Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Liveblogging Day 5: Part IV Afternoon session begins


By Rick Jacobs

Boutrous (plaintiff’s lawyer): Mr. Thompson said that witnesses were withdrawn because of the cameras. In fact, they withdrew them after the Supreme Court issued the temporary stay. We predicted in the pre-trial that they would withdraw because they could not withstand cross.

Thompson (defense lawyer): We in our papers explained that witnesses were concerned. Boutrous exacerbated situation when on Monday he insisted on having taping continue.

[UPDATE] 1:32

Cross-exam of Dr. Michael Lamb continues…

Judge: Why do adoptive children seek out their biological parents? Just asking as a layperson.

L: Because people want to understand literally where they came from. Does not relate to maladjustment.

Judge: NO relation to antisocial behavior?


Judge: No reason to protect children from lesbians and gays. We’ve all read the reports of priestly abuse in Catholic Church. How do you square your statement with that?

Data show that individuals who have same sex orientation are no more likely to abuse children than heteros. They do abuse children just as heteros due. Not familiar with church issues completely, but know that in Ireland huge report that heteros in the church abused children. I don’t want to convey the fact that homos never abuse children; no more likely than heteros.

Judge: Any study? Focused on the children more than the individuals who are thought to be the abusers?

L: Yes.

T: Why is it that if genetic connection is not important couples go through in vitro expense rather than adopt?

L: Some people do find this genetic connection important, but data that children created in any way are equally likely to be “normal.” The children are what they are.

T: Research on gay fathers has been conducted with homogeneous groups?

L: Not sure about term homogenous in this context.

T: Fourth edition of role of Father in Family Development 2004. Charlotte Patterson wrote a chapter called Gay Fathers, whom L holds in high regard.

T: Samples of gay fathers have been mainly Caucasian, affluent, in urban centers. Although the evidence suggests that gay men are more likely to live in urban centers, cannot conclude that this is all accurate. For conclusion, caution is required because it’s new area of research.

L: True at time in 2002. I am starting a study of my own on gay male parenting in UK and want to do so in US. Want to match as many issues as you can, including nature of parents’ prior relationship.

T: Most do not do that?

L: Some do. Some don’t.

T: Combined income of $100,000 with one child, and second with $100,000 with ten children, resources available to children different. You’ll try to control for that in your study?

L: Yes. No studies on which I would rely have no control groups.

T: Do you have any data on parental age and how it matters?

L: What would be important would not to mix teen parents with mature parents and likewise not to mix when older people have children? Not linearly related to parenting.

T: You’ll ask in your study if parents are sexually exclusive?

L: Nature of relationship between parents important. To the extent that sexual exclusivity is important to consider, we might study this. As I told you at depo, we might look at this. True of both homo and hetero couples in terms of study.

T: Many of the studies on which you rely are single time snapshots?

L: Some do. UK study will include those adopted at birth.

T: Ed background, income available, relate to parenting. Important to consider?

L: Yes.

T: Most of yours deal with white middle class lesbians?

L: Some do, yes. Reason we don’t have control is we did not need for studies.

T: Average better to have two parents?

L: Average, yes.

T: But your studies compare lesbians to single mothers?

L: Some do, but some don’t.

T: Kids of lesbians only do as well as single mom family?

L: Some do. Large body of work. Missing the point. Look at level of adequate schooling, etc.

T: Many are of young children so not enough data?

L: Some and some look to GPA.

T: none of studies look at difficulty of schools or difficulty of course work? Would want to compare native intelligence to attainment?

L: Nice if you can, but hard to get to it?

T: Not one single study that has tried to compare these children’s’ educational attainment and native intelligence?

L: Yes.

T: Do not hold constant in studies for number of siblings even though sibling is a good thing?

L: Right.

T: You don’t compare community college v. Cambridge for kids? Not one study compares financial resources grandparents make available?

L: Not financial resources, no. But resources of grandparents are taken into account.

T: We’re looking at hundreds of studies you’ve done children of gay parents. None takes into account grandparents’ financial capacity to help kids?

L: Not none.

T: Lots of researchers have shown that depression can indirectly affect children (referencing Dr. Meyer’s testimony about how LGBs can get depressed from too much social stigma).

L: Depression of parents can indirectly affect kids.

T: Talking about witness from Canada same-sex marriage “battle” and a guy who is “unfortunately deceased at the present.” [That’s his construction; unfortunately, he’s deceased at the present.]

[UPDATE] 1:50

T: Would you agree that coming to a settled definition of homosexuality is important to doing effective research on this issue?

L: Neither me nor Knox is an expert on these definitions. We do research on same-sex oriented v. opposite-sex oriented.

T: It is necessary to use those correlational data…

L: Need to use multiple techniques to learn.

T: Page 18 of Knock (Knox?) affidavit. Agree that researcher must ID how info is to be obtained from sample?

L: Yes.

T: Before gathering a single datum from a sample must first translate concepts of what is to be measured. (Line of questions to say that a moveable definition of homosexuality is key and without same, none of this research matters.)

Althea Nagi (?) and Lerner reached conclusion that same-sex parenting literature not sufficient to draw conclusions about same sex parenting skills.

L: Yes, they drew that conclusion ten years ago.

T: Walter Shum of Kansas State Univ: What was really learned from Golubmach/Tasker?

L: I did see it. He has published in journals in which you have to pay to get published, so I see it in that light.

T: You have “squared off” against him before?

L: I have seen him in trials, yes. Always useful for researchers to exercise caution (in response to Shum saying the body of work is too small as are samples of gay fathers.)

T: “One relatively new line of inquiry is the dev and adjustment of children living with parents of LGB parents.” “The persistent limitation of these studies is that most rely upon white middle class previously married lesbians and their children. As a result we cannot be confident of the generalizability of the findings.”

L: You would have to be careful if you were relying on a small group of individuals to do research.

T: “Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter” by Dr. Julia Stacy at USC.

L: Familiar with her work. Not sure she is advocate of ss marriage.

T: Reads from her writing. “However on other measures such as occupational goals and sartorial style, they (children of lesbians) find more gender conformity.” [T now realizes that he goofed and wants to read more.]

L: On some measures such as play preferences and hostility.

T: “Minuscule sample” can be too restrictive. [This is footnote. Trying to make point that not enough data for any of what L does is useful.]

T: Virginia Schiller of Yale writes in very last sentence, “Given that opponents make egregious statements about children of g & l, are we justified in lower scientific standards in medical community?” Is this okay?

L: I don’t know of such lower standards in any studies.

T: You don’t know of bias previously against GL?

L: I had understood you wanted me to comment on that statement above?

T: That’s okay. Let’s move on.

T: You “ignored” a study.

L: This study is a complete outlier of the research. By own admission, problems with its methodology. (Study compares childhood outcomes.)

T: This study has the largest sample ever?

L: This one has 58 children of lesbian mothers. Two control groups. Not by a long shot the largest sample for study. [L knows much more about the studies than the lawyer, which is embarrassing the lawyer. He keeps on moving because he is looking for ways to discredit Lamb which is just not working.]

T: You agree that setting limits for children is important?

Judge: That’s not the only area in which setting limits are important.


[UPDATE] 2:04

T: I’m going to try to show that L does not compare with married heteros. Compares with all hetero parents, including those who are not married.

Judge: He’s your witness; ask him.

L: Did not exclude people who were not married in the hetero group.

T: You just don’t know how many of these studies compare bio same sex couples with lesbian couples?

L: Compare bio parent-raised kids with lesbian couples, not necessarily just married couples to lesbians.

[Lots of this. Going on and on to make clear that there is not control group of married bio parents. L says we did not exclude people who were not married with bio children.]

T: Five of 38 rated children, 17%, shown with psych disorder lesbians compared with 12 of 104 or 9% of hetero couples.

L: No. Read preceding sentence. Difference is not large enough because it’s not statistically different.

T: Keeps pushing to say that it’s 50% greater for homos, but it’s not statistically significant because sample size is so small. Lamb keeps saying it’s not statistically significant.

Thomas goes through every single study to show that heteros in samples include all heteros, not just married.

L: I have not gone through all of these, but I think we did not exclude people who were not married. However, most were married, especially in the early studies.

T: Wants to have him look at a mathematical formulation on cognitive competence.

L: Appears true that cognitive competence of married parents’ kids is higher than lesbians in this study.

[Thomas is sort of proving our point, namely if gays and lesbians could marry and live equally with heteros, kids would all do equally well. If there is no stigma, than kids will do well.]

[UDATE] 2:12 Judge: Isn’t this going to be the same for all documents?

T: (Waiving hands) We’re trying to show that optimal way to raise kids is in hetero households.

Judge: We are trying a case. There is a way to ask these questions so we move along quickly. Why not just list documents and ask questions at end?

T: Good suggestion.


[Series of these]

[Delay because they are marking up documents on all of this.]

[NOTE]: This thread was getting to be a bit long. I’ve moved to a new one for Dr. Lamb’s re-direct.

Tags: , , ,


  • 1. Michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Give me an effin' break you freakin' CRYBABIES!!

  • 2. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:12 am

    "he started it…." This is pathetic. Is there any way they can be forced to testify? Probably not… 5th and all.

  • 3. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Actually the 5th applies to self-incrimination only. They can subpoena them and force them to testify

  • 4. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Interesting thought. The defendants clearly don't want to subpoena them (I simply cannot imagine that their "experts" will muster an anti-gay marriage argument that holds water, so far better for the argument to be, "We totally had some experts that would have convinced you, but they are afraid to testify"), and I'm not sure the plaintiffs would have any reason to.

    I'm also fuzzy on what the criteria are for subpoena in a civil case. (IANAL and all) You have any idea?

  • 5. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

    If the defendant's experts pull out and do not testify, so much the better for us. The judge can only rule on what's in evidence.

  • 6. Terri  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Here is at least one of the witnesses that have pulled out of the case – his name is listed on one of the transcripts I am reading on another blog:

    I'd say he pulled because it might make him look bad. Don't know but that is a guess at this point. He didn't want to be cross examined.

  • 7. brad  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    No 5th amendment here, it's a civil trial. Our side should get the civil subpoenas out.

  • 8. brad  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:36 am

    James–subpoena power is really broad. Any witness with relevant information. The key is that they were identified in the witness lists, I'm sure, so our side would be totally justified in saying "no way, they have to come." They probably have TOTALLY ODIOUS opinions and it would be awesome to have them stand up and go "I think gay people are the devil but I'm scared!"

  • 9. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Interesting. Though with the trial not being broadcast, I wonder if that would be a good or bad PR move for the Good Guys… One one hand, getting these bigots to spew their bigotry is a good thing, but then again a story about how those mean gays forced good upstanding Xians to testify even though they feared for their lives might play pretty well with those on the wrong side of the culture wars…

  • 10. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I don't want to disillusion Thompson, but it is customary to tape the proceedings.

  • 11. BobbiCW  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Thompson's apt to aggravate the judge — didn't the judge say they would continue taping for his (the judge's) personal use?

    Am assuming they're doing this so they'll have an issue to appeal.

  • 12. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Like this case wasn't going to be appealed anyway? I kinda wish there was more attention in the MSM about all this.

  • 13. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:18 am

    There will be once it hits SCOTUS.

    The mainstream press sorta lost interest when the YouTube thing didn't happen. And that's fair — I mean, the outcome of this trial determines very little.

  • 14. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Plus, they don't have any visuals, so TV isn't going to run a long segment on it.

  • 15. Eddie  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

    The Haiti situation has pushed this trial to the margins and back pages as well.

  • 16. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:31 am

    MSM can only focus on one important event (Haiti) outside of all their pop culture Britney/Tiger/Miley/Paris stories, DUHH!

  • 17. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Hey, the Tiger Woods story is really important! How else is the public going to decide whether to recognize golfer marriage?

  • 18. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Isn't our girl Rachel covering this on MSNBC?

  • 19. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:13 am


    I am ignorant of the law but I thought having a public audience was part of the judicial process to some degree.

  • 20. keithincali  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    The Constitution implies that trials are to be open to the public so there is transparency in justice. As technology evolves, televisions cameras have been allowed into certain trials and for the SCOTUS to strike down cameras in this trial is hideous. They shouldn't be involved in this at all.

  • 21. Todd in NYC  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Those who spew hate are cowards.

  • 22. Abbie  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

    This part really has me worried. I would hate for this to be sidetracked because of a silly loophole like this.

    ~Str8 Against H8~

  • 23. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:15 am

    No worries, it's not a loophole at all. Trials are routinely videotaped for archival purposes, and the idea that the witnesses are afraid to testify because the judge might later view them on tape is patently absurd. And as BobbiCW suggested, it very well may piss off the judge!

  • 24. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Oh yeah 😀 I guess you are right. I didn't see it but yeah 😀 they would testify in front of the judge but they would not testify when the same judge would later watch it on tape? how hilarious is that?
    so was Lächerliches!!!

  • 25. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    are they maybe just merely trying to shut the media (like this great live blogging) out?

  • 26. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Can't someone just please write a Freedom of Information Act request and get the tapes?

  • 27. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Boutrous exacerbated situation when on Monday he insisted on having taping continue.

    I dunno, Thompson has a point here. Yes, it is true that the taping is now only for archival purposes and will only be viewed by Judge Vaughn. But that still leaves one person — the judge himself! — who could subject the witnesses to harassment and threats if he views the tape.

    The only remedy here is to issue a restraining order against Judge Vaugn, mandating that he keep at least one hundred yards from the witnesses at all times. Then the defense will be able to conduct the kind of trial they have been hoping for.

  • 28. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:15 am

    LOL. That Judge must be very intimidating to Thompson.

  • 29. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:16 am

    I had to laugh – laughter is good!

  • 30. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

    same here! had to laugh a lot today! all guys here: you once again give great comments! Love you!

  • 31. RAL  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Good one James.

  • 32. Frank  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    hehehe. you got me. that was good James!

  • 33. Dave Babler (Canton,  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Can't the tapes be subpoenaed* in later trials.

    *I have always hated the spelling of this word, who's with me on this?

  • 34. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I didn't even know the meaning nor the pronounciation of it, so I am with you 😀 especially since the spelling IS aweful

  • 35. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Not sure. Still, there's no chance in hell that the 9th Circuit or SCOTUS trials are going to be broadcast to the public, so even if they can, it still seems like a pretty flimsy thing to be afraid of.

    Then again, though, that Scalia seems like a real mofo.. Maybe the witnesses are afraid he will beat them up!

  • 36. John D  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:45 am

    I'm fine with the word "subpoena."

    In answer to Steffi's question, it's from the Latin "sub peona," which means "under penalty." Or, "testify or we jail you."

    It's actually an easy word to pronounce, despite its weird Latin spelling. "Sub" is easy. "Poena" is "pee-nah." Sub-pee-nah.

    Now let's subpoena those witnesses. I want to hear how Dr. Tam would defend his opinions.

  • 37. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Main Entry: 1sub·poe·na
    Pronunciation: sə-ˈpē-nə, ÷-nē
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English suppena, from Latin sub poena under penalty
    Date: 15th century
    : a writ commanding a person designated in it to appear in court under a penalty for failure

  • 38. BobbiCW  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:15 am

    @James Sweet HaHaHaHa!

  • 39. Sarah  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:18 am

    As my three year old son says: "nanny nanny boo boo, you hurt my feelings".

  • 40. Urbain  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:20 am

    And what about the court reporter present? Are they going to say there can be no record whatsoever?

    I'm not a lawyer. I really don't understand the defense's argument but do think that they are looking to create some sort of grounds for a dismissal or mistrial.

  • 41. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:23 am

    It could be that, as BobbiCW speculates, they are trying to make sure there is fertile ground to bring an appeal. I can't imagine the 9th Circuit denying an appeal on this issue regardless of how it is ruled… but this could just be "appeal insurance".

    If that's the case, it would piss me off a little less. That's a legitimate tactic.

  • 42. brad  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:27 am

    How would this help them as a ground to appeal? "We withdrew our own witnesses, that is grounds to appeal." No way. Appellate courts WILL NOT CONSIDER evidence not raised below. They can't argue "if only our witnesses HAD testified, it would have shown x and y and z and we would have won."

    It's STUPID anyway. People know who these people are. Their names are public. I.e. this Tam wingnut. It's not like having a few people in a courtroom see them is going to make any difference.

  • 43. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Brad is totally accurate. The only thing that this judge or any judge on appeal can consider is what's been placed in evidence in this trial. The cowards can shout until the cows come home, but they won't be heard.

  • 44. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Thompson: We would like to stop taping of this court case.

    Walker: Why?

    Thompson: Well, we don't want anyone to see hear or re-read our testimony… cause it was really bad.

    Walker: (Blank stare…)

    Thompson: (defense lawyer): Well I don't think I'm doing a very good job and this might look bad on my resume.

    Boustrous: Well, I admit. Res that was pretty embarrassing. I mean an edition from 1970?

    Thompson: Do over?

    Walker: No.

    Boutrous: Do over? Seriously- did you just say that?

    Thompson: no – no I didn't/

    Walker: Yes you did.
    Boutrous: Yes you did

    Thompson: now now- see there you just proved my point, If we weren't taping this right now You couldn't prove that. plus I think the judge wants to harm my witness.

    Walker: Wut?

    Thompson: You're giving him the stink eye.

    Walker: (Blank stare…)

  • 45. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I think the witnesses are just just pining for the fjords.

  • 46. Rachel  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Pining for the Fjords?! He's pushing up daisies!

  • 47. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:39 am

    The fjiords of China?

  • 48. Rachel  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:32 am

    HAHAHA! That's EXACTLY what he was saying! *giggle* stink eye…

  • 49. Kelly  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

    …Can you be the court stenographer?

  • 50. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Oh I could go on .. and on. I mean, with out any record of the proceedings I think we should all be allowed to make it up for ourselves, right?

  • 51. Ryan  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I appreciate this. A LOT. I also laughed a lot. Thank you BMc.

  • 52. kristin  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:25 am

    OMG, they're nuts. I am so glad Boutrous called them out on their BS story since the witnesses withdrew after SCOTUS issued the stay.

  • 53. keithincali  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Yes they are nuts. I can't believe the level of hate these people have against gay couples just because they want their relationships to be treated like everyone else. How in the world does someone else's relationship affect theirs? I will never understand that line of thought. As American's we should all be champions of equal freedoms/protection for everyone. The religious right refuse to understand what freedom and equal protection under the law means. They want the bible to be law and that isn't how our country is set up. Their line of thinking is popular in places like Iran or Afghanistan where religious extremists rule.

  • 54. MaxVoltageSF  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:25 am

    What EGZACTLY did these folks think it meant, when they had planned on being a WITNESS, at a public trial?

  • 55. Petr Tomeš  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Anyone interested in well-documented Lamb's testimony in similar case?

  • 56. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Are they trying to throw all media out? by saying if it wasn't screened to the media room the whitnesses would testify?

  • 57. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Of course they are. The only way these people win is by enacting fear through lies to the general public, and they have an absurdly laughable "case" for opposing gay marriage in a court of law. The less the public realizes this, the more they can control them with their filthy, polarizing, hateful lies.

    The only way these people win is if the judges are as bigoted as they are and ignore the law.

  • 58. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:39 am

    It seems like it. I dunno, I'm not surprised they fought the YouTube thing, but this objection to the videotaping for the judge's sake is confusing… I'm thinking it's either appeal insurance (though brad argues that I'm full of shit on that one, and IANAL so he may be right) or else it is some kind of grandstanding. As I mentioned before, I can't imagine that anything they could whip out in expert testimony could be more convincing than, "Well we had this guy who was totally going to convince you, but he got chased off by angry homos." i.e. it may just be a PR move.

    Fighting the YouTube thing made sense, because they want to bury this trial, and they had a good chance of success (as clearly seen). But they've got no chance of success here, so… I dunno, it's weird.

  • 59. ron  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I'm sticking to waterboarding, the conservative way. They will show up and tell their tale of saving marriage from weard people

  • 60. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    How about a good biblical stoning. They like that.

  • 61. Doug  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I'd like Walker to turn off the tapes just long enough to get Tam on the stand so he can he his absurdities first hand.

  • 62. remix  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Translation: All of our experts are quacks and fear their lack of credibility will be exposed should they testify.

  • 63. Rebecca  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

    "Judge: No reason to protect children from lesbians and gays. We’ve all read the reports of priestly abuse in Catholic Church. How do you square your statement with that?"

    OMG!!! I love this Judge!!!

    Thank you your Honor.

  • 64. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:42 am


    Seriously, how many times do you hear stories of priests/pastors/etc that wind up with charges of sexual abuse? Every other day.

    Homosexuals abusing kids? Rarely.

    There are good and bad religious figures, just as there are good and bad of everybody. But just because someone is 'Godly', does not make them some superhero martyr like these people try to paint themselves as.

  • 65. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Just have to read JoeMyGod. Reports of the heteros abusing children are in there every day.

  • 66. De'Angelo  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    MykelB.. i find myself instantly attracted to you because my cousins name is Mykel and she was the only member who was truly supportive of me when i came out. She's as close as a sister to me.

    So i dunno if Mykel is your real name or just a screen name.. but i instantly like you!

  • 67. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:54 am

    but didn't he actually ask whether this would not be counted as homosexual abuse? since many things you hear is actually about BOYS being abused by priests. did I miss sth.?
    I thought the judge would ask: you say there's no need to protect children from gays but what about these priests abusing children?

  • 68. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Agreed. That was a softball question if I ever saw one!

  • 69. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Too bad our side didn't offer the following:

    "so, if heterosexuals that supported PROP 8 believe in one man + one woman and wanted to protect their children, what percent of heterosexual couples continued to take their children to church in spite of the fact those same churches abused their children? Isn't it conceivable that a sane heterosexual parent remove their child from that particular denomination altogether?

    How strongly DO they believe that marriage between one man and one woman is best for the child if they continue to attend an institution KNOWN for sexually abusing children?"

  • 70. Ray  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:44 am

    It's not ONLY that their witnesses couldn't withstand cross examination, it's ALSO that their peers in their area of expertise would CRUSIFY them if they used their expertise for the purpose of aiding discrimination.

    That's the law of the jungle in legitimate research. Do NO HARM.

  • 71. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Am I confused or did the defense misunderstand "not none"

  • 72. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I'm with you. I think they just rolled over that one.

    "Nothing to see here"

  • 73. afisher  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:47 am

    As I am not a member of the LGBT, just want all of those in this community that you have the support of those like me, a 62 yo retired person.

    I'll keep watching, even though this entire trial will be pretty low on the radar to most non-LGBT with all that is going on with Healthcare and Haiti.

    If you need support the DADT – just let me know, I am more than ready to take my goofy Govenor Perry down!!!

  • 74. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I too am not a part of LGBT, but I care deeply about this. It's good to see that there are lots of different kinds of people who can get behind this cause.

    This affects all of us… No matter the race, age, education level, sexual orientation, gender, or class.

  • 75. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

    "this entire trial will be pretty low on the radar to most non-LGBT"
    Well actually I was startled how many straights are actually here. I'd have thought it would be a very small minority but it took me by surprise HOW MANY straights we are here 🙂 I'd never have thought this. and aditionally from all ages, gender and even countries 😀

  • 76. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I wrote a long-ish comment on another thread about this, so I won't bother to repeat the whole thing, but in a nutshell: The reason I am so passionate about this issue, despite being straight, is because it is uncomplicated and there is no downside. I can't really think of another political issue where the correct answer is so clear, and where there are literally no difficulties in how one would go about implementing it: As of today, all marriage legislation is now gender-neutral. Boom, done.

    As I said in my comment in the other thread, the biggest practical barrier to recognizing gay marriage is all the pen ink that will be spent crossing out "Husband" and "Wife" on marriage certificates to replace it with "Spouse" and "Spouse". Contrast that with, say, the practical impediments to implementing universal health insurance. As strongly as I feel about the latter, I can't be as passionate about it, because I just don't know what the best solution is to make it happen. Gay marriage, though? I haven't the slightest doubt.

  • 77. kristin  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I'm not a member of the LGBT community, just an LGBT friendly person who is following this trial closely. I voted no on prop 8 and am just really hoping that marriage equality will be extended to all.

  • 78. TammyT  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I am also not LGBT. I voted no on prop 8, and support equality in marriage (and everything else) without discrimination.

  • 79. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Thank you, kristin! And thank you to all non-LGBT who support extending equal rights to all! You give me faith in humanity…

  • 80. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Thanks afisher for your support!

  • 81. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:50 am

    As Justice Souter said in the dissent tot he videotape decission, all of the Defendant's witnesses are advocates/purported experts who have all publicly stated their position in opposition to marriage equality in the press, public forums, rallies, etc. The idea that they are afraid to testify because of the fear of public retaliation is silly. Even if they did rationally have that fear, it calls to question the strength of their convictions. If I was asked to speak on a topic I deeply believed in in a forum as important as this, fear of the opposition would not stand in my way. The Defendants know they have a weak case and this is their excuse for not calling witnesses they have previously identified while trying to gain sympathy and paint our side as anarchists.

  • 82. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Sorry, it was Justice Breyer.. not Justice Souter. I am getting my Supremes confused!

  • 83. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Yes, I see the same thing. It may also give them some grounds for SCOTUS appeal. I am beginning to believe they may not have wanted to testify, since the defense seems to be losing on their studies. If the defense presents witnesses whose testify of "old studies" it looks bad for them.

  • 84. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    The reality is that there is not one adequetely non-biased, peer-reviewed study that supports the Defendants. They are better off trying to poke holes in the Plaintiff's experts and paint them as advocates rather than calling their own experts who will discuss biased and old studies and then get absolutely destroyed on cross examination. Those of us who have follwed this issue know just how much of a quack science the Defense has. One of the reasons why I wanted a public video of this lawsuit is I wanted a video of Boies or Olsen destroying one of these quack scientists to go viral on youtube for the whole world to see. It would have done a lot of good for our movement. Although there will be no video, the defense is still trying to prevent such a public destruction of their quack science in court.

  • 85. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I am finding myself more and more irritated with the Plantiffs. They hate homosexuals and anything to do with homosexuality, yes, but they are also constantly degrading anything that isnt MAN WOMAN AND CHILD~!

    There are SO MANY single parents out there, and are they being questioned on their parenting abilities in a court of law? No. But from this examination I'm betting these people would LOVE to put those rights up on deck as well!

    Honestly. There are millions and millions of parentless kids in the world, living in orphanages or being shipped from foster home to foster home, and these guys are basically saying children shouldn't exist without a MOTHER AND FATHER! (but omg don't abort all da babbieeeess). Despicable.

  • 86. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:56 am

    I meant defendants, by the way. Sorry. I tend to get scatterbrained when my frustration is increased.

  • 87. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:56 am

    I think you meant the Defendants. The Defendants are the pro-Prop8 people.

  • 88. Patrick Regan  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:56 am

    er… sorry didn't see your next post.

  • 89. Daimeon  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:05 am

    You mean Defendants.

  • 90. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

    You mean the Defendants? It's the bad guys who are in the hot seat here 😉

    I think the fact that we haven't seen the bible types go after adultery, divorce and single parenting with a fraction of the viciousness they've thrown at gay rights says volumes about the animus at work here.

    Ironically, they would probably have a stronger "moral" case if they were even more puritanical and meddlesome than they already are. At least they'd be able to claim some genuine moral concerns.

  • 91. Frijondi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Jan, you have hit the nail on the head. If gay couples can marry, and, as a consequence, be viewed as legitimate parents, it will be that much harder for the far right to dictate how other families can live. And that is what they want to do — dictate social policy, and penalize those families that don't resemble Ward, June, and the Beave.

  • 92. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:55 am

    "and the Beave…" Made me laugh. Thanks!

  • 93. elliott  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Don't forget Wally! Never forget Wally!

  • 94. Callie  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Seriously, if you're going to be a bigot, at least have some cajones about it. Put your big boy undies on and come out of your hater closet. Otherwise, you're no better than those rednecks in the 50s and 60s who liked to wear white sheets.

    Reminds me of that scene from "Fried Green Tomatoes" where Idgy says, "I'd recognize those size 10 clodhoppers anywhere!"

  • 95. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Love that reference Callie. It is what it is, at least we can see it, soon the rest of the world will too.

  • 96. Scott Lanway  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

    "Deceased at the present"? What, like he's cryogenically frozen and they'll thaw him in the future to testify at appeals?

  • 97. Anna  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    That's exactly what I was wondering! If it's only at present, does that mean he'll undecease in the future? Or is he a zombie and hence his deceased status makes it hard for him to be taken seriously under the law?

    What are the legal rights of zombies, anyway? 😉

  • 98. Ryan  |  January 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I honestly thought I was the only one confused by that statement. I figured it was some sort of legal jargon! It's good to know that wasn't the case.

    On a related note, are there benefits for people who fall under "deceased at the present"? I'd like me some of those!

  • 99. Leslie  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Oh yeah, straight married couples always have exclusive relationships. NOT, says the daughter of a couple who has now been married almost 52 years and yet who both had many extramarital affairs.

    And we all know that it's predominantly gay men who sexually abuse children. After all look at the local (to me) pediatrician who was just arrested for sexually abusing probably over 100 girls. Oh, wait…

  • 100. Dwane Porter  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:58 am

    If you were to look at the cost of having a child by invitro or surrogate services its is often cost prohibitive for those who do not make above 100K LBGT or straight.

    As for the LBGT that adopt there are also barriers – while not as cost prohibative as the invito-surrogate route it can be difficult – much more so than straight couples have to endure.

    While some of the LGBT community maybe well educated and middle class or above does not preclude discimination. Prior to civil rights for black there were those who were wealthy and also middle class – while not the norm.

  • 101. caryniam  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    WTH? If Catholic priests are abusing children, shouldn't we be protecting children from Catholic priests?? Surprised that Judge is equating that with protecting children from gays. My goodness.

    To the extent the priests might be gay, it's more that they are living a lie (and/or not acting out on the sexuality) that might lead them to abuse which would support taking barriers away from coming out such as Prop 8.

  • 102. Ray  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I'm trying to understand why that was even mentioned since the context of the questions are about what straights and gay WHO HAVE CHILDREN do. I know there are a few priests who have fathered children (that they'll admit to) but the subject of the Irish Bombshell where 300 children were victims involved priests who were "allegedly" celebate. That's apples and oranges. Priests aren't parents. So why the comparison to gays or straights who ARE parents?

  • 103. Lance Lanier  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I meet LG people everyday that have their own biological children. Granted they may have decided to deal with their sexuality later rather than sooner, but there you have it. Where do these LG people fall into line? To me, all of this is, bla bla bla. Adoptive children will not be any worse off, than living with one parent or another. So to have two parents at home, no matter if both are of the same gender, would be beneficial no matter how you look at it. A social network of family is always better. And yes, grandparents can be awesome in that social network.

  • 104. Callie  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    T: You agree that setting limits for children is important?

    Judge: That’s not the only area in which setting limits are important.



  • 105. Dave Babler (Canton,  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Can the judge's snarky comments turn this into a mistrial?

    I'm worried that the defense will claim bias. Judge is starting to sound like Judy.

  • 106. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:10 am

    As a trial lawyer, let me tell you that Judge's most always have snarky comments. They are human beings too and it is a sign that they are engaged. There is a fine line between snarky and biased and I don't think the Judge has crossed that line.. yet.

    With that said, I am somewhat concerned about how this Judge will present in front of SCOTUS. Five of the Justices (one of which we really care about) have already found that he went too far and circumvented procedural court rules in an attempt to have a public video feed. To these Justices, it will be easy to paint him as an activist judge, and the 9th Circuit as an activist circuit, that both need to be reigned in. If this judge rules for us, his order will be more effective if it is long, boring, detailed in legal analysis rather than poetic and inspiring. This is what I worry about now.

  • 107. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    I guess we could only assess how it really is if we could actually SEE this…. reading his questions I don't really think he's biased – either direction

  • 108. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:15 am

    That seems like a more legitimate concern. I was indeed somewhat disturbed by the majority opinion's hostile tone towards Judge Vaughn in the recent stay. I have no idea whether this will matter, but if you're saying it might, that's disturbing :/

  • 109. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:13 am

    No. Proving judicial bias is intentionally made to be very difficult, in order that judges will have leeway to do their jobs. Even in cases where the judge was clearly in the pocket of one side or the other, it's rare for it to result in a mistrial without "smoking gun" evidence (e.g. the judge being bribed or whatever)

    And anyway, from court transcripts I have read, the judge is not very far our on a limb here at all. The defendant's cross-examinations have been long-winded and tedious, and the judge wants them to get to their point. This is quite normal.

    I have found the judge to be even-handed so far, for the most part. He has been impatient with the defense, but he has also asked the plaintiffs' witnesses challenging questions at times. Also, in terms of handling objections, he has given both sides a fair amount of leeway to introduce evidence and pursue lines of questioning whose relevance is tenuous at best. (i.e. he has been biased towards overruling objections, regardless of which side raised it)

    Nope, he's not even close to throwing the trial. No worries! 🙂

  • 110. Frijondi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Just a quick note to thank you, Rick and everyone else, for the magnificent job you're doing.

  • 111. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:04 am

    gay fathers by charlotte J. Patterson 😉 if you're interested

  • 112. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:08 am

    It is actually the book which the defence had an old copy from this is the 2004 edition ;D

  • 113. Happy  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

    QUESTION: If this somehow is decided in favor of LGBT marriage , we are still stuck in limbo waiting for appeal after appeal, most likely all the way to SCOTUS, right? There will likely be no immediate change to CA law (Prop. 8), even upon a LGBT-favored ruling from Judge Walker. So the best this is likely to do is lay the groundwork for a favorable decision from the 9th District Court of Appeals and ultimately SCOTUS? Is this right, or am I missing something?

  • 114. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Right. But it's not "apeeal after appeal", there are only two more rounds (9th Circuit and SCOTUS). And it might create another window (or even two windows, if both District Court and Circuit Court rule in favor of the plaintiffs) when same-sex couples can get married in CA, but it seems likely that the an injunction would be granted to close the window before it opened. Hard to say, though.

  • 115. Happy  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Thanks James – I know appeal after appeal sounded never-ending, but it is technically correct: APPEAL to SCOTUS AFTER the APPEAL to the 9th District… now I'm backtracking. I sound like an attorney for the defense! LOL 🙂

  • 116. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:17 am

    heh, I realized that as I was writing it, but I was hoping I wouldn't get called out on it. D'oh! 😉

  • 117. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I guess you're right. I think this is gonna end before the SCOTUS anyway. but it gives a sign! and it MIGHT be that the defence gives in(?) seeing that they can't argue same shit about withdrawing whitnesses then…

  • 118. Happy  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Oh, Steffi – Would that the defense ever would give in!

    These pathetic homophobes will cling to their sinking ship until St. Peter tells them they've drowned! And even then, all soggy and lifeless, they'll probably press for a direct appeal to God!! 😉

  • 119. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

    T: You “ignored” a study.

    L: This study is a complete outlier of the research.

    Yep, common technique from the alt-med crowd. "But this one study said!" Yeah but, uh, twenty studies said the opposite, so… what do you think?

    What I'm about to write in the following paragraph is forehead-slappingly obvious when you think about it, but it's easy to forget this even for people who pride themselves on critical thinking (I had to have this pointed out to me, for example):

    If you have twenty studies that have a "95% confidence interval", on average the conclusion of one of them was a statistical fluke.

    95% confidence sounds great, and it is… but that still means a 1 in 20 chance that it's all crap. Even if the study that Lamb dismisses did not have methodological problems, if there are 19 other studies that say the opposite then he is well-justified in dismissing it as a statistical fluke.

  • 120. Warren  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:13 am

    The favorite talking point of the right is to say "studies show". Studies show that children do better with a father and mother. Well do they? Compared to what? I could create a study of children raised in by single white heterosexual mothers of high income with significant involvement of the grandparents vs. low income homes of 2 straight parents who work long hours and neglect their children. That study would show that children of single mothers do better than children of married straight parents. But to say so is obscuring the real nature of the study. These guys do studies like this all the time that they review each other on or pay to publish in some journal with an official sounding name and then make wild claims about red herrings. The fact that the general population is too ignorant, lazy and disinterested to delve any deeper is why we have prop8 in the first place.

  • 121. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:18 am


    Lamb: It’s not statistically significant.

    Thompson: because the sample size is so small?

    Lamb: No, because it’s not statistically significant.

    Basic Statistics > Thompson

  • 122. Kelly  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:52 am


  • 123. Rebecca  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:09 am

    "T: Reads from her writing. “However on other measures such as occupational goals and sartorial style, they (children of lesbians) find more gender conformity.” [T now realizes that he goofed and wants to read more.]"

    They have no defense. Even their own findings are against them.

    First the Judge and Catholic Priests and now this. What a powerful way this week is wrapping up.

  • 124. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:10 am

    [L knows much more about the studies than the lawyer, which is embarrassing the lawyer. He keeps on moving because he is looking for ways to discredit Lamb which is just not working.]

    It seems to me the adage applies : "Tis better remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt! [chuckles]

  • 125. Robin  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:14 am

    "T: Lots of researchers have shown that depression can indirectly affect children (referencing Dr. Meyer’s testimony about how LGBs can get depressed from too much social stigma)."

    This guy doesn't seem like a very good lawyer. Lucky for us. 😀 He's making our argument for us. Social stigma –> depression –> bad for children. Gay marriage = less stigma –> less depression –> better for children.

  • 126. keithincali  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

    What irritates the hell out of me is when these anti-gay bigots reference the bible to support their views. We are not a religious ran country. Every country that has been ruled by religion has been tyrannical. If the religious right had their way, gays would most likely face death if outed by someone. At this point we can only hope that the judge does the right thing–uphold our Constitution and rule for gay marriage.

  • 127. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I agree 100%, and think it's fairly obvious how much religion in government is detrimental to a society (Look at someplace like Iran versus the godless pinko commie czar socialist Sweden, or any nordic country), however it is best to avoid this topic altogether.

    If religion comes up do not attack, but definitely not the first amendment/Tripoli treaty/etc in helping to show the unconstitutionality of utilizing a book or religious view for basis of discrimination.

  • 128. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    ok comparison children from lesbian couples with children from MARRIED straight couples is going to be confounded by marriage as we saw yesterday that marriage is an important factor for health issues including mental health….

    and one thing about statistics: not statistically significant means that the 95%Confidence intervals overlap (in this case.) meaning that the range of values within the true value lies overlap which subsequently says that for both settings (straight and gay family) the value of those with psych disorder is likely to be the same after all. the percentage given in this examples are just the means of boths groups and the true value of the population actually lies with 95% probability within the range of the 95% CI…

  • 129. BMc  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Is the Defense purposely trying to stall here? Or just muddy the waters or both?

  • 130. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Well they have more time to fill now that some more witnesses are trying to drop out.

  • 131. Robert a.  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Even if if were true that the optimal way to raise kids was in hetero household we don't require everyone hetero who has a kid to provide that kin of married household.

  • 132. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Nor is procreation an implied or express part of the marriage contract, which is why the whole "gays aren't good parents thing" is kind of irrelevant to the marriage question, IMO.

  • 133. Richard  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

    <q>T: (Waiving hands) We’re trying to show that optimal way to raise kids is in hetero households.</q>

    I am reminded of British sitcom Coupling…
    Patrick: "I'm trying to think on my feet here!"
    Sally: "I know! It's like watching a whale knit!"

  • 134. Warren  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:28 am

    It's pretty tough to try convince someone of something when the facts stand in clear opposition to you. As Stephanie Miller says, the facts have a liberal bias, lol.

  • 135. Craig  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

    It just occurred to me why the defense witnesses are running away before testifying: not only do they risk being severely discredited in the courts for all the hateful spew these bigots manufacture, but their future ability to continue to manufacture such spew would be greatly hampered if they had been proven idiots in a court of law; hence, in order to preserve their positions free from judicial scrutiny, they have no choice but to run away before their misleading statements are officially exposed and dis-proven once and for all. And the bit about being so afraid of reprisals is just a ploy to gain sympathy from the judge. "Pity our side, your honor, our witnesses were scared to death of the Big, Bad Homos."

  • 136. Happy  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Sooooo ridiculous, I know! When's the last time any homosexual beat a hetero to death just for being straight? I've never heard of such a case…

    Oh yeah, we bad! :-/

  • 137. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Nah, the Prop 8 folks are merely in favor of "bashing equality". They want LGBT to feel just as entitled to assault people over their sexual orientation as heterosexuals. It's really quite progressive of them!

  • 138. lisa  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

    T: (Waiving hands) We’re trying to show that optimal way to raise kids is in hetero households.

    …and failing miserably!

  • 139. Alex Tsai  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:11 am

    "T: Lots of researchers have shown that depression can indirectly affect children (referencing Dr. Meyer’s testimony about how LGBs can get depressed from too much social stigma)."

    That's exactly why we are fighting for this & discriminations, so that it won't be a "stigma" any more & we can promote a more healthy society as whole. It shouldn't be the other way around saying that because depression might indirectly affect the children, so that we should not grant homo parents to get married or have kids. That's what we call "EQUALITY"!!!

  • 140. john  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    "T: Five of 38 rated children, 17%, shown with psych disorder lesbians compared with 12 of 104 or 9% of hetero couples"
    5 of 38 is 13.2%, 12 of 104 is 11.5% so even if the sample sizes were significant, which they aren't, the differences would not be. Remember, they need to lie to support their case.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!