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Liveblogging Day 6: Part IV Afternoon session wraps up

Liveblogging

By Rick Jacobs

[Final update of Day 6]

Boies: You said that better than looking at Netherlands for effects of ss marriage in US is to look at other US states.

B: Yes.

Boies: Massachusetts shows a pretty steady decline of marriage from 2000-2007. Chart shows that marriage rate actually increased after May 17 2004 when ss couples could marry. And Mass rate of decline in marriage is lower than nation.

B: Divorce rate has actually declined since passage of marriage in Mass at a greater rate than in the US, where divorce rates also have declined since 2000.

[This is all hard to read, but the point is that Boies shows that divorce rates in the US have decreased since the passage of marriage and decreased even more in Massachusetts. In short, Mr. Cooper just pulled data right out of his ass to prove whatever point he wanted to prove.]

B: Chart shows that 18,000 married in five or six months of marriage in CA, but only 2,000 or so got DPs.

B: Chart shows that in the first year DP was allowed, 5% of ss couples chose it. In first year marriage allowed in US, 21% chose marriage. Clear that overwhelmingly greater number of ss couples choose marriage.

B: Reads again from report that reiterates point we have heard over and over that registered partnership in Netherlands is not as meaningful as marriage. Shows that individuals not only see marriage as more valuable than alternative status, but alternative status itself is devalued because it sends the message that it is devalued.

Boies: Shows Cooper’s chart that purports to show a 150% increase in rate of couples living outside of married with children, even though it’s a tiny number.

Boies: Look at rate of change from 1997-2001, see increase of 34,000 who are unmarried with children. In the period after 2002, is there any period that had a comparable increase?

B: I don’t see any that come close to that number.

Boies: For example from 2002-2004, about 17,000 and they get smaller after that?

B: Yes. It’s a straight line. It’s about as straight a line as you’ll ever see in statistical studies of population.

Boies: Does this show any proof whatsoever that there was an increase in rates after “gay marriage” was legal?

B: No.

Boies: After 2002, is there any year in which rate of increase of unmarried couples with children approaches rate of increase was greater than form 1999-2000?

B: No.

Boies: Did any of Mr. Cooper’s questions go to whether gay and lesbian couples can be substantially hurt by being denied marriage?

B: No. I have not changed my opinion.

Boies: Did he show you anything that children of gay and lesbian couples would be hurt by parents being allowed to marry?

B: No. He never mentioned it.

B: I’ve seen no evidence that would suggest there is any harm.

3:55PM

Judge: Regrettably, we have to adjourn. I have a judge’s meeting at which I must preside. Sorry to disappoint the lawyers.

Resume tomorrow at 8:30.

—–
Quick conclusion:

Prop. 8 not only does not like science, but they flim flam math. The numbers that they used undercut their case. When someone shows you cherry-picked statistics and then uses fake math to justify them — i.e., that the rate of increase derived by averaging silly numbers equals 150%, when as Prof. Badgett points out the actual numbers are 5.6%, increasing to 6.4% — everyone sees the game being played.

Dave Dayen over at FDL came over to Brian Leubitz and me after the proceedings ended and said, “are they trying to lose?” It’s not a throw away. Maybe they want to lose so that they can show that the court is overruling the people so that they can raise more money to hurt more people and elect more nuts. In some ways, today was more unsettling than many days last week, because today we saw their lead lawyer, Mr. Cooper, parsing numbers in an embarrassing fashion.

I’m guessing that Mr. Cooper believed in this presentation. If he did, this is indeed very upsetting.

An investment banker friend of mine visiting from Russia a few years ago said that from a distance he thought the US was more unstable than any other big country. I asked why. He said that from his perspective, he sees us fighting at a very shrill level over less than essential matters. In other words, it’s not as if we are fighting over capitalism vs. Bolshevism. I get his point. But the fact of the matter here is that I do think we are fighting for the essence of democracy and liberty.

The right of individuals to live as equals in this country is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Yet, we have religious extremists fostering dogmatic politics. This trial is a window into the soul of America. Gay or straight, conservative or liberal, does America believe in equality? That’s what’s on trial. And the outcome will go a long way toward answering my Russian friend’s questions.

One other point. I’ve had the chance to read some of the comments. Julia’s excellent post has highlighted what we’ve been seeing. You are fast becoming a community. It’s our job collectively to insure that this trial tracker community stays together and grows, but that this movement grows horizontally. The holy grail for the Courage Campaign and any online organizing entity that’s worth its salt, is to build communication from the many to the many. Put simply, we can send emails from those of us here who work for you and we must do that. But everything we do has to be about empowering you. Each of you. And each of you, to the extent you choose, can then empower others by telling your story.

That’s the elegant beauty of a movement. And we’re part of one that I first saw when Howard Dean was propelled to prominence in 2003. Remember that his early support and money were from the LGBT community, because in 2000, he had been the first governor in the country to institute civil unions. But then his voice against the war and for the people rang true. Millions followed and eventually that movement put Obama into the White House.

Thanks for leading, each of you, every single day.

Oh, one last thought. Early this morning as I was standing up to get off the airplane from LA to SF, two young women seated in the middle and window seats looked at me. One said, “Are you Rick Jacobs?” Well, I was stunned. I was so taken aback that I did not even have the presence of mind to ask their names. They had been in LA to visit the parents of one of the partners (maybe they are married?). The woman who began the conversation said, “We read the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Thanks for doing it.” I was speechless. And I still sort of am.

This is really yours. It’s your trial. It’s your blog. It’s your movement. Don’t ever, ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

See you in the morning.

Rick.

Tags: , , ,

101 Comments

  • 1. Michelle  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Rick, Thank you so much. We appreciate you!

  • 2. Ann  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Rick, what a lovely story about your encounter on the plane. Thank you for doing this. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I probably wouldn't recognize you, but I'm a fan nonetheless.

  • 3. SeanF  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Thank you, Rick! Been out all day, but just caught up. Thank you so much for the coverage and insightful commentary. -Sean in Oakland

  • 4. Barb  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Thank you Rick and everyone at Courage Campaign and Prop 8 Trial Tracker for all your hard work.

    At least I didn't cry today! Last week was one tear after the other.

    Peace

  • 5. Steven  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

    "Mr. Cooper, parsing numbers in an embarrassing fashion"

    I just think that they are so blinded by their stance, that they don't see what they are doing, no matter how bad.

    …I'm sure that they were all patting themselves on the back for a job done…even though it was not done well.

  • 6. Alan E.  |  January 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I have just caught up (and had a productive day without access to the Internet). Thank you for keeping us in the loop where we would be at the mercy of the media to tell us what is important from the day.

  • 7. Alex  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Thank you Rick!

  • 8. Rob  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Rick you are doing a suberb job! Keep it up…

  • 9. Daniel L  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

    yeah thanks Rick! Can't wait till tomorrow

  • 10. Tommy  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I don't think the defense lawyers honestly believe anything they've been presenting. I think their backs are against the wall, and this is the best they can come up. These are well-educated people – they know a good legal argument when they hear one. I can just imagine the pre-trial preparation:

    Defense Lawyer1: Looks like the plaintiffs have a pretty solid case. What do we do in the face of all this testimony from so many well-respected experts?

    Defense Lawyer2: Hmmm, we'll have to resort to trying to discredit their witnesses at every turn, and taking their papers and statistics out of context. There's not much else we can go, but we're getting millions of dollars, so we better make a good show out it.

  • 11. Steffi  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    wow Rick this is quite some motivational speech!
    And I do like this idea of mine (though it started as a kind of a silly idea to just throw into the room) of having some kind of meetint/gathering of trial trackers that life in proximity of each other. like some joint trial tracker evening/ lunch whatever. We could connect and exchange thoughts and who knows what would come out of it…

  • 12. Lies  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Rick, thanks for everything you're doing. Everyone who's on the LGBT side, not just in the US but here in Europe as well, appreciates it.

  • 13. Steffi  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I thought about the same thing. but I don't think they put up a very convincing show.

  • 14. CDMatthew  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Greetings and sincere thanks from Boston, MA! Rick, I'm following your postings from the courtroom every day, and so appreciate your presence there. Thank you SO MUCH!

  • 15. Steffi  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:10 am

    funny thing: didn't protectmarriage.com use to put up their thoughts about the proceedings of the trial on their Blog? like every noon and afternoon? Maybe even they can't come up with any possible argument to turn today into a victory for them so they just shut up and leave their supporters in total darkness?

  • 16. Robert Patterson  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Thank you for all your hard work covering this trial to keep us informed as to what's going on.

  • 17. Bry  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

    In the immortal words of Airplane

    "I just wanted to say Good Luck, we're all counting on you"

    Tomorrow's testimony regarding the (Non-)Reparative Therapy that the APA and every other group says is a failure at best, mind-fucking at worst will be very difficult to see. I've been lucky to have VERY supportive parents (mom and grandma, daddy dun know but baby brother-whos-17-so-not-so-baby-anymore says he'd be supportive too), I never had to worry about that. But it always brings a nasty taste to my mouth.

    Hopefully this will highlight the insanity more than any episode of Cold Case tomboys-being-electroshocked ever could.

  • 18. Bry  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

    That's what I was wondering, maybe it's just taking them extra time to throw the documents down the Memory Hole.

  • 19. Bruce  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

    There really is no defense for bigotry and hatred. I think that was pretty explicitly proven today.

    I don't want to get my hopes up but today sure seemed to lean in our favor by a wide margin.

    I also want to add my voice to thanking Rick and the entire Courage Campaign for this blog. Without you we'd all be in the dark. You're providing a public service.

  • 20. David Kimble  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yes, a BIG THANK YOU, RICK! I have been checking firedoglake.com and your coverage and comments are far better than there. Without your comments, some of this would be uncomprehensible (at least by me). Yes, they get the testimony blogged quicker than here, but I really appreciate your insights into this case.

  • 21. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

    [This is all hard to read, but the point is that Boies shows that divorce rates in the US have decreased since the passage of marriage and decreased even more in Massachusetts. In short, Mr. Cooper just pulled data right out of his ass to prove whatever point he wanted to prove.]

    No delusions here. I've always known that those that oppose equality were pulling data out of their ass to manipulate the masses.

  • 22. sara j.  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Thank you Rick. Great job. My kids are very young, yet they understood that the "yes on 8" signs all over our town said something negative about their family. Fight on.

  • 23. Jonathan  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Rick, I agree with everyone here who has expressed their appreciation of your and your groups fine work to give us information regarding this trial. I have been reading the posting with eager anticipation to see which argument is currently in play at any given point in time, and am excited to press "Refresh" on my browser.

    Thank you VERY MUCH!!! –

  • 24. Moriah  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    You know what was really moving about today?? The video of Jerry Sanders, talking about why he changed his position about gay marriage. I've always found it really great to see testimony from people whose opinions have changed…. And the emotional process he's gone through. He felt so guilty about the decision he *almost* made to deny equality, and he was sincerely changed by the visible hurt he could see in his friends. That means something. I have a ton of respect for him, because of the amount of self-reflection and the general humbleness and careful thought it must have taken to allow himself to be convinced, and actually change his views. Wow.

  • 25. Paul  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The "transcription" reporting is extrordinary. Thank you!!!

    With an eye to the future:

    1) An official transcript of the trial will be available in a couple of months. So what you're done right now will not be as important a resource at that point.

    2) The official transcript will not include such things as, "Judge standing beside his chair with hands crossed," lawyers being flumoxed while looking through their papers, "uprorious laughter," or everyone in the overflow room is in tears.

    So . . . for your consideration . . . in terms of the future, these non-spoken notations (which are of no small importance), will only be known, if ya'll are capturing them right now as they happen. So a future project would then be to use these notations you're taking, and integrate them into the text of the official transcript.

    Bottom line, please make a special effort to capture these "look and feel" moments, so they'll be available to those who undertake the "integration" project.

    In addition to this, they're also helpful to those of us reading right now, as they better allow us experience the "feel" of the trial for ourselves.

  • 26. Adam  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Thank you Rick! You are an amazing individual and we appreciate all that you are doing!!!

  • 27. Bry  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I think it was quoted in the aforementioned-many-times "How To Lie With Statistics" but there was a story my Stat teacher mentioned and then my Exp. Psych class mentioned.

    It had to do with a guy who was trying to get flag burning banned in his state – he said that as proof of necessity, flag burning incidence increased 50% from the previous year.

    The truth? YES it DID increase 50%, from 2 to 3. He didn't "lie" but his statistical data was greatly dishonest and deceptive, and that's as bad as lying.

  • 28. Theo  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    This whole propaganda 8 thing goes right back to one point and that is, folks contending how gay marriage is not the "same thing" as a straight marriage…

    The reality is, no marriage is EVER "equal" to any other marriage. 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.

    Time to own up on the animus behind that mindless denigration, don't you think?

    "Justice and equality for all". *ALL*.

    Soooo simple.

  • 29. Moriah  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Ah, and of course, a HUGE thank-you to Rick for the updates and the great commentary! So many of us are following the blog religiously during these few weeks, and your descriptions of the trial are invaluable. It really is the best way for us to stay informed of what's happening in the trial, and to actually understand everything that's being said as well. You rock. 😀

  • 30. Bill Trzeciak  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Rick, I met you a couple of years ago at our Burbank Democratic Club. My wife gave me the url and I have been following every word on TrialTracker and I've shared it and my thoughts on Facebook with others. From the beginning I've been telling my friends this is the modern equivalent of the Scopes Trial. I see many moments, (though not today's), becoming scenes of the twenty-first century's "Inherit the Wind." If no one else is going to write a play or movie script, I will. I'm sure there will be many drafts of the work that will interst the multitude. Maybe it's all right that it's not on You Tube yet. The succinct version will capture hearts by hightighting the parts that really, really matter. Last week was dramatic almost all the way.

  • 31. ron  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Amen

  • 32. Kyle  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

    The argument about the majority letting the minority have marriage rights has been around for a very long time. Check out this site for an interesting look back at the history of politicians and marriage equality.

  • 33. Kyle  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:33 am

    The argument about the majority letting the minority have marriage rights has been around for a very long time. Check out this site for an interesting look back at the history of politicians and marriage equality.

  • 34. Kyle  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Ok, it isn't including my link, let me try this:
    http://www.buddybuddy.com/quiz-1.html

  • 35. Ryan H.  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I have to agree that the prop 8 defense seems to have no defense at all and that in itself is unsettling to me. I have been sneaking peaks into my iphone during an inter-session college class to read the blog (which I am so grateful for) and everyday I think that they must have some defense up their sleeve, but so far, nothing. I keep wondering about what Judge Walker must be thinking when the defense lawyers make up numbers, use studies from decades ago, and sometimes even undermine their own defense, which seems as simple as lifting a rug.

    It is crystal clear to me that the reason the Prop 8 defense didn't want the trial to be broadcast is because we all see what's behind the red curtain pulling the strings, fear and prejudice. As a friend of Dorothy's it hurts me even more now that I am certain there is no Wizard behind Prop 8.

    In my world History class my professor brought up Prop 8 and our western culture saying how modernizing scares people especially fitting it into context with history and the world community. I agree with him.

    I think it is our duty… no our destiny, to change the world yet again.

  • 36. Bill G  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I spend every free moment of my day catching up on this blog. Living in Georgia, I especially appreciate what you and so many others are doing in California. It's no secret that this fight will eventually end up in the Supreme Court, but it is because of the efforts in California. So many states in our country have no chance of ever seeing our local government do the right thing. Without a Supreme Court decision, marriage equality will not become a reality in many places around the nation in my lifetime. So, thank you, again, for all that you do. Your work affects the lives of people in every neighborhood in America.

  • 37. michael  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Thank you all so much for what you are doing everyday! The community here is amazing. I have been reading this site since day 1 and I am kind of obsessed. We have several Michael's on the board and sometimes I am about to make a point or comment and one of the others has already done it. So that is a bit weird but at least most of us are all on the same wave length.

  • 38. Glenn I  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Are the Prop H8 lawyers trying to lose the case? Oh please.

    The anti-marriage case is not based on science, has nothing to do with science (since the state of science turned on the anti-gays years ago). But the H8ers are in court with no choice but to argue according to the rules of the court.

    In the context of court it looks lame because the court demands credentials and evidence.

    In the context of conservative churches science and evidence are inadmissible and (compared to dogma) credentials are nothing.

    In the context of the voting booth feelings are paramount – and you know thinking about gays has "traditionally" meant thinking uncomfortable thoughts.

    In the contexts of church and voting booth the anti-gays have done well or wonderfully well. In the context of courts? Well. They've done pretty good there, too. Why? Because of the anti-gay legacy we are all bathed in.

    Even when the anti-gays present illogical and unreasonable arguments there have been enough judges who prejudge – who already know before a single argument has been presented, who already know regardless of evidence, science or credentials, who already know how they will rule. So far there have been enough judges who KNOW the gays are NOT EQUAL that many rulings have gone against evidence, against science, against reason, against simple fairness because the judges are steeped in the anti-gay culture and know in their hearts that LGBT people are not quite people, not people like them. Judges have even created new justifications not presented by the anti-gay attorneys.

    Gradually we see judges rule on the evidence and those are the cases we win.

  • 39. Desert Verdin  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

    "They" sometimes put forth the argument that there is no discrimination in the marriage law, that an LGBT person can still marry a person of the opposite sex.

    Well, sure we can. And I want our side to ask their side's witnesses if they would like for their straight sons and daughters to be married to an LGBT person, someone for whom having sex with the opposite sex is just not something they're going to do ever. Do they really want to condemn their adult children to sexless marriages?

    Is there any way for someone to pass a note to this effect to Olson and Boies?

  • 40. Bill  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Rick,

    Don't go gettin' a big head or anything, ; ) but I hope you are aware that you will have a great place in LGTB history.

    Not the false history that our advesaries are fighting hard to be sure the lies remain in place, but in OUR true history. The one that we are writing every day.

    You are providing that history to all of us who would otherwise not have access to it. There really isn't a 'thank you' to cover that., Rick.

    But, thank you!

    No let's go kick some ass!

    (Did that sound bitchy?) ; )

  • 41. Desert Verdin  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Also, it looks like "they" are trying to intimate it is very difficult to identify us as a "discrete and insular" group.

    Well, the haters don't have any trouble IDing us when they want to get us fired from our jobs, or thrown out of our rentals, or when they harass us and beat us to death, or even when they want to vote fundamental rights out of our reach. In those circumstances it's real easy for them to identify us.

    Can this point be made to the judge? Again, pass Olson and Boies a note?

  • 42. ricky leliefeld  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

    From a guy stuck up here in the northwest corner of washington state in a little burg called Loon Lake,THANK YOU! I love the coverage and would love to be sitting in that courtroom everyday,I'd probably get kicked out for calling bullshit on the bad guys,but would love to be there all the same.As I sit here listening to the disapointing results of the Mass,special election I am thinking,one step at a time,We are making forward progress,sometimes you have to make a mark to see the actual progress,but we will get there. Thanks Again.

  • 43. Casey  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Bitchy is good, Bill! In its purest and most beautiful sense, bitches stand up for themselves and don't back down to bullies…the human bitch, that is. Thank you, Rick and every contributor to this tracker, for helping us stand as informed citizens who pay taxes, work our asses off, and deserve the right to choose our own life path. You rock!

  • 44. nightshayde  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I'm pretty sure "they" would just point out that they believe that being LGBT is a choice — so all the LGBT people have to do is choose to be straight & then marry someone of the opposite sex.

  • 45. Brian  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Tomorrow, there will be tears. I'm just glad that I'm reading this from home, so that when I start bawling, the only people who will be able to see are my roommates.

  • 46. Desert Verdin  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Counter: Religion is a choice and the US has very stringent protections for religious freedoms.

  • 47. Brian  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I fully second this. This is a must.

  • 48. Erin  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Thank you Rick, thank you…

  • 49. waxr  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

    This is off topic, but should be of interest to most of you.

    According to Stars and Stripes: Senate to hold ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ hearings in late January. http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&am

    There is strong support from President Obama and military leaders to abolish DADT.

  • 50. nightshayde  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Unfortunately, I'm sure "they" see the choice either being to follow their denomination of their religion (right) or to follow anything else (wrong).

    I've heard some of "them" complain that Christians who support marriage equality aren't "real" Christians (like Catholics who deny communion to Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion-rights).

    In other words, there's no winning when arguing with "them." Our only hope is that the judicial system tells "them" to whine to themselves while others enjoy equal rights.

  • 51. Thomas  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Penn and Teller did a great episode on numbers on their show 'Bullshit'. "Numbers never lie, liars do."

  • 52. atriana  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I'd just say history, period. I'm straight and I'm totally glued to this blog every day when I come from work (I kinda resented the holiday yesterday, even.)

    Most non-LGBT folks probably don't realize how important this case is but they will once the movie comes out…which I have absolutely no doubt it will! I'm just hoping against hope that it has a happy ending.

  • 53. Grant  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    The witnesses for the defense appear to be running away from the case. They were willing to be visible during the campaign, but now that they have to testify, they are afraid of publicity.

    QUESTION: If they decline to testify now, and then Boies & Olsen win this case, would they be able to file an appeal & testify in an appeal?

    Given Prop 8 was their "baby", can they not be subpoenaed to testify? If they decline to testify in this trial, can their participation be excluded in future appeals?

  • 54. Naco  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you so much for all you have been doing, Rick! This trial tracker has been my only means of keeping up with this important trial (no one seems to want to cover it on the east coast). For the first time in a while, I am feeling confident that our case will succeed and that everyone will finally see through the lies and bigotry that seems to be thrown around by the opposition! Keep up the excellent work!

  • 55. Caitlyn  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I'm compelled to join the chorus of Thank Yous, – so Thank You, Rick, I'm one of the many sneakily reading the blog on my computer while at my university lectures, and I've even almost burst out laughing in class in reaction to the defense's ridiculous defense.

    This case couldn't be going any more amazingly. The prosecution is stumbling about, embarrassingly skewing numbers, and irritating and boring the judge. I'm curious what they could possibly pull out of their asses next.
    My only fear is that this case will be dismissed on some technicality. I'm currently in a class called Psychology and Law, and my professor recently brought up the case of in which the prosecution clearly showed statistically that african-americans were being discriminated against in the courts as they received the death penalty for murder almost 5 times as often as white people did, but the court dismissed it because they could not prove discriminatory intent in that particular case. I'm afraid that the reams of evidence that gays need and deserve equal rights, that seems entirely logical and correct to us, will be brushed aside on some technical grounds like that.

  • 56. Darcy  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks Rick! I'm from Minnesota and like everywhere else there is not much coverage.

  • 57. Linda Gray  |  January 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Could somebody please give me a simple yet rational response to the claim that, if we allow LGBTs to marry, "Where will it end? Why not allow polygamy?" One of my redneck evangelical neighbors threw this at me today and I'm too sleep-deprived to come up with a short, sensible answer (thanks for the four consecutive sleepless nights, neighbor's free-roaming packs of barking dogs!). I'm not looking for witty; I'm not even looking to win them over–there's no persuading them, I know. But I at least want to say something that's logical and well thought out so that they stop smirking at me with this "Got no answer for THAT, do ya, missy!" attitude. And I am just so tired that I can't think at all. So the question is, how do you respond to "if we change the definition of marriage for 'these people,' what's to stop the definition from changing to something 'even worse'?"

  • 58. Chris G  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I'd get kicked out too! I'm certain there's only so many times the judge will put up with me standing up, pointing to the defense, and yelling "Shenanigans! I call shenanigans on the defense!"

  • 59. Nick  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Ahhh-but it would be a fun spell-breaker-I think although he would maintain the decorum of the Court, Judge would secretly be shaking with laughter and understanding! :-)

  • 60. Nick  |  January 19, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry that I wasn't able to follow thru the day! Glad I managed to read thru the testimony and comments this evening-missed you all! Take good care!

  • 61. Brenda  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    It’s amazing how the people claiming to be fighting for what’s right in the U.S. are fighting against what the U.S. really represents. It represents freedom as individuals. That is meant to be taken literally. So apparently to some individuals are those who are an individual cut from the same cloth as the other next to him/her. It’s disgusting how hypocritical fanatics are fighting so hard to take away people's rights because they are not considered to be the right kind of individuals. I have never had respect for those kinds of jerks and never will. I blatantly show them this and they can't comprehend how I could treat someone claiming to be a good person who just follows their ascetic god. Those types are always against any man or woman who does not stick within the preferred category. They say a woman must be abstinent or having a husband’s child if she has sex so she can't be on birth control. They say a man must be a man to a woman who can bear him many children or he is as insufficient as his barren wife. They refuse to see two people of the same sex can have as much validity in their marriage as a straight couple (that tends to fake it).

  • 62. Glenn I  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Inherit the Rainbow!

  • 63. Rachel  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    This is spectacular. I really feel like this movement is going somewhere. It gives me hope that some day when I'm ready to get married that I will be allowed to. That I can have kids who have MARRIED moms. Its just great. Thanks so much.

  • 64. IAN LELAND  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU. I COULD REALLY IDENTIFY WITH THE INTERNAL HOMOPHOBIA THAT COMES FROM THE STIGMA. SINCE THIS AWARENESS, I HAVE REALIZED THAT MARRIAGE WILL HELP MY FELLOWS SEE ME AS EQUAL. I BELIEVE THAT MANY PEOPLE VOTED YES ON PROP 8 OUT OF FEAR OF COMMERCIALS THAT PROP 8 PAID FOR. MANY OF OUR FAVORITE CELEBRITIES BELIEVE IN THIS EQUALITY.

    THANKS, IAN

  • 65. Wade MacMorrighan  |  January 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    One question, friends: Why does it seem SO difficult to keep this country true to it's founding ideals of EQUALITY FOR EVERYONE, no "if"s "and"s or "but"s?!

  • 66. A Concerned Citizen  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I find it ludicrous that, we, as a society, have been marginalized by a homophobic Supreme Court which censored the public airing of this important Civil Rights trial. I felt so sorry for the Iranian dissidents who risked their lives on the street who were reduced to blogging and twittering the Iranian Govt's criminally violent brutality and murder of those who peacefully protested against the theft of democray by vote stealing. How sad as a societ in America, that we have been reduced to blogging testimony or producing a theatrical reenactment of this important and historical civil rights trial. By no means am I denigrating the importance of Ricks selfless contribution to recording history in the making. It is just sad that that individuals have to go to such extremes to circumvent unjust censorship by blogging to get the real story out when all that needed to happen was for this trial to be aired publicly in the light of day. How is censorship of film footage of this Human Rights trial any different from the censorship of film footage of students being beaten for prostesting against vote stealing in Iran or the censorship of free speech by the Chinese against its own citizens. This censorship is a willful attempt to silence Gays and Lesbians in their pursuit of Equality in America. An attempt to keep the subject in the closet, where noone can view the Truth of the real intent of the promoters of Prop 8, which was the hatred of Gays and Lesbians and an attempt to silence their pursuit of Equal Justice in American Society

  • 67. Susan R Barnes  |  January 19, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you Rick Jacobs, and thanks to everyone at the Courage Campaign. You provide a lifeline of information to thousands of people like myself who have been following this trial daily.

    I feel empowered to share more information with others about this trial, and to speak more openly about my gay marriage with a little less hesitation. This Prop 8 Trial Tracker site and all the hundreds of comments has helped foster these feelings within me. Several years ago I always managed to dodge the two questions I'm asked without fail on each new jobsite (I'm a union electrician, and a married lesbian): "Are you married?" and "What does your husband do?" These days, no longer willing to remain sitting obediently in the back of the bus, I have had multiple occasions to respond by saying, "Yes," and "I don't have a husband. I have a wife. Her name is Lynne, and she's a registered nurse." For all my years spent worrying about being asked those simple questions, not once have I had anything but positive responses since I began answering them openly and proudly.

    There is power in the simplest interactions with other people. This site and the community it fosters can (and does) empower people to speak up and tell their stories.

    Keep it up!

  • 68. cait  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    haha i might have heard the other side of the plane-encounter story this am! just emailed that snippet to my friend to confirm. either way, thanks so so much!

  • 69. rpx  |  January 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    This is very good reasoning. I'll remember this and it will get reused.

  • 70. John C  |  January 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    What I usually say when this is brought up is. Are you SERIOUS??? We are talking about equal rights here. Animal/Human, Adult/Child &/OR Multiple Spouse Marriages,. All of those forms of "relationships" are ILLEGAL for EVERYONE. BIG FAIL, there is nothing unequal about any of those laws as they apply to everyone equally. On the other hand, only LGBTQ are being treated unequal/different in states that ban same sex marriage.

  • 71. WhirledTraveler  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    You encapsulated this brilliantly when you said, "This trial is a window into the soul of America. Gay or straight, conservative or liberal, does America believe in equality?"

    Thanks for all your efforts!

  • 72. Lymis  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    When someone asks me if we allow gay marriage what prevents polygamy, my answer is "what prevents it now?"

    RIght now, it is prevented because the laws prevent it. And that doesn't change because of same-sex marriage.

    The scare-mongers are billing same-sex marriage as a deliberate attempt to weaken or destroy marriage, and their apparent theory is that once you weaken it in one direction, there is nothing preventing it from breaking down completely.

    But marriage is not a beleaguered fortress on a hill being attacked by rampaging heathens. It is a legal and social system for making families.

    You could just as easily ask, "If we let a man marry one woman, what keeps us from letting him marry five?" The law.

    See, the thing is, the anti-equality people are framing this as an all-out attack on marriage, that the "fundamental" definition of marriage is under threat, and saying things like "once you change the definition, it can be anything."

    The pro-equality people are saying "People are people, and gay people fit quite neatly into the existing system without changing it in any significant legal way."

    The absurdity is that the equality side's argument is far less likely to cause any further major changes, while the opponent's argument is far more likely to do so. Basically, they have it down to procreation, child-rearing and Biblical tradition – both arguments support polygamy far more than ours does. If children need male and female parents as role models, how much better to have a whole passel of them around. How much more stable is a home with 3 or 4 breadwinners, and how much more able is a polygamous group to support a full-time stay at home parent? And the Bible clearly not only supports, but in some cases mandates polygamy.

    On the other hand "Everybody deserves to be equal, and each citizen should be able to choose one other person to commit to" doesn't open any such doors.

    For that matter, the old classic "Hey, if they want the benefits, let them get married," updated to include everyone, actually strengthens the social and legal significance of marriage. Denying marriage to people only gives more and more incentive to come up with alternate ways of giving people necessary rights.

    (Please note, I am not making a case for or against polygamy. The biggest argument against it is that the whole system would have to be rewritten in terms of things like medical decisions, divorce, child custody and such, where just adding same-sex couples doesn't.)

  • 73. Lymis  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    While I'd love to see the live footage too, your objection is a bit overstated. You make it sound as though we have always had complete access to live coverage of trial testimony and that the Supreme Court made an exception and slammed the doors on this one. That just isn't true – we thought we would have a nearly unique opportunity here, and it didn't happen.

    We've managed as a country this far to make the major strides we have without live YouTube coverage. We'll get through this.

    Our rights are being calmly and seriously considered, using the Constitutional system that is in place. Comparing this to China or Iran, or claiming that this is in any way a free speech issue is WAY overstated.

    The transcripts will most likely eventually be available.

  • 74. Marlene Bomer  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Rick — Let's not forget the fact that bigots do NOT like and have never liked facts and figures which refute their preconceived conclusions.

    When the bigots were trying to stop blacks from flying in the Army Air Corps during WW2, they used a junk science "study" which claimed that because some black men had smaller veins leading to the brain meant they were less intelligent than whites.

    During the Reagan Regency, the so-called Attorney General, Ed Meese wanted to discredit the adult entertainment industry. So he compiled a board of "experts", whose job was to find and twist evidence into agreeing to the already made conclusion that porn was bad and should be banned.

    When some of the *real* experts found out what Meese intended, many left in protest, leaving "experts" like Lou Sheldon to run the medicine show.

    So there's just two examples.

  • 75. Cy Guy  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Even with the fudged numbers, and cherry picked stats (hmm, suddenly I'm in the mood for an ice cream sundae) I wonder whether the increase in children living with unmarried parents isn't partly a reflection of SS couples raising their own children in a state that, at that time, didn't allow the parent to get married.

  • 76. rf  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Linda, there are a few reasons why polygamy is not in the best interest of the state. Marriage among more than 2 people can create inequities in the treatment of some of the spouses and their children. So a favored wife and her children may get more benefits/money/ support than a less favored one. I believe there are studies that show women in polygamist relationships do suffer disproportionately based on their rank in the group.

    Also, who do you listen to when issues like health care come up. Say there is a husband and two wives. One of them ends up in the hospital on life support. And the other two have completely different views on what should be done. Who wins?

    Finally, allowing men to have more than one wife will invariably enable wealthy men to collect women (and perhaps vice versa). Which deprives poorer, and usually younger and antsier men ,looking for somewhere to release their anger, from getting any. This causes instability that could potentially threaten peace or the govt itself.

  • 77. James O'Neill  |  January 19, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    " “are they trying to lose?”

    I have said that very thing to myself as well. Ultimately, as we all know, there is no real argument against gay marriage.

    The defense is trying to put up the best defense that they can, but given the circumstances, it is REALLY, REALLY< REALLY hard to do so.

    We should really be thankful that this is all that they can really come up with, since it really illustrates our point.

    Thanks again

  • 78. Rev Scott West  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Prop h8 supporters parse numbers like they parse scripture. I moved back to (central) Illinois to fight hate like this.
    I applaud everyone who is doing their part.
    After the Massachusetts election, I hope that we can continue to fight the right wing propagandist- and if it sounds loud, the better for it.
    Thanks for doing this good work

  • 79. Gaby Tako  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Thank you Rick and all the bloggers! Your service is invaluable to me and so many others who, indeed, view this trial as a window in to the American soul: do we *really* believe in equality?
    And I thought it was just me, the Prop 8 arguments seem so weak, I have had to ask myself if they are deliberately trying to lose (in anticipation of the appeal and eventual Supreme Court case). Indeed, they are in a losing position – how can they define a discrete group (LGBTs) through their hateful message on one hand and then argue we are not a discrete class on the other? It should be quite easy for our counsel to use their own words against them and then continue (as they are) to amplify and fortify that stance.
    And on the subject of science – Prop H8 seems to be a largely anti-intellectual crowd to begin with, science is something they don't seem to grasp or have much use for since their whole meme is rooted in prejudice and fear. Hence the desparate need to heavily parse studies and statistics. Any first year college student understands cross-cultural studies (US v. Netherlands) are very difficult to use in comparison at best, and generally are avoided because of lack of substantive controls.
    Again, thank you for all you do – I read as often as I can and follow closely through the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and the many other wonderful folks in the blogoshpere.

  • 80. Michael Herman  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:38 am

    I remember meeting Rick in a small church (of all places!) in Modesto during a meeting for the Courage Campaign's Equality Team. There was only 7 of us there around a small, round table. I was actually glad I took the hour and a half to drive there. XD I actually wrote a small speech I was going to give if there was enough people there, but instead I handed it to Rick with my contact info and a few other Constitutional tidbits. Even though a local politician and I were bickering for a little bit about avoiding vs. framing questions, it was an enjoyable roundtable discussion.

    Even though I'm currently in Oregon, I'm still following this case closely, and I deeply appreciate the live blogging of what's going on. Here's a copy of the short speech I gave to Rick that night:

    Unlike Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, I stand before you not one of your own, but as an ally. I am here to fill you with hope, courage, determination, and resolve. The law is clear. This cannot go on any further!

    Eleven score and two years ago, our forefathers drafted a document that formed a more perfect union, established justice, ensured domestic tranquility, provided for the common defense, promoted the general welfare, and secured the blessings of liberty. This document, the supreme law of the land, is now threatened by those who wish to disregard the very foundations of this great nation. Time and time again, this document, the Constitution of the United States of America, has defended freedom for the minority against the tyranny of the majority. From the end of slavery to racial discrimination and even gender discrimination, the Constitution has been used to keep freedom alive for all Americans. Today, your freedom is on the line.

    No more must you tolerate being treated as second class citizens. The Constitution is clear! From Articles 4 and 6 to the 1st and 14th Amendments, it is in clear black and white that this discrimination cannot continue. From Chief Justice Marshall, "A law repugnant to the Constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument." The California Supreme Court was legally bound under Article 6 of the United States Constitution and the ruling of Marbury v. Madison to overturn Proposition 8, and yet completely disregarded the Supreme Law of the Land. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act is in direct violation of Article 4, section 1, which says, "Full Faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state," and yet it is still law. By this alone, Proposition 8 is Constitutionally null and void!

    The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution declares, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Same-sex civil unions are denied equal rights. A gay couple cannot even visit one another in a hospital or make medical decisions for their partner. The rights that the law refuses to grant to homosexuals are the same rights that heterosexuals take for granted. This can go on no more!

    In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights — that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system."

    Brothers and sisters, the time has come! No longer can you remain silent. Speak and be known! Continue to march the streets. Continue to open dialogs, and prove that you are no different from anyone else and you deserve no different treatment. You did not ask nor choose to be this way. You are who you are, and nothing can change that.

    It is time we heterosexuals realize that the people affected by discrimination are our friends and neighbors, even our family members. They co-exist with us, and most of us don't even know when we meet a gay man or woman. Yet the "law" still treats them as inferior. There are many who think that only gays support gay rights. They are wrong. As I stand here today and speak out against oppression, I prove them wrong. I am here to say, enough is enough! We can no longer continue to use and abuse the right to marry when there are countless Americans denied that same right! I am here to prove that the so-called "Religious Right" is the Religious Wrong! Even President Obama has said America "is not a Christian country, but one of many faiths." Not every American believes the same way you do! There are many religions in the world, most of which conflict. None can be proven right or wrong, and that's why it's called "faith!" Faith should stay in your own heart, and out of the laws of this country.

    Some say that marriage is strictly a religious rite. If that is true, marriage should be removed from law entirely, including heterosexual marriage. But if they would read their bibles entirely, they would realize that it teaches love, acceptance, and brotherhood. It also says that they should follow the word of God and not bother with the governments of Man! These hypocrites only take what they want from the Bible and ignore the rest.

    Some also say that marriage is for procreation. Either these people are blind and deaf, or they refuse to see the countless infants born out of wedlock, and countless wedded couples who are incapable of bearing children. Should these couples be barred the right to marry as well? These paranoid homophobics are looking for any and all excuse to justify their wrong, but it is still wrong. They have the right to disagree, but their right to swing their fists end where another man's nose begins!

    Go forth and flood your county offices! Demand marriage certificates! They will refuse, but declare your Constitutional rights! You may be arrested, but this is necessary to send a message across the country that your rights have been taken away! Civil disobedience is one of the strongest messages you can send. It has worked in the past, and will work again. If you truly want equality, you must be willing to do whatever it takes. Flood the jails! Send your message loud and clear!

    You are not alone in this fight for freedom. It will be long and hard, but you have allies. In time, you will win this fight. Your freedom cannot be denied forever! Stand up for what's right, and claim what is rightfully yours! Your courage will be tested, but you must stand your ground. We fight with the truth on our side, and the truth will prevail!

    No more can you stand in the shadows as outcasts. Your day is approaching! No fight for freedom comes either quick or easy, but this battle has been long in the making. Though the course of history, minorities have fought, and died, for their freedom, and through determination and an iron will, they have pulled through. History will hold true, but it cannot happen alone. You must make it happen.

    The time has come!

  • 81. Michael Herman  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:41 am

    It was written last year, so that should be "eleven score and three years" now. The US Constitution was signed September 17, 1787, exactly 200 years before my birth.

  • 82. Brendan  |  January 20, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Best answer to that one that I've heard goes sthg like this:

    same sex attraction is a natural condition among a minority of all humans: even penguins are gay, etc… it is an inherent part of our private lives. It is biology.

    polygamy is a purely social construction, it is not a natural part of one's essence, there is no biological drive for it, only a religious or philosophical desire. it is a form of communal living that has nothing to do with what sex you're attracted to.

  • 83. A Concerned Citizen  |  January 20, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Dear Lymis,

    I greatly appreciate you using your freedom of speech to express your views on my commentary in spite of the fact that I only agree with about 50% of what you said. Incidentally, my sentiments about YOU Tube access can be translated any film footage media, CBS, CNN, PBS. Not specifically to You Tube.

    Heres what I agree on: that to date, many trials have not been televised nor is it convention. This is fact.

    I question, however, defending a position where just because that is the way it has always been done, that this process should continue.

    We, staright and gay, have substantially more to gain from an open access to the Legal proceedings in action before the public.

    Doing so, will educate the public, expose predjudice, and hold judges accountable for the rulings and decisions that they make.

    I am very concerned that without the light of day shined particularly on the future trial in front of the majority conservative Supreme Court, that the Justices personal beleifs, having nothing to do with considerations for Equla Rights for all its citizens, may set back the final emanicpation of Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders for years.

    telecasting this trial would have helped the general public to see the Truth about discrimination OF THE GBLT COMMUNITY.

    The comparison to Iran and China, is that those countries also edit and censor free press about injustice perpetuated by their governemnts. An absence of transparent and unhindered exposure to this debate on trial re: Yes on Prop 8 supporters, and other State and Federal governement prohibitions and discrimation of GLBT equal rights is a loss to all Society particualrly GLBT's.

    Just because there is little precedence for airing fed. Gov't trials doesn't mean we shouldnt push for more mdeia access. The question is really, hwo long do you want this Equal Rights struggle to continue? The quicker the entire nation is exposed to the testimony of both those who have been stripped of their human rights and those who attempt to strip GLBT of their fundamental human rights, the sooner we shall reach oour gaols of equal rights for all citizens. I'm 50 years old, i'm tired of waiting for my equal rights, the right to marry who I choose, the right to participate in the Fed. Govt $500,000 capital gains tax write off ( currently only afforded straight married couples. Gay couples can only qualify for a $250,000 capital gains tax write off., the prohibition of GLBT citizens to marry a person residing in another country and to have that spouse become a citizen, or the exemption from GLBT citizens from inheriting thier partners social secuity benefits when they die.,

    Censorship is censorship. Just because that is the way that it has been done, doesn't justify its continued application. I am sure many would agree, we have waited long enough for equality. At this point, anything and everything to help speed up our right to fair and equal treatment under State and Federal law, including televising this trial so that we can eduacate the heterosexual majority in this country who have been holding us back, the better.

    Until we have full equal rights, defending the position of censorship of this historical human rights trial unfolding just because it is convention, does more harm than good. Nothing good ever came of defending the way things have always been. Its time we set ourselves apart from the rest of the world to promote open access to our democracy not sitting idly by and defending justice performed in the dark but in the day of light for all to see and witness. Bring this trial out of the media closet!

  • 84. Uli  |  January 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Yes, thanks for doing it. =)
    I probably won't comment again, I just wanted to be counted among the people following this case say that I appreciate your efforts to bring this out and to make it make a little more sense too.

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