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Liveblogging Day 2: Part IV Afternoon Session


By Rick Jacobs

We’re baaaaaaaack!

Terri Stewart, the brilliant lawyer in the SF Attorney’s office who argued part of the case before the California Supreme Court, is conducting the questioning of Dr. George Chauncey who is an expert in LGBT studies. One of his books is called “The Gay Mark”, “Why Marriage”, “Hidden from History” and he is currently working on finishing a book about post-war gay politics. He is continuing research on the issue. He has received awards from Gay New York for best dissertation and won two awards from the American Historical Association (which ironically violated our boycott of the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego).

Based on his very impressive resume, Dr. Chauncey is accepted as an expert witness.

[UPDATE] 2:04 Dr. Chauncey says that anti-homosexual laws were more enforced in the colonial period, then less and then more again starting in the late 19th century. Most of the enforcement was around sex with minors. But then the Supreme Court decriminalized sodomy (anal sex, even though it decriminalized heterosexual anal sex, too). Sodomy laws were used to prosecute gay people. The range of laws used to prosecute gay people were not specific to gay people, but were used almost solely for that. Disorderly conduct came to be applied more and more to homosexuals and at some point the police started to enter disorderly conduct (degenerate) in their police logs. Then in 1923 (?) New York State criminalized solicitation for sex by one man to another. It was used against people at gay parties in private homes, clubs.

There were approximately 50,000 arrests under this charge from 1924 to the 1960s when then-Mayor Lindsay disallowed the police from using entrapment to arrest homosexuals. Similar laws were in place in other states, such as California.

TS: What effect did these laws have on gay people?

C: One effect was to register society’s disapproval of homosexuals. Sodomy laws were used to keep gay soldiers out of the army. It stood as a sign disapproval of homosexuals. A phenomenal number of people ran a foul of the law.

TS: Did it affect people who wanted to go out in public?

C: It did for some. At times when there were police crackdowns, people were very careful about going out in public. Disorderly conduct charges were not that serious in and of themselves, but it opened people up to more problems. Police would call their parents, landlords and work place to confirm data. So that would lead to them being known homosexuals which could lead to loss of jobs and homes, which sometimes it did lead to.

TS: Second topic is discrimination. Please provide examples.

C: Public accommodation example: In 1933 when prohibition was repealed, laws were passed that prohibited lesbian and gay people from serving them. This had a profound effect on lesbian and gay people because they could not meet each other (or legally anyone else) in a bar or restaurant. When people went to bars, they had to hide their sexuality. So they’d search out places that charged higher prices. They in turn had to pay bribes to police or to organized crime, which meant that gay life was enmeshed in criminal activity.

TS: How did bars discriminate?

C: If a bar tender realized someone was gay, they could “86” them, i.e., tell them to leave the bar, which is humiliating. In bars with reputations for being in gay neighborhoods, signs said, “If you are gay, stay away.” This certainly put social pressure on gays and lesbians. And it made clear to police that these places would not serve gays.

TS: How did they enforce the laws?

C: The liquor licensing system assured that the staff would avoid having “trouble.” Local patrolmen could and did look in. Liquor authorities themselves would come in and report them, which could lead to closure of a place.

TS: Did public authority besides police get involved in policing efforts?

C: Bars that were close to military bases were under supervision of coalitions of military and local police because military did not want sailors and soldiers to go there.

TS: If you were a police officer, how did you know a bar was serving gay people?

C: Two major techniques used: 1. Take note of one man picking up another man. They’d send plain clothes policemen into bars, strike up conversations with customers, lead them on, and when an invitation was issued to go home, they’d arrest them. That also would lead to proceedings against the bar itself. 2. The other method was that the police would point to stereotypical cross gender behavior to demonstrate that homosexuals were present. Two men dancing together, women wearing male clothing articles, short hair cuts. For men, they’d point to men with hair too long. In one case, they overheard two men talking about the opera, which no “real men” would do. Striking because it’s one of the clearest examples of policing of sexuality has policed gender norms.

[UPDATE] 2:31 TS: When did the bar raids end?

C: They continued periodically even after they had been ruled unconstitutional, most famously the raid on the Stonewall bar in 1969 after the supreme court had ruled it was unconstitutional not to serve gay men. Last summer in Ft. Worth, Texas, the police went into a bar and arrested a bunch of patrons. The number of raids has declined significantly, but it still happens.

TS: What are the effects on gay people?

C: It was one more way it was conveyed to them that they were a despised class of people who had to take great care to conceal the fact that they are gay. For the public at large, it associated gay life with criminality. Talked about gay bars as corruptors of the police.

TS: Talk about employment discrimination.

C: First striking example is in military itself. At beginning of the Second World War, the military decided to absolutely exclude all homosexuals and screen them out. Part of the induction process was a screen. Not surprisingly, they only found 5,000-6,000. Most gay people, like their heterosexual peers, were patriotic and wanted to fight the Germans and Japanese. People in smaller towns worried that if their selective service board found out they were gay, they’d have problems with their families. This regulation continues to the present day. (SEE Choi, Dan!)

Also, there was no socialization of homosexuals as there was with Jews and Catholics due to exposure in the army in WWII.

TS: Talk about DADT.

C: Clinton retreated from full legalization, the “compromise” of DADT came to be. It became worse than it was before. 9,500 people were discharged in the first decade of DADT. This meant that the country lost the patriotic services of those who wanted to achieve success for the nation. A number of Arabic translators were dismissed. The financial cost associated with training new people was and is considerable.

Evidence read that shows that the military had to pay millions of dollars to train new recruits to replace those fired for DADT. (I think $5 million?)

TS: What else?

C: 1950, Senator McCarthy said he had a list of perverts and deviants, which led to a report called “on the employment of homosexuals and other sexual perverts.” Forced government to investigate civilians. Prevented 1,700 people from 1947-1950 (I think) from getting government jobs. 1953, Eisenhower signed executive order banning civilians from serving in government and demanded that contractors ferret out and fire homosexual employees.

TS: Compare treatment of homosexuals to communists?

C: Estimate at the height of the scare, the State Dept. fired more “homosexuals” than communists.

TS: Turning to Pres. Eisenhower’s executive order, when did that policy end?

C: Ended for most federal agencies in 1975 when Carter rescinded, but still in effect for “highly sensitive” posts. Only in 1990s when Clinton eliminated the ban. Carter said that federal agencies were no longer required to dismiss or not hire homosexuals. Clinton issued an anti-discrimination order banning discrimination. State governments took up this issue in a variety of ways trying to institutionalize employment discrimination between lesbian and gay men. 1950s Florida launched an investigation of homosexuals in university system. More than 300 people were interrogated, some fired. Intimidation was rampant. The NYC Welfare Department had to fire employees in the 1950s.

TS: Did this affect access for jobs in the private sector?

C: Yes. Eisenhower’s ban extended to private companies working for the USG. More broadly, gay people faced discrimination in the work force. Most people realized they had to hide their homosexuality for fear of losing jobs.

C: While we have no statistical evidence, we see anecdotally that people hid their identities and did their work. Some just migrated to low status jobs that would not cause trouble for them such as hairdressers, waiters or secretaries where they felt they would not be fired.

TS: General effect?

C: Broadly, means that gay life was submerged. People did have a gay social life, but they had to be very, very careful to hide it. Although this had already been true in the earlier 20th century, people were very worried about risks of being discovered. This led to a secret language such as the word “gay” without anyone else understanding. Relatively few heterosexuals thought they knew gay people, which led to prejudice due to ignorance, which led to demonic stereotyping.

TS: Has the discrimination in employment in state and local ended?

C: No, but it is better. Serious laws have been passed to help, but there are still 20 states that do not prohibit discrimination in public and 28 in private employment.

[UPDATE] 2:54 Discussion of Hays Office reviewing scripts to prevent any gay characters from being in movies or on TV. It was very strictly managed. The Hays Code itself did not regulate TV, but there was even more concern about TV. Worried that TV would be in people’s homes so they were really worried. Discussion of homosexuality began to increase only in 1980s. 1989 a program showed two men with sheets pulled up to their eyes for about fifteen seconds. Huge protests from religious organizations, so they did not do that any more until the 1990s.

Astonishing in 1996 that when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her show, she was put on Time Magazine’s cover, which now seems unimaginable.

TS: How did this affect gay people?

C: Certainly meant that gay people did not see themselves represented on film, so reminded that they were despised category to be excluded. Some directors and writers used “sophisticated codes” to represent gay people, but most people did not know. Most people did not know gay people as gay because they hid themselves.

TS: Now demonetization/stigmatization.

C: Like most outsider groups, there have been stereotypes associated with gay people. Sermons railed against homosexuals. Campaigns were led against gay rights recently. Doctors assumed homosexuality to be a pathology which extended stereotypes. A lot of the research focused on gender nonconformity. Thought that homosexuality of reversion of gender roles. Doctors opined that women should not take certain jobs or smoke cigars or vote because they’d take on pathology of lesbians and hurt their ability to bear children. Then in the 1930s, they imagined homosexuality to be arrested development. They were heterosexuals stuck in the homosexual stage, which reinforced the stereotype of immaturity.

Most dangerous period was 1930’s-1950’s when homosexuals were signed as heightened men unrestrained by women which led to the idea that homosexuals were killing children even though most such attacks were men on girls.

A series of campaigns against sexual deviants focused on the idea of homosexuals as deviants. Magazines piped up. The government established panels and then ordered sentencing laws that could commit people to indeterminate sentences in asylums. More minor offenders went to mental institutions and doctors charged with curing them complained they could not turn them into heterosexuals. Hard to overstate the extent that the fear and press campaign built the image of homosexuals as child molesters.

Again, most of the stories of the time are about men attacking girls, so this does not hold up to the public stereotype and fear mongering.

C: Reads from an article in Coronet, a popular 1950s magazine that talks about how homosexuals do not stop at that, but often descend into even more depravity such as drug addiction, rape and even murder. When man throws off all restraints, he will become uncontrolled and will infect other people (“their often innocent partners, i.e., children) with their disease.

(WOW! This hits me hard, yet again. I think about my parents who are in their 80s. I wonder how they managed to accept me as well as they have against all of this!! No wonder the older generations have trouble with us. They were TOLD that we are evil.)

While messages were directed at adults, school systems began warning kids to stay away from strangers, which makes sense, but the subtext was very clear.

Most of the authority shows that presence of sex perverts undermine offices, particularly true of young people who might come under their influence. Particularly important that the government protects against homosexuals. “One homosexual can (ruin) an office.”

[NOTE]: Thread five is now up. Follow the action over here.

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  • 1. Kevin  |  January 12, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Chauncey's books:

  • 2. FishyFred  |  January 12, 2010 at 6:56 am

    I'm watching the trial via Twitter updates. He's walking through a history of discrimination and action against LGBT people.

    I wonder if the defense will even bother to cross-examine. It's not like you can successfully dispute those facts.

  • 3. krwlos1  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:06 am

    who are you following on twitter for the updates? who do you recommend?

  • 4. FishyFred  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I have my list here:

  • 5. Kim  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:11 am

    #prop8 and you get everything

  • 6. krwlos1  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

    thanks so much! i would rather just follow one person for this, rather than seeing multiple updates of the same statement, etc., but i'll manage. 🙂 thanks again.

  • 7. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:29 am


  • 8. Leanne  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:30 am

    it's helpful to see both sides when following a trial on twitter. here's a list that includes 2 accounts tweeting for the defense (ADFmedia and protectmarriage):

  • 9. Julian Morrison  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:52 am

    @NCLRights is fast and detailed, does not always remember to put #prop8 so follow them directly

  • 10. s.a.g.  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:40 am most others i'm following seem to be re-tweeting them as well..

  • 11. Madjoy  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:31 am

    hehe, hi "fishyfred!"!
    glad to see you're following, too. I'm going to use your twitter list.

  • 12. Patrick Regan  |  January 12, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Thank you for this.

  • 13. Kevin Wong  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I truly hope this witness will work well. His resume is most impressive

  • 14. Tom  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Thank you for providing this intelligent coverage of the trial. Perry represents, for those of us who came into adulthood in the 1960's, the culmination of a lifetime of work for equal treatment under the law. To be able to follow the trial as it moves forward is priceless.

    BTW, I'm a retired lawyer. I've read the pleadings and responses, to the extent that they are on line, looked closely at the legal strategy and presentation of the federal issues, and I believe that this case has a reasonable chance of success.

  • 15. DonG  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I am a retired law professor and have read the pleadings and responses, and I, too, agree that this case has a reasonable chance of success.

  • 16. Patrick Regan  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Reading both of your comments gave me hope.

  • 17. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I am wondering about the "churches could be forced to perform gay marriages against their will if gay marriage was legal" argument from the yes to prop 8 guys. how is it in the US? aren't marriages usually performed before the notary to be legal? and church is just an option for those who want it but marriage before a church is not legally binding? it's like that everywhere I know of… and no one could force religios institutes to perform marriage on anyone if they don't want to…

  • 18. LostBoyJim  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:23 am


    Most marriage in the US are performed at Churches. Priests are usually also registered to perform legal marriages, so a marriage at a Church is recognized as both a civil and religious ceremony.

    The "churches will be forced" argument is an obvious strawman argument. Churches today can refuse marriage to anyone they want (the Catholic Church has rather firm rules regarding marriage).

  • 19. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Wow, thanks a lot guys for explaining!!
    so if I got it right, you can as a couple marry in church without going to a notary and the church then does also the legal stuff.
    ok. thats different then as here in Germany 😀 here you would always have to do both cause only the marriage bevore the notary would be legally. you could be married in a church alone and it wouldn't be valid at all before the law.

  • 20. michael  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Why any gay person would want to be married in an institution that believes them to be "abominations" and will go straight to hell upon death, is beyond me. But then I don't get masochism either.

    While there are exceptions, the majority of such institutions find us repulsive and seem to be the true basis of their dislike, rather than what the bible tells them, since many don't follow everything the bible teaches.

  • 21. Roberta K  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:24 am

    The "churches can be forced" argument is a crock. Churches can and will set their own requirements for marriage; some Jewish sects will not perform marriages between Jews and Gentiles, and good luck if you're a non-Mormon and want to get married in a Mormon temple. Even some Protestant churches will require that one member of the couple be a member in good standing, and will also require extensive pre-marital counseling.

  • 22. Mike  |  January 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Up until the 1970's, Mormons did not allow blacks into the temple because they had the curse of Cain or some silly thing. Without the temple, you can't have a marriage that is recognized by God and you can't get to the top heaven. You can only go to the lower heavens that are there to serve the top heaven. In other words, blacks could only go to heaven as a type of glorified slave …forever. Strange concept if your not Mormon, but this is basically what they believed.

    The Mormon church was forced to allow blacks into the Temple with the same equal rights as white people, including getting married in the Temple. They were threatened with loosing their tax exempt status. Coincidentally, the Mormon president got a call from God (had a vision) telling him he removed the curse and blacks were now allowed in the Temple.

    In reality the government did force the Mormons to marry people in the Temple that their faith said was not allowed.

    I don't care what churches do in their own private places, they can sacrifice each other as far as I'm concerned as long as it's voluntary, but is there a comparison to discrimination of blacks and gays in the church? Could the same threat be made because gays aren't allowed into the Temple or to be married there?

  • 23. fiona64  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Hi, Steffi, Part of the problem is that churches are allowed the courtesy of performing legally binding weddings in the US. I know it's surprising to folks in Europe, where separation of church and state is very strict

    Of course no church would be forced to marry a given couple any more than they are now. It was a bogeyman raised by the Religious Right and nothing more.

  • 24. RW in LGB  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Steffi, the pro-H8 forces use that false argument to bludgeon the pro-equality people into silence. And it's a complete LIE. Churches can refuse to marry anyone. After all, as a Catholic could I storm a synagogue and force the rabbi to marry me to a Catholic girl?

    Unfortunately, in the US our state authorities have allowed religious officiants to assume temporary notary powers when conducting religious weddings; this permits the officiants to process the marriage license as a proxy of the State. This has created a situation where most of the public is confused about which party governs the institution of marriage. They have lost sight of the fact that marriage is, legally, governed by the STATE and not by any RELIGION.

    And this is easy to prove. Where do you have to go to DISSOLVE a marriage? The COURT.

    Notice also that if religions governed marriage, why is it that atheists can freely and legally marry? Many conservative religions will still refuse to marry interracial couples; yet interracial marriage happens all the time. Catholic Churches will not marry couples if one partner is non-Catholic and won't convert; but they can go get a wedding at the Justice of the Peace, can't they? Or go to a Unitarian Universalist church.

  • 25. BradK  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:48 am

    :…Where do you have to go to DISSOLVE a marriage? The COURT."

    Sure, after you've successfully petitioned (with cash) the Vatican for an annulment. [:`)

    What is also interesting is how the bigots insist that, since their particular chosen religion does not perform same-sex weddings, no other religious establishment should be allowed to either BY LAW — even if they do embrace same-sex marriages. The hypocrisy is just stunning.

  • 26. Roberta K  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I know several ministers who would love to get out of the state's business in this regard — totally separate civil marriage from church marriage.

  • 27. jack  |  January 17, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Not only do you have to go to a COURT to dissolve a marriage, but the last line of every ceremony I have ever seen even a priest perform has been "By the power vested to me by the STATE…." Not the Christians or the Church or Jesus Christ Himself…the STATE. Therefore, it would seem to me that every church and priest who has ever performed a wedding ceremony at all has basically admitted repeatedly that their power to authorize a marriage is based in civil authority- not religious authority.

  • 28. sarah  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:28 am

    You got it right as far as religious institutions and state institution in marriage are concerned. They are two separate entities. Only the state marriage is LEGALLY binding. The whole religious institutions will be forced to perform marriages is a fallacious argument, one that was used in the campaign as an irrational emotional appeal to voters. I would love for the proponents to try that logic in this court room! Judge Walker won't have it!

  • 29. Buddha Buck  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

    In the US, the standard procedure is for a couple wishing to get married to get a "marriage licence", usually issued by a local governmental official authorized to issue marriage licenses.

    The marriage license is legal permission by the State to get married and is usually required to be issued upon request to any couple meeting the State's qualifications to get married (i.e., of age, not already married, etc).

    Once a couple has a marriage license in hand, they are legally allowed to participate in a marriage ceremony officiated by a legally recognized officiant, which usually includes any clergy as well as certain government officials or persons specifically licensed by the State to perform marriages. After the ceremony, the couple, officiant, and witnesses sign the license, attesting that the ceremony was held. In many ways, the actual legal marriage happens at the signing.

    The signed license is returned to the issuing official, who then issues a Marriage Certificate, which certifies that the couple are legally married.

    Each State regulates marriage, and establishes the fine details of the procedure — who can issue licenses, what qualifications the couple must meet, how long the couple have to get married after getting the license, who can officiate, etc. Some States (and/or cities) require officiants to register, others accept any ordained clergy (with varying requirements on what constitutes "ordained clergy") without registration, etc.

  • 30. Alan E.  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:38 am

    You must go to the local courthouse to get married. Everyone has to (certain states are an exception).

  • 31. Morgan  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Technically, you go to the state building (here, the Recorder's Office is in a different location than the actual courthouse, but we're a HUGE county) to get the *license.* You can get married there if you're using a JotP, or in a church, or in the local park — wherever the legal officiant will agree to — to actually get married. Ours would have been in a park but was rained out and happened in our living room :-).

  • 32. Kris  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Not exactly. Marriage in the US is ultimately civil, and you do need to file the proper paperwork with the state for the union to be legally valid. However, the marriage and paperwork can typically be solemnized or notarized by religious clergy as an alternative to a judge or civil servant. You always need the paperwork, but the religious ceremony alone can take care of the rest.

    However, that's largely irrelevant when it comes to the concern about churches potentially being forced to perform same-sex marriages. This debate is about access to civil marriage only, i.e. the right to get a marriage certificate from the government. Religious institutions are in no way required to bless unions they are opposed to, and that'll be the same for same-sex unions. (Incidentally, there are religions that do allow same-sex marriage, so the current laws are interfering with those religions.) For instance, the Catholic church is not required to perform a marriage between people of other faiths, even though those people are allowed to marry under the law.

  • 33. cec  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:22 am

    an excellent tweeter from the trial is @FedcourtJunkie : .

  • 34. TIm  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Steffi… no church will be forced to do any gay marriages.

    That was just pure BS the prop 8 folks came up with.

    Like always, churches are free to performs rights and rituals as they see fit.

    The only people "forced" to perform marriages, would be employees of the state. It's purely the State of CA (who issues all marriage licenses, regardless of church ceremony) who is in the business of establishing what "marriage" is.

  • 35. Jane  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I think his line of questioning is going to close the door on "why now?" Why haven't gays been asking to be married all along.

    If it wasn't safe to be "out" then we surely wouldn't be asking for a marriage license.

  • 36. gero  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

    This testimony from Dr. Chauncey is very sad. I know these things happened, but somehow that we must have this kind of testimony in court to convince others of discrimination is tragic.

  • 37. missdk  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Steffi – because of separation of church and state, the govt can not legislate religious decisions. Churches are able to deny marriage to anyone they wish – whether it is because they are gay, or are not a member of their church, or they don't meet the priest's standards. But because marriage in America is purely civil, Church marriages are not legal and binding.

    Sometimes you will hear of examples where churches were forced to follow anti-discrimination laws. These happened when religious institutions accepted public money for services rendered or get tax benefits for public services. Under these circumstances they are expected to uphold state and federal laws in those areas (not as a whole).

    Basically, prop 8's claims are just fear mongering.

  • 38. jstueart  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Rick, you had a question about the total it cost to retrain soldiers under DADT. The tweeter cec mentioned said that it cost 95 million dollars–but you might want to check.

  • 39. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

    if anyone is interested: here a very brief summary how "the other side" saw this morning's session

  • 40. jstueart  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Yikes, went to that link, Steffi. It's amazing how their "summary" includes NO QUOTES. I especially like the author saying that reality came "crashing down like a ton of bricks" when cross-examined by their brilliant attorney, and that she undermined her plaintiffs.

    Notice too that they aren't allowing any comments. TOTAL CONTROL OF THEIR MESSAGE. Geesh.

  • 41. jstueart  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I also love the intentional similarity between ProtectMarriage's icon and the one on Prop8Trialtracker… down to the color scheme on the website. I'd say they copied, but I figured we might have too…. still it's funny.

  • 42. Urbain  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I agree, JStuart. The "reality came crashing down like a ton of bricks" and other language made it sound like Professor Cott fell completely apart and could not hold her own.

  • 43. Eric Thut  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Thank you – i think – for sharing this. So hard for me to read "the other side" and not just get pissed – but interesting in that it should give the good guy insight into their strategy a bit.

    Thought this was an interesting tidbit <blockquote cite=""> We continue to believe that we cannot get a fair and impartial trial if our witnesses are subjected to worldwide exposure of their personal beliefs and morals.

  • 44. Morgan  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Too bad they can't see that if "exposure of their beliefs" is a bad thing, maybe it says something about those beliefs?

  • 45. Eric  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Boys Beware!

  • 46. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

    thanks a lot for sharing

  • 47. Urbain  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:58 am

    How can the religious right claim that being gay is "a choice" after reviewing this? Do they honestly feel that people volunteer for this type of discrimination?

    The defendants' response will be very interesting. I am wondering if they are going to decide not to cross-examine, saying past discrimination is irrelevant to the marriage issue…

  • 48. Mego  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I really hope this case comes out great, as in gay people can get married. I want to marry my girlfriend.
    *crosses fingers*

  • 49. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:22 am

    crosses mine too for you 🙂

  • 50. Roberta K  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:28 am

    The only drawback of marriage equality is that I'll have to increase my budget for wedding gifts. 😉

  • 51. jack  |  January 17, 2010 at 7:03 am

    One might draw on that in court by stating that it would improve the economy, lol. Actually, I've read that allowing gay marriage would greatly improve the economy because of the money we'd be putting back into the system by spending on the weddings, the fees to get the marriage license, and the taxes married couples have to pay over single couples. And really, come on; who in their right mind, after thinking about it for a minute, would say that that doesn't make sense?

  • 52. Bill  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I do not know how we can ever thank you enough for doing this. I have been reading every word. Thanks a million!

  • 53. Theresa  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing, Steffi. Does anyone else find it funny that comments are CLOSED on their site?

  • 54. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:09 am

    yeah and on their youtube vids as well 🙂 so I just went to the channel and left a comment on the channel 😀

  • 55. Urbain  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Reads from an article in Coronet, a popular 1950s magazine that talks about how homosexuals do not stop at that, but often descend into even more depravity such as drug addiction, rape and even murder. When man throws off all restraints, he will become uncontrolled and will infect other people (“their often innocent partners, i.e., children) with their disease.

    I was taught this almost verbatim in church in the 1970s. It was a Christian fundie church … They added suicide to the list, too.

  • 56. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I am looking forward to the cross examination. wonder whether there'll be one.

    Urbain… I don't remember where, but I read someone actually saying that gays were asking for this kind of discrimination, that they even wanted it. (to get attention or sth. alike) otherwise they wouldn't come out…..

  • 57. Urbain  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

    That they wanted the attention? Wow. Thanks Steffi. I had never heard that.

  • 58. DonG  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:09 am

    The plaintiffs are going to argue that gays are a "suspect class" under the Constitution which means the defendants have to prove there is a compelling state interest in having Prop 8 and that Prop 8 is the least restrictive means to accomplish this compelling state interest. In order to prove gays are a suspect class, the plaintiffs have to show:
    1. a "discrete" or "insular" minority who
    2. possess an immutable trait (except in the case of religion),
    3. share a history of discrimination, and
    4. are powerless to protect themselves via the political process.

    This witness is being used to prove the 3rd prong of the suspect class requirements.

  • 59. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I think the current problems that we are having with the dnc and the gaytm being closed, make a compelling case for number 4. The history of promises and pandering for our money, but legislation that continues to keep us as secondary citizens. 1 and 3 have been proven in testimony today. Now how do we PROVE number 3, or was that proven in the statement that in the 50's hospitals said we couldn't be "cured"? Thus admitting it was immutable? I love this whole trial, as hard as it is, for the history our people will now have on the Public Record.

  • 60. Meghan Stabler  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

    This is an incredible history of persecution and prosecution of our community

  • 61. Rowdy  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Is someone writing the screenplay… I want Della Street to scream: "I'm a lesbian!"

    …sorry… needed some humor.

  • 62. Marlene Bomer  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Um, Rowdy…. did you know that Raymond Burr was gay?

  • 63. jstueart  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

    "One homosexual can ruin an office."

    Hmm. I'm still hearing this in my church. Some people are still receiving subscriptions to those magazines of the 50s….

  • 64. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I find it kinda hard to keep up all the reading so I can't even imagine the slightest how tiryng and exhausting it must be to alctually WRITE all this stuff!!! is there any way for me to express my thanks?

  • 65. Roberta K  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I'd suggest a donation to the Courage Campaign; I'll be chipping in once things settle down a bit financially here.

  • 66. Lizzy  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

    to the author, since you seem to be new to a lot of the history, i highly recommended these two books:

    The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America by Ruth Rosen

    Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights by Eric Marcus

    I'm 19 and these blew my mind a couple year back. They don't teach much depth on these subjects in school.

  • 67. Robyn Leveton  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Thank you so much for posting updates of the trial progress.

  • 68. Robert a.  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Sad as this testimony is, I wish every young gay person could hear/read it. It's an important chronical of our history.

  • 69. Roberta K  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Wouldn't be surprised if someone collects all this info into a book…

  • 70. Gary Lea  |  January 12, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I was a Hairdresser is the late 70s and we used to get "Anitas " views sent to us. It was Evil stuff about how we Had to Recruit Children because we couldn't procreate.
    She was such a Nutcase.

  • 71. davyd Whaley  |  January 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Followed your blog – making sure you UNDERSTAND the pain and Discrimination you are causing to ALL citizens of California, not just the four persons in the courtroom. This is hate, bigotry and creates violence. You should stop before you hurt somebody.

  • 72. Neal Twyford  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Coronet Magazine, 1956:

    When I was 13, my family was visiting relatives in Dayton, Tennessee. The room I slept in had many back issues of Coronet. I knew I was attracted to boys and had even looked up "homosexual" in the family dictionary, circa 1930s. I remember it was defined as a sickness. I had compared my privates with a few neighbor boys. I really enjoyed that. Just looking.

    One day, a 7th grade classmate, wanted me to go in the boys room and compare.I became afraid and refused.

    A year later, going through the Coronets, I found an issue that had a cover article on what a homosexual is. I slowly read the article and for the first time realized I was homosexual. I don't remember what the article said. I knew I was turned on by what was described. It would be 17 (I was 30) before I had sex with a man.

    I have often wondered what exactly the article said and if the one cited here is the issue.

  • 73. Neal Twyford  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Should be 17 years

  • 74. Neal Twyford  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Clarification: I do not mean that was turned on by rape, child molestation, etc. In fact I don't remember it being as horrific as that. My memory is that for the first time I "knew" who I was.

    Now, it seems astounding that anything in print in the 1950s could be seen as "positive," but I have considered it my first validation. Decades later, I realized that it must have been negative, but I don't remember it hurting me the way the dictionary definition did.

  • 75. Liveblogging Day 2: Part &hellip  |  January 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    […] Liveblogging Day 2: Part IV Afternoon Session […]

  • 76. Steffi  |  January 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    from Twitter: … from Anita Bryant who also said.” Homosexuals cannot reproduce so they must recruit to refresh their ranks”

  • 77. Rebecca  |  January 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Which is of course utter pish. I'm an SF native and have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary- queer folks have no trouble finding ways to reproduce.

  • 78. Ken Spreitzer  |  January 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Correction: Carter could not have prohibited federal discrimination in 1975, as we wasn't elected until Nov 1976, and sworn in Jan 1977.

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