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Wrapping Up Day 2

Trial analysis

By Rick Jacobs

Well, that’s it for day two. The pattern looks pretty clear. Our side is saying that gays and lesbians have been harmed for a really long time, that there has been institutional discrimination, that they are a suspect class (meaning they should be covered by the equal protection clause). Our side is also showing that marriage will be strengthened by permitting loving same-sex couples access it, that society will be more stable with same-sex marriage and that there is no harm done at all by opening marriage to same-sex couples.

The Prop. 8 side wants to show that marriage has always (in the US) been a Christian institution between a man and a woman, that heterosexual marriage is really good for kids and that in fact homosexual marriage will “hurt” kids and will degrade the institution. Ultimately, they are trying to show that it will lead to less stability as people abandon the institution of marriage.

They are having a hard time with that because so far the evidence shows that by seeking access to marriage, groups previously excluded, such as slaves, interracial couples, certain classes of “foreigners” and in some cases women, have actually strengthened the institution by obtaining access.

There’s another theme here which is about tradition. Remember the Fiddler on the Roof song? The Prop. 8 side appeals to their concept of tradition. The only problem is that their idea of tradition either never existed or only existed when women and people of color had fewer rights than white men.

There’s so much more, but you all can probably see more patterns than can I because I have been so close to it. What do you see? What do you think? Share it, will you? One big purpose of this trial is to have a national conversation based on a huge body of evidence. Homosexuality and America are on trial here. The Prop. 8 folks do not want you to see what’s going on and they don’t want a conversation outside of the carefully controlled media buys they that are all based on fear. So start talking, start writing.

Courage Campaign Institute started our Courageous Conversations (check it out here). Sooner than later, we need to stories of the plaintiffs out there. That will start to change hearts even as this trial changes minds.

The hard part is living through this. That Anita Bryant segment, the ads, the analysis of the ads by Prof. Chauncey, it is all upsetting. Last night, Cleve Jones and Lance Black showed me Harvey Milk’s Castro Street. Cleve’s mind is a bit scary: he remembers every name and face and place that he has ever been. He’s a walking history book who can translate and apply that history today’s politics even while he designs the strategy for the future. We all know that Lance is a wildly talented writer, but he’s way smart. He lived MILK for ten years before the movie became MILK.

I had never spent any time in the Castro. The truth is that I was afraid to as I was maturing because in my twenties, when I was not out and hated being gay, I was afraid to come to San Francisco because I did not want people to think I was gay. So there I was yesterday listening to how those two couples had gotten mauled by prejudice and how all they want to do is marry and then that night I was walking through gay history with two of the people I most respect. Cleve knew lots and lots of people still even last night. Some folks came up to Lance to give him a book or ask for a picture. We stopped in Twin Peaks, a bar that had been there since, as Cleve remembered, 1972. Lance and I were talking and at one point we realized that Cleve had been gone for a long time (usually I’m gone and they never notice, but enough of that). The bartender laughed at us as we swiveled our necks looking for him. There was Cleve, twenty feet away at the end of the bar talking to two African American gentlemen of a certain age. They’d been at it for about twenty minutes, recalling who had been alive, who was still alive, who was where and what had moved, what had changed, what had not.

Cleve and people like him made it possible for me to be here today. They lived in that sort of secret society that Professor Chauncey talked about and then they came out and they fought the police and they fought Anita Bryant and then they fought AIDS and then many died and then they watched as guys like me sauntered up without the external scars that they bear, but still wounded inside, still unsure if we’re “okay” after having been told for a lifetime that, as the plaintiffs and Dr. Cott and Dr. Chauncey said, we are “less than.”

This time, in this trial of homosexuality and of America, we have the best conservative legal advocate in the nation on our side along with arguably the best advocacy team in Olson, Boutros, Boies and Stewart, among others. And they are backed up by decades of hard work from Jenny Pizer and so many other brilliant advocates in the LGBT community. This time, though, it’s not the gays stirring it up; it’s the establishment demanding equality for all of America.

I’m sitting under the gray sky outside the gray Burton Courthouse finishing up this post. I’m still all torn up inside and maybe even around my eyes. I have to process what I’m seeing. What we all know is that we are living history. As I keep saying, I want the history for the next generation to be free of burdens of sexuality and stigma. We have that chance thanks to Chad and Bruce and the Foundation and the donors and thanks to everyone who reads this blog, everyone who tells story, everyone who owns their wholeness as an American.

I may not be here for a while, but we’ll cover this. We have to.

Now please, go out there and talk and listen!

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  • 1. Renee  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Thank you all for creating and maintaining this site. I wish I could be living this history in the courtroom (or watching the proceedings online–we'll see how that pans out tomorrow), but for now I just wanted to say thank you. I also want to ask a question, one that is not relevant to my own queer life but that is to friends and, I know, so many same-sex couples: When do we get to hear the stories of children harmed by Prop 8–i.e., those kids whose parents can't get married, whose families are, they are signalled to believe, inferior or illegitimate compared to those headed by opposite-sex couples, who lack the sense of security and the material security that marriage provides? I'm forgetting the exact statistic right now, but I know that I recently read that around 30% of same-sex households include children. I hate the rightwing's reliance on scare tactics that co-opt children, and I don't want our pro-equality side to come off in any way as co-opting children, but this point needs to be made: There are a lot of children in families headed by same-sex couples, and those children are harmed by their parents not being able to wed. From what I've been able to glean so far, it seems this point has not yet been made. Will it be??

  • 2. Kim  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thank you this great service you are providing. Like so many others I've been appauled by the scare tactics used by the anti-marriage right wing groups. They cut me to the core. It's healing to hear the rational the arguments being made by the lawyers to repeal prop 8. I'm not from California but this is going to effect us all.

  • 3. Marlene Bomer  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Kim — That's because when it comes to the law, the general rule is that logic and rationality are the only thing both parties are allowed to use.

    In jury trials, theatrics and working off the sympathies of the jurors are par for the course, and have been used time and time again to blame the victim of a brutal hate crime for their own assault or murder.

    Sadly this "gay panic" or "trans panic" defense has worked, letting offenders off with a slap on the wrist because the defense attorney was able to sway the jury and let a brutal murderer off with time served!

    Thank goodness this isn't a jury trial, and this judge has his head set firmly on the *law* and not allowing the bigots any leeway in trying to excuse their bigotry and forcing them to explain *why* other than just "because"!

  • 4. BobbiCW  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I really wish the mainstream media would cover this more. (Maybe they will if it gets YouTubed?) There are so many people out there who don't know the history but need to for our cause to advance.

  • 5. Chris  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:15 am

    You and me both. I see the waves of this decision spreading far and rapidly.

  • 6. Marlene Bomer  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Rick, around the end of the month, I will be doing just that!

    For the past 10+ years, I've been a lecturer and panelist in front of so many college classes, I'd be hard-pressed to say how many students I've talked to over the years.

    I also have a weekly radio show which airs over the internet at http://www.falconradio every Monday from 4-5pm EST.

    I talk about issues primarily on the transgender experience, but I'm a dyke as well, so I talk about issues relating to the entire TLBG community.

    You can bet I'll be talking about the trial next week, but I'm bringing up this fact once again, and if any of the lawyers on our side of Prop 8 or their staff are reading this, PLEASE bring up the fact that the bigot's "one man/one woman" argument hold about as much water as a strainer?

    If I'm attracted to men, and I wanted to marry one, in many states it's considered a "same-sex" marriage, because the bigots on the bench and in the legislatures have this delusion that biology is destiny. Meaning that because my sex chromosomes are XY means I can only marry a female.

    If this is the case, then just who can *intersex* people marry? Who can a person with XO chromosomes marry? What about people who are XXY, XXX, XXYY, and the dozens of other permutations?

    There are states which allow transsexuals to change their birth certificates from M to F, which theoretically allow a post-op MtF can marry a man, but would it be legal in my state of Ohio, where I'm banned from changing my birth certificate!

    With all this focus on gays and lesbians being oppressed when it comes to marriage, don't forget about us transfolk too, dammit!

  • 7. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I have been having similar emotions, Marlene. I'm also a trans dyke, and while I do not begrudge the lawyers, I'd love to, just once in awhile, see the "hear" the word "transgender" without the word "and" in front.

    This is our battle, too.

  • 8. Sharon  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

    It's an extraordinary trial. Makes me value the freedom to marry even more. In the state of Washington they added register domestic partners and senior domestic partners to every statute that applies to marriage but this is deeper. If we win then marriage as a right for all is pushed to the highest level where discrimination is still set firm, in the tax code, social security and all the rights assured by the American constitution. I came to SF the year Milk was killed. Thanks for the lovely view of Cleve and folks from a younger man's perspective.

  • 9. Deborah  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Thank you for being there for all of us, straight and gay, bi- and transgendered.

  • 10. David Mudkips  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    This trial is also hitting me emotionally on so many levels it's hard to describe.

    As a kid, I grew up in a small town in Florida — and in my pre-teen years was right in the middle of Anita Bryant's ascendancy; listening to "homosexuals" being vilified on TV and reading it in print. For a kid who has known since the age of 6 or so that his attraction was towards the same sex, this was devastating. I was being openly characterized as a freak and a predator and I'd just begun to form me own identity.

    I never met another (identifiably) gay person in Florida. I moved to California at 14 and finished up high school in another small town, again without meeting a single out, gay person my age (or any age).

    When I turned 21, I moved to the Bay Area to go to flight school. It took every bit of courage I could muster just to take a copy of B.A.R. (local gay newspaper) out a rack where *gasp* people might see me. It took me many months more before I visited my first "gay" venue (terrified, mind you).

    It took me YEARS to shake off the fear of stigmatization that had been poured into my conscience by the media and by groups that wanted to demonize me as a pervert, as a pedophile, and as a threat to society.

    Every single bit of legislation that creates a lesser class (or even an ostensibly "separate-but-equal" class) does immeasurable harm to those that are singled out. I thought we ironed out this problem during the civil rights movement, but apparently the separate-is-not-equal lesson didn't sink into the national conscience well enough.

    The arguments that this is "judicial activism" disgust me. If we'd let the tyranny of the majority override our constitution, we'd still have slavery… women who can't vote… and prohibitions on interracial marriage. All of these expansions of rights, if put to a popular vote at the time they were granted, would have failed.

    I love asking people who argue the popular vote line:

    "If 99.9% of Americans voted to make African-Americans slaves again, would you support it?"

  • 11. Christopher  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Thank you Rick for doing all of this, I wish I could be there as well. There is group within LGBT folk where not being able to marry (and have the Federal Gov recognize it) literally turns our lives upside down….those of us in bi-national relationships. Not being able to marry here in the US or have our marriages from other countries like Canada recognized here, prevents us from being able to sponser our spouses for residency. We end up having to chose between the person we love and our country. I have chosen to leave and will be emigrating to Canada to be with my husband this summer, as I am no longer willing to wait for the doors to open here in the US to put some sort of normalcy back into our lives. -Just one more argument as to how not being able to marry causes us hardship.

  • 12. Michael  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Thank you… thank you… thank you… a THOUSAND times over! these last two days have kept me on this page hitting refresh repeatedly, on the edge of my seat awaiting the next entry. This recap and the previous segment, of the end of today, are so powerful and emotional, i'm sitting here reading through tears. i cannot even imagine the magnitude of emotions you must be sitting with.
    You have done an EXCELLENT job here!

  • 13. Ryan H.  |  January 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

    This is SUCH an important document! Thank you again…I am spreading the word to read your blog on my Facebook page!

  • 14. GP  |  January 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Thank you for you updating all of us Mr. Jacobs on what is going on in that courtroom in San Francisco these days. I wish I could be there.

    Regardless of how far this trial goes in the judicial system and how it ends up, I think it is fair to call it the trial of a lifetime, the one we all have been waiting for.

    Like you, I have never truly considered the historical context in which the anti-gay rights forces have waged their public and political campaigns against our journey for equality. But I hope that you and I (and others) can eventually learn to take comfort in knowing that those people will eventually find themselves etched onto the wrong side of history.

  • 15. Luke William  |  January 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Thank you so so much. Keep reporting, keep fighting!

  • 16. adamblast  |  January 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

    "The hard part is living through this."

    I can't describe how full of hurt, betrayal and anger I feel, and have felt since Prop 8 passed… when my neighbors and coworkers voted to degrade my citizenship, to make my love and my future legally inferior to theirs.

    With apologies for sounding whiny, the truth is — I've fallen apart. I quit my job 2 days after Prop 8. Too many religious conservatives. I still remember every house in my neighborhood that had a Prop 8 yard sign, and I rarely go out. I'm 50 years old and have always had a hard time with self-acceptance. Increased *social* acceptance has always been a critical help to me; now, this increased social oppression has nearly done me in.

  • 17. roddie  |  January 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    adamblast, I am so sorry. I'm straight and an american but ashamed to be both right now. So much progress has been made and you need to know you have been a part of that social change. I love you just like you are!

  • 18. fiona64  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Adamblast, please know that there are many people out there who support you. My husband and I (straight allies) were the only people in our neighborhood with a No on 8 sign, and I was threatened with physical violence by a "good Christian" teenage boy twice my size when I refused to remove it. I am *so* sorry for what the ignorant public has done to you and everyone else in the LGBT community. I wish I could do more than tell you. 🙁

  • 19. GregII  |  January 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

    thanks again for another great days reporting. I'm slightly lucky in that (due to time difference between Oz and the US) I get to read the whole Blog all at once – in other words, no waiting for the next updates!!
    The statements that are being made in relation to gay history are just invaluable and a real lesson.
    Great work – I'll be checking this out every day till it's done!
    Greg from Oz

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

    As a former civil rights lawyer, I am so heartened by what Olson and Boies are doing. They really are a legal dream team. I, too, very much want to hear two types of testimony that we haven't heard yet. From the kids who are harmed because they are gay or because they have gay parents. From either these plaintiffs or economists about the disparate financial impact of denying marriage equality

  • 21. DuRand  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Rick thanks for the great effort the last two days – it was great to be able to experience this court procedure through the eyes of someone in the room – your effort was well appreciated and your emotional interpretation of the day was an added bonus.

  • 22. Bill G  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you so much! Your blog has consumed me for the last couple days. I am so grateful that you are working so hard to get this out to everyone. I can't imagine what it must be like to see this all in person. Just reading it makes me very emotional. Keep up the good work! I'm sharing this site and talking about what's going on with everyone I know.

  • 23. truthspew  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    My absolute favorite part of gay history is seeing Anita Bryant get a fruit pie in the face. Do that now and your ass will be arrested for assault and battery though.

    But still I'd like to see some politicians with fruit pies in their faces. It'd be worth a misdemeanor charge.

  • 24. SW  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    FIRST! Rick, thank you so very much for everything!

    I've always been a very open person – ever since I can remember. If you didn't like who I was/am…so what.

    Still, (and I know this may be weird for people to read) to this day I have a hard time being friendly with kids for fear someone will think me a child molester as I am a lesbian. Never in my life would I ever harm a child but I feel I let the constant feeding of "homosexuals are child molesters" get to even me and it angers me to no end!

    I still don't understand how we as a community can't get together and start suing these people who have definitely defamed our charachter to our detriment. A group in Michigan (I believe) sued..and won. If opponents are getting their info from the likes of the proven fraud James Cameron, they are going on nothing more than made up bs.

  • 25. Fritz  |  January 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Rick, thanks for the truly excellent work! I'm an archivist for C-SPAN, summarizing all their programming, and putting it out there — I'm humbled.

    TRENDS? For me, it's way to early to say, but the plaintiffs are presenting a compelling arc of cause, history, and public opinion. But so far, It's incomplete and could be countered with different narratives. I'd pause and exercise patience before I identified trends. Hopefully the subsequent members of your team will help identify the trajectory as well as you have.

    SUGGESTION: ask C-SPAN to also pressure the court to make this available to television ([email protected] , [email protected] , courts) . There is a stay on broadcast, but hopefully there can be a further compromise in which either audio or video can be released. Perhaps after the trial – but perhaps on delayed basis — the video will be important historical documentation. Whatever happens in the endeavor, it needs to be preserved, since it is being videotaped/ recorded.

    Forgoing the immediate need to get information out, in the form of video, let the people have an outlet for the visual representation of the proceedings. You've given your visceral impressions in a very limited way, and I'm jealous. I try to summarize these things all the time when they seem significant. But, I limit my
    expressed impressions to facts presented in a given forum.

    While I would really love to have this trial broadcast live, uninterrupted, to the nation, there are avenues to get the historical record out. EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES.

    Probably not within your purview, but worth seeing what suggestions come as to how to get what trickles down from the court in terms of primary historical material – aand today was all about history!


  • 26. Jessica  |  January 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I'm so grateful that someone is keeping everyone up to speed despite the trial not being televised – so thank you for that! So many people appreciate what you're doing. I send you so much love for your dedication!

    Honestly, I've been talking about this nonstop for days now and I feel that I'm all "talked out". I don't think I have much to say that all of you haven't said already.

    I feel completely uplifted that Ted Olson is taking on this case. It speaks volumes that even a heterosexual Conservative has realized the outdated notion of banning same-sex marriage. I read his article in Newsweek yesterday and I have to say how impressed I am with him. If anyone could win this case – it would be him. I'll definitely be checking this blog regularly and again, thank you so much.

    Here are some of the amazing points Ted made in his article:

    "I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness until we stop this invidious discrimination."

    "Simply because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain that way, otherwise we would still have segregated schools and debtors' prisons."

    "It is inconceivable that only 40 years ago there were places in this country where a black woman could not legally marry a white man."

    "California recognizes marriages involving persons on death row, child abusers, and wife beaters, but not loving, stable partners of the same sex."

    And to Marlene Bomer, your comment was my favorite of these. If everyone was just treated equally with no questions asked, there wouldn't be any room for debate or shades of grey – but the idea that everyone will soon be treated with such kindness is probably hoping for too much. I really appreciated everything that you said. 🙂

  • 27. Lori  |  January 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Thank you for your hard work over the last 2 days. Even thought the trial is not streamed, your blogs have been invaluable. The bigots are cowards (with 2 witnesses dropping out) but in today's electronic age they can not hide so easily their ugliness will be brought out into the sunlight.

    It incenses me that they would reach out and mess with peoples lives by pushing prop 8 and then they run and hide, while the plaintiffs have the same risk of harrassment by appearing in public.

    The testimony today on the history of demonization of LGBT poeple was sickening. But know this, I am a straight woman of 50 plus years and I stand with my family, my friends and neighbors who are impacted by Prop 8 and I am sure there are many more like me in America.

  • 28. Alan E.  |  January 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I Really wish I could have watch the historian. I learned so much about the things gay people have had to put up with for me to be where I am right now. There are so many gay youth who don't know how good they have it relative to our predecessors. It's not the best situation, and many still live shitty lives burdoned with vitriol of peers, but I can say it out on the street that I am gay. "Milk" was a great start for getting the message about the troubles faced, and certainly taught lessons to the next generations. We need more. We need to spread the history of gay people beyond Sronewall, beyond the civil rights movement, beyond Anita Bryant. Our future will be nothing if we don't remember our past. I didn't know that the state department fired more people for supposedly being gay than supposedly being communist.
    I followed at work and kept composure, but as soon as I got home, I wept. They were terrible times. The fight almost seems easy compared to facing prison or ostrication.

  • 29. Tony Douglass  |  January 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you Rick for providing this insight into the trial, its ridiculous they denied video coverage!

    The who Prop8 campaign I remember wondering how this could be happening, that they can't possibly pass such nonsense. When it did pass, I wondered how could such discrimination be allowed to be made law? Are there no tests for constitutionality made before a bill is even allowed to be presented?

    Obviously, the answer is no.

    The question that keeps coming back to my mind, one that hasn't been answered yet by anyone, is, how can religion be allowed to be made law? How can the churches of this country be allowed to push their beliefs on the rest of the country?

    That is the issue I would like to see presented in this trial. Religion is being forced down our throats, civil rights are being violated by the churches of this country.

    It sickens me that this is being allowed, but this trial gives me hope that reason can prevail. I look forward to news of the trial.

    Unfortunately, though, I have a felling this won't be decided at this level, this will end up going all the way to the US Supreme Court, neither side giving up at any point short of that, no matter what is decided along the way.

    Thanks again, and fight on!!

  • 30. Allen B.  |  January 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you so much for blogging the trial so far. It's an issue that means a lot to me even though I'm a married, straight man. I have never understood the arguments against, and I'm no closer to understanding them now. It's about time that all of my friends, gay & straight (and in or out of CA), have a chance to have a state-recognized marriage. It's crazy that Rush (as only one example) has had 3 (going on 4) chances and whole classes of people don't get one (yet!).
    I hope that this can help the larger issue of discrimination, too. Let's relegate that to the history books.

  • 31. Lou  |  January 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you, the words seem inadequate but I truly appreciate your bringing the immediacy of this trial to us.

  • 32. Mr Mxyzptlk  |  January 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Marriage is a Christian tradition? That leaves me out, And my Jewish gay cousins are doubly screwed.

    Ted Olson really boils this down: There is no logical argument against gay marriage, only those based on religion and/or fear. Of course no religion should have to marry anyone. But if the state is in the business of marriage, religion cannot be a factor in this country.

  • 33. Rebecca  |  January 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    "The revolution will not be televised."

  • 34. Prop 8 Trial Day 2 «&hellip  |  January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm


  • 35. Ken  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for keeping us abreast of this trial…I am living this day by day, as you are, only wish I too could be there. I appreciate greatly all of your efforts in helping to keep us informed.


  • 36. Garland  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Many thanks, Rick, for your efforts to capture and convey these proceedings.

    <cite>The hard part is living through this.</cite>
    I'm with you, kamarado.

  • 37. Lymis  |  January 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I don't know about trends or patterns, and we won't know until the other side starts making their own case rather than responding to ours, but one thing that doesn't surprise me is that they really seem to be going with the same thing that they do the rest of the time, just more politely.

    And that is claiming that marriage "is" something that it plainly isn't, purely for the purpose of excluding gay people.

    They are constructing a false "ideal" of marriage that doesn't now and never has existed, and then claiming that a) it has always been that way, and b) that it is the only possible allowable way.

    The fact is that people get married, and stay married for an incredible variety of reasons. Some have kids, some do not. Some get married for sex, or security, or for money, or for power. People get married who cannot have kids. People get married who choose not to have kids. The laws around marriage include things that have nothing to do with procreation or children. People get married in city hall, and in secular venues, and in religious ceremonies.

    Yet, the other side wants to pretend that marriage was invented by Christianity, has always been religious, has always been about children. The biggest pretense that they are trying to float is that nothing besides that is currently allowed.

    They are trying to pretend that straight people don't adopt or use surrogates or sperm donors or have blended families from other relationships. That non-church sanctioned marriages don't exist. That older and infertile couples don't marry.

    That children are harmed by being exposed to diversity.

    That same-sex relationships are always and only about sex.

    I wonder if they are going to try to float the idea that we don't even exist – that since there is no "proof" of what "causes" us, then it is valid to claim it is a choice, and that if it is a choice, the majority has a right to ban it.

  • 38. ofstoneandice  |  January 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Aw man, my eyes are starting to water up again just from reading this. Thank you SO much for your efforts in transcribing the trial proceedings. I can't imagine how trying it would have been to practically sit on my hands while wondering what the hell is going on in there. My family and friends could tell you just how much I've been driven to distraction by this case.

    At least one friend has admitted that they've only been skimming the reports in fear of getting crushed after becoming too emotionally tied in. While I completely understand where he's coming from, I can't NOT want to talk about this. The point is that the civil rights of same-sex couples has been brought up as a serious matter worthy of the court. While it frightens me to think about what it'll mean if we lose, perhaps this will lead others to speak out more boldly if nothing else. I can only hope. And encourage.

  • 39. Gus  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:00 am

    When I tell twenty-somethings when I first came out in 1974 there were laws in my Midwestern city that prevented anyone who was not related (at least a 1st cousin) from renting an apartment together, they look at me as if I’m crazy. While this law was ignored around the university campus area and the small gay ghetto, it showed up on my first lease as a 19 year old. Rarely enforced for women, but men were to live alone. Also there was a threat for homeowners, if you had a non-relative living in your home; he could be considered a renter, which often violated zoning.

    Think of it, the government wanted you to be alone.

  • 40. Jennie Campbell  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I have been trying to get any info on this trial via the mainstream media, but they aren't saying much. The blogs you are posting are both informational and touching.
    My heart feels heavy, and I am trying not to cry as I sit at my desk at work.
    Thank you all so much for bringing this information to us and for being so open about how this affects you emotionally…how it affects all of us who want EQUALITY.

  • 41. Gus  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:18 am

    We're all going to be OK, Jennie Campbell. Next May, my partner and I celebrate the 25th ‘illegal and immoral’ anniversary. They’re not gonna get to us!

  • 42. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:46 am

    The "it's all about the children" argument is a bunch of hooey. Before I had sex-reassignment surgery 16 years ago, I was able to marry a woman and raise a child, but we got divorced. Now I cannot marry another woman.

    It's all about appearances.

  • 43. elizabethloved  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:51 am

    As someone who is really young, part of this history is new to me. I was out to my family at 14, with mixed responses. A lot of my close friends have always known. I know if I were out at my job, I'd be fired flat out. It was still an expellable offense at my university to be gay or to "promote homosexual causes". My choice at university was to be closeted in order to achieve the best education I could. And I was terrified if the wrong people found out.
    And I've put up with bible belt comments a lot. As someone religious, it was hard staying true to that and also recognizing that I was worth dignity.
    But I never had to worry about getting arrested going into a gaybar, picking up a gay newspaper.
    I'd heard the name Anita Bryant, and I'd watched the adverts before, but some of it still is shocking to hear. And makes me even more aware of how important this trial is.
    Thank you for covering it.

  • 44. Joe C  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:02 am

    538 put up a great statistical chart underscoring that, if anything, states that have legalized same-sex marraige show a trend toward a drop in divorce rates, and those that have outright banned it show an uptick in divorce rates.

    Details here:

    Upshot, what the chart shows is there is no correlation in the real world that same-sex marriage harms the institution.

  • 45. LM  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Beautiful writing, thank you.

  • 46. Patricia Nickels  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Thank you Rick for following this landmark trial. I wish that I could be there to lend support. My heart is there and I can only hope for the best.

  • 47. RW in LGB  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Rick, you're doing an awesome job covering this trial. Those of us who successfully married during the brief window of opportunity want marriage equality restored in CA, and expanded to the whole world. It's only fair and proper and right.

    Oh, and if you go back to Twin Peaks, say "Hi" to Spyros the bartender on behalf of Kevin and Russ in Long Beach!

  • 48. Lenny Young  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Rick, Wow. You are doing an amazing job! Keep up the great work.

  • 49. Nakhone  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Awww. That's very sweet Rick. You're such a prolific and heartfelt writer. I can't thank you enough for what you're doing on our behalf. It's been really nice getting to know you on a more personal basis. Thank you for being so down to earth and accessible. This post made me all teary-eyed. It must be really difficult and powerful to be where you are to see, hear and observe all the emotions, sights and sounds as Homosexuality and America is on trial. Indeed, what a great time to be alive. Much love!

  • 50. Rowdy  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:56 am

    It's simply fascinating to read all the stories on this blog; young and old feeling the same sense of disgust at the oppression and discouragement, but still hanging on to hope.

    I'm 54 and remember well the events being retold about discrimination, "that woman in Florida", all the way to the recent hypocrisy of the Ted Haggard's and Larry Craig's of the world. What a life this has been! Many lows, but then also many highs.

    We will win this. I feel it in my bones. This time it's different. It's not a bunch of radicals "stirring up sh*t", it's legal and constitutional professionals and experts in the field of family and marriage simply stating facts and reasonable statistics that cannot be rebutted.

    My husband Bob and I were one of the 18,000 couples who were legally married in California and were blessed to have over 70 of our closest friends and family members present to witness our WEDDING. It is legal in the state but we can't wait until it is fully recognized in all 50 states! It will happen.

    To those of you who are feeling the pain. I'm sorry you're hurting, but think about the pain those who fought at Stonewall felt… they did that for you, so you wouldn't have to endure that kind of oppression. Think about the folks who marched on Washington; they did that for you; so you wouldn't have to feel the sting of rejection. Think about the endless marches and campaigns and protests to get people's attention that we are normal people who just want to left alone to have the same experiences that everyone else has. They are finally listening.

    Now we have to speak with a united voice; a clear, reasonable, logical, resounding voice. We must stand together as we witness history in the making. This is exciting shit!!!

    Let it wash over you as you read Rick's amazing coverage (Thank you, Rick!) of this monumental event unfolding before our very eyes. Be angry at the ignorance and hurt of the past, but be happy in the revelation that this is our time.


  • 51. GT  |  January 13, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I agree here with statements about this not being televised and the need for education.

    The biggest enemy here isn't the anti-gay side, it is the misinformation and lack of education that the anti-gay side use as an advantage.

    We need to educate the masses, anyway, anyhow. Without that, we'll always be "voted out", even by many courts.

  • 52. Prop 8 Trial Coverage&hellip  |  January 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

    […] Campaign Trial Tracker – Day 1 Live Blog – Day 2 Live Blog – American Foundation for Equal Rights Rachel Maddow Show […]

  • 53. Nettl  |  January 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I’m posting the link to this blog on my blog so that others can follow it. Thank you for doing this! It means so much to all of us who can’t be there. It is so important that America knows the truth!

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