August 29, 2011
By Matt Baume
Just what are the Prop 8 proponents trying to hide, and why are they afraid to let the public see their witnesses being cross-examined? We may find out after a hearing on Monday. John Boehner’s defense of DOMA is found to be full of junk science, a semi-reprieve for LGBTs fearing deportation, and there’s lots of work still to do in Maine.
By the time you watch this, a judge in San Francisco has probably already heard arguments over releasing the tapes of the Prop 8 trial. The Proponents of Prop 8 have been fighting tooth-and-nail to keep that footage out of public view.
So, what are they trying to hide? They claim that their witnesses are afraid of intimidation, or of losing their privacy. But that doesn’t make any sense. Both of their witnesses, Kenneth Miller and David Blankenhorn, have spent years pursuing publicity and a public persona. They’ve never shied away from the spotlight before — it’s only now, under oath and penalty of perjury, that they don’t want the public to see what they’re saying.
What the Proponents are really trying to hide are all of the admissions that their witnesses made under cross-examination. Both Miller and Blankenhorn lacked knowledge and expertise on the very topics about which they were called to testify.
Miller said he couldn’t remember how much of his testimony had been fed to him by his attorneys, and the Court ruled that his testimony was “entitled to little weight.”
And when Blankenhorn was questioned, he was forced to actually agree with the case against Prop 8, with quotes like “Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion” and “we would be more, emphasize more, American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.”
So, it’s no wonder that the Proponents want to keep that footage under wraps.
In national news this week, John Boehner’s crusade to save the Defense of Marriage Act was dealt a setback by one of the very researchers on whose work he’s based his case. Boehner’s legal filings cite the work of Dr. Lisa Diamond, who this week filed a declaration of her own, calling Boehner’s statements “incorrect.”
But Boehner’s problems don’t stop there. He also cites research by anti-gay activist George Dent, whose papers depend on work by discredited researchers Walter Schumm, Thomas Schmidt, Paul Cameron and George Rekers, whom you’ll remember from last year’s “lifting my luggage” rent boy scandal.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Dent cites work by a phony front group called the American College of Pediatricians. Despite the name, the ACP isn’t a legitimate professional medical organization — it’s a tiny group set up solely to spread false information about LGBTs.
In other news, the Obama administration announced plans to review 300,000 immigration cases, which is likely to lead to a de-prioritizing of cases involving the law-abiding spouses of American citizens. Although this isn’t a long-term solution, the move is expected to provide some temporary relief to foreign-born LGBTs who are legally married to Americans.
And finally this week, Maine is on its way to repealing the state’s marriage ban, with 5,000 signatures collected over the first weekend of signature-gathering. That’s still just a tenth of the minimum required, and only about six percent of the eighty thousand they’re targeting to have by January.
You can help out in Maine, no matter where you are in the world. Go to WhyMarriageMattersMaine.com to find out how you can make a difference.
That’s it for this week’s headlines. Visit AFER.org for the latest on the attempts to release the Prop 8 tapes. And visit MarriageNewsWatch.com for more on all these stories and more. Remember to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our daily news alerts to be the first to know when news breaks.
We’ll see you next week.