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Tag: Frank Schubert

Liveblogging Day 10: Daily Summary

By Julia Rosen

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…)

76 Comments January 25, 2010

Explosive evidence exposes Prop 8 campaign

by Robert Cruickshank

During the fall of 2008 – and again in 2009 in Maine – the forces behind Proposition 8 ran a very slick and clever campaign that emphasized “protecting marriage” and “protecting children.” They deliberately left it unclear just what was being protected against, assuming that voters would know to fill in the blanks. Prop 8 backers did a good job of keeping a tight lid on their own true beliefs, making their own position seem less discriminatory and less radical than it actually is.

That all changed this morning in the trial courtroom, as explosive Yes on 8 campaign videos and documents were introduced into evidence. One of the videos was of a campaign rally from 2008 paid for and simulcast by ProtectMarriage.com that shows what they really believe. As reported to us by Yusef Robb of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and shown at the trial today, the video included the following stunning quotes:

“Then pedophiles would have to be allowed to marry 6-7-8 year olds. The man from Massachusetts who petitioned to marry his horse after marriage was instituted in Massachusetts. He’d have to be allowed to do so. Mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, any, any combination would have to be allowed.”

Of course, no such marriages were allowed in Massachusetts, or any other state where same-sex marriage is legal.

“Second of all, the polygamists are waiting in the wings because if a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman based on the fact that you have the right to marry whoever you want to marry, then the polygamists are going to use that exact same argument and they’re probably going to win.”

Opponents of marriage equality love to raise this example, even though it is not what is at issue here. It’s an example of what is often called “moving the goalposts” – shifting the ground from a discussion they might lose (“should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?”) to one they feel they might win, even though it isn’t actually what is at issue. No serious and credible organization supporting same-sex marriage has expressed support for polygamy. This is farcical at best.

“We are seeing the people of Massachusetts being desensitized day by day concerning homosexuality and becoming more and more adjusted to the idea of homosexual marriage being the law of the land and the homosexual agenda becoming more and more of a powerful element in the life of our society.”

Here we see very clearly that to Prop 8 backers, this isn’t about marriage at all. It’s about whether homosexuality is accepted by the public and by the law. They believe that legal recognition of same-sex marriage would make it harder to discriminate against LGBT Americans. This quote is indicative of what Prop 8 was really all about.

“I think a helpful way to think about this is to compare it to 9/11 because a lot of us are asking: How does this directly affect us? Well I wasn’t directly affected by 9/11 and my guess is most of you weren’t either in the sense I didn’t know somebody who crashed the plane in the building. I didn’t know somebody who was in the building. But after 9/11 the world was a fundamentally different place and that has affected me. The change in the redefinition of marriage is the same type of thing.”

Can you imagine the public reaction if Californians had known in the fall of 2008 that Prop 8 backers compared marriage equality to the murder of over 3,000 innocent people on that September morning in 2001? Such an outrageous and offensive statement would have caused major damage to the Yes on 8 forces and showed how callous and radical they truly are. When Democrats mistakenly used footage that included the old World Trade Center towers in an ad for Martha Coakley just days before the Massachusetts Senate election, it was seen as a major gaffe that helped ensure Coakley lost the race. Who knows what would have happened had the public known this was being said at a rally paid for and simulcast by the Prop 8 backers?

Rick Jacobs took a moment from his trial liveblogging to offer these comments on the video and quotes:

“This morning’s evidence made the Prop 8 side’s strategy crystal clear — use fear and lies to promote hate. It is horrifying that Prop 8 proponents would compare marriage equality to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and imply that marriage equality will open the door to pedophilia, incest and bestiality.”

“Ron Prentice, Andrew Pugno and their Prop 8 team — with the highly capable and apparently deeply cynical leadership of Frank Schubert — created a permanent campaign to scare voters into believing that same-sex marriage would threaten children, undermine America and lead to every form of illicit behavior imaginable.”

“This evidence is not just a smoking gun. It was an arsenal of incendiary devices directed at the LGBT community and voters. This is how the Prop 8 side won — through fear and lies.”

“Finally, this morning we saw indisputable, documented evidence in the form of emails and videos that Ron Prentice and Protect Marriage coordinated closely and relied upon the Catholic Church, the LDS Church, the Family Research Council, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and the National Organization for Marriage to get Prop. 8 on the ballot and to win through a campaign of lies.”

“Last week, the Supreme Court erased decades of precedent by ruling that corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to speech. Let’s hope that the court will as readily see that LGBT people have at least the same rights as corporations and surely the same rights as other people.”

Looking at these quotes, it’s no wonder why Protect Marriage fought so hard to keep this trial as hidden away from the public as possible. The truth is revealing. The truth is explosive. The truth shows that far from “protecting” families and children, the primary goal of Prop 8 backers was to impose their radical views of society on us, and discriminate against LGBT people in California and across the nation.

73 Comments January 25, 2010

Netherlands obsession

By Rick Jacobs

The pro-Prop. 8 side wants to prove that given the chance, most gays and lesbians will not get married and that in fact, they will still opt for domestic partnerships or civil unions in high numbers. Prop. 8 loves the Netherlands. I sometimes wonder if they have spent time there personally sampling some of Amsterdam’s offerings. They keep returning to the Netherlands to try to show that if same sex marriage becomes legal, the overall rates for marriage will decline. In other words, if we allow the gays to marry, no one will want to marry.

While Professor Badgett tried to point out that Massachusetts is more similar to California than is the Netherlands and that in Massachusetts, as we say last week, overall divorce and marriage rates have remained steady since the legalization of same sex marriage five years ago, Prop. 8 wants California and the US to be the Netherlands. I have to say this is really strange to me. The social environment in the Netherlands is not the same as that in any US state and certainly not in the US overall.

If any of you have been to the Netherlands, I think you’d agree. But then again, remember that W had not been to Europe until he acceded to the presidency.

Prop. 8 will use the afternoon to try further to undermine Prof. Badgett and generally to insist that the gays don’t really want marriage, that it’s only the “activists” (like Mayor Sanders of San Diego) who want same sex marriage. They are going at the math, trying to show that lots of people in 2008 got domestic partnerships even though they could marry. Prof. Badgett pointed out that people could have gotten both, “trying to hedge their bets in case Prop. 8 passed,” but this carried no weight for Prop. 8.

The entire trial thus far has been about our side trying to show that loving people marrying won’t hurt anyone and in fact strengthens the institution of marriage. We’ve shown that institutional stigma and discrimination are damaging to the LGBT community, cost society money, reduce funding for education (since kids who are out of school due to bullying incidents, sickness or stress from same cost the schools in per cap funding from the state) and are generally not healthy. And we’ve shown that science is cumulative, meaning that science learns from itself so that science actually does change (think earth is flat vs. round). Finally, we’ve shown that the other side has continuously (since at least Anita Bryant Florida sunshine bashing days) banked on the theme that the gays will eat your children. Nothing much has changed. Prop. 8 is direct descendant of Anita Bryant’s 1972 Florida campaign that reversed Dade County’s anti-discrimination laws. As society has seen that gays and lesbians are normal, Prop. 8, NOM, Protect Marriage and the like have used the gays as the minority to kick. And they’ve done that using tried and true ads and memes that evoke deep-seated fear in people.

Prop. 8 wants to show that they are the victims, that they have been harassed, that they are oppressed. The video they showed this morning made my skin crawl. It was a pre-Prop. 8 get out the vote video that showed graffiti on Yes signs. They even said in that video that folks on their side had been beaten. Wow. I hope that did not happen. It is due in part to their fostering of an environment in which it is not only safe, but preferred to hate gay people. That leads to the vast number of reported school bullying cases shown last week (over 100,000 here in California). And it led to deaths like that of Matthew Shepard. In fact, since Prop. 8 the number of hate crimes against LGBT folks has increased! (I’ll look for the citation, but if someone has it handy, stick up in the comments, please.)

I still think the anti-gay marriage thing is mostly about building and retaining reactionary political power. Anita Bryant and her successors, many of whom are in this court room today, realized that they can raise great sums of money to fight the gays. And then they can also use that money to run politicians who agree with them on this issue, but on the range of other issues, most notably that we don’t need government, that poor people are poor because they are lazy and that only the rich deserve healthcare. It all springs from the same root.

Do you really think that Prop. 8’s campaign manager Frank Schubert cares one whit about same-sex marriage? He publicly endorsed his own out lesbian sister to run for office here in California. He sees money and he goes for it; that’s capitalism. But how many lives are hurt in the process of that primitive accumulation of capital? This trial is showing quite clearly that the the Prop. 8 industrial complex is expert as using fear to divide our nation. That’s why they don’t want you to see this. And that’s why we all have to make sure that the nation knows about it. That’s why the conversations here on this blog have to spread out to our families, friends, coworkers. That’s why we need you to share your impressions of this trial with everyone you can. Tell your story because it’s the American story.

49 Comments January 19, 2010