The morning after. Ah, woke up with a smile today. How about you?
Here’s what I’m seeing around and about:
First, if you missed yesterday’s coverage here at Prop8TrialTracker.com (coverage that has this space as the #1 Google search engine result for “Prop 8 trial” and #3 for “Prop 8”!), I’ve got a roundup for you. We’ve got my initial announcement along with key graphs from the decision, early head-exploding reaction from NOM, and live-blogging the AFER presser; attorney Brian Devine’s legal analysis; my roundup of more legal analysis, NOM’s livechat FAIL, Obama WH reaction, and photos from rallies in SF; videos galore including last night’s Maddow episode; and Maggie channeling the Cold War. Peruse away.
Speaking of Maggie, here’s her debating Evan Wolfson, head of Freedom to Marry (a co-sponsor of NOMTourTracker.com) on Anderson Cooper last night.
“The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time — he felt it was divisive and mean spirited,” he said, adding that Obama believes that governing marriage is “an issue for the states.”
I must say, I’m having some fun with NOM’s site, as they have the Twitter auto-feed set to Prop8, which means they have tweets celebrating the Prop 8 decision and coverage from gay journalists like Michael Lavers alongside angry denunciations from Maggie. Whoops. (Click to view larger)
The ideological odd couple who led the case — Ted Olson and David Boies, who fought against each other in the Supreme Court battle over the 2000 election — were criticized by some supporters of same-sex marriage for moving too quickly to the federal courts. Certainly, there is no guarantee that the current Supreme Court would uphold Judge Walker’s ruling. But there are times when legal opinions help lead public opinions.
Just as they did for racial equality in previous decades, the moment has arrived for the federal courts to bestow full equality to millions of gay men and lesbians.
The Chronicle editorial was pretty good, although not as eloquent, and in the same edition as this garbage they printed from Maggie calling Walker “biased” and warning of the Red Gay Menace.
Tonight’s NOM event is in St. Louis circa 6 PM Central time. And I bet it’s going to be a doozy. Given Brian’s failure to show up for his own live chat, and Maggie’s warning of The Gay Soviets coming to re-educate your kids, there’s plenty for our Trackers to ask them about. So it’s about time for another question period. What would you ask NOM tonight?
Heads-up for Thursday: Paul Hogarth will be posting an analysis of the decision first thing in the morning and Adam Bink will be back to take the reins on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker as well as NOMTourTracker.com, as Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and NOM pull into St. Louis, Missouri for their next tour stop, now in full Red Dawn mode.
UPDATE BY EDEN (1:08 AM PST): OK, here’s one more Firedoglake-customized video for you night owls and early birds.
“We felt from the beginning that it was unfortunate that every American could not have seen this trial, seen the experts talk about the value of marriage, the history of discrimination, the value of equality, and all of the things that this case involves, including love and commitment and respect and decency and honor.”
Ted Olson and David Boies will share most of the spotlight for their pivotal role in making the Prop 8 decision possible. But, as we all know, there are thousands of people who have actively participated in advocating and agitating for marriage equality for years. These are the people that built the foundation for victory that Olson, Boies and the amazing AFER team are standing on.
Several of them are featured in this video, including Molly McKay, Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis of Marriage Equality USA, forces of nature in the fight for marriage equality in California and across the country. This video also includes Paul Hogarth, who writes for the Prop8 Trial Tracker. Paul is the guy who reads the announcement aloud after his phone fails to open the PDF of the ruling. If you recognize other participants in this video, share their names in the comments.
And if you’ve seen some videos that you want to share with the P8TT community, embed them in the comments for everyone to watch!
So now we finally have a date for Closing Arguments for the Prop 8 trial — Wednesday, June 16th, or 156 days after the start of the Trial. By now, we’ve heard the evidence, we know what’s been said, and there’s been a lot of analysis on this site about what it means for the outcome, our movement, and our lives.
But besides setting a date for closing arguments, Judge Walker set a date for the defense counsel to submit their motion to suppress at least part of Dr. Tam’s testimony. As you recall, Dr. Tam was the right-wing San Francisco minister who believed that his kids will turn gay if marriage equality was allowed to remain. We’ll find out on May 7th how much of the testimony they want stricken from the record, and what is their basis. Our side will have until May 10th to then file an objection.
So what happens if Dr. Tam’s testimony is taken out? Dr. Tam was powerful evidence that Prop 8 was driven by animus and a hatred of homosexuals, which would be enough to strike Prop 8 — even under the more lenient “rational basis” grounds set up in Romer v. Evans (1996.) But while Dr. Tam’s testimony is damning and it should be kept in, there was a whole lot of other evidence that our side presented. In fact, when it came time for the defense to produce their “experts,” there wasn’t a whole lot of reason they could provide.
If it’s impossible to dream up a “rational” basis for deny LGBT people the right to marry the person they love, and all the reasons the defense provides is merely a subterfuge for bigotry, Prop 8 must be found unconstitutional. Dr. Tam’s testimony was the most dramatic and forceful, but our side put on a good case tying other “rationales” for Prop 8 to be simply animus. In fact, I would argue the strongest witness we had for our side was San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders — who explained how he came to the realization that his so-called “friendly” reasons for opposing gay marriage had merely been based out of irrational discomfort.
Here is the timeline we are looking at… Amicus briefs are due on February 3rd. Judge Walker is bringing the lawyers in to go over these briefs on Feburary 26th. He indicated as they were wrapping up today that at that time (the 26th) he will schedule the closing arguments. That likely means we will not have closing arguments until early March, with the ruling several weeks after that, depending on how long Judge Walker takes.
I know, the wait stinks, but I’d much rather Judge Walker be deliberative about this process and his ruling than it be rushed. No matter what way this goes, the wording in his ruling will influence what the appeals court and eventually the Supreme Court will say and do.
The hiatus does not mean we will be stopping around these parts. There will be fresh content throughout this break, so keep coming back and join in the comments. (more…)
Can you believe we only have one day left of testimony? That’s a shame because watching David Boies cross-exam the defense’s witnesses sure has been entertaining. Our Trial Trackers can’t get enough of it. The stats and comments go through the roof any time Boies is grilling someone.
For those who like metrics as much as I do, we are now at 1.3 million views and over 13,000 comments. That’s more than a thousand comments a day.
Rick will be back tomorrow, which is likely to be a half day, since Boies just has to finish his cross examination of David Blankenhorn. Charles Cooper told Judge Walker today that they will not be calling Frank Schubert to the stand, so Miller and Blankenhorn will be their only witnesses. Then we will have a several week break before the closing arguments.
Man, David Boies just destroyed the defense’s first witness today on cross. I even had a friend and a former student of Professor Miller tweeting at me their embarrassment at his implosion. More specifically, Miller admitted that DOMA and DADT were legislated discrimination. And that was just the afternoon…
This morning the plaintiffs introduced evidence of Prop 8 proponents comparing gay marriage to 9/11 and a reference to polygamy or two. Oh and the tiny little revelation that NOM, the Catholic Church, LDS Church, and the Family Research Council all conspired together through ProtectMarriage.com to use fear and lies to pass Prop 8. It’s something we all knew, but it sure is validating to see it all laid out in Federal Court.
Boies gets to finish his fun in the morning, then it is on to their second and possibly last witness. I think they know they just hurt their case if they get any witnesses of their own on the stand, so they aren’t calling very many.
Now for the real show, the compiled liveblogging from Rick Jacobs from day 10 of Perry v. Schwarzengger. (more…)
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