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Live Updates from the Courthouse V: Afternoon session continues


By Rick Jacobs

Sandy is now on. She’s also very poised. She learned in her mid-thirties that she is “gay.” She got married to a man before. She had no feeling that she was a lesbian when she was married to a man. I had a difficult relationship for most of our marriage, but I started it out with the best of intentions. She grew up in Iowa in a small town of 1,500. It was a good but sheltered upbringing. We did not travel or go to places very different from where we grew up. I had no idea of a gay lifestyle or sexuality until I was a late teenager.

I moved to CA in 1985 and got married to a man in 1987. We dated for a year before we got married on 14 November 1987. Marriage ended in 1999. (Olson is very interested in drawing out the trajectory of her sexuality, which is fascinating, rarely discussed in public.)

She met Kristin first as a coworker. We were friends. The feelings I had for her were different than I had for others. I grew to realize that I was falling in love with her, in early 1999. My marriage was falling apart on many fronts. I was extremely unhappy. My ex-husband relied on alcohol and could not support the family properly. My sexual orientation or the discovery thereof did not have anything to do with the failure of the marriage.

I had never experienced falling in love before. Olson draws out whether that’s true of her husband. I never thought people “fell in love.” When you grow up in the Midwest with a farming family, there is a pragmatism that is inherent, part of the fabric of life, that is pervasive. I remember my mom saying that marriage is more than romantic love, it’s an enduring long term commitment that is hard work. In my family, that seemed really true. I wanted to have the kind of relationship that my parents did and do.

Kris and I have a very romantic relationship. Not only did we fall in love, we wanted to merge our families. I was 36. We wanted that life of commitment and stability.

O: How convinced are you that you are gay? You lived with a husband. Some people would say it’s this, then it’s that and now it’s this.

S: I’ve only been in love once and that’s with Perry. I’m 47. I know. I’m a plaintiff this case because I would like to get married and to marry the person that I choose and that’s Kris Perry and California law prevents that.

Sandy describes her version of their marriage, the toasts, the love from community: When I got that letter saying that our marriage was no longer valid humiliated, angry and that people who brought us gifts and celebrated with us felt pity for us which is the last thing that I ever want to evoke around marriage.

S: It felt great that the court thought we had a constitutional right to get married. It was cloaked in this distension that felt very familiar. The activist groups that opposed marriage made me realize that this was not permanent. I felt strongly that at my age I don’t want to humiliated any more. We got married twice and it was taken way. I want it to be permanent, no chance it get taken away from us. We did have friends that got married. We were proud and worried for them because we did not want them to have the same problems we had.

[UPDATE] 3:20 Sandy is talking about the difference between domestic partnership and marriage. Marriage would mean we are not girlfriends or partners, we are a married couple. I was married for twelve years. Being married felt different than what we have.

Judge asks again if the state were to get out of the business of using the term marriage, but created another name for it for all people, domestic union or whatever, would not that put you on the same plane as all others?

Sandy says I believe so. Yes. If we had the same access, I’d feel equal.

Judge: Even though the term marriage is not used?

Sandy: Yes, because if it’s not a legal status sanctioned by the state or government, id’ not have to worry about access to it because no one else would either.

O: What are examples of feeling awkward about not having marriage?

S: Going to pick up my youngest son at school. I get mother’s day cards, so they think of me as their mother. Words like “aunt” or step mother aren’t there if I’m not married. Few people know what the term “domestic partnership” means. It does not describe our relationship. We’re not business partners or social partners or glorified roommates; we want to be married. Forms at doctor’s offices and the like don’t work and then I have to explain what a domestic partnership is.

O: Would being married provide you with any sense of stability that being domestic partners would not?

S: Yes. I’d feel more respected by other people. I could hold my head up high in our family. I want our children to feel good about us, not that our family is not good enough.

S: During Prop. 8 campaign, I saw bumper stickers, signs and I went to a rally that was against Prop. 8.

S: I heard many things—everything—from the yes side that disturbed me. The campaign was very focused on “protection:” protect marriage and children with the subtle implication that you have to be protected from gay people. The constant references to children felt harmful. I felt that great harm was being done by this campaign, that we are the great evil to be stopped, but as a mom of four kids, there’s nothing stronger in parenting than the desire to protect your children. I was sickened by the yes campaign.

O: As a parent of four children, you have strong sense of what it means to be a good parent. Would your boys be better off with a man in the house?

S: The most important and best thing for kids is to feel loved.

O: How is it to be a plaintiff?

S: It’s not a burden. I feel like a little tiny person in this country. I’m not trying to change anything. I just want the same thing I’m due in the federal constitution.

S: If I could marry, I’d think I was building a good world for our kids. I want our kids to have a better world than we have. I want the possibility of having grandchildren who are okay no matter whom they fall in love with. As someone from one of the most conservative pockets in the country, I see how important this is. I hope for something for Kris and I, but we’re big, strong women. We’d benefit greatly, but others over time would benefit in a more profound, life-changing way.

(No cross examination. They probably don’t want to be seen by the public as attacking women. It’s easier for them to go after gay guys than women.)

[UPDATE] 3:28 Now we’re hearing from Professor Nancy Cott. (The judge has a good sense of humor. He asked her to keep her voice up. She tried again and said, “Does this work?” He said, “Well, we’ll see.” Boutrous is examining. Olson and Boutrous have a lot of hair. Maybe that’s a prerequisite at Gibson Dunn? Or maybe I’m just jealous.)

Okay, now we get to the historians and social and cultural psychologists, etc. IN 2002, she was a Sterling Professor at Yale, the highest honor Yale gives professor. Then she moved to Harvard as Trumball Professor of American History. She’s published eight books. She has a long history of research in the history of marriage. She wrote and published PUBLIC VOWS, a history of marriage and the nation. First started investigating the history of marriage in the US in 1990. Looked at history of marriage as a public institution, a structure created by government for social benefit.

Many of my courses at Yale touched upon marriage. While I was in the process of researching the book, I was honored as the Devain Professor (SP) to teach a course outside of any one department, I was asked to teach about my conclusions on the history of marriage in the US.

(I’m giggling. I love these kinds of people who are way smart and devote an entire life to learning everything there is to know about a subject. It’s just amazing.)

I like sort of double meanings in my book titles. PUBLIC VOWS refers to the taking of vows publicly and the fact that the public, in the form of the state, makes certain vows to protect the couples. I was examining more the public intention of the institution of marriage, published in 2000, after about a decade of research.

[UPDATE] 3:43 Professor Cott: Marriage is both a public and private institution. Most people who consider marrying, think of the private and private property relations between them. But the state has a public interest in marriage. It’s a means by which the state regulates people. There are other paradoxes in the nature of marriage. Marriage is only possible for individuals who can exercise the liberty value of our citizens, yet the private realm is a place in which decisions can be made freely.

(I had never thought about any of this before. I always thought of marriage as private, but the professor is right. Marriage is quite public even as it enforces the rights to liberty and privacy in that relationship.)

(Both sides agree that she’s an expert on marriage in America, which makes me rest easy. If she’s not, who is?)

Boutrous wants to understand the meaning of marriage in America. Our form of marriage is relatively recent, but has antecedents in Anglo Saxon law. (She said it’s inaccurate to say marriage around the globe is uniform. The other side says she’s not an expert in world wide marriage just in America. Now Boutrous is trying to establish that she had to know about marriage around the globe. She wanted to give a longer answer, but the judge said she’d get asked more.

The other side is using her deposition in which she says she is not an expert of the subject of marriage around the world so she can’t say that marriage around the world is not universal.

The judge thinks that she’s allowed to talk about marriage in the US and how her knowledge of marriage elsewhere affects that, but she’s not an expert on marriage around the world.

(the professor is wearing a green sweater top. She has light brown hair, neatly cut and stylishly carried. She’s exactly the look that you’d expect if you were watching DaVinci Code and wanted to imagine a Harvard/Yale, self-confident and approachable professor. She evokes lots of laughter because she tries to answer questions at length when she’s supposed to say just “yes” or no.” So Boutrous then asks her to follow up. It’s good.”

[UPDATE] 3:58 Boutrous is asking about the Prop. 8 ads that say that biblical marriage is the goal of the US.

The other side objected, saying that she is not competent to opine on the ad because she has not seen the ad. But then the judge said that she could opine because she saw the ad this morning.

Professor Cott said about biblical marriage,” I was very amused that they used that. The bible is full of references to polygamy for Jews.”

The limitation of marriage to a man and a woman is something that has been universal. It has been across history, across customs, across society. (Cooper’s opening statement is flashed on the screen.)

Prof says this is not accurate including from ancient Jews, Muslims now. I think that Christianity has been the source of monogamy vs. polygamy. I suspect the person in the ad referred to the New Testament when he said biblical marriage. She said the success of the view of monogamous marriage is a tribute to evangelical Christianity, particularly in this country since the 19th century.

Now they are talking about the social meaning of marriage.

Marriage is unique because it successfully combines private and public. It is successful as an institution as a couple’s valuation of living together, commitment to each other and engage in an economic partnership to their household. Upon that core, very many cultural add ons have been admitted as well.

The ability to marry, to say I do, is a civil right. It demonstrates liberty. This can be seen in American history when slaves could not legally marry. As unfreed persons, they could not consent. They lacked that very basic liberty of person to say I do which meant they were taking on the state’s obligates and vice versa. A slave could not take on that set of obligations because they were not free.

When slaves were emancipated, they flocked to get married. IT was not trivial to them by any means. They saw the ability to replace the informal unions with legalized vows that the state would protect. One quotation, the title of an article, “The marriage covenant is the foundation of all our rights,” said a former slave who became a northern soldier. The point here is that this slave built his life on that civil right.

She refers to Dred Scott who tried to claim he was a citizen. He was denied that claim. Justice Tawny spent three paragraphs saying that marriage laws in the state in which Dred Scott was prevented him from marrying a white woman was a stigma that made him less than a full citizen. It was a piece of evidence that shows that he could not be a full citizen.

(THIS IS BIG STUFF, at least to me!)

Informal relationships of black slaves were totally treated with abandon by white society. They were broken up all the time. The rush to marry by so many slaves after emancipation was a common sense approach to obtaining civil rights. White employers would often demand that black families and children work in certain ways. The former slaves assumed that once married, they’d have a claim of certain basic rights.

People remain unaware that in marrying, one is exercising the right of personal freedom. They don’t tend to equate the civil rights aspects to it. It’s only those who cannot marry at all who are aware of the extent to which marriage is an expression of basic civil rights.

[UPDATE] 4:08 The restrictions on marriage, as they have been lifted, have made marriage more appealing. The removal of restrctions on marriage have tended to strengthen the institution. The religious connations that different groups have attached to marriage have been a part of its high cultural valuation. In entertainment, movies—at least since the rise of the novel in the 19th century, marriage has been the happy ending. The cultural polish that present the rice, the white dress, the happy coupe parading down the aisle are the expression of happiness by the couple.

How does the cultural value of marriage compare with civil unions?

I appreciate that many states have extended many or all of the rights to people who can’t marry, but there is no comparison in a historical view because there is nothing like marriage except marriage.

At the founding of the country, were there comparisons made between the institution of marriage and democracy.?

Yes. This was based on consent, on voluntary agreement to be governed. Great Britain called its people subjects, not citizens. When the US broke away, they called people citizens who voluntarily consent to a stable relationship that may govern you, but was good. They compared this consent to marriage, an institution that requires consent.

It’s just after 4:00PM. Boutrous said he has another hour or so to go with this witness. So the judge adjourned for the day, saying, “We’re off to a very good start. Can we start at 8:30AM tomorrow instead of 9:00AM?

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  • 1. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:10 am

    " I never thought people “fell in love.” " krass
    and sad

  • 2. Pete  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

    It happens to some of us who came out later in life… We settled and then realized differently :/.

  • 3. Delfi  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

    krass is spelled "crass." but crass means, "without refinement, delicacy, or sensitivity; gross; obtuse; stupid." i can only associate this sentiment with NOM, not with the testifying witness.

  • 4. jonb  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Thank you so much for providing this!

  • 5. Mykelb  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Steff, you may not believe it, but there are millions of people in this world who marry out of duty and because their parents have the legal right to force it on them. Your myopic view of marriage needs an adjustment.

  • 6. elw  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

    True, I know two people just off the top of my head whom I grew up with who's parents ended up coming out of the closet 15 years after they were married.

  • 7. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:30 am

    no, it's not unfailiar that people marry out of duty. but to actually never fall in love before the age of somwhere around 30 that's what I can't imagine. or better say to actually not know about what falling in love really means…
    guess I couldn't describe my view on marriage as myopic having been raised by a single mother and in an environment where almost every adult I knew was divorced…

  • 8. gabe g  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Steffi, just for some point of view, I will be 27 years old in May, and am a straight, attractive, educated/interesting female who has never fallen in/been in love. I've wanted to be in love my whole life, but there are many factors that effect people's lives and determine the emotional relationships and experiences they do or do not have and how long it takes them to develop as a person.
    So think about it more, be cause you pretty much said that you can't imagine that I exist, and I do.

  • 9. Tim  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Adding on to Gabe G's sentiments about love but 25 years old and male. Not everyone has the same experiences nor time table in life.

  • 10. MLD  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I'm 30, almost 31, and have never been in love. I've been married, but that wasn't love. There's no age range for people falling in love. Some do in their teens, others may never find that one special person.

  • 11. Mykelb  |  January 11, 2010 at 11:14 am

    What is sad is that LGBT people are not completely free to express their love in America without discrimination and hate. The fear of reprisal (rape by men on lesbians to teach them a lesson, bashing/killing gay men by neurotic straight men who have sexual identification issues) from the heterosexist supremacists and the religious hatred that are heaped upon us, sometimes prevent us from even meeting others like ourselves in parts of this country, let alone have a relationship. I don't know if you are gay or not, but you certainly give the impression that your experiences are not of the LGBT kind. That is why this trial is so important to our community, to teach those who have not experienced the hate and violence of heterosexist discrimination a highly comprehensive and illustrative story of what we have had to deal with for THOUSANDS OF YEARS under the christofascists.

  • 12. Seth  |  January 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I didn't fall in love until I was 32…never knew what love was, really. Never accepted myself as a gay man and so was afraid to get close to people. I came out, I dated around, I found my soulmate and I fell in love….I am 43 now and still in love with my soulmate. We have a totally romantic, best friend, relationship. True love: it's worth the wait.

  • 13. Brad  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Wonderful real-time journalism. THANK YOU.

    I like your use of first person–it works well to give us a "first person" (e.g., "I discovered I was gay at age 27" rather than "The person on the stand she she discovered she was gay at age 27");

    I think readers understand you are offering summary quotes and that quotes, in the trial's fast-moving dialogue, won't be perfect (no one expects you to provide an official transcript! Just keep up the great work and know that it is appreciated.

    And by all means tell us keep telling us when you think the "other side" has scored.

  • 14. Badcowboy  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I think they need to have the children of these couples take the stand – would blow away "protection of the children" piece of their arguments.

  • 15. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:34 am

    could they? I mean youldn't it be too much for them being under the preassure in a court and always fearing that the "other side" could take any argument you say and possibly use it against their parents?

  • 16. Fritz  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    not to mention the HOWLS of "See! Exploiting the children for their own benefit!" Perhaps Olson/Boies have some child service advocates to present an argument that 'traditional' marriage is no guarantee of physical or emotional protection.

  • 17. Joel Wheeler  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Rick, you're a real trooper and your effort is greatly appreciated.

  • 18. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I'm really looking forward to Professor Cott's testimony.

  • 19. Steve H  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Yeah — all this silliness about protecting children from "being taught about gay marriage" — it was only DUE TO the prop 8 campaign that it became such an issue that there are now almost certainly no children over the age of 4 in California who haven't heard of "gay marriage."

  • 20. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

    can someone tell me how long today's court day is going to last? when will they be finished today? roughly?

  • 21. Jenniferk  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Rick – this is truly amazing and so insightful. Thanks for your personal touches and dedication to illuminating these proceedings for us all. I am stunned and encouraged at the great intelligence and open mindedness I've seen so far!!

  • 22. Pete  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:45 am

    You're doing an amazing job covering this. Thank you so much and keep up the wonderful work! I can't tell you how much I appreciate this.

  • 23. Tina  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:48 am

    thanks for providing this!

    it's important to hear the plantiffs, in their own words

    i'm posting bits of testimony on my fb

  • 24. Dalton  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I'm blown away by the quality of this live blogging.

    I'm also enjoying the "sidebar "stuff, like you're jealous of their hair 🙂 or I also like knowing the Judge's reactions to things. It really gives us a sense of being there in the courtroom.

    Nice work! Justice will prevail!

  • 25. Holcombe  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

    listen to Professor Nancy Cott's on gay marriage on "fresh air," NPR, here:

  • 26. Tina  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:57 am

    thanks Holcombe

  • 27. Joe Decker  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Public Vows: There's a big irony in that book coming into this context. My uncle had kids, and lived in a variety of parts of the West at different times in their lives, as a result, his daughters found husbands in different states, and they've moved in different directions.

    My uncle was never able to attend one of his daugher's weddings, because that faith prohbiits folks who don't believe in that particular faith from attending the wedding ceremony.

    I'll give you one guess which faith that was.

  • 28. Kimeron  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

    This blog is awesome and I really want to thank you for doing it. Such a shame that people can't be watching this themselves!! Thanks Rick for the personal touch to this!

  • 29. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:04 am

    HOLCOMBE – VERY interesting NPR interview with Professor Cott. Thank you for sharing!

  • 30. Holcombe  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

    This is another great link – Ted Olson's amazing op-ed piece in Newsweek in which he argues, from a conservative perspective, why gay marriage is the heart of the conservative ideal.

  • 31. Holcombe  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    oops here's the link:

  • 32. PJOjai  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:06 am

    This is good stuff!

  • 33. elw  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:08 am

    The slave card. SLAM DUNK! Are the "protect marriage" people visiably quivering yet?

  • 34. Erwin  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:10 am

    THANK YOU! Your work on this is fantastic and you have me hanging on every word and update.

  • 35. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

    thanks again a thousand times for posting this!! it's kinda really late over here and I'm really tired but I'll be back here tomorrow evening (which is mornig at your's :D)
    thankful greetings from Germany

  • 36. Brad  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

    BTW, anyone know of a pro-discrimination site (that is, a Yes on 8 site) that is attempting a similar live blog? I would love to see how the radical right is covering this live.

  • 37. Tim  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I would also be interested in their perspective. Site recommendation, please?

  • 38. Rowdy  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Amazing work! I feel like I'm right there in the courtroom. Someone buy this guy a drink! He deserves one!

  • 39. JRolen  |  January 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I agree! Buy him a drink in the form of a contribution.Since we aren't there – let's say we did and contribute to keeping him there . . $ bucks will help!

    Support him to stay and keep us in the loop!

  • 40. Deborah  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Wow! What a way to end the day. I have done almost no work today; I'm just glued to all of this. Thanks again, Rick, for your reporting and your editorializing. They have brought this thing alive for me.

  • 41. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

    i am glad i am not the only one who got captured by this live blog! very very well done and very interesting…wow

  • 42. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I am thoroughly enthralled by Professor Cott's knowledge and testimony.

  • 43. MrsMorty  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Rick, thank you so much for blogging all of this. Fantastic job! I will be glued to this page again tomorrow at 8:30 am!

  • 44. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Rick – on behalf of the readers that have made their voices and gratitude heard here via postings and for all that are reading – THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH for making us a part of the courtroom and in keeping us in the know.

    I think I can safely say for myself and others, you are much appreciated.

    We look forward to tomorrow!

  • 45. Amy  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:18 am


    Thanks so very much for this report. You are a lifeline to those of us who had been expecting to see the videos.
    You're doing a great job!

  • 46. Christine Allen  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Thank you, Rick, et al! ~CR

  • 47. elizabethloved  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for updating today.
    I had friends who grew up with parents who divorced after their father realized he was gay. Both kids and and parents are happier and still a "non traditional" family.
    This trial is upsetting to me, simply because I think it is so obvious that gay marriage should be legal.

  • 48. Chana  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I agree on the slave marriage example. Slam dunk. I'm not optimistic about the ultimate outcome of this trial re: SCOTUS, but this is all quite cathartic as a referendum. Thanks for the liveblogging!

  • 49. Ryan Morrice  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Thank you soooo much for taking the time to post this. I am so excited from what you've told us about the trial so far, and I look forward to hearing more soon! =D

  • 50. Dave in Northridge  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Excellent, excellent work, Rick. A quibble (I'm a historian) about the Nancy Cott testimony (she's an amazing historian and scholar, by the way) — the chief justice in Dred Scott was Roger Brook Taney (yes, it's pronounced Tawny, so naturally . . .).

    I can't wait for the cross — I have a feeling the other side is going to have lots of opportunities to embarrass themselves before the plaintiffs finish their case.

  • 51. Riley  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:25 am

    thanks for the report! i was devastated when i heard the trial won't be on youtube but you sir made my day! thank you!

    as for the trial, i think we started off great and it will go that way and we'll be victorious 🙂

  • 52. Jon  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Yes, all this silliness about protecting children from “being taught about gay marriage” — but then, if this is the best defense they've got, they're in trouble. It's patently silly, embarrassingly weak, doesn't stand up to sixty seconds of examination. Compare it to Cott's stuff: rigor, depth, sense, substance.

    Of course the defense will have its turn and its experts.

    But the cross on that will be the best part of the trial.

  • 53. Ron  |  January 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you so much Rick. Can you imagine reading your awesome account of this case in 100 years from now? I feel a new opera is about to be made. You are history!

  • 54. Amy Balliett  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Another big thanks to Rick for doing all this! I never thought that a day of sitting at work in my cubicle would be too memorable, but Rick, by live blogging all of this in such great detail, you have made this a day I will never forget. Thanks and please keep it up as everything unfolds! Hopefully we'll get the video feed on Wednesday!

  • 55. Max  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:31 am


    This is absolutely incredible. It's so insightful to read a summary of the court case; I have to say that you're doing a phenomenal job and that, had I not known otherwise, I would have thought this WAS the official transcript!

    I also like your side comments (:

    And please, as someone said earlier, let us know whenever you think the opposition has "scored" in some way.

  • 56. CBear  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Would it be possible for each update to be a separate blog post? It would be easier to catch everything that way, instead of having to scroll down to look for updates and then back up.

    Thanks for doing this for us — I was glued to the site at work today!

  • 57. Lukas P  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Rick—and other commenters, too—THANK YOU for giving us the play by play. I'm sure it's tough, but you and your blogging ARE very much appreciated!

  • 58. Rayfo  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Awesome blogging, Rick!!!! I'm deaf and I would never get this information if I had to watch YouTube. Thank you so very, very much!!!!!!

  • 59. Tony Russomanno  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Great reporting, breaking new ground. This is capital "J" Journalism.

  • 60. Sara  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much for providing this! I would not have been able to watch a live feed all day anyway, so this is a great way for me to follow without having to rely on end-of-day summaries. You are appreciated!

  • 61. AJ  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for posting this! It was very informative and well-written.

  • 62. Philip  |  January 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I've been reading this blog all day. My husband and I thank you for your terrific work. We are confident that the court will find that every person has the right to marry the person they love. Justice and liberty for all!

  • 63. jstueart  |  January 11, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Rick, will you put all of this on one page–from beginning of the trial to the end of that day. This was fascinating reading, and I want to copy and paste it myself onto my blog, but figure the right thing is to have you do that to make reading easier. If you would do that, it'd be great— you are the Youtube right now, and I want people to see your transcripts in whole day bundles. If you aren't planning on doing that, let me know, and I'll cut and paste into one post: Day One, Day Two. This is so interesting. It's like someone is proving we exist….

    Thanks! Jerome Stueart, Yukon Territory

  • 64. jstueart  |  January 11, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Rick, you are doing an amazing job! I too like the memoir feel of this—that you are inserting at times what you are thinking or feeling—it gives me a feeling of being there through you that no "regular" transcript can possible give.


  • 65. Seth  |  January 11, 2010 at 11:38 am

    WOW, thank you. As a Mainer who worked hard to keep marriage equality on the books in my state, I am enthralled to read testimony from experts on the subject of marriage history. NOM and the Catholic Church really went all out to successfully mislead the voting populace of our state. It was such a shock that we lost in Maine, so I am rooting for you in CA.


  • 66. CS  |  January 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Cott is brilliant!

  • 67. jstueart  |  January 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Yep, I like the Opera idea. I was thinking of a film…but an Opera (PrOpera 8) lol–sounds good to me.

  • 68. heather gold  |  January 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm


    My deepest thanks for your liveblogging (and for Courage Campaign's work on the streaming petition). You're doing it so beautifully and I especially appreciate your personal story interjected in here.

    it is amazing to finally here this stuff in a real court. And to "hear" Nancy Cott in it as well. We couldn't have asked for a better witness or teacher.


  • 69. T.Butler  |  January 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Rick: thank you for your service to the greater good of our planet and history. It is inestimable.

    And it's perfect—your sotto voce comments, everything.

    And as for Ms. Steffi: honey, I am fifty years old, a straight woman who's been married (second time) for 18 years. We've shared the raising of our three children (his two, my one) in big picture: my ex and his family are part of ours. My divorce was not nasty. That might make your view of marriage (and divorce) as myopic as mine was, before I married a good soul who refused to put his selfish interests before those of our child, as MOST people in divorce do.

    That you have been brought up in a fearful environment is plain to see. I hope you can someday believe that your beliefs are still in an egg in a nest somewhere, unhatched, and without wings. I hope someday you can relax that part of you that thinks you deserve to call Sandy "crass" because she expresses her emotional truth from a mature and thoughtful position,.

    Maybe I was in your shoes once when, in high school in the Deep South, I mouthed the words that "homosexuality is sick"—without having a reason in the world to back it up, when asked—to one of the most thoughtful history teachers I'd ever had, a man whom I realized later was certainly gay. When I think of the harm I must have done him—especially because I was one of the best and brightest students, and we cared for each other—it makes me cringe. All I was doing was repeating what one of my pious aunts had said. (She is a Bible-ist, not a Christian. Near as I can tell, a true Christian doesn't seek to hate, judge, or condemn. Near as I can tell, a true Christian lets God draw the circles of inclusion and exclusion.)

    I left the Deep South when I was 18. I'm glad to be out of the tight traps of that kind of "Biblical" prejudice.

    Rick, again, I thank you for serving us with your presence and your actions and your caring.

  • 70. Jeremiah H  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Rick, thank you for providing us this opportunity to follow the case. Personally I am glad it is not being televised. I know darn well I would not have been able to absorb all verbiage. You are truly on a mission to spread the truth, leaving justice blind.

    As far as "OH NO, NOT THE CHILDREN" card that was presented out of the gates early on, here's my thought: Consider that professors and teachers will still instruct children that we are indeed in the middle of a revolution, silent as it may be. This example will never be forgotten. To drive it home, there is no possible way of screening what a child learns unless you are completely self-banished from all technology, including the most important of social networking and the news: internet.

  • 71. Box Turtle Bulletin &raqu&hellip  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    […] the liveblog The ability to marry, to say I do, is a civil right. It demonstrates liberty. This can be seen in […]

  • 72. KCT  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Rick, you are not just a witness to history, you, like Walter Cronkite are taking us to the trial reminiscent of "You Are There"! And I believe I speak for many who are extremely grateful for your reporting.

    Reading the comments is, in a way, as enlightening as the witnesses in court. I, like so many other woman of my generation, realized I were gay later in life at age 38. And when I came out to my many siblings one asked a very poignant question, "How did you know you were truly in love with a woman?" I replied, "Because at that moment I understood why wars were fought, why poetry was written, how my Mother felt when see looked at my Father across a crowded room". I knew from the very core of being that this love was right for me. And I knew that God could not condemn me. The inevitable accusation of "choice" came up, as it always does, with all it's implications. And I admitted that I did have a choice, and that choice was to live a life with or without love. And I choose to life a life with love. I choose to be fully human. I am no different than my siblings now, actually, I am more like them than I have ever been. I love completely,

  • 73. Mombian » Blog Arch&hellip  |  January 12, 2010 at 3:04 am

    […] from the trial. It’s all fascinating, but readers here may find yesterday’s testimony by lesbian mom Sandy Stier of particular interest. Among other things, she said: The [Prop 8] campaign was very focused on […]

  • 74. TexasCowboy  |  January 12, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Rick, many thanks for taking your time and using your resources for the thousands of us glued to your posts. Bless you.

  • 75. truthspew  |  January 12, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I'm WTF'ing all the way here. Did they neglect to mention that Romans had marriage customs too, prior to Christianity and during the pantheistic period?

  • 76. Gender & Sexuality La&hellip  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:29 am

    […] (from Prop 8 Trial Tracker Live Blogging) […]

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