January 20, 2010
By Julia Rosen
The transcripts from this afternoon read like an episode of Law and Order, with the attorneys arguing with the judge over what documents ought to be introduced as evidence. These aren’t just any old documents, they are emails and letters sent back and forth between the Prop 8 campaign and Catholic, LDS, and Evangelical churches.
For example, one letter indicated that the LDS church had identified a volunteer for the campaign in every single zip code. This was a church document that was in the hands of a Prop 8 campaign official, and thus was discoverable. Andy Pugno, the general council for ProtectMarriage.com tried his darnedest to get Judge Walker to exclude it, but failed. From Rick’s liveblog:
Pugno: Objects because document will be revealing.
Judge: Not to make light of this, but the reason people want to produce documents is that they are revealing.
Boutrous: It’s from an outsider to the core group. We are attempting to show the level of coordination with groups that Protect Marriage says were not even affiliated with the campaign.
This is perhaps the most explosive bit of all, from a document between the LDS Church and the campaign:
With respect to Prop. 8 campaign, key talking points will come from campaign, but cautious, strategic, not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.
Get that? The LDS Church intentionally worked to hide behind the scenes to disguise their involvement in the public realm. The LDS Church is well aware that the general public does not have the most favorable opinion of them. Attention on their involvement could have hurt their cause, namely passing Prop 8.
Brian has more here on the tangled web between officials on the campaign and the LDS Church.
These documents were not the only interesting pieces of evidence from today. AFER released these two deposition videos, both of experts that the defense had on their witness list. These witnesses were both dropped from the witness list. Now we know why. They seem to be supportive of marriage equality. David Boies conducts the interview in both examples.
Here is Paul Nathanson, Ph.D. The transcript is up here.
One more piece of news of note. AFER also announced today that they will be publishing transcripts from the trial on their site right here.
[UPDATE] It appeared in Rick’s liveblogging as if he was quoting directly from a document, not a witness for the critical quotes above. That is incorrect. It was a witness’s characteristic of a document as several bloggers have pointed out. My apologies for the false information.