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For the record: Supreme Court dismisses Prop 8 trial videotape dispute

Televising Trial analysis Videos

This happened a few days ago, and was a bit of a foregone conclusion, but let’s get it on the record here at P8TT, cross-posted from LGBTPOV. — Eden

By Karen Ocamb

William-TamThe US Supreme Court ordered the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday to dismiss as moot the Prop 8 proponents’ argument that videotape from the federal Prop 8 courtroom trial not be released, according to Courthouse News Service.

As LGBT POV noted at the time, the US Supreme Court originally ruled 5 to 4 to ban cameras from broadcasting the Prop 8 trial last January 13, – something the Washington Post wrote “was a hastily written ruling by Supreme Court standards, and it carried a dissent almost equal in length to the majority’s opinion.” US District Judge Vaughn Walker had proposed posting recordings of the trial on the court’s Web site after several hours of delay and allowing real-time streaming of the trial for viewing in other federal courthouses – likening the postings to way the White House uses Google YouTube to post videos on it’s website –

But the high court bought the argument of the Prop 8 Defendant-Interveners who wanted videotape of the trial prohibited from being publicly released, claiming they feared retaliation from those who oppose Prop 8. LGBT POV’s Mark Hefflinger wrote an extensive piece on antigay groups playing victim in court and in politics.

On Monday, Courthouse News reported that “the 9th Circuit refused to intervene, and the Supreme Court vacated and remanded, instructing the circuit court to dismiss the dispute as moot after the justices ruled 5-4 on Jan. 13 to block any broadcast of the trial to the general public.”

The ruling resulted in the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group bringing the lawsuit, to provide transcripts on their website. Additionally, Plaintiffs’ attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies used videotape from several depositions, as well as other Yes on 8-related videotapes, during their arguments in Perry v Schwarzenegger. After he ruled on August 4 that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, Walker posted the evidence presented at trial on the court’s website – including video depositions from the Yes on 8 witnesses.

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling maintains the status quo – that the tapes from the actual courtroom trial will not be broadcast. But as of Wednesday afternoon, the tapes presented as evidence are still up on the court’s website with YouTube accessibility – including the Dec. 1, 2009 deposition of William Tam (pictured), an Official Proponent of the initiative who refused to testify in court out of fear of retaliation from opponents of Prop 8.

Walker’s ruling is now before the 9th Circuit, which still has to rule on whether the Defendant-Interveners have standing to bring the appeal before the appeals court panel of judges.


  • 1. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Forgive me, for this is off-topic. I am a straight ally of LGBT rights and — most importantly — same-sex marriage. I have posted here on occasion, so some of you may recognize my name. I have lost the love of my life today, irreconcilable differences, you might say. Except that he is the only man I've ever loved, and life seems bleak.

    Forgive me for reaching out, but I don't know where else to go. This community — whether you all realize it or not — has been my best friend for a long time now. Please tell me it will all be okay. These are words I need to hear. Or read. Or whatever.

    You are all wonderful people, and I just don't know where to turn at the moment.

    Thanks….and bless you all for your dedication to this cause and to each other.

  • 2. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Why did they not just go ahead and let the videos be made and aired? That would have been the smart thing to do. But then again, the NOMbies are not exactly known for being smart, are they?

  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Tracy, this is not as off-topic as you might think. And I am so glad you feel comfortable enough here to reach out to us. Any time you need to talk to us, or just want to, feel free.

  • 4. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Tracy, I don't think I've ever met you here before, but I definitely want to reach out to you in your pain. We are indeed family here, and P8TT should feel honored that you brought your need here. What a blessing that we can feel that way about each other. Please know that I am thinking about you during this terrible time for you.


  • 5. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:21 am

    They were afraid, eh? Poor babies. They ought to try living with the fear that WE have every day of our lives, thanks to people like them.

  • 6. Ronnie  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:21 am

    "WOW!!!….I love living in the future"……<3…Ronnie:

  • 7. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Thank you both. I have witnessed so much kindness and love here, comeraderie and mutual support. It is a wellspring of goodness and strength, and there is nowhere else I feel I can go right now. You are all a comfort. Sometimes when I get frustrated with life I come here to read your comments (and sometimes chime in), and I take solace in the united front you have all formed to fight for LGBT rights. When I was a kid my identity was so tied up in my identity as an American, and this community exemplifies all that America is supposed to stand for — love, tolerance, solidarity, patriotism and faith in each other.

    It is no wonder that I would come here when my life feels so brittle. Thank you again for your kindness. :) Love you all. You may not know me, but I've known you a long time. :) I do hope that doesn't seem creepy…. hehe

  • 8. Lesbians Love Boies  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. Not OT at all. We are all here for you.

  • 9. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Not creepy at all — your coming here during this difficult time speaks volumes. Please let us know how we can help. Where do you live?

  • 10. Ronnie  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Tracy…I don't know your personal circumstances…but, not to over use a new catch phrase that is catching on, "It Gets Better"…..I may be young but I know that much….& don't forget we are not just fighting for LGBT rights….we are fighting for everyone's rights….The anti-gay side is infringing on the rights of Heterosexuals as well & they refuse to accept or even acknowledge that….

    Think of this moment as a new step in your life…a chapter that has not been written but is in no way what-so-ever the last one…..danger…danger….platitude coming!!!!….

    When one door closes another one opens….

    this could be a good time to go all Madonna…re-invent yourself….SHOPPING SPREE!!!!!…oooooo SPA DAY!!!!….Just Vogue…lol…..

    no seriously….you should do something special for yourself…& know that you are a part of this community…you are loved…you are special…if you need to talk, rant, whatever….as my Specialty Design Professor would say…."Just do it"….now strike a pose…. ; )


  • 11. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I love you, Ronnie.

  • 12. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Thank you, LLB, I am starting to feel a little stronger already. I am 35 and have only loved one person. According to the law, I have the right to marry, but in this case it just wasn't an option. But I tend to think that my heartbreak now — epic as it might seem — is only a shadow of what many of you feel, unable to marry the ones you love. I ache for that. I have never known such heartbreak as I do now, and yet it is tempered by my knowledge that there are many here who cannot marry the one they love.

    This community is a rock — the rock upon which many stronger hearts are forged. I guess perhaps I am hoping that your strength will fortify me.

    Truly, I am loathe to be so selfish as to seek strength from a community that has suffered as much as yours. My loss seems pale in comparison to yours. I hope you all will forgive me for that. And you have my eternal gratitude for being so gracious as to offer your kindness to me, despite this disparity. ~~<~@

  • 13. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Oh Ronnie, bless you! Perhaps that's what a need — a shopping spree. :) I expected support from all of you, because you are all so wonderful — but such an outpouring of love is such a blessing. Oh God…… I wish I could do more for all of you, because you are angels and deserve to fly.

    God bless you. :) Hugs and kisses for your kindness!

  • 14. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Please do NOT feel that way, Tracy. Pain is pain, no more and no less. You are family here; we are ALL family here.

  • 15. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Ronnie is also very skilled at immediately locating the perfect video for any situation. Step up, Ronnie, and post one for Tracy!

  • 16. Sagesse  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:52 am

    I love this community. Scribing now to read later.

  • 17. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Tracy, I don't think that our straight allies can ever fully understand how much they mean to us. Thank you for being one of them.

  • 18. Kathleen  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I don't really understand why so much is being made of this decision. As far as I can tell, this was a petition on the part of the Proponents to block release of the videotapes of the trial (not of the depositions) to anyone, including the parties.

    You may recall, Walker allowed the parties to use portions of the videotapes of the trial in the parties' closing arguments. This seems to be an action on the part of the Proponents to block that release. The fact that the Supreme Court order is a direction to dismiss the request as moot appears to be nothing more than a recognition that the tapes have already been released.

    The tapes are still in the possession of the parties, but under a court order protecting them from release to the public.

    Here is the Supreme Court docket on this specific dispute:

    if anyone has information that shows this is anything other than what I've suggested, I'd love to know about it. I've done a quick look for the documents referenced in the above docket sheet, but have only been able to find those on the 9th circuit docket, which isn't everything. And I haven't time to hunt down the others (and don't know if they're available online).

  • 19. Tomato  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Kate is right, pain is pain. Sometimes people who have faced their own pain can be your greatest support when you must face your own.

    Be strong! We're here.

  • 20. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Kate, I live in the East Bay area — in Tracy, CA actually — thank you for your willingness to help. Just replying to my post is helpful. Thank you and bless you. :)

  • 21. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Tracy — there is a P8TT gathering coming up on Friday in the East Bay. Sheryl-Mormon-Mom is putting it together. Maybe you'd like to attend?

  • 22. Tomato  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Oh no, when will it STOP?

    We've lost another teenager:

  • 23. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Tracy….I am so sorry to hear of your pain and loss. It WILL get better in time. Don't try to rush through the grief, allow yourself to feel. Your heart will know when it's time to move forward.
    You are among family/friends here sweetie.
    BIG HUGS!!

  • 24. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Tracy, my heart goes out to you. irreconcilable differences is such a catch-all phrase that allows one impart meaning without going into detail. I'm so sorry that things have not worked out with the person that you love. I divorced my first husband due to his alcoholism not because I no longer loved him but because the home environment was no longer a healthy environment to raise my son in. To be quite honest, if we had not had a child, I probably would not have left him.

    Sorry, going off on a tangent here unrelated to your pain. Know that, as has already been stated, you are always welcome to "talk" about whatever is going on in your life, you will have listeners who care about you and want you to move forward and enjoy life, not an easy task when you feel that your entire life just fell to pieces.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 25. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hey Sheryl, maybe there's room at the theatre for Tracy to join your group on Friday?

  • 26. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This coming Friday? Where in the Easy Bay?

    I would be delighted to attend if my work permits. :)

  • 27. Tomato  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I know it's old-fashioned, and I know it's just a little thing… a drop in a huge bucket; but how many of you are marking your money?

    I always feel so good when I get a marked bill in my change, and I have to wonder if some lonely teen getting a marked bill feels that same sense of relief and "I'm not alone" when they get one?

    The one I see most often is the "Gay Money" stamp on the margins of bills, but there are some very creative ones using permanent markers in rainbow colors.

  • 28. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:39 am


    Oh my goodness, you know, pain is universal. Love and marriage — I guess — falter for different reasons. Thank you for your understanding. Love ignores many faults, but occasionally I guess, love is not enough. Thank you kind Lady for being so forthcoming and open. I am still overwhelmed at the outpouring of love at P8TT for me. :)


  • 29. Brad  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Dear Tracy,

    It's a bitch when this happens. I've broken up with 4 serious relationships (they all cheated on me.) The thing that got me through each and every time was 1. Time and 2. a book titled, "How to Survive the Loss of a Love." If you can stand reading stuff on a computer screen you can read it here free:

    If you, like I just want to curl up in bed and hide under the covers, I suggest you get a cheap used copy – I looked but they don't have copies for the Kindle if you have one.

    This is what literally saved my life to make it through to meeting and marrying my husband. We've been together 6 years now and I would not have survived the horrible losses I suffered before I met him if not for Peter McWilliam's book.

    God Bless you in this time of grief and many thanks for your support. Take care of yourself now so you will be able to take care of others down the road if you choose to.



    PS IMO "this community" is not about marriage equality so much as it is about supporting each other while we work for marriage equality. I'm sure you will get all the support you need and probably more than you want here 😉

  • 30. Kate  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Tracy — I think the gathering is in Oakland. Sheryl???? Anyone else who can help Tracy out with attending?

  • 31. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Mark, bless you – you are an angel. :)

  • 32. Bennett  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Tracy, I have been there too. The pain is real, that was the big supprise for me, how the lonliness was physically painful after being left cold and no longer having access to the person you had committed to love for life, for real. I found that this very real pain goes away very slowly. For me after two and a half weeks, I was able to start picking up the pieces, eat for the first time, and take concrete steps toward filling my life up again. After 2-3 years, its finally ok to discard the things that they didn't take and feel ok about it. Are they really not coming back? :) It is a real challange to take the step to love someone again, but on the plus side, it is easy to recognized behavior or personality traits that you are just not going to have. Consider it an innoculation. Sadly, that person is still there and moving on makes what is so obviously final, well, final. I think the long painful process is what tells you that you did all that you could do. It helps you to be honest with yourself about them, what they really were, and you, honest about your entire experience with yourself during this time. Difinitely a time to grow. Well, that is my experience drawing on a two or three year heartbreak. I hope you can make it through what ever you will go through in a much shorter time. Thanks for your support and understanding that this community goes through what everyone (except jerks :) ) goes through who are not fortunate in love the first time around.

  • 33. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Oh Brad — regarding your PS, I had no doubt of that, although I have been truly humbled by this outpouring of support. If I may say so, this community is truly God's country… the place where despair is uplifted and hearts are healed. :) Thank you so much. In my first post I was despairing…. but now I feel a little more hopeful. :)

    I wish that the anti-gay community could experience this fellowship here — they are so unfortunate.

  • 34. Ronnie  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Ok…I'm going to try this one…. like I said…I don't know the personal circumstances of Tracy's situation….but this song's main point…"I am Strong" & "I will survive"….a cover of classic lyrics fused with a modern sound & just "get off your @$$ & do it" attitude….This song makes me feel stronger…& the music & video makes me want to dance….hope it does the same for everybody else…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 35. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Tracy, I am so sorry to hear of your love lost. It's been a long time since I've been through that pain, yet I still remember it. I was planning to tell you exactly what Ronnie did, that it gets better. It's going to take a while, and it may not seem to be looking up, but if my experience is any guide, one day it stops hurting as badly and you know you're on your way back.

    I don't know your situation but it sounds as though the two of you, despite the love that you had, were just not right for each other in the long run. You have to forgive him for his imperfections, and you also have to forgive yourself yours. Nobody's perfect, and nobody should try to be. It's what makes us human, it's what makes love so worthwhile. And there is love out there for you, the love you so deeply deserve. It seems bleak now, but it will get better.

    I've read your posts before, though I don't remember what you said, and I know you are a very bright lady with a great personality. You have to take some time now and rediscover that for yourself. You have to remember who you are as one person. Know that you are loved, that you are special, and that it will get better. :)

    I tried posting this link last week, and the message board ate it, but the articles are appropriate to what you're going through right now–indeed, what we're all going through in our various ways. Please read the first article, and follow the internal link to the second one. I think they'll help you to heal.

  • 36. Ronnie  |  October 10, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Ricky Martin spoke shortly at the HRC Dinner last night…<3…Ronnie:

  • 37. AndrewPDX  |  October 10, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Ditto… busy day today…

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 38. Steve  |  October 10, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter much.

    But I think it would be awesome to see it. Some parts are the trial transcripts are great to simply read and even convey emotion with just the text. Think of much better the video would be.

  • 39. Kathleen  |  October 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I agree that it would be great to see these tapes. My point is just that this decision doesn't seem to have anything to do with a request to release these tapes to the public. This is an order by the US Supreme Court that says whatever request was at issue is now moot.

    Whatever it is, it was a non-issue by the time this order was issued by the Court and yet I'm seeing reports about it all over the web. Does anyone have any information that suggests this order is anything other than a routine housekeeping matter, cleaning up loose ends?

  • 40. viennahagen  |  October 10, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hang in there Tracy. I don't know if anything I can say will help, but you have us, and we do recognize you, and support you and let us know how we can help!

    You are loved.

  • 41. Ann S.  |  October 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Tracy, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and pain.

    The gathering on Friday is in San Francisco.

    Sheryl, Tracy might want to join the group on Friday.


  • 42. Ann S.  |  October 10, 2010 at 10:13 am


  • 43. Anonygrl  |  October 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Errr… it wasn't the STATE that wanted it blocked, it was the Prop 8 Proponents who were against it being shown.

  • 44. Don in Texas  |  October 10, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Tracy, please remember that in your anguish as in the anguish of many others, IT WILL GET BETTER.

    Know that you are loved, even by people you have never met.

  • 45. Davep  |  October 10, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Hi Tracy,

    The event this Friday is in San Francisco, at Fort Mason Center near the Embarcadero. Do you have any way to contact Sheryl?

  • 46. Kauai Guy  |  October 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Watching this video got me thinking. I'm a straight ally and have been following this site since the Trial in February. I gotten all my updates here and occasionally checking "the other side" to see how they "spin" things. One thing that I have noticed is that I wouldn't have followed so closely all the "other" things NOM #FailTour or the #FailVotaBus…etc if I could have just "Watched the Trial on YouTube". So I have to say "thanks" to the folks at NOM for making the issue forcing this community to come together. Funny how the unintended consequences can have greater impact.

  • 47. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Aloha kâua!, Kauai Guy!! I haven't seen any posts from you before, so welcome, have a cookie and some MILK!

    You make a great point, I also may not have dedicated so much to P8TT if the trial had been more accessible, I was riveted during the trial, and totally hooked by the end.

    I am so grateful for the community here, Modesto is so tedious and barren, I have to have some culture!!


  • 48. Rhie  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Me three.

  • 49. book in Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Tracy, I truly feel for your loss–at least the pain you are feeling. Loss may be a relative term, and I don't mean to trivialize your feelings. Say, I, too, am in Tracy, and since I don't see that anyone did an invite to a gathering in SF this coming Friday, I'll offer a ride, if you are interested, contact me at

    @Sheryl, I hope this is okay with you.

  • 50. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Oh hell Tracy :) We've all been there before. Yes, it will be OK. Superficial, I know considering I do not know you or your situation, but in my admittedly limited experience:

    It will be OK!. So let it be written, so let it be done.

    You will move on. You will be fine.

    So say we all.

    Hope that helped, at least a little :)

    PS: and sub-super-hyper-scribing. I *really* hope those tapes make into the light someday. Legally, of course. :)

  • 51. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I apologize if this has been posted already.
    Totally appalling, yet so typical of the GOP

  • 52. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Aww, Ronnie – what Kate said :)

  • 53. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    "Fear is the Mind Killer."

    Maybe the NOMos will learn that lesson someday.

  • 54. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Kathleen, I don't think your assessment of the situation is incorrect at all.

    What it does mean however (at least to me) is that there is a video of this trial that might conceivably be released someday for future generations.

    I see it as a reminder that they exist. Nothing much of significance today

    But at least for me, that gives me hope I can see them someday (maybe in the year 2020 ;). I'm sure that scares the shit out of the NOMbies and their buddies, but… good! :)

  • 55. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    @Tomato: 'I always feel so good when I get a marked bill in my change, and I have to wonder if some lonely teen getting a marked bill feels that same sense of relief and “I’m not alone” when they get one?

    The one I see most often is the “Gay Money” stamp on the margins of bills, but there are some very creative ones using permanent markers in rainbow colors.'

    Never seen that – tell me more :)

  • 56. JonT  |  October 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    How utterly unsurprising considering the current state of the gop and their lapdogs, the fawning teabaggers.

    And yet so pathetic in the year 2010.

    I can only hope he gets his proverbial ass handed to him after the election. Pretty lame (and desperate) to appeal to the hater crowd.

    As long the the GOP sucks ass in this regard, I will *never* vote for them, no matter how ineffectual the Democratic opposition may be.

  • 57. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Ronnie – this song is more appropriate than you know. I am sorry I didn't write earlier, but I had to get away for a bit here. What is it about a broken heart that makes you feel so messed up and crazy?

    Thank you and God bless you for posting this for me – I hope you see my reply here, late as it may be.

  • 58. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Book, it is so kind of you to offer. I may take you up on that, but it will depend on whether I can get away from work on Friday. I will send you an email.

    Thank you for the invitation and for your kind words. I am still listending to Ronnie's song. I think I'll add it to my iPod. :) It somehow makes me feel stronger.

  • 59. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you, Bennett — I do believe time heals all wounds, but unfortunately …. time takes time. And it's painful. I'm sorry you had to go through such a horrible thing. It's a journey that I never wanted to take, but I guess I have stepped on the first stone of that road. Thankfully, it sounds like you made it to the end intact. All my best…

  • 60. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Chris, I hope you will see this reply. I followed the link and found some kindness on the other end. I appreciate your perspective. Perhaps I have to accept that we were not made for each other as I used to believe. The truth is, I haven't accepted that yet, but apparently, he has. And I guess that makes all the difference. I will have to find a way to move on — not sure how, yet, but I guess I must. I do forgive him his imperfections. But I don't believe that goes both ways. Thank you, Chris, for your insights and kindness.

  • 61. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm


    Apparently it takes a village to heal a broken heart. You have all been incredibly kind and loving. I regret having hijacked this thread! But I am eternally grateful for this outpouring of support. It has made a big difference for me today.

  • 62. Tracy  |  October 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Ronnie — <3 :)

  • 63. Felyx  |  October 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    How come we are not crying 'Judicial Activism' over this? I mean, the people voted… 99.99% in favor of showing video!!
    Oh yeah, maybe it is because we respect the law and don't think everything should be up for a vote!

    Freaky Computer Spirit… LOL! That is still awesome!

  • 64. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 10, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Tracy, I'm glad you found some comfort. There's no miracle cure for a broken heart; the only thing we can do is wait and have faith that it will get better. It will take time to accept your new reality, but once you're past the shock and pain, it begins to get easier.

    Never regret having reached out your hand and your heart for help, nor especially that you did it here! You said it yourself, we're a community, and what's a community for if not to help? And if Tyler Clementi or any of those other sorrowful children had reached out, likely they would still be with us.

    I wish you all the best, and know that I'm here to listen should you need it. :)

  • 65. James Sweet  |  October 10, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Paladino is batshit crazy. I'm surprised that's all he said.

    His signs are dark red-on-black. Seriously! Who thought THAT was a good idea?

  • 66. Kate  |  October 11, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Yay, Book! Applause from here for offering a ride to Tracy so she can join the gathering.

  • 67. Dave in ME  |  October 11, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I don't understand why this is happening. With the way people are connected around the world these days, why do these kids feel the need to kill themselves? It was more understandable 20+ years ago when we really were alone in the world and the gay meccas of the cities were almost mythical. But with gay EVERYWHERE, including tv, movies, and the internet and all the resources available on the internet, why does this happen?

    And I might be condemned again for heartlessness, but it seems very weak and selfish for someone to do something like this. Maybe he didn't have to "toughen up," but could he have sought out help and saved his family from this heartache as well as perhaps learning that things get better (as we all learn)? Is sympathy warranted for people who kill themselves when we have experienced similar and did not kill ourselves? I don't know…

    Dave in Maine

  • 68. Sagesse  |  October 11, 2010 at 1:10 am

    In my experience, some people have deep inner strength and coping skills, but others just don't. It may be how they are raised, but I suspect it is just who they are. And those insecurities are worse for young people. Perhaps if they had survived, they would have realized It Gets Better. Not every kid is a Constance McMillan. Society needs to protect all children and young people, especially the vulnerable ones.

  • 69. LostBoyJim  |  October 11, 2010 at 1:37 am

    "including the Dec. 1, 2009 deposition of William Tam (pictured), an Official Proponent of the initiative who refused to testify in court out of fear of retaliation from opponents of Prop 8."

    William Tam did testify in open court on January 21st. I am unsure what the above quote means.

  • 70. alaneckert  |  October 11, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Isn't it a bit funny that they all refused to testify at the exact same time for the exact same reasons? This shows that it wasn't coming from the witnesses, but from outside sources (counsel,, etc).

  • 71. Christian  |  October 11, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Dave, while the Internet and social media help provide more exposure to gay-friendliness it also gives more exposure to gay-hate. Just look at comments made by one of New York's candidates for Governor and how quickly what he said spread. In many ways I see anti-gay sentiment on the Internet just as much if not more than gay-friendly sentiment. I know where to go look for gay friendly news, but that doesn't mean everyone does.

  • 72. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 11, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I am FAR from angle status Tracy…but thanks.
    Hope today dawned a bit brighter for you. :-)

  • 73. BIll  |  October 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Off topic, but here's a Mormon response to the recent gay suicides. It is one of the most offensive essays imaginable.

  • 74. Bennett  |  October 11, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Yes, that is funny. Conspiritorial even. That might account for the implausibility of Tam Tam's little dance of fear. Otherwise, he and the others, are like little children poking Karma and comeuppance with a stick, and then screaming for mommy when it makes a sound.

  • 75. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 11, 2010 at 2:49 am

    I see you still insist on blaming the victim.
    May you never know such pain as these kids….and if you do I hope someone is more compassionate to you than you seem to be towards these sad desperate young people.
    You say ' But the GAY IS EVERYWHERE'…well so is the hatered and discreminatory speech that seems to be driving some of these kids over the edge.

    You ask: " Is sympathy warranted for people who kill themselves when we have experienced similar and did not kill ourselves?
    HELL YES is my answer to you sir!!!

  • 76. Susan  |  October 11, 2010 at 3:12 am

    The RR is back against the wall from the Doma decision, the prop 8 decision, the Don't ask, don't tell decision, the adoption ban decision in Florida, all decidedly gay positive. Kid's are coming out younger and are up against a rabid rebuttal from the school bullies, who are often raised by the bullies that we engage and are losing and parent from the bully idea's of a bully version of God. Our young people need more now than ever, so to not have another generations of closeted and dangerously painful people. What may seem like progress to us is taken out of their hide. I got the Anita Bryant version of this and know that the kid's at risk in RR homes are taking the heat right now like I did long ago.

  • 77. Bob  |  October 11, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Bill you're right that article is disturbing, but also enlightening, in the sense that Mormon's have a different definition of love, which supports their belief system.

    By listening to the family stories you hear, in the one, how their son was loved by all, and to avoid the issue of being gay, they blame a psychiatric disorder. the two go together, this kid needed more love and attention in these religious families with strong belief systems, their love is directed to god, and not so much to each other, they are taught to display this love in their lives by attending church , looking happy, not talking about real issues of desperation, because they love god so those things won't happen to them. They are trained to put on a false front which they uphold in in the face of thier own childs death,

    The other families story touched even closer to home for me, they admitted struggling with their son being gay, but say they still loved him, what they said is a conditioned response, it's the only thing to do , and they probably believed it cause they were good mormons and upheld their faith, which they offered to their son as love.

    But their actions fell short, they wouldn't attend his marriage, and definetly the son was left feeling something other than love. This family too was taught to love god by preserving the mormon belief to have truly loved their son would have challenged that belief, he was pushng them for that, but there ability to respond was disabled by a belief which they were brainwashed into valuing more.

    Bottom line they chose a belief over their son, and they will be honored for that in their church community and the teaches.and they believe. All this without actually connecting on a personal level as people, to risky to go their cause it might challenge their belief. They believe the sin and the sinner are seperate, the goal was to love the boy and avoid the gay. Course we know from expert testimony in the court case, that those two are the same.

    It's good to inteview the families of the victims, especially if it is an expert who does so, cause we can learn a lot about how religious belief impacts family dynamics.

  • 78. Sagesse  |  October 11, 2010 at 3:49 am


  • 79. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 11, 2010 at 4:37 am

    He testified as a hostile witness for OUR side…refused to testify as a defence witness

  • 80. Dave in ME  |  October 11, 2010 at 5:19 am

    @ Sagesse: I see what you're saying. There have been so many positive stories out there, including Constance's, that it is easy to forget that it can still be very hard for some kids. I know it's not easy, but I know it's easier than it used to be for a lot of kids. But maybe there will always be some who are especially vulnerable no matter what?

    @ Christian: Yes, there is more exposure to gay-hate and I did read today's story about Mr. Paladino, but I would think that it would be SO easy to find sites that offer support and to avoid those that don't. You're right though, it is out there and much easier to see, especially on general news sites.

    @ Mark M. (Seattle) ~rolls eyes~ "STILL" insisting? Okay, ignore everything else I've ever said and focus on just two points: a man who knew what would happen if he didn't pay the fee and CHOSE to not pay the fee and a boy who seemed to have a loving family but chose to cause pain and suffering to them. Is it blaming or merely observing? And how do you know I have never known such pain as these kids? Because I didn't kill myself? That's presumptuous of you to imply that I don't know what it's like to be ridiculed, teased, beaten, and verbally abused because of who I am. Either you didn't read what I said or I wasn't clear. Help is out there and I cannot understand why they didn't ask for help when it is SOOO freaking available to them now than ever before. No need to use the house phone to call a long-distance number that will appear on a phone bill. Kids have their own phones or can use the internet. So many resources are available discretely-why don't these kids use them? Instead, they chose to inflict pain and torture on their families and friends-the real victims here. I stand by my statement-suicide is selfish and causes horrible pain to the loved ones left to deal with it.

    Dave in Maine

  • 81. Regan DuCasse  |  October 11, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I am in your shoes my dear. We ARE a family here, and we appreciate you reaching out. Why not turn to people who no doubt, you will find others who have shared your experience and can guide you through how to best care for yourself at this time.
    It is healthiest to find someone else help. Perhaps even a pet or neighbor's pet, to comfort you.

    Small steps, no big plans are necessary. Thank you for reaching out.
    Hope we can help, sweetheart.

  • 82. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 11, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Tracy (or anyone else interested who has not yet contacted me) I can be contacted at sheryl dot beckett at gmail dot com

    Would love to have you join us. Show time is 8 PM at the Fort Mason Center in SF. I'll email the details when I hear from you.

    Thanks Dave P for alerting me or I wouldn't have checked in until much later tonight. From volunteering this morning to finish my one part-time job this afternoon.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 83. JonT  |  October 11, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I thought it was more ignorant and stupid, than offensive.

    Total defense mode (including a link to NARTH!)

    The two teenagers mentioned – I had not heard of. Funny how she had to select those two, rather than the well reported ones that have occurred recently. Guess they didn't count.

    So, in short, it was just a weak, defensive post. I wouldn't advise anyone to actually waste their time reading it.

  • 84. MJFargo  |  October 11, 2010 at 6:25 am

    It's always helpful to review the "scholarship" of the proponents. The quote on the LDS page that teens of parents hwo commit suicide have a 90% chance of suicide themselves caught my eye. While there's truth that children who lose a parent by suicide during adolescence have a higher risk of suicide themselves, 90% is so bogus, it's laughable.

    Later they quote an article of teens who are out have higher risk of suicide (drugs, maladaptive behavior) but they fail to mention that the study they cite is about schools that have sensitivity training versus those that don't. Guess what? In schools with higher sensitivity training, GLB&T teens fare much better. Who knew?

    We saw this throughout the trial. There is not "scholarship" to support the proponents position unless it is outdated, cock-eyed or misquoted. And THAT's the reason they don't want anything televised. They can spread their misinformation without challenge.

  • 85. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 11, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I should never have replied to your post in the first place…I knew it was just going to make me angry all over again (as your last post on suicide did).
    I apologize for assuming you had not possibly felt this type of pain….the type that makes you wish for relief at any cost up to and including the ultimate….Death
    In your past writings you only spoke of the hurt and anger you felt at the 'selfish' suicide of a friend. My apologies….

  • 86. fiona64  |  October 11, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Late to the party, but adding my words of comfort and love.


  • 87. Gregory in SLC  |  October 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Late getting to the discussion but I wanted to add my love and care to you Tracy. I spent about 2 wholes days a while back crying with this group over pain I felt over the years spent in reparative therapy and trying to live up to religious standards.

    I was married over 20 years to a woman, then divorced over the fact my reparative therapy never worked(DOH!) My ex wife is a dear person to me and sometimes I wish I could reach out and carry her burden for her but it is her journey of healing and self-discovery to take. I have so many shared memories with her from dating in high school to raising four children. I feel you agony, your pain, you feel like your heart will never heal.

    I'm now three years with my same-gender partner life feels good again. It is not without challenges though! Society and government structure is not kind to an interracial gay couple and sometimes the challenges threaten to tear us apart. This wonderful group has helped me(even if they are not aware) to get past some of these difficult times.

    Love to you Tracy and everyone else! Thank you P8TTrackers for being there at the right moment when Tracy needed your love and support!

    p.s. reviewing my notes from an amazing weekend at the Suicide prevention/family matters/PFLAG conference in Salt Lake City. Hoping to share my experiences in next day or so.

  • 88. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Tony, Modesto isn't that far. Anyway you could join us on Friday night? My e-mail is sheryl dot beckett at gmail dot com

    And, yes, not televising the trial did create this wonderful community.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 89. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 11, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Very, very depressing site. I wonder when "do unto others" and "love one another" went to the wayside for some of these people. I'm just glad to know that not all Mormons believe that way, just those that are close minded and refuse to think for themselves. Every time I hear that a Mormon Mother is home teaching because of what her children will be exposed to in school, my mind jumps to the conclusion that they don't want their children to learn tolerance of others who are different.

    I personally think that Carol Lynn Pearson's "Good-bye I Love You" and "No More Good-byes" should be required reading for all Mormons.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 90. Kauai Guy  |  October 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    'Judicial Activist' is just another name for a judgement not in your favour. Any justice carrying an agenda (conservative or liberal) rarely makes it high into the food chain. Judges make their judgements based on the merits of the case presented before them. Make your case and you get the favourable judgement. Its not a perfect system, but its the one we have to work with.

  • 91. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Also wanted to point out that that website is not an official website, just the opinions of the person(s) who own it.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 92. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  October 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Ack, where is that edit button!! meant to say that the website is not an official LDS website.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 93. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    HI Sheryl! (and Santa Barbara Mom!) and everyone! Yep! Not all Mormons (or ex Mormons) think alike. Here is one website to provide a contrast. I'm linking specifically to the encouraging words section:

    PFLAG people may already seen it but I had the absolutely WONDERFUL pleasure of meeting Allison Black, PFLAG president from Ogden UT and her husband, both active Mormons who absolutely love all people. I met them at a 3-day PFLAG conference. I cannot say enough good about these people. Allison almost decided to leave the Mormon church after B. K. Packer's words at Mormon world conference. She had a very frank visit with her Bishop. She wondered how she can publicly disagree with top apostle of church and still teach classes at church. She said she will NOT be silent. Her Bishop said she should be herself and he wanted her to remain at church to educate people how it is not our job to judge people, our job is to love and accept unconditionally.

    I personally do not have interest in going to any church. However, I completely respect the individual rights of those who choose to. Bless you Sheryl's, SBA's, Allison Blacks and Carolyn Pearson's of the world!

  • 94. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  October 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Dave :) sorry you had to experience the pain and rejection you have. Who knows all the reasons of increase of bullying and suicides. I just returned from a 3-day seminar trying to address this. People magazine just ran an article about it

    Trevor project is in full swing an electronic chat, email or phone call resource to make teen's aware of they are not alone, please let everyone you know aware of this site!!!!!!

    Some speculate that all this talk about suicides just brings more. Others that our country is divided and the moral right has gone into hysterics because they feel the world coming to an end because or our wicked ways. Others are focusing on solutions, while being mindful of root cause. The most landmark, inspiring work on this I've found is:

    I spent time with Dr. Caitlin Ryan this weekend and I was blown away with the mountain of research the project is pouring over and the simplicity of they solutions they offer: all about family acceptance. She is presenting solid data to conservative groups like the Mormon church and countries like China (she's going there next week) to show with empirical evidence why rejecting and kicking your child out of house is the OPPOSITE of effective. Why hate the sin but love the sinner can be a death sentence to a kid. Why "tough love" is child abuse in every sense.

    I'll repeat, I'm sorry you have suffered this kind of pain in your life, especially in your youth. I was blessed to have 2 accepting, unconditional loving parents. Many do not. Let's work together to help each other and find solutions to children AND to us adults who suffer rejection and despair. ((HUGS)) Gregory

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