearly).

    When gay marriage became a political possibility in the United States, I initially supported the idea of civil unions for any two people, not because I was ideologically opposed to gay marriage, but because it seemed like the kind of rational compromise that a majority of citizens could get behind and that it could become widespread in a short amount of time in order to accomplish real good in the lives of real people. Looking back, I think that my stance was also influenced by being a young person who did not consider marriage as something important to me personally, and therefore I couldn't easily empathize with why it was so important for other people.

    After attending a lesbian wedding in Massachusetts in high school (a older couple who already had two daughters), listening to the rhetoric of both sides as state after state enacted bans on gay marriage and civil unions, and, most recently, seeing the transformative experiences of current peer-friends (gay and straight) who have been married (legally and, unfortunately, a-legally), I now fully support the legalization of gay marriage. Civil unions are not an acceptable compromise – they are inherently separate and unequal, and there is no rational rationale for discriminating against the GLBT minority in choosing who they want to wed.

    I have been addicted to the P8TT since day 6, and I hope that many years from now, when and if I do decide to get married, that I can choose to marry whomever I love, regardless of gender or sex.

  • 462. Emily  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:12 am

    My partner and I have been together for just under 4 years. We met in college in Arizona, in our sorority of all places. For 2 years while at school we struggled immensely with the hate and misunderstanding that many of us unfortantely know all too well.

    We fought the fight many of us need to, and upon doing so we transformed the minds of many conservative young women, who simply were ingorant to the love between two same sex partners. We now call many of them our dearest friends, and when this fight for equality ends, they will be standing up at the alter with us.

    It is important for us all to be proud of who are, shame only makes them seem right. We will win this battle.

  • 463. Ronnie  |  January 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

    George's logic is beyond un-realistic…marriage is about procreation…then men and women who cannot reproduce cannot get married either…. George it is as simple as that….

    You call LGBT people greedy spoiled and selfish because we want marriage also…The base definition of greedy spoiled and selfish is saying that it belongs to you and only you and you don't want to share.

    Grow child!

  • 464. K!r!lleXXI  |  January 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I’m Kirill. I live in provincial Russia. And I’m a gay man. I know at first hand all about Russians treating gays as filthy pedophiles who should be shot at the back of the head just for being gay.

    Obviously, I’m not out. Nobody knows. Otherwise I would have to relocate to some remote place where nobody knows me and where nobody can find out (if I wouldn’t be killed first by gay-haters).

    People usually don’t talk about gays here. It’s like this thing doesn’t even exist. Just like they used to say that there’s no sex in USSR, now they pretend there are no gays here. And those who are here are considered sick and gross, and very rare mental cases brought to us from the West to destroy our country and our culture (they refuse to acknowledge that Russian culture was in no small part created by Russian gays who were around for like ever).

    Some time ago I’ve raised this issue on the local website, trying to find out how many gays are out there in that local area and what are the attitudes toward us. Some people voted for the option that they are homosexual. But no one came out openly (neither did I). However, that poll led to a whole discussion with Orthodox Church representatives on that website. We’ve had a lot of talk, and all I could hear were lies and bigoted opinions of so-called God’s people who didn’t want to use their own heads to see the reality, they only followed the scripture and its perverted interpretation of homosexuality as a sin.

    Eventually, one of the Orthodox priests openly threatened to kill me for being supportive of gays, for advocating for their rights, for spreading the truth and calling for an honest conversation. He said he would gladly go to jail for murdering me if that’s what it takes to get rid of my voice; and that God will forgive him and will send him to heaven for that. I challenged him to go through with it; it was in spring 2009; as you see, I’m still around.

    To make it simple, I can just say that gay life here is pretty much like it used to be in the USA in late 60s – early 70s; yet we haven’t had our Stonewall. We are 40 years behind. And even the USA are still mostly bigoted and adverse to gays. What can we, Russian gays, hope for? The despair is what we see in each other’s eyes. Unfairness. Bigotry. Lies. Spite. Undeserved Hatred. And there’s no place to go, no place to run, no place to hide…

    I follow the Prop. 8 trial with a hope for American gay people, with a hope for my friends in California (some of them are married, some are going to, some just want to have this option when they find the love of their lives). Maybe someday they will have great lives like they deserve. And maybe this will be an important point not just in the history of civil rights in America, but in the history of civil rights all around the world. Maybe someday later this wave will reach Russia bringing us hope for a better future. One can only dream and hope, and maybe even pray a little.

  • 465. Richard  |  January 30, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Randy, if you get a chance, go to couragecapaign.org and look for Cumberland County, North Carolina Equality Team. Would love to have you as a member. The more membrs we can get here, the more chances of Cumberland County, North Carolina Equality Team branching off and becoming more Equality Teams in North Carolina and the East Coast.

  • 466. Richard  |  January 30, 2010 at 3:39 am

    ns, my husband (we will going to CT in April to legalize this status) is a Lubavitcher Rabbi. Go to the Prop 8 Trial Trackers group on Facebook and friend me, so we can talk. If you and your lady want a Jewish ceremony, BenZion will be more than happy to perform it for you. We too read the P8TT together. And Mazel Tov!

  • 467. Richard  |  January 30, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Thank you, Marlene! I am going to use this when I talk to folks in the Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg area about the need for unity in the LGBTQQI "community" here. Recently got approved for the first East Coast Equality Team (Cumberland County, North Carolina Equality Team) and would just absollutely love to have you a a member. Hey, it cold lead to you havng enough members shortly to form one in Toledo! Wouldn't that be rich! To have an Equality event on the Field the Mudhens play on! And yes, I knew about the Mudhens way before Toledo boy Jamie Farr was on M*A*S*H. I grew up in St. Albans, WV, just outside of Charleston.

  • 468. Richard  |  January 30, 2010 at 3:51 am

    And Kirill, here, we are doing more than just hoping and praying. We are mobilizing, we are banding together to fight for our rights. We are doing this not only for ourselves, but for everyone who is under any type of oppression due to a misinterpretation of whatever they are reading. We are doing this for those who will be here later, for those who will reap the benefits of our struggle. Rest assured, you are not alone.

  • 469. K!r!lleXXI  |  January 30, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Richard, that is great that you have this community and that so many gay people understand the importance of fighting for our rights. Unfortunately, it’s not quite like that in Russia.

    When I initiated those conversations on a local website and it all turned into a big discussion, I was kind of contacted by some representative of local gay community who basically said something like, "Stop it! You’re only making it worse. We do not need their approval, we do not need their marriages and their protections. We can live secretly and be happy that we are alive and free, not in jail." Well, I can’t; I don’t wanna; and I won’t! But, apparently, I’m the only one here who thinks that way.

    Maybe, we’re not ready. Maybe, we need to wait another decade or so. I don’t know. I only know that this gotta start somehow, something gotta change, something gotta initiate this process of gradually changing people’s minds. And if we remain in shadows, we might end up waiting for centuries.

    So, I hear you — you’re doing this for everybody, for us all. And just like that, I’m doing everything I can for you, guys — supporting gay issues, spreading the word, learning, debating, posting, commenting, signing petitions and writing letters to presidents and suchlike. And if at least one person has changed one’s mind about it because of what I’ve written, it wasn’t in vain.

  • 470. fiona64  |  February 4, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Hello, Kirill. I am just now getting around to reading everyone's story on this post, and I wanted to thank you for sharing yours. I wish that I could share a glass of tea with you and give you a hug; you are one of the most courageous people of whom I have ever heard.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 471. fiona64  |  February 4, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Sean, I just saw your story. I truly hope your partner is out of the hospital by now. You should write a letter to the hospital administrator about the guard; most guards are contracted employees, not hospital employees, but you should go right to the top.

    Also, it is not too late to inform the patient advocate about what has happened.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 472. fiona64  |  February 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Hey, Elizabeth … appropos of nothing, I'm a straight ally as well, and the San Jose Museum Examiner. :-)

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 473. kirillexxi  |  February 4, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Hello, Fiona!

    Wow, I did not expect to get any feedback like that at all!
    I mean, Russia is not Iraq where gay people are allowed to be killed just like that, on the street, where anyone is allowed to act as judge and executioner in one person, without a trial. They have it bad. They are real heroes — Iraqi gays and many other gay and lesbian people who live in countries with similar circumstances.

    Sometimes, in comparison, it seems like our struggles for being excepted and getting marital rights are not so important (because there are countries in the world where gay people are prosecuted and executed just for being gay), but I constantly remind myself why it does matter — achieving these rights will be an important step forward for the entire mankind because we'll get to show the world all the lies and misconceptions about homosexual people, and I am hopeful that this will be the beginning of decriminalization of homosexuality in those countries that will ultimately put an end to this disgraceful practice of a completely unfair discrimination and will bring peace and happiness for all the people in the world, both straight and gay.

    Thank you, Fiona, for being an ally, for supporting the true cause! Please, keep spreading the word among your friends and family members — grassroots efforts of our straight allies (along with grassroots efforts of gay and lesbian people coming out to their friends and families and neighbors) are what will change hearts and minds of people who have not changed so far.

    Kirill,
    25-year-old Russian gay man

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