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Live Updates from the Court III: Prop. 8 Ads in Court


By Rick Jacobs

After a big back and forth, the Ron Prentice ad that says that if California loses on Prop. 8, family will be destroyed, we’ll go off the rails. It has a nice looking black guy talking about the bible and about not being afraid. Stand up for Jesus Christ. He stood up for you in a public forum; now you stand up for him. (I had not seen this. It’s a longish video that shows the forces of God fighting the judges. It has the scary music.)

Boies: How did you feel, especially seeing that last line?

Objection by the other side because it’s not been produced by Protect Marriage dot com. So now they are upset that our side is showing what the other side really wanted to do. They only want to show these ads when no one can talk about them publicly.

[UPDATE] 12:15 When you saw that ad, stand up for righteousness, vote Yes on 8, how did it make you feel?

It made me feel bad. That image of an oncoming freight train that will kill you that makes me feel that I am part of a community that will kill people? I want to marry Jeff. I’m not going to start a movement that will harm people or children. How can they categorize me as the devil? Those lines between right and wrong are talking about things that are bad in nature, that harm people in a society. I just want to get married. I love someone. I want to get married. It demeans you. People are putting effort into demeaning you.

(Again, this stuff literally makes me feel ill.)

[UPDATE] 12:21 So now there is a back and forth about whether to use NOM’s “Gathering Storm.” The other side thinks it’s not relevant because it was produced after the campaign. Boies says it’s worse than what happened in the campaign, because there’s no campaign on going.

The judge asked if it is tied to those in the room. Boies said that it is because NOM funded 8 and is sufficiently related to the campaign broadly defined. Even if it were done by someone with no connection to the campaign, the court needs to see this to determine whether this is a class of people subject to continuing discrimination.

Other side:

1. Not produced by Protect Marriage.

2. After campaign.

3. Not about Prop. 8.

Any harm that could have flowed from this particular video could not have come from Prop. 8.

Judge said no. Not connected to the parties that sued. There’s another way to show that homosexuals are discriminated against.

[UPDATE] 12:31 Okay, so the judge said they can’t show Gathering Storm. It was that pseudo scary ad that we all did responses to. OOOOH, the gays are gonna get you!

Boies now wants to admit the ballot guide for Prop. 8. (For a minute I though the other side was going to object to this even though it’s a public document!).

Now we’re looking at the sentence that says voting Yes on Prop. 8 restores the definition of marriage that’s was approved by over 61% of the voters. Voting YES overturns the decision of four activist judges. Voting YES protects our children.

Plaintiff: Jeff and I are informed voters. We do the reading. We discuss it all. This punch line again of protecting children is absolutely clear. From what are you protecting children? From harm. But what is the harm? That language is indicative of some kind of perpetration against a child. Separates me from the norm. Makes me part of a community that is perpetrating a threat. That’s why we are here (in court).

(Again, at age 51, I can still feel these barbs that have made my life so odd.)

We hear a lot about the fact that you get the same rights; what’s the big deal? The big deal is that it’s a separate category, maybe a fourth class citizen now that we recognize marriages from other states. We still have discrimination. Puts a Twinkie at the end of a treadmill. Here’s a bite. Then another bite. You want that whole Twinkie (I don’t love this analogy).

None of our friends has ever said, “hey this is my domestic partner.” It’s not even the rights as much as it is the full access to the laws of the state. If you are separate, it fortifies prejudice. It’s rooted in something fundamentally wrong. All I want is to be married. That affects only my husband and family and concentric circles. If it it bolsters us publicly, good. So long as we are outside due to laws, it’s us and them. My state is supposed to protect me; it’s not supposed to discriminate against me.

Everyone is now taking lunch and will resume thereafter, at 1:30PM.

[UPDATE] 12:47 It’s hard to think while this goes on. I’ve never before been on trial, but today every gay or lesgbian person in the country is on trial. The testimony brings up all of that “stuff” that I keep pretending I’ve left behind. I grew up near Knoxville knowing I was gay, but never wanting to be. I dated girls, just like Jeff did. I hid from myself. I became an Orthodox Jew in LA and almost got married because I did not want to be gay. When Boies asked Jeff if he’d be in a more loving, stable relationship if he married a woman, it was not a throw-away. That’s what the NOM folks want you to believe. They want you to believe that if Jeff or me or so many others of us who were born homosexual would just marry a woman, the world would be a better place.

But nothing is further from the truth. How many marriages have broken up because one partner or other was not in love and finally had to leave to be true to his or her nature? How many times in history has a person committed suicide, drunk himself to death or even abused a spouse because he or she was in a marriage that was not real? Society is weakened by these false constructs.

One last point: the defendants had better spend time in the five states in which same sex marriage is now legal. Mr. Cooper, the defandant’s lawyer, said we need more time to see if same-sex marriage will do harm. That means he must support it in those states. His position is regressive and without sense, but if he really believes what he said, get he to New Hampshire and Iowa to preserve same sex marriage!

NOTE: I’ve moved over to a 4th thread for the afternoon session. Follow the updates here and keep the great comments coming!

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  • 1. Stephen Sallis  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Keep up the good work

  • 2. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:20 am

    rick…you are not alone. but it all has to be said finally for history friend.

  • 3. Sarah  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Thank you so much for allowing us all to follow along in the incredibly important trial. as a young lesbian with an incredible girlfriend and dreams of a wedding and a stable, sanctified married life, i feel like my life is literally in this man's hands. my fingers are crossed. i'm so happy it's all going to be out on the table.

  • 4. Courtney  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Is Ron Prentice and the folks on his side aware the bible says, "We are all God's children"? How conveniently they forget.

  • 5. mattymatt  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

    That's interesting to hear about the "God vs Judges" video. I have not seen that one either. Do you know if it's online anywhere? This is exactly why it would be beneficial to broadcast the trial. It is crazy to keep stuff like that secret.

  • 6. Simon Fernandes  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Well done for this, mate. I'm following and supporting you all the way.

  • 7. Julian  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:25 am

    I am so glad you are doing this. Myself and many of my friends are following your words right now. Keep up the good work! I wish I could be there in person, but at least hearing it minute by minute suffices!

  • 8. Deborah  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Thanks for this. Fascinating.

  • 9. Dana  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Suggestion: Put a Q on the left margin for a lawyer's question, and an A on the left margin for the witness' answer. Helps us parse.

    Keep up the good work.

  • 10. Kelly Hanson  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Thank you, oh, thank you for liveblogging this for us who can't be there.

  • 11. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:27 am

    dang i wish they could play the "gathering storm"

  • 12. Nicki  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:27 am

    me too, the gathering storm is a pernicious piece of propaganda that dovetails exactly with the Prop 8. It was a referendum after all – meaning mob rule,

    – Boise it is especially bad because it is continue It was an error on the Judges Part. imho not to allow it.. and yes thank Rick , and my faith in the Courage Campaign is now a debt of gratitude. Well done sir. And at almost 53 myself but – out all my life , i know there is nothing inherently immoral AT ALL about who we love – and those of us who do choose to marry deserve all the rights – the children in our Unions deserve their rights , not to be bullied. anyway thx. Dude you are it at the moment and doing a great job !

    and its laughable in the face of it , that gay marriage hurt or harms straight marriage – its also laughable given the studies that have been done , that two parents that love each other and make a stable home the children thrive, their sexuality is not inherited , it will be what it will be. oh finally these anti gay zealots love activist judges as long as they are making regressive decisions..seems to me.

  • 13. Linda Gray  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I'm sorry the decision on YouTube has been delayed, but honestly, this liveblog is SO much better for me (and, I'm sure, for anyone else who's still stuck with stupid dialup service). I so wish there was a way to have BOTH YouTube and this blog going. Thanks for your great work!

  • 14. Meghan Stabler  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I scanned a number of the live blogs, and aggregated tweets from the trial, this is the best source so far. Thank you

  • 15. Denise Beckfield  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I'm a middle-aged, middle-class, middle-of-the-road heterosexual, married over thirty years, and those so-called Christians make me see red. I'm happy to say that I was born and raised in Iowa, where we know that the worth of a person has nothing to do with who you were born to love. People should have the right to marry whomever they choose. It's called justice. I only hope common sense and equality and fair play will, in the end, prevail. And love.

  • 16. Bobby  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Thank you so much for this, it is so frustrating not being able to see or watch what is going on. The outcome of this trial not only affects the GLBT community but the families that love and care so much for their GLBT family members. It breaks my heart and my husbands also that are gay son does not have the same right to marry as his brother and sister have.
    thank you again

  • 17. Sven Arvid Tadhg  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Here is the Ron Prentice Ad, for those wondering:

    This is so awesome. I know what I'm going to be doing for the next few weeks.

  • 18. Ms. Geek  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:41 am

    That is a scary ad. Not even a dogwhistle. It's a blaring siren in the face. If perfect love casts out fear, why the HELL incite so much fear with the ad?

  • 19. kristin  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for posting that link, I was curious about it since it got mentioned. Totally made my stomach upset, especially with the train of doom visual.

  • 20. Joey  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Many Thanks for the updates! This affects us all, and I appreciate your dedication to getting the news out. I agree with the previous poster that this is the best of the available update sites I've seen.

  • 21. Elizabeth  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Thank you for posting this blog. I was very upset by the SCOTUS ruling against watching the case unfold, so following these blogs have been my outlet in needing to see how this case unfolds.

  • 22. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:41 am

    its very difficult to read some, (and by 'some' I really mean ALL), of the proponents "arguments" as they are so heavily religiously based. In addition to be outwardly discriminatory, its infuriating as their arguments have NO grounds.

    YesOn8 cited: "CA should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples b/c ideal parents are a hetero couple." So single parents should give up their children for adoption?

    "marriage is all about natural procreation."…REALLY?! So heterosexual couples that cannot conceive (naturally) due to medical reasons shouldn't be able to marry either? (if that is truly their argument).

    People of the Courage Campaign, I applaud you for putting this up to keep US, the parties interested in true HUMAN equality, up to date and posted on what is going on with OUR fight.

  • 23. Chris  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:42 am

    Thank you so much for live bloging the trial. Very helpful. The Courage Campaign should consider filing an short amicus brief tonight with the SCOTUS detailing the trafic this website and others have seen today as evidence of the public desire to follow this trial.

  • 24. Miriam Alario  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Here's another question I have:
    The Prop 8 folks keep using the phrase, "Protect our children." If the threat is from Samer Sex marriage, how does that affect children? Is an adopted child less safe if placed with a Same Sex (SS) couple? Is a child less safe if born to a Same Sex couple via surrogate? (If so what about surrogate births to Hetero couples- doesn't that create a class of children of SS Couples vs OS couples)
    Are we protecting children from the influences of Gays, as if that would be the only reason a child might grow up to be gay? This is contrary to most research on the state/reason/cause of being Homo Sexual. All of the arguementsd for Prop 8 seem to be based on fear and misinformation.

  • 25. Miriam Alario  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Sorry for the spelling and typos… was rushing to post.

  • 26. Andy  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I'm with Chris, this trial needs to be broadcast!

  • 27. Anna  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Thank you thank you thank you for blogging this trial. My husband is an attorney and I am so glad that when he comes home from work today, he will be able to review what happened in this case and keep up-to-date on this critical decision.

    I also thank you for blogging this so all of us who are proponents of equality for all can see what is going on and can be cheering at every good zing that "our side" gets in against the anti-LGBTQ marriage folks.

    I can't wait to read the actual case transcript, either. From what you're writing here, it's going to be an amazing document.

  • 28. Heather Silva  |  January 11, 2010 at 5:59 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for being our ears into the courtroom.

  • 29. mike  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:03 am

    This is a most excellent live feed! I arrived at the 9th Circuit Court Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, OR this morning ready to watch the live feed. I am a Lieutenant with the fire department and took the entire week off on vacation to watch this. HOWEVER, it was not pointless. YOUR feed is absolutely amazing…… not all was lost for taking vacation time!

  • 30. elw  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:07 am

    I am a hetero, engaged woman and we have absolutely no intention of "procreating"…does this mean we should also not be allowed to get married? According to proponents (H8ers) arguements, I think so!

  • 31. JDI  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for blogging the trial. You're right: all lesbians and gays are truly on trial. It's gut wrenching to read the updates, but this so very very important for, and to, all of us.

  • 32. Melanie Nathan  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:13 am You and I have a similar background – raised othrodox Jew. You will see a picture here on this link of my rabbi marrying us in the window of opportunity that we had. I see direct discrimination every day of my life with my kids. On a practical level 100% acceptance is an absolute MUST. Anything short of that denotes unacceptance and that is what fires up the hate. For as long as the law reflects we are less – the rest will continue to treat us as less.

  • 33. Melanie Nathan  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:13 am

    BTW we also did a featired post about yourneed for support on lezgetreal

  • 34. Christy  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Thank you for taking the time to update us about the going ons within the court room. You are providing a great service to the your friends within the LGBT community.

  • 35. Di B  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Thank you for posting this live feed. This is so important for all GLBT folks and supporters. Marriage is a contract between two people. Period. Religion needs to be removed from the argument. The argument of Protecting our children is just a joke. There are tons of single parents and if it's all about procreation, then those who cannot have kids, by this argument, shouldn't be allowed to marry. Ridiculous? Absolutely!
    Thank you thank you thank you

  • 36. Steven  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Thanks for keeping us updated on the trial.. I'm wondering if us, the public, can write emails/letters, and call USSC to courage them to lift the stay…i dont know that'd would work

    I kinda have a feeling they won't lift the stay, but on other hand I feel they will lift the stay with a limited coverage like only in a remote court house or something..

  • 37. Dave O'Brien  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Rick- Love the commentary…keep it up, but I'd love more updates on what's actually happening in the room. Descriptions of people…what they're saying, reactions from the crowd, etc… You seem to be the only "news source" getting anything out today, and I'd love more details!

  • 38. Brian Blank  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Thank you so much for documenting this! As a heterosexual, i just think the Yes on 8 scare tactics and message are just wrong, wrong, wrong!

    Loving people should be married no matter if you're gay or straight. I am hoping the courts find this exactly what it is, discrimination!

  • 39. Deborah  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Rick – Thank you for this coverage. It is tremendously moving even to read, and I can hear how painful it is for you to be listening. But it is so important, not just to the GLBT community but to the entire community, that this information get out.

  • 40. Theresa  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    funny fact:
    more states condone the marriages of first cousins (i.e. incest) than approval of homosexual marriages.

  • 41. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:24 am

    no way?!

  • 42. Melanie Nathan  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    I would like people to see how prop 8 impacted my child who lives in a home with 2 moms who were married when it was okay during that window of opportunity

  • 43. Brian Blank  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:42 am


    Thank you SO much for sharing! Your daughter is brave and I hope this all works out for the best. Your writing is strong and I felt the pain HC felt as you described her story! The best from our family to yours!

  • 44. Melanie Nathan  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Thanks Brian really appreciate your thoughts and feelings, mel

  • 45. kristin  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

    That brought me to tears. I'm so sorry that your daughter had to be exposed to that. Eventually every child grows up and realizes their heroes are human and not infallible, but the age of 12 is not when that lesson should be learned!

  • 46. Robert Austin  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Thank you so much for the play by play. I hope at some point we past the "I love and want to be married" to tangible things like joint tax filings, insurance, having to pay attorneys just to set up estate plans that are protective of each other, etc.

  • 47. Melanie Nathan  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:25 am

    I agree – hopefully this lovey dovey stuff is setting the foundation . I agree I want to hear the meat…..

  • 48. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:34 am

    social security benefits to our wives and husbands

  • 49. David Kimble  |  January 11, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Yes, exactly, and thank you for making the points about all of the legal questions that we get involved in, simply because we cannot legally marry.

    By the way, I just signed-up to be a petition gatherer, just in case this case is not decided in favor of the GLBT community.

    Here is a link for anyone interested in doing the same –

  • 50. Mary Ellen Broderick  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:23 am

    i live in albquerque NM and once again this year our domestic partnership bill is going to be reintroduced to the legislature again this year. Year after year we bring it forward year after year it gets voted down. What we are following is real important precedent which will influence each of our fights in each state. Thanks for covering this historic case.
    I am contributing 50 bucks to the Courage Campaign!

  • 51. Amy Balliett  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Thanks for doing this Rick! The Courage Campaign never ceases to amaze me. Your organization is such a wonderful step forward for our equality and I appreciate everything the Courage Campiagn does for us! Anyone reading this, please donate to the Courage Campaign to help them keep this site going. They have continued to work hard for our rights and continued to provide us all with a voice!

  • 52. Steffi  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:34 am

    thanks for doing this! I'm Watching from germany cause I'm greatly interested in this case even though it doesn't affect me.
    What buggs me a lot is people saying they will be forced to act differently from what they believe if same sex marriage is allowed. like that as teacher they would have to teach children that gay love is normal even though they believe differntly. But HONESTLY it's like they'd argue that their rights ur surpressed if they have to teach kids that blacks are as worthy as whites though they believe different. being racist and being intolerant is NOT a right!!!! teaching that same sex marriage is not sth. normal is racist and should not be allowed!!! living and acting according to racist and intolerant believes is not legal! and forcing other to live your believes is definitely not constitutional!

  • 53. Jeremy  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Great work you're doing. It's ridiculous that they've blocked the cameras, but at least there are people like you doing what needs to be done. Have a RedBull and hang in there. It's going to be a long couple of weeks.

  • 54. Marissa  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:43 am

    "I’ve never before been on trial, but today every gay or lesgbian person in the country is on trial."

    – don't forget bisexual & transgendered! otherwise it would just be LG community, instead of LGBT 🙂 …just sayin'

  • 55. Robert  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:44 am

    A million thanks for this info! Really valuable for us to know whats going on right now. *hug*

  • 56. doug w.  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Thanks, Rick. The importance of what you're doing can't be overstated. I will be glued to this computer for as long as you keep up the feed. Thanks again!!

  • 57. Ellie  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Qe won't stop until everyone is equal!! Thanks for your hard work, Rick.

  • 58. C Long  |  January 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Thanks for the play-by-play. You're comment "today every gay or lesgbian person in the country is on trial" couldn't be more true. Judge Walker is a smart man. I've got to believe that he will recognize just how ridiculous the Yes8 arguements really are.

  • 59. Keith burford  |  January 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I think getting up dates are really great. It keeps people like me fired up about whats going on. Someone wrote earlyer, ( the bible says We are all GOD childern but it also says don't hurt my childern ). If gay marriages bother Christans, then why didn't they fight to keep prayer in schools. Church groups have nothing better then get in other peoples business. Why is it that are more adopted children are living with lesbian and gay parents then stright parents. If these church groups are so worried about gay and lesbian marriages then I think they need to step up. Gay and lesbian parents are raising three percent of foster children in the United States. A national ban on GLB foster care could cost from $87 to $130 million. Costs to individual states could range from $100,000 to $27 million. And they say Gay and lesbian marriages are wrong. I wold think they are solvaing the problem not adding to it. There is 50% divorce rate among straight marriages then Gay and lesbian marriages if that says something and straight marriages contribute to more single parents childern atleast so far 20 million. I see gay and lesbian marriages are solving the problem not adding to the problem. Keep fight I won't Their will be a defferance.

  • 60. Kristen  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thank you for posting these updates and being so candid in your commentary! I am so deeply moved by these brave plaintiffs and their attorneys, and by your bravery as well.

  • 61. Live Updates from the Cou&hellip  |  January 11, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    […] Live Updates from the Court III: Prop. 8 Ads in Court […]

  • 62. oblogdeeoblogda  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm Melanie Nathan's take and mentions Courage campaign

  • 63. oblogdeeoblogda  |  January 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Ken Hubert -. are you afraid that you may be a homosexual? Studies show that people who hate gay people without good reason do so because they hate themselves for being gay?? Does that make sense to you friend?

  • 64. reebie  |  February 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Mark Twain: the war prayer

    Many times people rest their hatred admist prayers to God.
    Like in war, the battle for justice has only begun and it will not stop until every person is free to pursue happiness with their mates, regardless of the label of gender.

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