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Our wonderful Trial Trackers and a few links

Community/Meta Press

By Julia Rosen

It’s been four days and we have already had an amazing 430,000 views and 2,600 comments.

But the best part is that in such a short period of time, our commenters, (we’ve taken to calling you “Trial Trackers”), have already formed a community here. There have been tears, laughter, an argument or two, but really just an amazing amount of support for one another. It’s been wonderful to see. I’ve been reading each and every one of your comments, so I can catch the few trolls that we have had and it has been an incredible to watch evolve.

So, thank you for having such interesting, civil and emotional discussions. Keep telling your stories. We all know that is the best way to build more support for equality.

If the readers tonight have time for only one thing, I urge you to read the comments on Rick’s fifth liveblog post today. I dare you not to get verklempt.

On a completely different note…

Well, we promised you increased coverage and — with six liveblog posts from Rick and seven other posts from Eden, Robert, Brian, Paul and myself — you got it. If you appreciate what we are doing, please click the button on the right, or give here.

We are working on lining up a few guest bloggers for next week in addition to the regular crew above.

Here are a few quick hits for those who just can’t get enough of reading about this trial:

  • Over at the New Yorker, Margaret Talbot digs into one of “more tortured rationales ever advanced for banning same-sex marriage” that it seems the defendants are planning on using:

    In a 2005 case called Morrison v. Sadler, an appellate court in Indiana concluded that same-sex couples with children did not need marriage because they were already so stable—it was so expensive and complicated for them to adopt or conceive a child that they were bound to stay together. “By contrast,” the court observed, “procreation by ‘natural’ reproduction may occur without any thought for the future.” The stork could come calling on heterosexual couples without invitation, and when it did, marriage helped ensure that the surprised progenitors would stay around to raise the children.

  • Syd Peterson is covering the trial over at LGBT POV and has a good post on this morning’s testimony by Edwin Eagan.
  • The Merc has been doing some liveblogging of their own and has a central location for their blogs, articles and a #Prop8 twitter feed.
  • Teddy Partridge over at FDL has an powerful post called “The ‘Private Hell’ of an Inauthentic Life”, which uses Dr. Meyer’s testimony to talk about the negative impact of having to hide who you love in every day life.


  • 1. Balu  |  January 14, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Today I was at Camino Medical Group (125 South Drive
    Mountain View, CA 94040-4310) to visit a friend. They had wifi that allowed NYTimes and When I tried to access, I saw a message saying "403 Forbidden. This site has been blocked by the administrator".

    If this blog is being blocked by individual webmasters this fast, it is a success.

  • 2. Friday worker  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:53 am

    The same thing happened at my workplace but the tech support people said it was due to the fact that this domain has only been up since Monday so it got caught in their automatic scam tracker system. They reset it within minutes of my request.

  • 3. Raven  |  January 15, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Balu, I don't think there's any possible way you were at 125 South Drive. We haven't finished building that building yet! I work at ECH and can access this site just fine, for what it's worth.

  • 4. Balu  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Hi Raven,

    I was at the Maternity ward right next to the emergency. Google Maps gave me this address I posted above. I visited my friends again today and I can access the website.

    I apologize for the wrong address and false alarm, thanks for correcting me.

  • 5. Raven  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Ah, Balu, you were at the Orchard Pavilion! Congrats to your friends. Sorry you had a problem accessing the site through our wifi, but I'm glad you could get on it today.

  • 6. Josh  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    You're thanking us, but I'm sure we'd like to thank you as well. This is a very comprehensive site, very well designed and something (that many trial trackers have said) have been very important to their days this week. I think I visit at least 5-6 times a day!

    Thanks so much for all you do!!

  • 7. Steve  |  January 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Came here to post this. You guys are the ones who deserve the thanks.

  • 8. Lance Lanier  |  January 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I have to say, you guys are doing a most excellent job. It may not be live tv, but I've read each and every word as if I'm sitting right next to you, listening. The extra comments and explanations help in keeping the right frame of mind for what's coming next. I'm never lost and always right with you. Thank You guys for making this happen.

  • 9. Anon  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm


  • 10. Marlene Bomer  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Thank you for noticing, sweetie! Move along now and go back to whatever gutter you came from!

  • 11. Nettl  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I'm so very grateful for the work that you are all doing to provide us with this information and for the wonderful community of support that is forming as a result. Thank you.

  • 12. Bryan  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    This is a fantastic blog.

    I'm a straight man (married with a kid) and I've been posting this like crazy on Facebook.

    Thanks so much for liveblogging this trial. I think sometimes in a trial like this, people forget that there are plaintiffs sitting there whose lives this very much directly affects.

  • 13. Gus  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    hey, no problem in America

  • 14. Polderboy  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Well wishes and my solidarity from the Netherlands to all of you in California. Thank you for all the hard work, I will be following this intently.

  • 15. Alan E.  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I have to give a big thanks for the mobile version of this site too. It runs very smoothly and is easy to navigate. I hadn't invested much time in the weeks prior to the trial, but now that I have started reading, I can't stop. I tear up every day. Some for sadness, some out of empowerment. It joys me to discuss with people around the world things that have effected each other, to see how many of us share similar experiences, that we are not alone in our endeavors. Unfortunately, I can post I all want on Facebook, which I have, but I can't make others read. I have been taking quotes from the trial and posting them as status updates. I want to do more. This discrimination will never end, but the state-sponsored discrimination should come to a sudden halt.

  • 16. Rachel  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    I find it funny that they think marriage is going to keep a father with the mother just because of the baby! Otherwise we wouldnt have unwed single mothers or people getting dragged to court for child support payments! If someone (either the mother OR father – both happen!) doesnt want the responsibility to raise the child they dont have to get married. Its not like a 17 year old boy is going to CARE that the girl he impregnated is going to have to raise it and pay for it. It's not like Michael Jacksons doctor was paying his child support! Its a personal thing to decided to get married and just because a child is on the way DOESNT mean marriage for the mother and father is in the future! I've met plenty of straight men who have children and NO plan on marrying their girlfriend or the woman who birthed the child.

  • 17. Callie  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Ohhhh, I need to go read what Teddy wrote! I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker yesterday about gay marriage. She's actually a woman of faith and is also supportive of our right (AND she's African-American to boot!), so I was surprised to finally have a civil conversation with someone about it. She wanted to understand about our situation more, so it was great to talk to her. But, it made me think about Dr. Cott's testimony. You don't realize how important and affirming it is for someone to be interested in your life, to ask you the basic questions about how you met your partner and how long you've been together. Nobody ever asks me. They know I'm gay, know I have a partner, and know we have a child, but they NEVER ask anything about my life. I don't get the "what did you do this weekend?" question or the "how did your holidays go?" question. Silence is as much an esteem killer as blatant verbal attacks.

  • 18. Zachary K  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Sorry, but I don't understand the significance of the reference (and seeming shock) to her being African-American.

  • 19. StaceyB  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

    There are a few outspoken African-Americans who take offense to the Same-Sex marriage debate being called a "Civil Rights" issue. Its as if these people and those who follow them believe the term is exclusive to race only.

  • 20. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Very interesting Callie, I don't get asked at work either. I've been there almost two years now. It really begins to weigh on you. Thanks for your perspective.

  • 21. StaceyB  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Callie: I feel your pain, as many of us do.
    It's hard to go to work everyday, seeing "family" pictures on co-workers desks and hearing the chatty conversations about their family's lives but not being accepted into that clique.
    It smacks hard of the oppression and exclusion we face everyday in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways.
    My partner and I have been together for over a dozen years. We raised my son from another relationship, together as a family. She was as much a parent as I was. (Past tense only because my son is now grown and living outside our home) But I rarely got asked those types of questions by coworkers either. I pained me to not be able to put up pictures of all three of us together. I lived in a state where, for a long time, we actually could be fired just for being gay! So, hiding my family as if they didn't exist really hurt.

    Sometimes other people just don't seem to get it. They take for granted the little things that when put together sum up a life, a family unit that has built memories and traditions. All these things affect us as much as them. But when we're denied those little things, over and over again it adds up.

  • 22. Polderboy  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:30 am

    I hope you made it clear to her how much you appreciated what she did.

    Much of the difficulty in engaging co-workers, neighbors etc. etc. in this way isn't actual hostility towards you, but mostly unease. They're afraid to say the wrong things, afraid of being insensitive inadvertently, or showing prejudice without them realizing it, or fear of being perceived as nosing into your private life, etc. etc.

    Every situation is different of course. But my experience is that fear of the unknown is driving a lot of the animus towards LGTBQ. Just allowing them to see even little grlimpses of your life will make them realize that your life actually mirrors their own life. With the same struggles and obstacles and moments of joy and happines. Except for a very basic civil right: marriage.

  • 23. country lawyer  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Following up on the quotation from Margaret Talbot's New Yorker story, in an early unsuccessful challenge to Virginia's sodomy statute, Doe v. Com. Attny for City of Richmond, 403 F Supp 1199 (ED Va 1975), the late Judge Robert Merhige, dissenting from the majority's opinion upholding the statute, said:

    "To suggest, as defendants do, that the prohibition of homosexual conduct will in some manner encourage new heterosexual marriages and prevent the dissolution of existing ones is unworthy of judicial response. In any event, what we know as men is not forgotten as judges– it is difficult to envision any substantial number of heterosexual marriages being in danger of dissolution because of the private sexual activities of homosexuals." 403 F Supp at 1205.

  • 24. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Thank you "country lawyer" – I believe this is a defining moment in history and I hope that our side prevails. I am interested that nothing has been said regarding the high incident rate of suicides in our community among young GLB people, though it has been inferred. It goes to the question of feeling like we are second class citizens and have to hide, who we were born to be, which again fits into the testimony thus far in the trial.

    I attempted suicide in 1971, due to the very points made in this trial.

  • 25. Kelly  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:48 am

    In high school, i didn't really know what being "gay" was. The thought never crossed my mind. However, every single day in high school was a struggle for me. I didn't know who I was, and it's a scary thing to be a stranger in your own mind. For years I self-harmed, simply because of the displacement I felt not knowing where I belonged.
    When I went to college last year, I met an amazing girl, and my whole life suddenly made sense. I am exponentially happier being able to know who I truly am.
    There wasn't a day in high school where I didn't think about going just a little bit deeper. And i know I am not the only young one out there who felt the same way.

  • 26. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I've found it myself, but I thought I'd post that the "give here" link in this post just links to the picture, and not the contribution web page.

    Thank you so much for this site. I've been showing all my friends and reminding them all that just because we are straight doesn't mean this doesn't affect us.

    It's trials like this that allow my friends to become equal in the eyes of the law. They are equal in mine, but I hope this extends to the law as well. For those affected by this law, know that there are straight people here who are just as angry about it as you are, even if we could never know exactly how it feels.

    Three cheers to all the contributers to this site!

  • 27. Kate G.  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Thank you, also, for leaving the comments option open! The Protect Marriage blog certainly isn't. They're really not about an open exchange of ideas, and that keeps bubbling up to the surface in both the courtroom and blogosphere.

    Thank you for enouraging a discourse on this topic!

  • 28. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:29 am

    I don't know whether anyone is reading the blog besides me, but it is fascinating to see their spin on testimony. According to their blogger, yesterday's testimony amounts to whiny kids in the car … it really must be seen to be believed. Of course, we all know that the opposition doesn't want to reveal the facts … I wonder how they sleep at night.

    Thanks to everyone who is posting here from a straight ally for equality.

  • 29. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Yes, I check what they are saying too and I agree – what a crock – I just hope their side won't be too disappointed, when they lose…oh I forgot, they anticipate the judge is very biased.

  • 30. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:52 am

    though he admitted that his studies of social and minority stress is at odds with several other studies on the issue

    Umm no he said those previous studies from 25+ years ago were at odds with the recent studies. It was the D-I lawyer who asked that and was corrected.

  • 31. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:56 am

    By that reasoning, I couldn’t help but think of other groups of people who might feel stress over social stigmatization. Are obese people a special legal class? Stutterers?

    Actually people who have a stutter are covered under the Disability Act, and there is indeed a lot of stress with having a stutter. You can't hide it, and people notice it right away. Some feel uncomfortable around it, and some of these people even make it openly known.

    I'm going to stop here because I can't read any more of this tripe.

  • 32. Michelle  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Thanks to everyone for doing this. It's such a shame that we cannot witness it for ourselves but this is the next best, if not better thing. My sincere thanks!

  • 33. JT  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:40 am

    I just wanted to post an 'aol' – thanks for all the work blogging this trial. This seems likely to be an extremely significant legal case for many reasons and it's very interesting to read the various testimony and the context behind it. Kudos for keeping everyone informed!

  • 34. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Perhaps there would be a way to admit into evidence the Yes on 8 blog regarding the trial.

    Today, i see they continue their discrimination, demean and insult us by stating that the testimony yesterday was about us getting "our feelings hurt".

    If the judge can't see that their harassment, insults, attacks, etc will continue, and probably only get worse after the results of this trial, then we are essentially screwed.

    Like I said yesterday, they just don't get it, nor do I have any faith that they ever will.

    Perhaps we SHOULD start making fun of them, tagging their personal property, etc. If they and their witnesses are going to make false accusations about being afraid for their safety and other blatant lies, maybe we should just make them come true so they know what it's like to be ridiculed and come home to find their personal property destroyed.

    I think the following terms could be hurled their way:

    – "over populators"
    – "breeders"
    – "child abusers" (certainly enough of those in the paper to justify THAT label)
    – "home wreckers" (due to divorce and leaving kids to deal with mommy's new boyfriend, that also, invariably, beats them up)
    – "incapable of sustaining a relationship"
    – "liars" (on SO many levels)
    – "going to hell" (for not abiding by the teachings of their bible)
    – "adulterers"
    – etc

    Eventually, after enough of that, they'd be crying to the judicial system and file their own lawsuit and (should we lose) refer to Prop 8 as precedent.

    And then we can say "ooooh, their feelings are hurt".

  • 35. Emily  |  January 15, 2010 at 2:39 am

    My partner and I have been together for just under 4 years. We met in college in Arizona, in our sorority of all places. For 2 years while at school we struggled immensely with the hate and misunderstanding that many of us unfortantely know all too well.

    We fought the fight many of us need to, and upon doing so we transformed the minds of many conservative young women, who simply were ingorant to the love between two same sex partners. We now call many of them our dearest friends, and when this fight for equality ends, they will be standing up at the alter with us.

    It is important for us all to be proud of who are, shame only makes them seem right. We will win this battle.

  • 36. Pm  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I just wanted to say how impressed I am with this blog, and that I appreciate your in-depth coverage more than I could possibly convey. THANK YOU.

  • 37. Nathan  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Oh my, oh my this blog is fantastic!

    I just want to say thank you to all who have contributed their time and energy to tracking this trial from the beginning, as well as sharing their knowledge and personal insight on the judicial proceedings at hand.

    I have never before become so captivated by a legal proceeding and therefore extend my hand in thanks to Prop8 Trial Tracker. You have made this happen. I have followed you from the beginning and wil follow to the end (hopefully a NEW beginning).

    You have opened my eyes to the many underlying issues now exposed because of the proceedings and provided impetus to no longer sit back, listen and watch but to instead become actively involved in OUR fight for equal rights.

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