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Liveblogging Day 4: Part VI finishing up


By Rick Jacobs

Sorry had some Internet issues, but I’m back online.

We’re back. 3:15.

Boies: We believe we will finish our case on Wednesday, whether we call Ms. Dia today or not.

Judge: Let’s keep moving.

Al Wilson is up for the Defendant interveners to cross-examine Dr. Meyer.

AW puts up expert report by Prof. Herrick says this 1950s is considered a classic study in the analysis of homosexuality in mental health. The study is by Dr. Hooker. The men were recruited from non-clinical settings. Half homosexual and half hetero.

AW: Is not your conclusion at odds with those of Dr. Hooker?

M: Not at all.

AW: Moving PX 1003 into evidence. Look at page 683 of the article (pagination of journal in which it was published). You write, “Despite a long history of interest in studies about gay men…” studies tried to show that homosexual men were not more often mentally ill than heterosexual men. You wrote that and you agree with that?

M: Yes. I wrote the entire article. [MUCH LAUGHTER]

AW seems to be trying to impeach M’s conclusions. He’s saying that the past view that said that homosexuals do not have disorders in a higher percentage. He tries to get M to answer yes or no. M says I can’t answer that the way you want me to because there are different generations of research here.

AW: Your opinion that now there is a higher prevalence of mental disorders in homosexuals differs from the previously understood studies.

M: Yes. I consider myself a gay affirmative scientist and I certainly advocate for improved atmosphere for gays and lesbians.

AW: You are a gay affirmative advocate?

M: Yes.

AW: You gave twice to Prop. 8?

M: I don’t remember how many times I gave, but I gave because I believed in the cause.

AW: Here’s the SF Chron showing your donations.

M: Okay. I guess that’s right.

[So AW is happy to show how much M gave and when, but his side wants to hide what anyone on their side did. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.]

AW tries to clarify social stress or minority stress model. The minority stress model predicts that individuals who are members of that group will have worse mental health outcomes than those who are not.

M: As a theoretical matter we look at commonality and divergence across difference populations to test our theories. There are commonalities and differences.

[UPDATE] 3:54 AW: Reads from interview that M gave about three groups of blacks, women and gays, that each would experience greater stress. You believe that due in part to social status, LGB population has twice as a high an instance of mental health disease. Higher suicide rates. Less well.

M: Agrees with all.

AW: If one LGB individual in a relationship were suffering from minority stress, it would affect other partner.

M: Not unique to LGB people. If the other person’s loved one is experiencing something bad, it would negatively impact the other. Internalized homophobia might have this affect; more minor ones might not.

Judge: Maybe you can point your questions and the witness can point his answers and maybe you’ll meet in the middle. (Laughter).

AW: Some of the mental health issues can come from other causes.

M: Yes.

AW: At least as a theoretical model, women experience more stress than men?

M: Correct that we’d look for that outcome, yes.

AW: In your interview you found that there is not a difference between men and women in your studies or others?

M: Yes.

AW: Model would show that AA and Latinos would have higher stress than non-Hispanic whites, but don’t have more disorders?

M: Yes.

[AW is trying to show that there is not enough evidence to show that LGBs have more mental disorders and that instead as an advocate, he’s bending science.]

[UPDATE] 4:00 AW is pushing on this word “parsimonious” which he says means simple and that it’s preferred in social science.

M: Says that we are interested in questions of parsimony in way that you have said it. We are interested in seeing if conclusions expand across broad populations, which is notion of parsimony (or universality?).

AW: Puts as evidence an M Journal article. Social stress theories lead us to expect that damaged groups (black and Latino) are more likely to have mental disorders than to white LGB men.

M: Agree.

AW: In study, found that they do not have higher prevalence of disorder.

M: Yes.

AW: Finding was contrary to hypothesis.

M: Yes.

AW: Found that AA and Latino lesbians and gays had far fewer disorders than white LGBs.

M: Yes.

[Lots of back and forth.]

M: We always think that more research is indicated. That’s what we do.

AW: Yes, that’s how you stay in business! Some lawyers think there’s always need for more litigation.

[UPDATE] 4:09 AW: I’m testing the minority stress theory generally.

M: Okay.

[AW and Prop. 8 have to take this guy on because he’s so good and his work is so spot on. I am biased, lest you imagine otherwise. I identify personally with so many of the specific findings that M has delivered up that he seems a soul-reader. But that won’t do any good here. Prop. 8 wants to show that they are the victims and that LGBs are just fine, thank you and should sit down and shut up and just do whatever they tell us. And we’re going to eat their children, so we are lucky to have the “generous” benefits that California bestows (generous is Mr. Cooper’s description of how we are treated in society. I for one do not want to live my life based on the generosity of others. How about a little equality?

I’ve been quiet because AW is reading a lot of stuff from M’s studies and trying to show that his hypotheses are usually wrong when tested.

The judge is standing up with his arms crossed. This much sitting is hard, even for my fat ass.]

[UPDATE] 4:34 M: Lots of methodological problems with early studies. Huge leap forward in epidemiology and means of study in new generation of studies.

[He makes the point that older ways of finding the causes of cancer have been superseded by learning that viruses or infection may be the cause. So too with our new ways of doing these studies has superseded earlier studies. “The old studies contradict the new” rather than what AW wants to say which is that the new studies contradict the old.]

M: Responds to AW’s point that it’s hard to draw conclusions about suicide incidence because in this study, they are only dealing with completed suicides because you are studying people who are dead. There’s a paucity of data.

AW: So you do agree that you cannot demonstrate that in these studies there is a proof of the minority stress theory?

M: Yes, but these are tiny studies. There’s not enough data because the people are dead. You can’t draw good conclusions from them because there is not enough data. I created a selection criteria for which studies to include, specifically community studies that were very large that were community studies.

[Judge is sitting. This is tedious but AW is trying very, very hard to show that M’s studies are not conclusive.]

M: All studies suffer from methodological deficiencies but these (public health studies) are the best we have. General population studies included whomever happened to be gay in the random sample. There have been studies of this nature that use a selective measure they find most relevant to their purpose. I’d be surprised if they all use the same methodology. They do not use the more complex means of study. I used meta analysis because you can aggregate to overcome small sample size.

[I need to go for a swim or a good stretch, at least. I’m cramping up here!]

It’s 4:30 and the judge just said to AW to keep going if that’s what he wants to do. Not ready to stop yet.

[UPDATE] 4:49 [Just for the record, Dr. Meyer is unflappable and a rock star.]

“Here lies the first problem for researchers of LGB population. The population’s definition is elusive.” Quote from M article.

AW: Is this a problem for comparing health outcomes for LGB vs. non-LGB populations?

M: This is always a problem. It’s not specific to LGB populations. It’s just part of what we do when we design a study.

AW: Does it raise a potential problem?

M: I can come up with scenarios, but I cannot answer that question in generic form. All studies start with problem of definition.

[This guy is rock star. He really knows his stuff. ]

M: You’re trying to suggest it’s some big problem. It’s not. The population is elusive in every study. This is the first step of trying to study. If I wanted to study men, I’d have to define the cohort, age, location, etc. What is a Latino? Do you include Mexicans or Puerto Ricans? The first step is to define the general population and then the sampling population.

AW: Is there a correct definition of the LGB population?

M: Is there one correct definition? It depends on the means of the study. It is only correct in that you get to the population you want to study. You have to correctly sample the population of intention. Analogizes to Latino. With LGB, you may only want to sample behavior if that’s what you study.

AW: There is no one correct definition of LGB?

M: For a study.

AW: Definitions of sexual minorities vary.

M: All definitions vary. That’s why there are definitions.

AW: three ways to define sexual identity. Identity labels vary across ethnicity, culture, etc.

M: Yes.

AW: At any point people who answer truthfully that they are not LGB will answer truthfully later that they are LGB.

M: Yes, because of the coming out process.

AW: Some people who have same sex sex may not identify as sexual minority.

M: Yes.

AW: possible that a person who engages in same-sex relations may not identify as LGB.

M: Yes.

AW: Some people would not give honest answers?

M: Yes. I referred to it before as concealment.

AW: Could you ask someone if they were African American ever or were last year?

M: Yes. That does vary. There are people who move into the US as Caribbean, their parents do not describe themselves as black, but after their kids socialize do say they are African American. Identities change and are responsive to the social context, but how people refer to themselves might change.

AW: For LGB population, could vary?

M: That is true for any population.

AW: Size of LGB population might vary greatly depending on definition of LGB.

M: Yes.

[UPDATE] 5:10 M: Study wasn’t done in the way you are saying, which would be as a comparison of California vs. Massachusetts with regard to LGB individuals.

AW: Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001; are LGB people more susceptible to mental illness than in California?

M: I have no way to know.

AW: You believe that domestic partnerships reduces the value of same-sex intimate relationships?

M: Yes.

Judge: How are you doing on time? (5:00PM)

AW: fifteen minutes. Trying to separate wheat from the chaff.

AW: Reads domestic partnership benefits list.

M: Good that they offer benefits, but that’s not my point nor has it been. My point is that social benefit is not conferred.

AW: Do you believe that domestic partnership stigmatizes?

M: Yes.

AW: Reads from Jackie Goldberg’s words around AB 205 which is the domestic partnership bill. Bill sponsored by Equality California, with LAMBDA, NCLR, ACLU. Are you familiar with EQCA?

M: I think they ran the campaign against prop. 8.

AW: You contributed to them.

M: I should familiarize myself with them (laughter).

AW: Do you believe that they (and ACLU and LAMBDA) would promote legislation that would stigmatize LGB people?

M: No, that was not their intention. They wanted to improve people’s lives, but they are still stigmatized.

AW: Wants M to read article by Jeffry Redding with which M is not familiar. I won’t question you about that document. Have you read any research that shows that same sex couples in domestic partnerships suffer from more mental health issues than those who don’t have it in other states?

M: No.

[This is laughable. Prop. 8 wants to show that partial rights are fine, that they are make everyone happy. So if you told a slave that she could have Saturdays off and that was the law, would those who sponsored the law be making her life better or worse? Well the answer is obvious. Her life would be better, but she’s still not equal.]

[UPDATE] 5:25 [NOTE: Rick was having some tech difficulties at the court house, but here is the final portion of the transcript as Day 4 of the Prop 8 trial wraps up — Eden w/ the Courage Campaign Institute]

AW: Lists off list of protections based on sexual orientation. Leaving aside the question of marriage, are you aware of any state that has less structural stigma than California?

M: I can’t answer that. I would have to study and look at those other states.

[Apologies. I thought the Prop. 8 guy’s name was Wilson, but I think it’s Nielson, so AW should be AN, but there it is. You get the point.]

Desseaux on redirect:

D: Gets into why African Americans may not have higher mental health issues than whites.

M: African American community support is great. Not equivalent type of support for gays and lesbians. Within families they are often shunned.

Judge: White LGB vs. Black or general population?

[This is very confusing. The judge is also confused and he’s asking good clarifying questions.]

M: Two different test groups: white non-gay vs. black non-gay. Then white LGB vs. black LGB.

D: Line of questioning on which I want to follow is if theory/model is broken, which is what AN wanted to show.

M: There are differences. Blacks are socialized with variety of access to support for their race which counters some effects of racism, whereas gays are socialized with homophobia. So the point is that racism is countered in many ways by strong support within AA community. Within non-gay AA, people have talked about racism as a stressor, but it is not as strong because of social fabric.

M: Term minority stress refers to sexuality minorities, not to all populations.

D: The four categories we discussed this afternoon apply only to LGB? Concealment?

M: Obviously only to LGB. You can’t conceal, nor do most want to conceal, that they are black. At least since 1964 there are no legal types of racism in the US. There is no state endorsement of racism by the state. Racism has not abated, but the law is on their side.

D: Any racial minority not allowed to marry?

M: I don’t think so. I have no doubt in veracity of to what I was testifying about LGB stressors due to structural stigma.

[Key point here: Minority Stress deals only with sexual minorities. AN tried to generalize to all minorities.]

M: Purpose of a study is to learn.

D: AN read out a list of organizations that supported domestic partnership. Is there any doubt that LG are stigmatized by lack of marriage? If no right to marry and no right to domestic partnership, stigmatized?

M: Yes.

D: With domestic partnership?

M: In a sense you make a clearer stigma with dual track because it’s really clear there is stigma.

Judge: Adjourned. Trial resumes again at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, January 15.


[I plan to write more later on today’s testimony. Thanks for the excellent comments, everyone! Rick.]

Tags: , , ,


  • 1. Gary  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Sadly, most lawyers seem to think that more litigation is always needed. Try being a gay man with children, an ex-wife and her attorney. That is exhausting!

  • 2. Ben  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Depends on how hot her attorney is…
    Just saying. ;-D

  • 3. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

    He's obviously trying to discredit the idea that being LGBT is stressful and has damaging effects.

    Somebody keep me honest, but I think that Wilson just switched the definition of disorder and that the witness didn't check it.

    The witness was explaining how the minority stressors create disorders for people. Now WIlson pulls out studies that show gay men don't have more disorders – but don't those mean clinical psychological disorders like schizophrenia and such? I know that Hooker's studies concluded that gay men were no more likely than straight men to be disordered.

    But I think they switched from "harmful stress" to "nutcase" as the meaning of "disordered" and the witness isn't going "hey, wait, that's not the same thing." He's agreeing with the lawyer about the big picture because HE knows what the terms mean, but I think the lawyer (and I guarantee, the right wing machine) is going to see this as a major gotcha – the expert witness says gay people aren't stressed by all this.

  • 4. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I agree with you. That's exactly what I was thinking.

  • 5. Anne  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Thinking about the stress LGBT people have dealing with the striaght world that assumes they are also straight – years ago, I went to a women's music festival in Guerneville with a friend. What I didn't realize is that a lot – most – practically all of the women who went to it were lesbian. I wasn't. While in general it was no big deal, the one thing that bothered me is that I felt like I should be wearing a sign saying "I'm straight" so people wouldn't misjudge me. That was a few hours of oddity for me. What is it like to spend every day, every week, every month, every year, being misjudged? Gotta be tough. Along with same sex marriage, we have to continue to educate society not to judge nor to assume… that's an even bigger task, of course!

  • 6. Bill  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    What's it like?

    Exhausting. Humiliating. Degrading. Never predictable. Often dangerous. Less than human.

    For real.

  • 7. Anne  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:16 am

    (PS – I gave multilple times to no on prop 8 campaigns… whenever same sex friends of mine got married during that golden summer/fall, I gave a donation to no on 8.)

  • 8. Happy  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Right on, Anne!

  • 9. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Many of these discussions and disagreements would be much more efficiently resolved if the general American public were scientifically literate. Sadly, most people – including the defendants' attorney – attempt to interpret far more than they understand… and they top it off with a heaping helping of certitude and self-righteousness.

    When will the Enlightenment arrive?

  • 10. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    11:11pm on December 20, 2012?

    I really hope it's before that.

  • 11. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Well, let's do a comparative timeline. England organised as a country under one ruler about 830ish…and the English Enlightenment is considered the period of Locke…and that's around the mid 1600s. There's about 800 years there. America started in the mid 1700s…add 800 years and we're up to 2500.
    We've got a bit of waiting to do, unless the internet speeds it up…or, like Lymis states, the Rapture happens and it really is what the Far-Right predict it will be.

  • 12. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:21 am

    "When will the Enlightenment arrive?"

    Five minutes after the Rapture.

  • 13. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Then let's get that train moving.

  • 14. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:21 am

    parsimony = simple


    In my dictionary, parsimony = "stinginess." Is there a different definition in the context of psychology/sociology?

  • 15. fiona64  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    It is different from even what the lawyer is trying to portray, in sociological terms:

    Quote: The principle that the best statistical model among all satisfactory models is that with the fewest parameters. Hence, more generally, the principle which asserts that if it is possible to explain a phenomenon equally adequately in a number of different ways, then the simplest of explanations (in terms of the number of variables or propositions) should be selected.

  • 16. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    OK – that makes more sense. Thank you!

  • 17. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Occam's Razor in a manner of speaking, right?

  • 18. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

    in statistics you go and test your prediction model. you add one prediction variable and then test it whether the model now approximates the data you observed significantly more than the model without this value. then you do that for every variable and in the end you take the model with only those variables that showed significant association with the observed Data. (and with this you can subsequently predict outcomes of hypothetical combinations of these variables you did not actually observe)

  • 19. Christopher  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I thought that's what parsimony meant!!

  • 20. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Yes. "Parsimony" is a more refined version of the KISS principle.

    In social sciences (and most fields of science), "parsimony" is taken to refer to elegance. If you are familiar with Occam's Razor, then you are familiar with the principle of parsimony. (It's also the same as Aristotelian simplicity: that a thing should not be made more complex than is necessary.)

    The short version is that if there are different theories that all have the same explanatory power (meaning they each explain the same amount of phenomena), then you pick the simplest explanation. The simplest explanation is the one that requires the fewest leaps of faith, contradictions with other scientific findings, or overall moving parts.

    Of course, competing theories rarely offer exactly the same explanatory power, so you get into discussions of the efficiency or elegance of the theory (i.e., the trade-off between explanatory power and complexity).

  • 21. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

    As much as I'd like to stay 100% on topic here, I can't help but see Gene Simmons in full make-up yelling, "Keep it simple, stupid!" with a guitar riff in the background every time I hear the phrase KISS principle.


  • 22. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

    yeah but also every step, every additional "moving part" is regarded as having a cost. like in evolution. it has kind of a cost and therefore the more a development had "costed" the unlikelier it is, that it actually evolved. the more effort it took the more difficult it was to come into existence. In genetics and family trees (of species relations) it works very well. I don't know about social science

  • 23. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

    In social science models, you largely see it in the way statistics are calculated – such that they favor models with fewer parameters. There are also specific statistical measures of efficiency (in predicting variance or covariance).

  • 24. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    (I already posted sth. simolar in another reply) in statistics you usually test each variable whether it significantly improves the approximation of the model outcome to the observed outcome. only if it does you include it into a model so you only have the relevant variables in the model. (OMG I'd have never thought that my studies of Biology and Epidemiology could ever be valid in a case like this! I am totally overwhelmed :D)

  • 25. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

    nightshayde, I think parsimony is being used in the context of **research methods**. One can be parsimonious in their definition of a term in **any** scientific discipline. He may mean the witness is unwilling to bend a concept the way the defense attorney wants him to; he's being stingy with a concept or a conclusion.

  • 26. Charles  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Can somebody tell me what Walker meant exactly by:

    "Judge: Maybe you can point your questions and the witness can point his answers and maybe you’ll meet in the middle. (Laughter)."

    I feel that he thinks the defense is trying to put words in the witness' mouth and the witness purposedly doesn't answer questions, but I'm not sure?

  • 27. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I think he's just telling both of them to be more direct and he's doing it in a snarky, sarcastic way.

  • 28. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

    There's been a great demand by the defense to answer Yes or No to very complex questions. I think the witness isn't defering to that demand and it is irritating the judge a little.

  • 29. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

    to all people posting comments here on this great site: just wanted to say you’re awesome guys. we have been a growing familiy here since the first day of trial and we consist of a great great variety of persons straight and gay young and old US citizen or other, black and wite and even some “conservatives” and most of you guys are contributing so great comments!
    so having given a lot of praise to the bloggers now I wanna thank you all! for great new think peaces, for sharing your stories and for providing valid backround information! you’re great! love you for it!

  • 30. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I was just thinking how fabulous it was that we were all talking openly together and we were being respectful and forming a sort of case-following family here 😉 . It really is awesome!

  • 31. Frank  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I'll second both Steffi's & Anna's comments!

  • 32. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Totally agree

  • 33. Raven  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I concur. It's made me feel so much better to read these comments. And I love how respectful and kind people have been, even to those few Pro-8 people who have shown up to comment.

  • 34. Jane  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    We should all connect on Facebook or something!

  • 35. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

    @Raven: SHOULD be self evident though! (the respect)

  • 36. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Steffi, I'm as gay as a goose and I've ***always*** considered myself to be conservative. Ted Olsen is a conservative. Andrew Sullivan is a conservative. Bruce Bawer is a conservative.

    This CASE is the *conservative** point of view in favor of gay marriage and if you don't think so, read Ted Olsen's interview in Newsweek and The New Yorker.

    Point by point, this entire case is constructed on Andrew Sullivan's writing that dates back to 1987. That's the entire reason earlier in this case when Attny Thompson as Prof Cott if she thought Andrew's book was the best ever written on gay marriage. She answered, "It was adequate" but she TAUGHT Sulllivan's book in her class. I don't need to tell you what Ted Olsen's political views are since he was Reagan's Solicitor General and also worked in the Bush Administration and was the attorney who WON the argument in Florida's hanging chad controversy.

    There are thousands of conservative gays who are deeply invested in this trial, who carried the water for marriage back when the liberal "intelligencia" was denouncing such a view as silly. Both of the lesbians in this case have stated they came from conservative homes and, to be frank, you just don't dump those values because you're gay. Family and marriage is a conservative value, so yes, there are conservatives here. It is on this issue where we are hardly distinguishable from liberals and that has remained a fact since the question of marriage equality was born.

  • 37. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I know I put it into quotes cause I wanted to make clear that I don't use it in it's normal meaning. I just waned to refrain using a word like "bigot" or anything else implying me judging them. didn't wanna use conservative as something bad or as commonly against marriage eqity. sry if I did

  • 38. Erwin  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

    from Wikipedia — Parsimony
    In science, parsimony is preference for the least complex explanation for an observation. This is generally regarded as good when judging hypotheses.

    Okay, I learned something new today.

  • 39. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:58 am

    this is also (one) way to show the relatedness of species when one compares gene sequences. maximum parsimony and maximum likelyhood. so the explanation with the simplest way (i.e. with the fewest nr. of changes i.e. mutations) is the one most likely to be the true one

  • 40. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Did this clown really just try to say that even though gay people kill themselves at a higher rate, since they're dead, we can't assume that being gay had anything to do with it?

    And by extension, that being gay isn't at all stressful?

  • 41. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I don't think he's saying being gay isn't stressful. I think he's saying that since they're dead we can only guess (or assume) the reason for the suicide — the person can't tell us for sure one way or the other because the person is dead.

  • 42. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

    But why ask that if not to discredit the idea?

  • 43. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Oh – I'm sorry. I misunderstood your original question. I think Meyer is saying you can't know for sure even if you have a reasonable suspicion.

    AW seems to be trying to get Meyer to say being gay isn't stressful.

  • 44. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I think nightshayde is right- the point of having to exclude the people from the study who do commit suicide is that because they have died, unless they leave a note that says explicitly "I killed myself because of the pressures of being gay", they can't be included in the scientific studies as having committed suicide for that reason. The reason for exclusion is to make sure the study is as air-tight as possible (and therefore beyond the reproach of the people who would say that we didn't know the reason for death, therefore we couldn't be sure and therefore we can't be sure that being gay is stressful).

  • 45. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

    that's always a mayor problem shen studying sth. with death as outcome. as long as you don't have a cohort study with two groups (gay and straight) whom you follow over time and look at the percentage of outcomes (death) after a certain time (which is EXTREMELY hard if not almost imposible to do is such a setting and with lots of bias issues) you can never say what let to the outcome. you'd have to do assumptions or look whether there's a higher percentage of gays commiting suicide than for straights but you could never be sure whether gay was the underlying risk factor for the suicide or whether it actually was sth. confounding (some other factor that is unequally distributed within both groups but not DIRECTLY associated with being gay itself)

  • 46. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Oh yay — I made sense! =)

    I knew it made sense in my head. I'm glad it made sense in someone else's head, too.

  • 47. HeatherR  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I wish someone would talk about the stress of having to beg for votes so that we could keep the right of marriage. How dare anyone have feel that they have the "right" to vote on our rights? We shouldn't have to seek approval from anyone. We shouldn't have to have our entire lives in trial. Yet here we are, once again at the mercy of other people.

  • 48. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

    hmm why not vote on the right of us straights to have the right to vote on gays. why not vote on everyones rights. so everyone would be clear to which gutter he belongs. this is so ridiculous! I have not and I want not have the right to vote on any persons life!

  • 49. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I saw a t-shirt during the campaign that said:

    Equal rights should be guaranteed – not voted on.

    The idea that civil rights can be stripped away from a minority by a simple majority vote turns my stomach.

  • 50. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

    The Constitution agrees with you.

  • 51. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hopefully, the SCOTUS will eventually interpret it accordingly.

    *crosses fingers*

  • 52. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

    OMG I am going to apply to Meyer for a PhD once I finished my masters in Epidemiology. (if he is able to take PhD's) I didn't know there's epindemiological research done on LGBT people health. This would be exactly what I always looked for as a job! I wanna be as great as he seems to be!

  • 53. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

    He does seem pretty fabulous, doesn't he? I hope you do get to study under him, that would be an amazing opportunity!

  • 54. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Yeah it totally would! He IS a professor so the odds that he's able to have PhD's are quite high. I would however have to catch up on sociology and Psychology (what I would greatly like to only finances limit me) however.
    let's see what'll come. I keep it in head as option 😉 and he DOES seem to have some epidemiological studies which are not strictly sociological. I can meassure health outcomes without psychology…. let's see:)

  • 55. truthspew  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    He's trying but not succeeding. Walker is going to come down in our favor. The crossed arm thing tells me that. He's getting frustrated with the opposition trying to discredit witnesses for the anti-H8 side.

  • 56. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Yeah, but wait till you read the pro-8 summery of todays happenings. It's gonna be hillarous!!! 😀 😀 😀

  • 57. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    As a social scientist, I'm happy with the responses Dr. Meyer is giving (as I understand them). It's very difficult to do what he's doing: to provide short answers to questions that are so willfully misrepresentative and misleading that it ought to take an hour to explain all of the flawed understandings and assumptions.

    Kudos to him.

  • 58. Hayden  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    It looks like the cross tried to set up a point that being African American doesn't change ("Could you ask someone if they were African American ever or were last year?") but that identifying as GLBT does change.

    Wonder if they were trying to play that as GLBT being immutable, and hence not deserving of heightened scrutiny under equal protection clause.

  • 59. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:04 am


  • 60. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Also likely trying to undercut the notion of generalizability across the studies, given that they might have defined the populations differently.

  • 61. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Just to pick nits (with AW) — isn't "African American" as a term solely used by blacks in the USA? Someone could be "African" one year, and then "African American" the next year if he/she were to become an American citizen – right?

    Plus, as far as GLBT goes, the number could vary as people realize they're GLBT & come to self-identify as such (in addition to people who already identified themselves as GLBT but were concealing).

  • 62. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

    ALL identity lables are subject to change over time! once people learn more about themselves identities might change even perceived ethnics!

  • 63. Grace  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    This actually happened to a friend of mine. She discovered only last year that she's a dual citizen of Panama and the United States. Learning about your family and yourself is always an ongoing process.

    My brother has gone from Christian to Atheist and back again. I personally went from Non-denominational Christian to Quaker to NeoPagan. Coming out as a pagan to my parents, who I always knew to be extremely strict Christians (we didn't celebrate Halloween until I was in 8th grade) was one of the scariest decisions and moments in my life. Fortunately it went well, but it definitely gave me a taste of the stress caused by having to hide your identity for fear of judgment and retribution.

    I can't wait for the point when that sort of stress, which LGBT deal with every day, is legally lessened even this much.

  • 64. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:55 am

    This was another of several examples of the Defender/Interverner attorneys asking a question to which they did not know the answer…and being caught short. This has happened at least once every day of the trial. It is basic in law that you never ask a question in a deposition or at trial that you do not already know the answer to.

    – former LegalBeagle

  • 65. Brian  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

    "Your study doesn't match older studies."
    "Makes your study wrong."
    "You're right, world is flat, just like old studies say…"

  • 66. Jason R  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

    and the sun, that's the bright thing that goes around the earth.

  • 67. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

    … yes. The flat earth.

  • 68. Carl E.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    All your science talk has given me the vapours. I'm off to the surgeon's for a leech treatment.

  • 69. Thomas  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:08 am

    The best quote of day four –

    Dr. Meyer: All definitions vary. That’s why there are definitions.

  • 70. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Reading that, it made me giggle. I mean, seriously, he's got a little bit of snark in that answer and it's beautiful.

    I love how unflappable he is. Calm, collected, and he's doing awesome at just shooting down what the defense is trying to get him to say and doing it so clearly!

  • 71. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I wish they'd talk about the stress of choosing a political partty. Conservative gays like myself are generally so because we are fiscal conservatives. The natural group to bond with, then, is with Republicans. But what SANE gay conservative could do that when the HOSTILITY towards gays in the GOP is 40 miles thick and growing? And what sane conservative gay would possibly vote for a candidate who openly professes opposition stripping gays of their civil rights. The GOP **owned** the marriage and family values argument and if they had embraced gay marriage, you'd see thousands of gay registering with the GOP. But the GOPs hostiliity has made that an impossibility. Who wants to endure THAT insanity. Many, many gay conservative now find themselves doing exactly what Andrew Sullivan does – not voting for ANY anti-gay politician, Democrat or Republican, and not support ANY cause the GOP has. If we cannot be treated with dignity, FUCK THEM.

  • 72. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Maybe we need to form a strong new party called the Egalitarian Party. The entire point of it would be to ensure equal rights for all people and we'd just work around all the irrelevant claptrap.

  • 73. Dan Hess  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    The sad thing is there isn't really a middle-ground in this country. We NEED a third, powerful party but because of the way the electorate is set up we'll only ever have two. Also, a single-issue party won't stand up to the broad policies of the Democrats and GOP. What we need is a real party here–socially progressive, fiscally moderate, and structurally conservative–specifically libertarian/minarchist. With the exception of progressive ideals (equality, reform, welfare, environmentalism, research), conservative necessities (military and police), and foreign policy (oh yeah, we definitely need to make foreign policy a top priority, we can't give it a backseat like the Dems and GOP have been doing for the last two decades), we need to make sure that people can do what they feel is right so long as it doesn't harm others.

  • 74. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Politics is always about choosing the lesser of two evils. Don't be so disheartened that you throw the baby out with the bathwater. Continue to advocate. The slow current of progress is moving in our direction.

  • 75. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Since you have seen the light and understand how wrong anti-gay theories are in conservative politics, perhaps you are know ready to question the theory of "fiscal conservatism" itself, which is very much grounded in the values of self-interest, sefishness and the belief that there are people who are inferior in society because they are poor, less-educated, a different color, etc. Please read Ayn Rand very carefully as well as her biographies. This is what she believed…and it is the unspoken basis for fiscal conservatism. The problem is that when we fail to provide a social safety network of the kind seen in the UK and Europe we end up with incredibly high rates of infant death mortality, homelessness, bankruptcy, unemployment (particularly chronic) and medically uninsured people. Not to mention a much shorter life span than other, comparable nations. In other words, fiscal conservatism may be good for the pocketbooks os a few but it does nothing for the body politic, for society as a whole…it does not lead to a greater good or a greater happiness. In the minds of straight conservatives a white, upper, middle class gay male is no better than their vision of a stereotypical "welfare mom". Don't delude yourself. Real family values are whne you worry about your neighbors and your surrounding community…because they impact your family's welfare and happiness…and vice-versa.

  • 76. fiona6  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    The UK's level of those particular problems is less than in the US, but it is still higher than in other wealthy countries. I highly recommend a book called "The Spirit Level," which studies and explains why income inequality causes social problems all across the continuum of society. They studied the 50 wealthiest nations and all 50 US states, and the data comes from WHO, CDC and other reliable sources.

    I wholeheartedly concur with this: "Real family values are when you worry about your neighbors and your surrounding community." Until everyone starts to "get" that we are all connected, things will not and cannot change for the better.

  • 77. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    If domestic partnerships are so great, maybe we should all have them.

    I bet if AW was asked if he'd trade his marriage (if he actually is married) for a domestic partnership, he wouldn't like that idea much.

  • 78. Sam  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hear, hear.

  • 79. Ray  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Seem to me the judge has hinted at that a little. He has asked a couple of time if California should get out of the marriage business. I didn't think he meant to get out of the domestic partner business, too.

  • 80. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I've wondered- if the word marriage is the problem here, why don't we just rename it? Everyone can have all the rights of marriage and we'll call it…being unioned, or something.

    It's one word that they're all bent out of shape over, that we have to push for access to because they're so possessive over it. Why don't we just get rid of the word? I'll go get Websters and a bottle of white out.

  • 81. Will M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:30 am

    The problem is that anyone who is currently married doesn't want to "downgrade" his or her marriage for something "less". However, if domestic partnership weren't really "less" than a marriage, but a true synonym, then nobody would mind the change.

  • 82. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

    @Will: yes that's what they do (partly) in switzlerland. but still there would be a difference. still gays would be different and not equal. though they'd have the same rights totally the same they would have to distinquish. if all forms were altered in are you married or unioned (Y/N) and everything was adjusted, only then would there be equity. like there are the two terms male and female (even though there are still some def. missing 😉 ) but both terms are referring to equally valued persons – not with equality but with equity!

  • 83. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Of course, "they" will go on and on about how domestic partnerships are JUST LIKE marriage & how GLBTs should be perfectly happy with domestic partnerships.

    They're "just like" marriage unless the person who's saying they're "just like" marriage is asked to give up marriage for something that's "just like" it. That's when the stammering and the back-pedaling begin.

    Separate but Equal is NEVER equal.

  • 84. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    It isn't the word that they are bent out of shape about. It is gay people daring to claim that we are as good as, and as deserving of equality as, straight people.

    Don't ever think that the people who keep saying "we believe in rights, but not redefining marriage" will be okay with their OWN marriage being called something else.

    After all, they are the decent, wholesome people that God set up marriage for.

  • 85. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Kind of like the people who swore they weren't condoning discrimination — just protecting marriage.

    Um — if "protecting marriage" results in discrimination, then "protecting marriage" means you're condoning discrimination.

    I caught someone here at work on that one, too.

  • 86. Will M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    @Steffi – I was attempting to point out that attempts to change the term "marriage" are going to be quite difficult, if not impossible, to implement, because in their hearts, most people who are married like the tradition and everything else associated with the current term. To borrow from the testimony, little kids don't grow up wanting to be "partnered" or "unioned" without someone, they want to be "married". Even if the term were changed in California, or even throughout the U.S., you could still encounter issues when traveling abroad. I am "partnered"/"unioned" back in the U.S., but now that I am in the Kingdom of ___, where that term is not recognized, what am I? It would probably depend on the local laws. If they allow same-sex marriages, I'd be married. If not, I'd be in some other relationship or none at all. However, I believe that there is some international accord that states that marriages in one country are generally considered valid by other countries. Even if local laws don't recognize same-sex marriages, they would at least recognize that in your originating country, you were married. If you were only partnered or unioned or something, then there is not the same level of recognition or understanding.

  • 87. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

    @Will: Yeah I understood 😀 and that's exacly why we need "marriage" to apply for all! (but still if it WAS another term like union for ALL people in a country, then it would just be translated into "marriage" when going to another country 🙂 it would even be so in a dictionary for lack of other words :D)

  • 88. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Anna, there are enormous rights, financial and legal, that one only has if one is FEDERALLY married – and right now ONLY heterosexual people can FEDERALLY marry. There are more than 600 rights and obligations conferred on such maried couples in the US. A study was done and over a lifetime a same-sex couple loses out on $1-2million because they cannot marry (assuming they are middle, professional, or upper-middle income and have been partnered for several decades. Some of the financial loss in due to insurance (2 aut policies required, not one, 2 homeowners policies, not one, 2 health insurance policies, not being on your spouse's at work) and inheritance laws. Some of it is because a same-sex partner, even people married in Massachuseets or California, CANNOT RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY! Over 30, 40, 50 years it adds up.

  • 89. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Plus, AB 205 was back in 2003 — well before the whole ss marriage issue came to the forefront.

    Sure — domestic partnerships are better than nothing (especially if you don't see marriage as an option), but once ss marriage was legalized, albeit briefly, it showed that marriage truly IS an option and that domestic partnership pales in comparison.

  • 90. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Yep- you take what you can get while working to get what you need.

  • 91. Lymis  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Better yet, tell the whole population that a random 3% of them will get their marriages downgraded, but everyone else keeps theirs.

    Then stand back.

  • 92. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    @Ray: Yeah. also "our side" asking (I guess yesterday) whether discrimination (on that part) would be gone if there was no more term like marriage but sth. different that would apply to all couples the same. the clear and direct answer of the professor was "YES"

  • 93. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm


  • 94. Colt  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Excellent slave analogy! I think there should be a lot more parallels getting drawn generally between the civil rights movement and the current movement to get equal rights for LGBT people. It makes the arguments even more powerful.

  • 95. NetAmigo  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

    "Prop. 8 wants to show that partial rights are fine, that they are make everyone happy." Above

    "The inquisitors generally preferred not to hand over heretics to the secular arm for execution if they could persuade the heretic to repent: Ecclesia non novit sanguinem. It was in the inquisitors' interest to be perceived as merciful, and they generally preferred to keep defendants alive, even while almost torturing them to death, in hopes of obtaining confessions." Wikipedia under Medieval Inquisition.

  • 96. Joel Wheeler  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I love you guys.

  • 97. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

    did I mention that I am currently in love with Meyer? 😀

  • 98. Calvin  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:35 am

    lol I was feeling the same way about Therese Stewart the other day 🙂

  • 99. Terri  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Domestic Partnerships are not so great. In my city you can have a Domestic Partnership even if you are hetero – which I am. My now-husband and I did have a domestic partnership but everytime I introduced him as "my partner" I would get stares and questions. It became uncomfortable after a while and also we purchased a home together and realized that we would have to involve a lawyer and it became even more weird. Finally he asked me to marry him and I said yes. Introducing him as my "husband" is wayyyyyyy different than as my "partner" so I do understand this argument fully. The big difference here is that I, being straight, had a choice to marry and SS persons do not have that choice. How can that not be a fundamental right?

  • 100. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I believe you're preaching to the choir, Terri.

  • 101. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I think you (or someone with the same experience) should act as whitness 😉

  • 102. ncooty  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    As a complete aside…

    For all that's wrong with this situation (e.g., having to make a case that you deserve civil rights and equal protection), I am struck in this moment at how thankful I am that we live in a country where this sort of debate can occur. It's an ugly process, but it's a relatively civil process… and I have faith in it.

    I'm also thankful that we can manage to experience the debate as a community – perhaps even more than would have been possible sitting side-by-side in a courtroom – thanks to the bloggers.

    Whether it's getting access to the trial or getting equal rights, where there's a will, there's a way.

  • 103. scott  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Is this thread over? what's going on?! bahhhhhhh

  • 104. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I know! I'm wondering how this is concluding for the day, too!

    The suspense is killing me!

  • 105. MJFargo  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Thank you both for asking, I'm so grateful to these people for what their doing I was too "stressed" to ask myself.

  • 106. couragecampaign  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Hey folks — we have an internet glitch, but we should be sending you the final 15 minutes of the trial shortly. Hold on tight.

    Eden w/ the Courage Campaign Institute

  • 107. couragecampaign  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Final update to the last 15 minutes of the trial were just posted, everyone. Sorry for the tech issues.

    — Eden w/ Courage

  • 108. Ted  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

    To be fair, I've bitched about the PROTECTMARRIAGE blog only offering commentary (vs. actual trial transcripts and allowing the reader to form their own opinion)… as well as them turning off comments on their blog.

    We're doing a lot better here, but I'd still prefer it if the live-blogging didn't include the reporter's personal evaluation of the testimony.

    I realize this is a tough balance to maintain, especially when it's impossible for a single blogger to transcribe every spoken word…

    …but, for the sake of journalistic integrity, please avoid interjecting your own feelings. If you want to do this, after someone publishes the verbatim transcript — fine. That's editorial comment and recognized as such.

    We should hold ourselves to the highest standards.

  • 109. Terri  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Isn't it annoying how protectmarriage has its comments turned off. I personally think that they turned them off to keep their own side from making comments. They don't want anything coming back to bite them.

  • 110. MJFargo  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I'm going to respectfully disagree. The comments are clearly marked as such, and it helps guide those of us who aren't savvy with court proceedings. This blog doesn't represent itself as an authority for a transcript. But either way, I'm grateful for their efforts.

  • 111. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:58 am

    same here!

  • 112. Ted  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:07 am

    My point is that I'd like to put myself in the judge's shoes (since this isn't a jury trial)… and evaluate all of the testimony on its own without commentary that isn't part of the official record… as that's what the judge has to go on.

    I totally welcome outside evaluation of the merit of various witnesses… but, again, I'd prefer to just read the testimony without it being put through a pro-8 or anti-8 filter.

    Sadly, since SCOTUS denied the possibility of this being televised, my only sources of near-real-time transcripts are biased… whether pro or con.

    Is there any way for me to access the transcripts of this trial without commentary from either side?

    I presume the answer to be, "no." Which argues in favor of televising these proceedings in the first place.

  • 113. Carl E.  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Ted and others,

    I'm somewhat certain there are several links in previous chats that will take you to verbatum transcripts of the trial.

    If I may interject a personal observation, I greatly appreciate the editorializations. Without video. the 'literary emoticons' evident in the posts are all I (we) have to gauge the atmosphere in the courtroom..I would like to enter an entreaty to the posters to keep up the personal comments.

  • 114. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Me, too! I like the commentary.

  • 115. Ted  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I'm not trying to be a dick here, but I really wish I could just watch the full testimony without having someone (on either side of the argument) transcribe and comment on it.

    I don't want summations or condensed opinions from either side.

    Since full video of the trial is no longer possible, I was hoping for a simple transcript. Instead, we have to choose from a narrative from the pro or anti 8 side.


  • 116. Dee  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:28 am

    the transcript is at this site:

  • 117. MJFargo  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Can you just skip over the comments? They're in brackets or italics. "Playing judge" is hard since this isn't a complete record with exhibits, etc.

  • 118. Terri  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:11 am

    You can get transcripts from the court. You'll have to pay and it will be several weeks before they are available. They will have line by line of what is said but you won't see the parts like "the judge is standing with his arms folded". And depending on how many days this goes the transcripts can get quite pricey.

  • 119. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I'm gonna catch up tomorrow I think. I am glued to the screen but it's past three in the morning over here and I am tried and have alot of work to do tomorrow (preparing one os those studies with a lot of bias problems and epidemiological issues to be assessed most carefully in order for it to be most accurate and most consistent so it could be valid as much as it possibly can be just like the ones of Prof meyer who became my new hero and scientific/epidemiologic role model 😀 )

  • 120. Steffi  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I am looking forward to meet some of you guys again here tomorrow! you are awesome and your comments are awesome and our mixture create a "communitiy" enabeling one another to fully understand everything that's said and to provide background informations. guess we gonna come out of this with a whole bunch of newly learned things/facts

  • 121. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Sleep well, Steffi!

  • 122. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Cheers and I'll be happy to meet you here tomorrow!

  • 123. couragecampaign  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Final update to the last 15 minutes of the trial were just posted, everyone. Sorry for the tech issues. — Eden w/ Courage

  • 124. Anna  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I'm just happy that you were able to post them! Thank you!

  • 125. Cassie  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Can someone PLEASE wxplain this to me?

    "AW: You gave twice to Prop. 8? M: I don’t remember how many times I gave, but I gave because I believed in the cause."
    "M: I think they ran the campaign against prop. 8. AW: You contributed to them."

    So…he contributed to yes on 8 AND no on 8!? *confused*

  • 126. nightshayde  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I'm pretty sure the attorney misspoke there & just wasn't called on it.

  • 127. Hayden  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    The Seminal has that first line as "You contributed to No On 8, right?"

  • 128. Gene Naden  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

    This is the most interesting materiral I have read today or maybe this week. I am glad I wasn't on the witness stand when AW asked if people who supported domestic partner legislation were deliberately causing stigma. I think my brain would have frozen. But the analogy with giving slaves their Satudays off seems compelling. Yes I am against Prop 8; totally.

  • 129. Nick  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Argh..I couldn't get away to follow the proceedings while they were being reported today-I followed and commented several times yesterday, and hope to be back tomorrow.

    Hello all, BTW-I am Nick, a Gay man who lives with his partner of 29 years-we share the fact that Ellen DeGeneres got married on OUR anniversary (Just found that one out, surprised!) Maybe one day we will celebrate together (I can dream!)

    We. unfortunately, chose to wait and see what happened when Gay Marriage was challenged-so we missed out (FOR NOW!) transforming the 29 plus years coming up on 30 into a Legal Marriage-so we are not of the Elite Married, unfortunately.

    I grew up Gay and scared to death of being found out -a farm boy outside of a very conservative Midwestern town-sheesh-reading testimony in court of today and comments by other wonderful people here-a lot of painful things we are all going thru every day, huh?

    We shall overcome-we have to-touch wood, we haven't had any real problems way up here in the Bible Belted Mountains of California-(moved here from more liberal coastal towns) but then, we stick to ourselves and I personally chase the mealy mouthed "Christians" off the property when they dare to tread on my doorstep. 🙂

    Will be here tomorrow-for sure-I had trouble catching up and can't seem to piece together where we left off yesterday -can't seem to find anything before the Noon break or so….odd.

    See ya!

  • 130. JefferyK  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    "M: In a sense you make a clearer stigma with dual track because it’s really clear there is stigma."

  • 131. Rob  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Dr. Meyer's testimony of prejudice events, such as filling out administrative forms was spot on. I was confronted with a prejudice event just this evening while updating my online bio.

    Facebook forces members to choose from one of the following to identify the member's relationship status:
    , single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it's complicated, in an open relationship, or widowed.

    It speaks volumes when one of the most popular mainstream social networking sites doesn't offer the relationship status choice of domestic partner.

    It's yet another example of how the non-LBGT public views domestic partnerships as inferior to marriage and not worth mentioning. To them, it's nothing more than being "in a relationship."

  • 132. Jeanne  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I just wanted to let everyone on this site know how much I appreciate the play-by-play of the trial, the commentaries and all the posting. Every day at work I look forward to coming home and reading about the day's outcome, including all the thoughts and feelings you each add to what has been covered. I once thought "probably not in my lifetime, but someday"…I am starting to think "someday" may be in my lifetime, thanks to so many with so much courage, I am not giving up hope. This trial is very encouraging and so are you.

  • 133. Dan Hess  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Posted this as a reply above, but it's kinda buried (didn't realize there were 60 comments below it at the time I posted) so I want to make sure people can read it. Sorry, feel free to delete the other.

    The sad thing is there isn't really a middle-ground in this country. We NEED a third, powerful party but because of the way the electorate is set up we'll only ever have two. Also, a single-issue party won't stand up to the broad policies of the Democrats and GOP. What we need is a real party here–socially progressive, fiscally moderate, and structurally conservative–specifically libertarian/minarchist. With the exception of progressive ideals (equality, reform, welfare, environmentalism, research), conservative necessities (military and police), and foreign policy (oh yeah, we definitely need to make foreign policy a top priority, we can't give it a backseat like the Dems and GOP have been doing for the last two decades), we need to make sure that people can do what they feel is right so long as it doesn't harm others.

  • 134. Polderboy  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:35 pm


    I don't believe you will accomplish that in the current dysfunctional system. The only forward out of the trenches is a parliamentary system.

  • 135. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:37 am

    A two-party system has some advantages in terms of encouraging centrism, etcetera. I am not convinced that a parliamentary system is inherently superior.

    The bigger problem is that the modern GOP is hopelessly dysfunctional. There was a time when "Republican" stood for exactly what you say: Fiscally moderate and structurally conservative (maybe not hugely socially progressive, but not socially regressive the way it is today)

    Something has got to give. Whether it is a major reformation of the GOP, or the gradual fall of the GOP followed by the Democratic party splitting in two (wouldn't that be great? the Conservative Democrats and Liberal Democrats, now that's a two-party system I could get behind!) or the rise of a 3rd party, or whatever, something has got to change. Even a lot of Republicans are aware of this.

    I just don't know how long it will take :/

  • 136. Dan Hess  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I'm personally not a fan of the parliamentary system; an unelected executive won't sit well with America. We need a reformed federation, more like the German presidential system than the American.

  • 137. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

    As I sit here reading these comments, my eyes get teary, so I have a box of kleenex nearby. I can relate to the messages in a manner that I don't believe many in the straight community understand. Many of them think this all about promiscuous sexual escapades of a bunch of sexual deviants. Yet, as an openly gay man, I am struck with the cohesiveness of our community and the committment we share to bring change to America.

  • 138. John Hanna  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Speaking as a straight supporter of marriage equality, I hope that in the process off discussing stress and stigma in relation to Prop 8, they include the stress and stigma to the children of same-sex unions, of being told that their parents aren't equal to others, and that the children are in effect being labelled as "bastard" by this law and a society that passes it. These kids are going to carry the ramifications around going into teens and adulthood. While that doesn't carry the strong meaning it once did, it is still a significant stigma to some. Just my thoughts.

  • 139. John B.  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:12 am

    I'm not sure I like this line of reasoning. Gay people have higher rates of mental illness than heterosexuals? Is that really the message we want to send? Because our opponents don't really care what it MEANS or what the causes are, they will turn around and use it to show that there's something wrong with us and do their best to suggest that that homosexuality EQUALS mental illness.

  • 140. Jenny  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I have this same concern. That the stigma of mental illness will validate the stigma of gays in the defendants view.

  • 141. Jeanne  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:10 am

    I remember watching (which is something we will not be able to do for this hearing) Strom Thurmond's line of questioning pre-don't ask, don't tell.
    "Did you ever seek psychiatric help?"

    And the answer back to Thurmond,
    "Sir, if I had gone to see a psychiatrist, he would have told me to go home, that homosexuality was not an illness, and had not been regarded as such by the American Psychiatric Association since 1973."

    Thurmond, of course, had to to inject
    "It isn't natural, for a man to want to be with a man, or a woman to want to be with a woman."

    Or Senator Warner asking "Why can't you just be quiet?"

    That was about 18 years ago and it's very discerning that blatant bigotry is still alive and well, just the names have changed…and now it isn't televised.

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