Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Liveblogging Day 5: Part VI Finishing the day


By Rick Jacobs

Helen Zia’s emotionally powerful testimony continues.

Zia Reads from Prop. 8 website:

Homosexuality linked to pedophilia. Studies show that homo is linked to pedophilia…link to more (from a Prop. 8 website).

Lawyer: You found this hurtful?

Z: Yes.

L: I’d like to move this into evidence

Prop. 8 Lawyer: No indication that this is official Protect Marriage document.

Judge: YOU made a 403 objection; I’ll reserve until your cross.

Z: Leah Shigimura is my soul mate in life. I love her. She’s the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. She’s the most important person to me. Met her in 1982 (I think). Both involved in civil rights effort around hate crime against Detroit man Vincent Chin. I lived in Detroit, but we met here in SF. We started dating many years later.

Z: I moved from NY (where I was living at the time). I was well entrenched in my journalism career. Was Exec Editor of Ms. and would have been Editor in Chief. Then I met Leah. Had always wanted to be editor of Ms. Met Leah and left NY and the East Coast and the job I had always wanted.

Z: Registered as domestic partners first in SF in 1993 shortly after I moved here to be with Leah. We were excited to register as DPs. Anti-climactic. Went to window where they issue dog licenses. Walked away with little certificate like kid gets for perfect attendance. Framed it, but did not feel like much. Did not send out notices to friends, no party.

Z: 2003, when state DP available, we registered again. No dog license window this time. Downloaded form signed and mailed. Got form back in mail. Not anything to write home about.

Z: Got married President’s Day weekend 2004 when first possible in SF. First did not think it was real. Thought about it. Wanted family around. Dad and Mom elderly. Would have to stand in rain for eight hours. Mother called. Said you and Leah can get married. That was Mom, so okay.

Z: Had friends who worked in SF recorder’s office who were in charge of processing marriage licenses. Wanted volunteers to help process thousands of requests. We both know how to type and file. Came in on Monday, Pres. Day. Office kept open through volunteers. Worked eight hours. Line around block. I was ahead of Leah in process and my part of work was done. I looked at Leah and said should I type out an application for us? Would you marry me? “ Leah, “I can’t talk now. I’m busy filing these things.” While she was busy, I filled form and took it to her. Here’s the marriage license; would you marry me?

Z: She said, okay.

Z: We were last. We got witnesses and had JP ceremony.

Z: We celebrated after we had our marriage license and were married. Then we started to talk about celebration. Wanted to have big wedding reception like every other couple would have.

[Teddy from FDL sitting across from me just did what I want to do: he burst into tears.]

Z: Picked August 20 as date. Sent invitations to 200+ people. About 150 came. Our loving wonderful supportive families came from all over, form Leah’s Hawaii to my NY/NJ. Came to our marriage, our wedding party, ceremony. Leah’s dad was 86. Retired judge in state of HI. He came, brought judge’s robes. Was going to officiate with affirmation ceremony at wedding banquet.

Z: Our marriage was invalidated a week before our wedding reception. We felt sad. We grieved. Marriage that had brought us so much joy was invalidated. Our relationship was invalidated. We felt pretty awful.

Z: We got married in June 2008 as soon as opportunity became available.

Z: Getting married has changed so many multitudes of ways, tangible and intangible. Still discovering ways. Mostly changed with family. Niece only has known us Aunty and Aunty. At 16, came to wedding party.

Z: She said after wedding, “Aunty Leah, now you are really my Aunty.” I was surprised because she had always and only known her as Aunty. Made a difference to how our parents related to each other. Work engagements. “Who is this person who is hanging onto you awfully close?” “She’s my partner? Partner in what business.” “Partner in life.” Looked to see if they got it. Some thought, “What business is life? DO you mean life insurance?”

[UPDATE] 3:57

Z: With my Chinese-born grandmother, she always said Leah must be a good friend because she has been around for seventeen years at all of this family stuff. When we got married, Grandma got it. She said, ‘oh, this is your wife.’

Z: You don’t insult someone’s wife. Our families relate to each other differently. Our families are in laws to each other now. After we got married, Leah’s father would stop by my brother’s house (in HI) and give him fruit from yard. Never did that for 15 years before we got married.

Z: Extended families are stronger.

[The point is that family is good. It makes America stronger. I hope everyone gets this. Everyone.]

Z: Leah’s father died in hospice about two months ago. Her father explained to nurses that Leah is my daughter and this is my favorite daughter in law. Leah said “he said daughter in law.” I said, “He said favorite.”

Z: When obituary is written and who sits where in mortuary, immediate family sits together. No question I was Leah’s wife. I was her spouse. I was right there, in first row with family. I had my responsibilities with family.

[Cross now begins. Big Binders.]

[UPDATE] 4:12

Crossing Ms. Zia

Prop 8 (P): Look at document where it says …

Z: “Californians have said twice to keep marriage between one man and one woman.”

P: Twice, once Prop. 22. Do you recall being involved in case?

Z: Yes. (Did not recall Prop. 22, but remembered case).

P: Remember that people passed Prop. 8.

Z: I’m not sure everyone knew what they are were voting for.

P: This document says twice people voted, but you say you saw this document prior to people voting second time.

[Object, but has wrong document. Judge, you may proceed.]

Z: I said I saw website. Possible website changed.

Judge: Moving as evidence?

P: No. When did you see document 2199?

Z: This actual piece of paper?

P: When when did you first see it?

Z: Seen on website prior to election. Saw doc printed on paper this week.

P: Nothing that says it’s in support of 8?

Z: This document is all about the point of Prop. 8.

P: Nothing in this document says Prop. 8?

Z: Does not say Prop. 8.

P: Nothing in document that says from Protect Marriage? Nothing that tells how many people viewed?

Z: No. Don’t know who wrote or how often it was viewed, but you can check website for page views.

P: Object to admission.

Judge; You saw during election?

Z: Yes.

Judge: Very well, document will be admitted.

P: You’ve written about things for the homosexual community? Advocated by perceived gender and sexual orientation?

Z: Yes and hate crimes.

P: Member of API Equality? [Reads out purpose]

Z: Yes
P: Prior to Nov. 2008, that organization held press conference opposing Prop. 8. Distributed flyers opposing Prop. 8. You attended rallies.

Z: Yes.

P: you are advisor to Horizon Foundation? Events by EQCA, LAMBDA , NCLR, HRC, ACLU. Donated money to LAMBDA, NCLR, ACLU. So you are member of ACLU?

Z: Yes, but status with ACLU lapsed.

P: Member of Courage Campaign?

Z: I don’t believe so.

P: Did you write that Asian American queer activists do not allow agree on what stands to take on marriage?” “Some gay rights activists fighting for gay rights marriage is too petit bourgeois, too patriarchical, too many bad things for which marriage stands.” You wrote that?

Z: Yes.

P: Your marriage did not affect your view of marriage as a patriarchal institution. Married Ms. Shigimura because you wanted to express your defiance of the war mongering, hate filled machine in Washington.

Z” That sounds like something I would write.


[UPDATE] 4:22

P: goes through all that happened at marriage banquet. Traditional bonsai toast, wedding banquet in Chinese tradition. You state that this wedding party brought our families together. Quotes writing from “Where Queer Zone Meets Asian Zone” about how great it was for families. So even though your license from Newsom was invalidated your families recognized you as married.

Z: Everyone there knew there was a cloud over it because a week before we heard in the news that our license was no longer valid. Even Leah’s father, the judge, said that courts sometimes make mistakes and then he went ahead with vows.

[This room has about 50 in it. Everyone is on the edge of their seats for this.]


Chu: When Mr. Rahm interrupted you, do you want to finish?

Z: Difference between night and day having marriage certificate than DP. Suddenly within those six months between time we were married to time invalidated, we had taste of being out of closet, of not being on back of bus. We tasted freedom. Our families related together quite differently. For brief moment in time, we experienced equality. We could go to fountain that was not for G and L only and we tasted water there and it was sweeter there. Our families came together in ways DP could not.

Judge: On eve of three day weekend, which I trust you all will enjoy. Any other matters?

T: Courts ECF system is going down for weekend? Is there an email address for the court?

Judge: I’ll ask clerk.

Clerk: Email also down.

Judge: I would suggest you spend a restful weekend.


Judge: Very well. 0830 Tuesday morning.

Tags: ,


  • 1. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I happen to have Shania Twain's "Love Gets Me Every Time" while reading this, and the tears just flow.

  • 2. Craig  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    You can't read this and not be moved to tears. Of COURSE the defense wanted to prevent this testimony. I can hardly imagine how they will cross-examine her…. wow.

  • 3. Calvin  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Uh oh, time for the big binders!!!! Are they right-side up this time? 😉

  • 4. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Excuse me, but can you prove that Leah's grandfather said "favorite"?

  • 5. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I am surprised you can still type, I am reading this and wiping the tears from eyes with every word!

  • 6. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    It's awesome because she's showing how it matters, *why* it matters. Of course it matters. The joining of families etc. It's huge!

  • 7. R_Genesee  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Our marriage (we're among the 18,000) did some family joining, on one side only. His has accepted me since we've been together (27+ years), and now they are even more supportive. After all, I'm now brother-in-law, nephew by marriage, uncle.

    For my blood family (in another state), there has never been a relationship worth mentioning. Our 'legal in California' marriage is meaningless to them. One told me, even if it becomes the law of the land, it will remain invalid in our minds.

    So, last Christmas there was a Christmas card addressed to me. There was another one addressed to my husband. He urges me to be grateful one was sent to him. I resent it.

  • 8. Ray  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    "Walked away with little certificate like kid gets for perfect attendance. Framed it,"

    Tears. Me too.

  • 9. Tim  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Also, the sentence before that:

    "Went to window where they issue dog licenses."

  • 10. Mary Lee  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Was very angry here,

  • 11. Tavin  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Gah! Had to shut my office door while reading this at work because I've got tears in my eyes… 🙁

  • 12. Mark 'RikerBear  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I am sitting hear bawling my eyes out! This is so sweet and so painful at the same time.
    Why is it 'they' can't see how hurtful tis is to us???

  • 13. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    They can see. They just don't care.

  • 14. Jes Gonzales  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    No. They don't see because they won't look. They know that if they look, they'll only see people. So they don't look. They know if they look, they'll see human beings, just like themselves, and then they'll have to throw away all their precious preconceptions and deal with homosexuals as people. If they look, they'll lose the precious stereotypes they cling to so desperately in order to justify themselves and their archaic beliefs. They don't look, because it would cost them too much.

  • 15. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I was picturing something more along the lines of …

    "They have to be making up all of this discrimination stuff. They think people will believe them if they tell their made-up stories. Because really — if that stuff really happened, why would they choose to be gay? We know that being gay is a choice, so the only logical answer is that they're making it all up."

    You know some moron somewhere believes that.

  • 16. elliott  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    They won’t look because they desperately need someone to look down upon–some unnamed bogeyman upon whom they can blame all of their failures. They won’t look for the same reason the Bogeyman lives in the dark, because as soon as they see his face, he looks just like them.

  • 17. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I totally agree. They have been conditioned not to see us as even Human anymore.

  • 18. Lymis  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    A big part of it is that they refuse to believe that there is any discrimination.

    We're in Illinois, in Cook County (the one Chicago is in) and our neighbors here in the burbs are fine with us. And yet, even they don't understand that we don't have equal rights.

    We got married in California, and as far as they are concerned , that ended it. They can't believe that it means absolutely nothing here. My husband carried dependent medical insurance for his daughters, but I can't be included, so over half my unemployment goes toward MY COBRA. The neighbor is out of work, too, but his wife's insurance covers him. They were stunned.

    And these are people who are ON our side. You constantly hear the other side saying things like "They can set up the same things as married people with just a few contracts, so obviously they really want to destroy marriage."


  • 19. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:24 am


    We had to have two policies too. My partner's job nor mine would recognize are DP so our son and I had to join my companies. When I was let go at work we lost all health care coverage. But anyone else can just fill out a common Law declaration and get coverage in a snap. 15 years together means nothing to them is you are Homosexual. However Heterosexuals have almost no restrictions.

  • 20. Marlene Bomer  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Reminds me of the excuses the white bigots tried to give when the courts ruled segregated schools were illegal and immoral.

    They didn't want their kids to go to the regular school with "them ni**gers" because their kids wouldn't see them as "ni**ers" but their friends James, and Susan, and William and…

  • 21. elliott  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

    sorry for my gratuitous use of the word upon… i'm not one of those "upon" guys, swear

  • 22. Jon  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

    The right wing "we're the victim" PR is a device designed to help keep them from seeing. It frames the situation as children victimized, society hurt. Rights never appear in this frame.

    Smashing the frame is powerful.

  • 23. Colt  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Got chills all over. It is so unfair to deny people who love each other the right to marry.

  • 24. elliott  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

    They won't look because they desperately need someone to look down upon–some unnamed bogeyman upon whom they can blame all of their failures. They won't look for the same reason the Bogeyman lives in the dark, because as soon as they see his face, he looks just like them.

  • 25. Hayden  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

    The comment about Teddy made tears start to come to my eyes too. I was holding up before that. 🙁

  • 26. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    From twitter:

    "TheAdvocateMag #prop8 tall defense lawyer in hallway loudly complaining on cell phone that judge walker us "biased" and zia is "bizarre.""

  • 27. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

    "TheAdvocateMag #prop8 guess I should take more bathroom breaks! "

  • 28. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    oh yeah, there is no animus…. right

  • 29. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    It's pretty sad when "biased" is equated to "not a hateful bigot."

    I can't roll my eyes quite enough.

  • 30. lisa  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    cue the imperial march. here comes darth/the defense.


  • 31. JDrew  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    "[Teddy from FDL sitting across from me just did what I want to do: he burst into tears.]"

    I, a straight, married man, am also crying here in my home as I read this. God damn anyone who would make people feel this way. God damn all of them.

  • 32. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Thank you JDrew!

  • 33. Ann  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Another straight married person in tears here. She suffered so much pain, and why?

  • 34. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Thank you JDrew! We all feel this way one way or another.

  • 35. Mike  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    exact same situation here.

  • 36. adam  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    The judge's reference to a "403 objection" refers to Federal Rule of Evidence 403, relating to the exclusion of evidence on the grounds of "prejudice, confusion, or waste of time."

  • 37. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    thanks 😀

  • 38. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Thanks for clarifying that — I was wondering!

  • 39. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    So … does that mean that the judge is saying "I'll listen to her testimony & then decide whether or not I'll use it in my decision?"

  • 40. Tom  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Sorry. Random comment to all – has anyone been able to get any work work done this week? I can't stay away from this blog. On an emotional roller coaster that is fairly cathartic but know I need to read it all. This last testimony has been so incredible and so painful – we are all human being. How can anyone choose to treat someone else less than they themselves want to be treated? It is amazing how harmful humanity can be to itself.

  • 41. Ronnie  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I have 3 tailored suits to sew and I can't even think of picking up a needle or scissors…

  • 42. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    No, NOTHING AT ALL and I urgently need to and I have such a guilty conscience and I am risking my master-thesis-study…..

  • 43. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Study, Steffi!!! Just check every 15 or 20 minutes. >.>

    At least that's what I'm trying to do with my work. It's not working out well, though.

  • 44. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I will, but right now it's 1:21am so I call it a day and just keep reading this 😉

  • 45. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    There's no court Monday, but I have to work. What on EARTH will keep me busy all day?

  • 46. Brian  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I have been faking work all week long too, haha… I have the browser opened in the background and keep refreshing!!

  • 47. Kate G  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Oh my lord me too. This week was a total wash! But when I look back 30 years from now, I'll be glad I was getting as close to this trial as I possibly could instead of doing stuff for a job I won't even remember. 🙂

  • 48. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Ugh… It's bad. But to me this is so important. We will remember this forever.

  • 49. Yann  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Very limited. This is too important. It's really our lives that are being judged…

  • 50. lisa  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

    It's a good thing I'm in a different timezone, I can study till about 5 in the afternoon and obsess in the evening. Problem is, I prefer working in the afternoon/at night.

  • 51. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

    exactly the same here. and i also prefer to do thiongs at evenings…

  • 52. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I've had to promise myself that I can read periodically as long as I get my work done.

  • 53. Ray  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

    All I know is if we lose this, I'm going to need extensive psychiatric counseling for the rest of my life.

  • 54. scott  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I'm with you Tom…unable to focus since discovering this blog on Tuesday. Gonna get fired. Damn you, prop8trialtracker!

    Helen Zia, I love you…

  • 55. Tom  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Well, this is a workable solution to not being able to hear the words that are being said live. I certainly hope that someday the actual tapes get out. People need to hear this. Every person

  • 56. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I've been trying to work, but I'm dividing my time between here and, so I'll admit to some distraction.

    Drives me nuts to think that it's going to be at least a YEAR before this issue is resolved once and for all. I think it's excellent that this issue is coming under such intensive scrutiny, but damn it I want justice now!

  • 57. Ann  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Work? Oh yeah, that stuff I'm supposed to be doing. Good thing I work from home. Still need to send out work, though, huh?

  • 58. rpx  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Not getting any work done? Well I'm not getting any sleep. It is 1:30am by me in France and I stay up all night following this. Last night (well your afternoon) about killed me when they couldn't get the last 15 minutes of testimony posted. I remember waking up at 4:30 am after only having slept a bit to check if it was up yet.

    I am vitally interested in this trial. Both our son and our daughter are gay and both are married. Big family weddings and all that. But of course not legally. Our son is in DC so I think he can now get legally married. I am not satisfied with a "state" marriage i want full national federal recognition of their marriage, both of them, both kids.

    Our daughter and her spouce produced lovely twin grandchildren for us. Don't tell me kids raised in gay homes do poorly. They go to daycare at NASA, which you gotta figure the other kids in daycare are coming from a darned good gene pool, and our little grandaughter is the smarted in the class at NASA daycare, and by a longshot. In every way socially way advanced etc. etc. Our grandson is smart, very smart, his sister is brilliant. I want my grandchildren to live in a home where their parents are legally married. I want for both of their parents to legally be their parent instead of just one of them. This trial means a lot to me.

  • 59. Shannon  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I have endless stuff to read and two things to write [I'm a grad student in a Ph.D program] and… it's been hard!!! I *should* be writing an essay right now. But how the hell can I??

  • 60. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Not me. And I haven't been able to focus on anything else.

  • 61. remix  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Very moving testimony.

  • 62. Ronnie  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I don't think I can read this anymore. i am balling like everybody did at the end of Titanic and my dog is whining because I guess he thinks I'm hurt…….lol.

    But I will read on!

  • 63. David Kimble  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Yeah, I agree and everytime I re-read a section of the testimony for clarification, the tears get worse.

  • 64. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I am dying at the defense asking Zia about her donations to pro-gay rights organizations. Uh…Ya think!? What, did you expect a lesbian to donate to NOM or Fred Phelps!!?

  • 65. Shannon  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Hahahahahaha!!! That's like every time they try to discredit someone by bringing up the fact that they obviously are in favor of marriage equality. I'm guessing they wouldn't be a witness for our side if they weren't… Where do they get off even asking the obvious when the people on their side obviously donated to Yes on 8, NOM, etc., including to *religious* groups violating their tax-exempt status by raising money for a political issue??

  • 66. Marlene Bomer  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Actually, Shannon, religious groups are perfectly permitted to promote and campaign against ballot measures, because they aren't partisan.

    Non-profit, tax-exempt orgs are prohibited by law from endorsing candidates in partisan races.

  • 67. Lymis  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Anyone who is pro-gay is motivated only by their desire to conspire with deviants to destroy society.

    Anyone who is anti-gay is motivated only by the purest intentions, desiring to protect society and love everyone worth loving.

    Haven't you been paying attention?

  • 68. roxanne  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I can not cry at work, I can not cry at work, I can not cry at work.

    Ok, I'll cry and wipe my eyes clear and then stop reading this until I get off work.

    How many of us went through these things? How many more of us will have to go through this until enough old bigots die off and we are all treated equally. Why is equality so hard to understand….

    (from a married transwomen with five children)

  • 69. Calvin  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I'm 21; bigots are still alive in my generation too… if we truly have to wait, a very very very long time.

    Kind of unrelated but- YAY for a transwoman! I think there's some secret handshake I should initiate with you as a transman, but I am unaware what that could be at the moment. So for now, hello. And try to work!!!!

  • 70. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I'm not so sure it's going to be a long time.

    Look at the margins by which we lost the recent battles. We're talking about one or two percent. And we are also talking about a support base that includes religious people from all major faiths, a growing number of young voters, and prominent conservatives.

    Dick Cheney – Emperor Palpatine himself – supports marriage equality. While he probably isn't going to be showing up at any pride rallies, the fact that his lesbian daughter changed his mind speaks volumes about the power of knowing and loving someone who is gay. As more and more people come out, more and more people change their minds. That isn't happening in some distance future of dreams, it is happening now.

    I'm on edge like everyone else watching this. It's damned scary. But you know, we've had about four states pass this in one year…I'd say that is an encouraging sign of the times.

  • 71. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I see your point with bigots in our generation (I am 24), I think that the majority are not. And I feel this mirrors Black/White racism and Brown vs. Board wherein gaining rights through law did not squash racism, there is much less as time goes on.

    Racists were in the majority 40 years ago, now most find racism abhorrent. Just as I feel the same will happen for gays, and homophobia. Getting equal rights will not squash homophobia, but with time, will make homophobes are very small minority which the overwhelming majority find despicable.

  • 72. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I also think the diminish of homophobia may happen quicker then it did with racism as I think racism within the younger generation back when Brown v Board happened was a majority sentiment, and I don't think homophobia is with ours.

  • 73. roxanne  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Yeah, I have five kids (two can vote) who are on our side, so I'm doing my part. I transitioned and my wife and I stayed married. This pretty much eliminated my kids from ever having a serious relationship with a transphobe/bigot too. It's just a matter of time and public opinion will overwhelm these close minded haters.

  • 74. Marlene Bomer  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    The comparisons are easy to distinguish.

    First, with segregated schools, I surmise that southern white kids very (if ever) encountered black kids on the athletic field. They didn't know them as friends. This is why so many parents who were raised racist resisted integration, because they were told dales by *their* daddies who told them lies about "them ni**ers".

    Jump ahead to today. Because of the trails blazed by those kids who faced racism in the eye and didn't flinch, we have TLBG students who stood up to bigotry of another sort (but still had its origins in religion!), and started Gay/Straight Alliances.

    With more and more kids coming out, the youth of today know Jim's gay, or Sarah's lesbian, and Therese is starting her transition. They also have access to the Internet and know we exist and the fact we aren't raving monsters lurking in the shadows the way the religious reicht demonizes us as.

    This means the youth of today don't have the baggage heaped on them, due to the fact more and more TLBG youth are coming out, meaning they *have* TLBG friends and acquaintances! How can you hate a friend?

    Legitimate survey after survey shows the younger and more educated the person is, the more accepting of full equality of us.

  • 75. ScottNH  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Calvin, I grew up in the 70s and you wouldn't believe how much things have changed. The hateful stereotypes were all you ever saw in the media. Real gays and lesbians, if ever mentioned on TV were usually nameless and in shadow. People openly said the most hateful things (now they at least they use euphemistic buzz phrases or scope out their audience first). Debating ANY equal rights, let alone marriage, would have been unthinkable. We had to worry about things like getting arrested by the police just for being gay!

  • 76. jack  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Roxanne out of all of these replies, i feel yours the most. I'm a transman, and it seems like people forget we're part of the gay community too, and the rights denied to gays are the rights denied to us as well. I guess all we can do is wipe the tears away, and continue working to remind people that our community is the lgbT community, and we all deserve equality. Much love to you girl.

  • 77. Jim  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    This is great – it shows it is about relationships – the whole family. God bless her for the courage to testify – great service to the whole world.

  • 78. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

    "TheAdvocateMag #prop8 defense trying to establish zia as member of ACLU. Zia draws laughs when she replies: "not anymore. I've been lax in my donations." "

  • 79. Bryan Baker  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Nice!!!!! Wish we could see this!!!! But sooo thankful for your coverage!

  • 80. Alan E.  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Trial Trackers Facebook Group

  • 81. fiona64  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I'll be joining when I get home (can't access FB from here). 🙂

  • 82. Doug  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Just joined, thanks!

  • 83. Nick  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Thanks Alan-emailed it to meself thru the fog in me eyes-moved to Netbook in Kitchen so I can get some work done! Can't stop reading-and I though HufPo was addictive!

  • 84. Jan  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    So, question: Is it hard to get in to see the trial? I've been sitting on my butt over here in MD doing nothing, and thinking about flying out to witness this in person.

  • 85. Rebecca  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    "Judge: YOU made a 403 objection; I’ll reserve until your cross."

    I think the Judge's patience has warn thin with the defense. I am glad he emphasized it being a 403.

    The defense is really afraid of their obvious bigotry becoming screamingly, whole world see's you for what you are bigotry

  • 86. Doug  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

    For those like me that don't understand, what is a 403 objection?

  • 87. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Up above on post 23, Adam clarifies it.

  • 88. Jeff  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

    From the Federal Rules of Evidence:

    Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

    Rule 403 provides a "balancing test" for excluding relevant evidence. The balancing test is strongly weighted toward admission; there must be a danger of unfair prejudice that substantially outweighs the probative value of the evidence. "Unfair prejudice" is not the same thing as "prejudice"—almost all relevant evidence is prejudicial to one side or the other. Proving unfair prejudice is often difficult; proving the balance is even moreso.

    Ordinarily, a 403 objection is the last objection a lawyer makes when seeking to exclude evidence. Besides the burden of tipping the balance, another key problem is that a 403 objection concedes the relevance of the evidence.

    Short version: When you make a 403 objection, you're admitting the validity and relevance of the evidence, but saying that introducing it is likely to cause unfair prejudice, mislead the jury, goes over ground that you're already been over (enough so that it's a waste of time), etc.

  • 89. Lymis  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:22 am

    What does it say when they admit officially that the evidence is relevant, but that it is prejudicial to present gay people's experience as real?

  • 90. Charles  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Yes, but in the end did he say whether he thought the objection was relevant or not?

  • 91. Dan  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Well, I'll admit I had quite a few tears reading this sitting at work.

    Not looking forward to reading the defense's cross-examination, it's probably going to make me really, really angry.

  • 92. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:19 am

    "P: Your marriage did not affect your view of marriage as a patriarchal institution. Married Ms. Shigimura because you wanted to express your defiance of the war mongering, hate filled machine in Washington.

    Z” That sounds like something I would write.




  • 93. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I've been skipping through to the comments and scanning them before I've read through the entire post. Some of these quotes you're posting made me search the page to see if the 8 people actually said that.

    What a stellar example of the arrogance and contempt that defines the moral crusading of the religious right.

  • 94. Anaguma  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    *sigh* If only that statement could be televised…

  • 95. pearlheartgtr  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I really hope there will be a Prop 8 trial reenactment in the future like Prop 8: The Musical. This seems so worthy of it.

  • 96. Nick  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Now THAT is an idea! 🙂

  • 97. Variola  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Maybe someone will write an "Inherit the Wind"-type play if the tapes never get released.

  • 98. Tim  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I know exactly how Helen felt(feels). The relationship between my husbands family and me grew even stronger once we were married.Even though we had been together for seventeen years before we got married I never really felt part of the family.Now that our relationship has been solidified I am officially Unle Tim and it is an awsome feeling.My father in law says that I am his favorite son in law.We laugh because I will always be his only son in law ,as he has three boys and only one is gay.It MAKES a difference Judge walker,if you are reading this!

  • 99. Calvin  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Three long days of not hearing about Prop 8. I don't know how I feel about this….I feel like my life is losing a part of it's purpose.

    P.S. Courage Campaign, thanks very very much for doing all of this. I'd be completely left out otherwise being stuck here in Iowa (for once, I find this to be a bad thing) and I greatly appreciate the time and effort you all are putting into uploading what's really happening and not whatever dancing fairies and lemon drops and unicorns in your heads are telling you to write like those Pro-Prop8ers. (Is dancing fairies and unicorns too 'gay'? Maybe I should have said…..quick, I need something staunchly hetero!!)

    Nope, I still have nothing. Thanks again!!!

    President of Rainbow Union
    Drake University's GLBTQQIA group
    Des Moines, IA

  • 100. Nick  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Is decorating with what my Mum-in-outlaw calls "Fairy lights"-really…LOL

  • 101. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

    what about dancing wrestlers and big chainsaws? (ok, DANCING wrestlers would still be too "gay"

  • 102. lisa  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

    ooh, excellent! 3 days without having to hit F5 constantly. Will do wonders to my study ethics. See y'all on tuesday!

    Rick, awesome work! Thank you so much for this!

  • 103. Elizabeth L.  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Same here. I woke up at 8am (PST) this morning and have been glued to my laptop for eight whole hours since then!

  • 104. Elizabeth L.  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

    This is amazing. I wish I could be there to see it.

    PS: her wife's name is spelled Lia Shigemura.

  • 105. Pearl  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

    This whole trial and the bloggers efforts to visualize it for us would make a great movie! Academy award winning movie!

  • 106. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

    tree day weekend?? is there a holiday on monday in the US?

  • 107. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Yep. It's Martin Luther King Day.

  • 108. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Oh cool, what a coincindence ;D I like that! I'm gonna celebrate it!

  • 109. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Heck isn't that fitting!

  • 110. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    anyone whishes to connect add me on fb:

  • 111. Jane  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Here is mine!

  • 112. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Another straight married guy here whose eyes welled up with tears at the "favorite daughter-in-law" story. I know that the outcome of a legal case isn't supposed to be based on emotion, but dammit, sometimes it should be.

  • 113. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:48 am

    What straight guys cry? aren't you supposed to be all strong and manly? JOKING! of course.
    I am still surprised to see SOOO many straights here 😀

  • 114. Dan  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

    There are a lot of us watching this trial very closely. My eyes are still wet with tears.

    I am absolutely disgusted with the defense, but happy that they are so far mostly nonsensical.

  • 115. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

    There are lots of us out here, Steffi. I'm telling straight friends who don't have internet access at work what's going on…. and going on rants to my liberal Mom when I get home. I try not to rant to my husband as his eyes kind of glaze over whenever i start ranting about social justice & politics. He's on our side, but rather more quietly than I am.

  • 116. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Hey, if the NAACP had had a liveblog blow-by-blow during Brown vs. Board of Education I bet lots of white people would have read it! 😀

  • 117. Jon  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Manly? Sure, as long as it doesn't involve lifting heavy objects 🙂

    Yes, I'm a straight guy who thinks that the idea that denying same sex marriages would somehow protect my straight marriage is the stupidest piece of bullshit I've ever heard.

    I'm learning though that it's not just stupid. It's also hateful, bigoted, cruel.

  • 118. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Oh, and an afterthought about straight guys crying: I was raised on Free to Be You and Me, which has Rosey Greer singing "It's All Right to Cry". I guess it had some influence!

  • 119. roxanne  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for being here Josiah. We need straight allies if we want to be treated equally. Your wife is a lucky woman to have such a compassionate man as you in her life.

  • 120. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:40 am


  • 121. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    When there was an attempt a few years back to pass a state "Defense of Marriage Act" here in Connecticut, we carried a sign reading, "Our marriage doesn't need defending!" We protested in favor of same-sex marriage, and celebrated when our state Supreme Court ruled in favor of it. It's a simple matter of equal civil rights, and I'm proud to have been an ally in the struggle.

  • 122. Madjoy  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Hey, maybe I saw you at some of those events, Josiah! Another straight ally here (though unmarried), and I lived in CT for the past several years.

  • 123. Roberta K  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Straight woman in "opposite marriage" who teared up too — dealing with aging in-laws now, so can understand how important it is to love and support one's spouse during the tough times, plus being an actual spouse gives me rights and privileges that wouldn't be available if I was simply a "domestic partner" , including making it easier for my parents-in-law to designate me as one of those who can make medical decisions when they will no longer be able to.

  • 124. Terri  |  January 16, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I am a straight woman who was in a domestic partnership and then got married. I do understand the "let down" of DP and the difference it made to get married. When I was in a DP my now mother-in-law was so dismissisve of me that she would talk about the future when my DH would marry someone younger and have children. Now that DH and I are married she doesn't say that any longer! Marriage makes a world of difference.

  • 125. pepper  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Moved to tears.

  • 126. Scott Lanway  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Wow. Just…wow. I'm wondering how Pugno and the other pro-(H)8 writers are gonna spin Zia's testimony.

  • 127. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

    "In another day of devastatingly effective advances for America's defenders of children, God, and apple pie, future Supreme Court Justice Charles Cooper successfully startled potential child molester Helen Zia into admitting that her marriage was nothing more than an expression of defiance against the war mongering, hate filled machine in Washington. At this point, a squadron of homosexual terrorists attacked the courtroom with flaming Bibles, but were repelled by prayers from the thousands of Proposition 8 supporters who were gathered outside…"

  • 128. Charles  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I Lol'ed.

  • 129. Tea Dough  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    make that 2 of us.

  • 130. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:25 am


  • 131. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I just spit out my drink all over the darn computer. I think I even pee'd my pants a lit'll….Thanks after all the tears so laughter was just what I needed….

    potential child molester….LMFAO

  • 132. Scott Lanway  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I want to buy you a drink. That was perfect. =D

  • 133. Chris  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Well what do you know, Frank Schubert just emailed me. He wants to hire me as their official Minister of Truth 😉

  • 134. sugarbritches  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Pugno, et al., have to spin it the way they are, in order to be appropriately shocked that an "activist judge" has again perverted justice when Walker rules against them, no?

  • 135. Rebecca  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    "P: Object to admission.

    Judge; You saw during election?

    Z: Yes.

    Judge: Very well, document will be admitted."


    I can now finally stop sitting at my desk crying from her very moving testimony.

  • 136. Ryan Blazer  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I have been reading the blog real time this whole week. Nothing has been more convincing than the personal testimony of Helen Zia.

    I guess I will have to give my refresh button a rest at least until Tuesday morning.

    Waiting until Tuesday morning is like getting to a cliffhanger of a season finale.

  • 137. Anne  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

    this is so great. Unbelievable to think of the roller coaster they've gone thru with doing DP twice, now married twice. Damn, anyone who wants to be with their love that much should be able to get married! Having the big reception and a week before having your marriage declared invalid? yeesh.

    Not sure what the point of all the "you're a member of…" thing was. Of course she's liberal and of course she's doing no on 8 protests…. it affects her life! Maybe they're just doing it before the defense does?

    This testimony should be going out over every possible media outlet, along with all the other testimony. This is incredible stuff.

  • 138. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    What else can they possibly go after her for?

  • 139. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

    yeah I'm gonna be able to hit the sheets "early" today! (2am) see you all on tuesday have a loveley three day weekend!

  • 140. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Sleep well, Steffi (hopefully you're already asleep since I'm posting 1/2 hour after you did).

  • 141. Ronnie  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Is it me or do these prop 8 people (including the lawyers) seem to fail at everything other then insulting, discriminating, stigmatizing, speculating and annoying everybody including the judge?………..I'm just saying!

  • 142. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

    We are reading the script for the 2010 movie that is going to change the way everyone see's us just like when Philadelphia came out and changed AIDS. We have Rob Reiner and Lance Black right there. Folks this is going to be incredible.

  • 143. Charles  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

    what movie?

  • 144. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I mean that we are reading what is going to be turned into a movie. Sorry I wasn't clear enough. I am sure that when this is finished that this trial will be made into a movie. And all the lies that have been told to everyone for all these years will be made clear to everyone. With Rob and Lance in the courtroom there is little chance of them not seeing the need and the potential in blowing the lid off of this shameful treatment we have endured for countless years and the reasons why are going into the record for the first time in history. We are reading History being made…..

  • 145. Pearl  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

    OMG this would make a great movie! The drama, heartbreaking testimony, last minute appeals to the Supreme Court and efforts to keep it from being televized. All we need (and I pray I won't be disappointed) is a happy ending.

    PS – One of the 18,000 Californians who married the love of my life in 2008!

  • 146. Mike K  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Count me in … I'm lining up for tickets now!!! Rob, Lance … do it … please!!!

  • 147. Steffi  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

    btw. these guys need your vote:

  • 148. Bill  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I truly wonder how we have remained a gentle, loving, peaceful people, having suffered the kinds of indignities that we go through.

    And I can also only wonder how heterosexuals would react to the absolutely vile treatment they dish out to us if the shoe were on the other foot and they were the minority.

    This testimony brought out anger in me that I thought was long gone. If I look past the anger, it is surely more pain than anger, but that is simply too much to bear. I guess you never really get over abuse like the abuse we have taken and still take on a daily basis in the Unted States and all over the world.

    Somehow, I am able to move through life truly not caring what others think of me. But at moments like this, when our very humanity is what seems to be on trial, it finally occurs to me that we are here to teach heterosexuals.

    We are here to teach them how to love.

    Because clearly a group of people perpeutuating the kinds of abuses that heterosexuals are participating in toward THEIR VERY OWN LGTB OFFSPRING need to be taught how better to love.

    As difficult as all of this is, guys. At least we can be thankful that we know how to love. Basically, our love is the one thing they have not been able to destroy or take from us.

    They will certainly take everything that they possibly can. But still, we LOVE. And to have gone through what every LGTB citizen goes through in this world – WE STILL LOVE!!! And they can never take that from us, no matter what they do. It's the love that's important, folks. It's the LOVE.

    We've already won.

    As long as we LOVE and remain the gentle, loving, compassionate people that we are, they can not really succeed in oppressing us. It is OUR LOVE that they hate. And it infuriates them that they can not destroy our love.

    But we CAN still love. In spite of them of them, we can still love.

    That truly is life's purpose, no?

    Thank you, Helen Zia and your wife, for reminding me of that today.

  • 149. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

    While I thoroughly agree that some (perhaps even "many") heterosexuals are horrible to GLBT people on a regular basis, PLEASE don't lump "all" heterosexuals into the same pile.

    There are a LOT of us out here working/hoping for marriage equality and an end to GLBT discrimination.

  • 150. Bill  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Of course, I understand that.

    However, heterosexuals must understand that an unintended consequence of 'lumping all LGTB people into the same pile" is that it really doesn't leave us much wiggle room in the way we view YOU, as well.

    You do not have to be concerned for your safety from LGTB people. Despite having my home vandalized on many, many occasions, I have never, ever reciprocated. You do not fear a truckload of drunk gay citizens coming into your neighborhood and spray painting 'breeders' on your house and cars and beating you with bats and broken bottles and the like, often ending in death.

    You NEVER have to worry about that from LGTB people.

    WE, on the other hand DO. And so we are and must ALWAYS be initially distrustful of heterosexuals before we know we are safe.

    A sad but true fact of life for every LGTB citizen on this planet. And it is heterosexuals who CHOOSE for it to be this way.

    Hope that clarifies.

  • 151. Lymis  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I've known for years that our relationships are (at this moment in time) the mechanism for breaking down the rigidly stupid gender-based roles in heterosexual relationships.

    I can't tell you how often the most pressing questions that are jaw-dropping to straight people who meet my husband and I are about things like who does the laundry and who kills the bugs and who does the cooking. It is so obvious that they are trying to map heterosexual stereotypes onto us, and failing.

    The one who does the cooking is the one who likes cooking. The one who kills the bugs is the one who sees the bug first. The one who does the cleaning is the one with OCD, though the other one tries unsuccessfully to keep up, but maybe that's just us…..

  • 152. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Just to throw a wrench into stereotypes ….

    DH does most of his own cooking (he usually has dinner before I even get home from work). I cook for myself — and sometimes for the rest of the family.

    I'm the one who usually kills bugs (or traps them and releases them outside).


  • 153. Roberta K  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I actually feel sorry for those who feel that they have to stick to "traditional" roles in heterosexual relationships. My (male) spouse does the laundry, because in our first place the laundry room was down two steep flights of steps and he was fearful I would fall and hurt myself trying to carry a heavy laundry basket…and the habit stuck. I handle most of the financial stuff because I have a better head for it than he does (you can take the girl out of accounting but never totally take the accounting out of the girl). I do the cooking because he sucks at it, but he does the cleanup and loads/unloads the dishwasher. I make the bed on weekdays (because he leaves so early) but he does it on the weekends or we'll do it together to make it really fast. Marriage, whether same-sex or "opposite", should be about partnership and what works, not any sort of pre-defined gender roles.

  • 154. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

    That was truly Beautiful. And so true.

  • 155. Roberta K  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Well, for many years slavery was approved by the people of this country. As were bans on interracial marriage. Those were both changed, despite what the people wanted, because they were against the Constitution (and the Constitution was even changed to cover it in the 14th Amendment). The Constitution, and indeed the country, changes and evolves. At the beginning, only male landholders were allowed to vote…it took almost 200 years before the right was given to everyone regardless of gender or race. This too shall change — this too must change

  • 156. pepper  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Picture's of Zia at her wedding day:

  • 157. another crying heter  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for this!

    They look beautiful!

  • 158. pepper  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Your welcome, I found the link on another livefeed blog, it helps to put faces to people and make it much more tangible, especially since it cannot be broadcast through YT. Beautiful couple.

  • 159. Mike K  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    That picture speaks volumes. Thanks for your superb testimony Zia … all our love!!!!

  • 160. Jenny  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:07 am


  • 161. Jenny  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Anyway you can break out Helen's entire testimony in one part? When I try to post a link on Facebook to this page, the link prominently displays " Homosexuality linked to pedophilia. Studies show that homo is linked to pedophilia…"
    Not exactly the headline I want to post!!

  • 162. sugarbritches  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

    This has been a truly incredible week of testimony. I've pretty much watched my entire existence described far more eloquently than I feel I could do myself. It's been highly emotional and more than a bit painful. I wish I could make this week's testimony required reading for virtually everyone I know.

    As riveting as this has been for me, a 50-something gay man, it has been far more so for my straight, 17-year-old son. He has had tears streaming down his cheeks on so many occasions this week that it breaks my heart to see him read it, but it is also creating an even stronger bond between us. He's known since the day he was adopted 10 years ago that I'm gay, and he's always been very out and proud about me (no way I could EVER be in the closet with this kid!), but we've never really discussed what my life has been like from this perspective. I wish this dialogue were taking place in every household in America right now.

  • 163. Bill  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

    You shouuld discuss with your son your life from this perspective.

    It helped to make you who you are. The good, bad, and ugly parts.

    You'll be even closer when he knows what you have endured.

  • 164. Womyn2me  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I am on my couch crying after reading this … I am really grateful to your live bloggers for producing the content here, so we can share in this experience. This is so important

  • 165. Kelly  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:35 am

    So this is probably really inappropriate here, but i had to share…

    Anyway, that testimony brought so many tears to my eyes. And the best thing about it? Was that it wasn't even in full sentences with infliction. Imagine hearing that in person.

  • 166. atriana  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I am straight and am following your live blogging every day…it has been fascinating.

    As impressive as all the experts have been so far, today's testimony is by far the most moving. A story similar to this is what got me to me a year or so ago and made me realize how important this movement really is. I have family members who are gay (and accepted as such) and, honestly, I never thought much about this movement one way or another, until I first heard a story similar to this testimony. In talking to my gay family members they were surprisingly neutral…they didn't follow the movement or didn't seem to care. Such a shame (they are young.)

    This is about human rights and this is about family. Marriage among heteros is far, far from perfect…but the one thing that it does provide is an extended family and there is no substitute for that. Marriage is a celebration and, in some circles, a ceremony. It is a public affirmation of a commitment we may have had already in our hearts for a long period of time. It is the gathering of willing witnesses.

    It is something that heteros take so for granted that we all too often toss it aside within months or years of attaining it. We take it so for granted that we can't imagine anyone else wanting it quite so much. Wouldn't it be funny if same sex marriage became legal everywhere (and DOMA went away) and the divorce rate went waaaay down?

    It could happen. God is wicked and loves delicious irony.

    Get this out there…tell your stories. We — ALL straight folks — really really need to hear them.

  • 167. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Sadly for some our stories have fallen on deaf ears, and that will always be how it is. We are still your Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Mothers, Fathers and yes even Strangers.

    Some will never ever see us for those things because that would lead them to question what they have done, said and supported. We are to them those "others". The religious movement against us will never see us for anything other than "sinners" because if they have to actually admit that they are wrong about that then what else could they be wrong about? That is terrifying for them.

    They claim that it is all God's Will. So it will always remain. Until they have cancer and they themselves are in pain, then somehow it is not God's will for them to live or die by His will . They will turn to the Medical/Scientific Communities Advancements that have improved their lives but refuse to see proof that those same communities have about how/why people are GLBT.
    Because their Cancer is about them and being GLBT is about "Us"

    When you look at the Message of Christ that this whole movement is supposed to be about the actions, tactics, words are nothing alike. And when they see Him on that day of Judgment and He says "I do Not Know you and you do not know Me" maybe then they will finally understand that what is done in His name should follow the example that He set. Sadly when they made themselves into our Judges they removed their names from the Book of the Righteous and they can't even see what is done in His name they themselves will have to answer to him for.

    When they are surrounded by each other in that place they claim we will go they will be in good company with all the people they know. There is only one destination for those ones so Self Righteous and when the flames begin to burn them I fear they wont quite like it. They make it Hell on Earth for us here but we should all know that Heaven awaits us and soon we will go.
    Don't be turned from faith because the bad examples before us Jesus still Loves us no matter what they try to say. And we will see him one Day!

  • 168. Morrigoon  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    "When you look at the Message of Christ that this whole movement is supposed to be about the actions, tactics, words are nothing alike. And when they see Him on that day of Judgment and He says “I do Not Know you and you do not know Me” maybe then they will finally understand that what is done in His name should follow the example that He set. Sadly when they made themselves into our Judges they removed their names from the Book of the Righteous and they can’t even see what is done in His name they themselves will have to answer to him for." – Michael

    You put this more eloquently than I could even consider putting it. The best I could come up with is that they remind me of the pharisees. But you sir, have shed light on the comparison.
    It is so strange for me to be watching all this while planning my own (perfectly legal and challenge-free) wedding. It's not fair.

    When my best friend stands up for me and my fiancee on our wedding day, how can I look at him without thinking about how unfair things are, that at present, we do not have the right to trade places?

    The sanctity of my marriage is only in jeopardy because the Prop 8 people are seeking to make marriage an exclusive act. That can only lead to all marriages eventually being declared domestic partnerships (from a legal perspective), and I can't think of a greater threat to marriage than that.

    I don't want to be civilly united, I want to be MARRIED. I don't expect anyone else (gay or straight) to want otherwise. Inclusiveness will SAVE marriage in this country, divisiveness will harm it.

  • 169. michael  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Sweetheart the fact that you see it means that not all is lost even if we lose this case. Everyone who can see truth is another crack in their cause. Each time we have another join us means we step one step forward in the right direction. They know this and fear it which is why they are blocking the access to this trial.

    Don't feel bad about your wedding Angel one day soon you will be standing where your friend will stand on your blessed day. He knows how you feel and that makes all the difference on his wait for Equality

    Marry your Beloved and stand up for your friend because that is the way we will win in the end.
    Love will overcome all obstacles put in its way!
    Truth will win out and we will have Justice one day!

  • 170. michael  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:16 am

    The fact that you know that make all the difference to him I am sure.

    Your place's will be reversed on his blessed day real soon.

    If this is a double post I apologize. Somehow my first post did not appear.

  • 171. Dave Babler (Canton,  |  January 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Sigh…as interesting as these have been…when the defense brings it's witnesses: hate speech galore. Get ready for it.

  • 172. Roberta K  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I feel positive that the judge will not be swayed by hate speech, but only by facts. And I don't know what "facts" the defense can bring that they haven't already tried to bring.

  • 173. Bill  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

    hHe hate speech will be toned down, as the plantiffs are trying to prove animus, and a defense witness spouting off at the mouth about 'fags' will only help prove our case.

    The rhetoric on the other hand, will continue.

    But we must be prepared to be dehumanized by the defense. We must be prepared to have our sex lives degraded. We must be prepared to have our feelings hurt.

    But ultimitely, we have to remember that this trial is simply the beginning of building this case, so the more said on the record by the defense, the better. The more items enetered as evidence, the better. We're buliding a case right now, not necessarily winning one. It's just important to rememebr that and think forward a few years when this goes to SCOTUS.

  • 174. Roberta K  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Okay, heading out tonight to see "Avenue Q" in San Jose — laughter is truly the best medicine. Have a good weekend everyone and see you on Tuesday!

  • 175. nightshayde  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I'm envious. I love that show!

  • 176. Josiah  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    "If you were gay…
    That'd be OK…
    Because, well, hey —
    I like you anyway…"

  • 177. Bill 2  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Helen Zia's testimony puts a very human face on the stuggle of gay people for their rightful place as full members of this society. Her testimony was so moving. It would have been great to have this posted on youtube so the public could see this. I think that one of the other side's biggest reasons for opposing the videotaping being posted online is that it would show gay people in a good light and them as bigoted. I like the ideas expressed by other posters that this trial would make a great movie. Maybe some mini dramatizations of the trial posted on youtube?

    Also wondering if/when there might be a trial transcript available. Would this have to wait until the trial is finished?

  • 178. Rob  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:47 am

    For this long weekend, I would love to go back and re-read the daily Liveblogging, but I'm having difficulty navigating this website. I somehow made it back to yesterdays, but is there a way (hopefully easy way) for me to link back to previous day's testimony and comments? I feel so technologically challenged. =/

  • 179. Friday worker  |  January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Click on "Home" link at the top of the page. Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Previous Posts" link. Continue doing this (scroll down, click on Previous Posts) until you get to the post you're looking for.

  • 180. Friday worker  |  January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Okay, I just discovered an easier way to navigate to what you're looking for. Click on "daily summary" listed under Category Cloud in the right column of the page. Then pick whatever day's summary you want to read.

  • 181. NG  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I hope I phrased the question correctly: What was the purpose in opposing counsel trying to exclude the 1man1woman website from evidence?

  • 182. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    They only want to have certain parts of the whole entered into evidence. They are distancing themselves from any of the clearly blatantly homophobic stuff to support their claims of having no animus towards GLBT.

  • 183. NG  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Okay, here's a hypothetical… Document X exists on Y website. It was added Jan 01, 2010. On January 02, 2010 a webmaster or the creator of the document posts a revision. He or she adds stronger longer language or lessens.. PLAINTIFF uses that document as part of his or her evidence. The Plaintiff doesn't know, or perhaps, maybe doesn't care when the document was created; It simply contains language that causes intentional affliction of emotional distress – or something to that effect – to the Plaintiff.

    Would it matter the document version be the 01/01/2010 or 01/02/2010 version? I'm guessing the answer would still be the same, yes, no?

  • 184. Taylor  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Bless Helen Zia for her testimony. The fact that real people and real families are affected by marriage inequality is too often lost on those who support prop 8 or those who are ignorant / apathetic to the issue.

  • 185. notahater  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    If you do get a twinkie marriage, its not going to solve world peace, its not going to make everyone love eachother, its not going to make you accepted by everyone. Look at every "minority" haha. Marriage means less now. Thank you

  • 186. michael  |  January 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    funny how your comment doesn't match your screen name….typical and that is exactly why your side is going to loose this fight!

  • 187. Marlene Bomer  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Sorry, darling boy, but I don't marry inanimate objects like a Twinkie! I'm lucky in that I'm a MtF transsexual and I *can* get legally married here in Ohio, even after transition.

  • 188. gabe g  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Why do you think that? Do you really think the US/world didn't get any better after things like the Civil Rights movement? The fact is people who love each other being free to get legally married IS going to solve world peace. It's one of the numerous things that add up to it developing.

    Also, I am personally offended by your comment because you are basically equating this issue to saying that things like the Civil Rights movement weren't effective or that they don't matter. I am a bi-racial (German/Scottish/African American), straight, female, and I have been lucky enough to pretty much have experienced NO discrimination or hate toward myself because of the races I am made up of. I am able to feel secure and happy in who I am, and have been lucky enough to not have to have stress over race because of what happened during the civil rights movement. In fact I forget that it was so recent (only a little more than 1 generation ago!) that it would have been much different. My parents would not have even been allowed to marry and it would have been completely inappropriate to have me, and if I had been born I would have been at risk social and physical harm why whole life.

    My understanding from your comment is that you don't care if people suffer. That is disturbing.

    You need to THINK about all of this a lot more. Please take time and think about it.
    This is such an important issue of understand that findinf ways to END HUMAN SUFFERING are infinitely more important than any ideology.

  • 189. Morrigoon  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    "its not going to make you accepted by everyone"

    So… you're saying that your side's argument that having legal gay marriage will cause *gasp! your children* to become accepting of gays is a fallacy? Well, that's another argument down. Next!

    (Well done… any other evidence you'd like to provide that your side is full of it?)

  • 190. sugarbritches  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I don't think I'd like to actually MARRY a Twinkie, but I'd probably sleep with one. 😉

  • 191. Liveblogging Day 5: Part &hellip  |  January 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    […] Liveblogging Day 5: Part VI Finishing the day […]

  • 192. Holcombe  |  January 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

    What a superb testimony to end on – Zia's statement about the fountain, and "the water was sweeter" – so true! I always thought I was "post-marriage" – until the Supreme Court ruled I COULD get married. I realized it was one way I was coping. I still appreciate perspectives that marriage is antiquated, but I still want the right to marry, I want the equal right. I LOVED ZIa's testimony.

  • 193. truthspew  |  January 15, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I know exactly what you mean. That was just such a great analogy and link to the civil rights fights of the 1960's.

    The Prop8 people are looking more ridiculous by the day. From citing old information, to quibbling about meanings.

  • 194. Mary Lee  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    "Favorite" I cried.
    Thank you

  • 195. Rachael  |  January 17, 2010 at 5:35 am

    That's what hit me too. I'm bawling…

  • 196. jrw  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Thank you Helen Zia,
    You took the stand for my husband and I. In our 22 yrs together we have married each other 4 times. The first two were merely ceremonial as part of peaceful demonstrations about inequality. We then wed in SF City Hall on Feb. 16, 2004 for which we have a "State of California Certification of Vital Record, License and Certificate of Marriage" solemnized and signed by Carol Migden. My "Sister-in-law" told me she did not approve because it was in her opinion "not legal". The courts agreed.
    We wed AGAIN June 17th, 2008 before Prop 8. We waited until after the court decided that our marriage was legal to send out announcements. My "Sister-in-law" still refuses to acknowledge our marriage even though we are now legal. So what will my brother's children grow up believing ab? Do we pick and chose which laws to believe in and who deserves to be treated equal? I guess we do.

  • 197. Len Silvey  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Helen Zia is a form of “real” that we should all pay attention to. On election day my 97 year old father asked me to help him with his absentee ballot in California. When we got to Proposition 8 he asked me what it meant and what a yes versus a no vote would mean. I explained that Proposition 8 would affirm marriage only between a man and a woman and deny marriage to same sex couples. I’ll never forget my father’s response: “Who would ever deny anyone the right to marry the person they love?” My mother, his wife of 68 years had died only two months earlier.

    I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach as I remembered back to the summer of 1980 when Gary and I were married (when we had our exchange of vows ceremony – we always called it marriage) and struggled with the decision about inviting our parents. When we looked at the totality of circumstances surrounding both parents’ lives and our own growing up in the 40s and 50s we could not come to the decision to invite them, to, perhaps, shame or embarrass them, to include them in our joy only to find more disapproval from the wider family/community one more time. Now hearing my father’s statement 30 years later saddens me that we had denied my parents the opportunity to share our joy. When Gary died of bone cancer 11 years ago his parents handled all of the fairly elaborate funeral arrangements. His mother called me a few days prior and said, “On no uncertain terms you will not slide in silently and sit in the back of the church! You will sit with the family in the front of the church.” She went on to say that when Gary was diagnosed with bone cancer, “…he went to you before he came to me.”

    As close as we have been to our parents, both of our parents should have been more a part of our lives, but why weren’t they. I’ll let the rest of you answer that. We all know why. And it’s not right.

  • 198. michael  |  January 16, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Len I think that for some of us it is easier not be forced to deal with the possible rejection then deal with possible acceptance. Growing up we get so used to being treated badly that we just expect it. Since our families are so important and we have all listened to comments made from some of them that were meant toward "them" those "Gays" because they didn't really know we were "them" we were the "Gays" sitting right next to them for all theoe years. It effects how we interact with them and others sometimes for the rest of our lives. They may say they are sorry for the comments but deep down we know how they really feel about us. So we are cheated out of healthy relationships just as much as they are because those memories never leave us about how they really felt when they didn't know we were who they were talking about sometimes 30 years or more ago.

    Reminds me of the line from Torch Song Trilogy from Arnolds mother:
    "You pushed me out of your life Arnold, and then blamed me for not being there"

  • 199. jack  |  January 16, 2010 at 7:52 am

    As a transman, testosterone injections tend to prevent the ability to show emotion by crying and I haven't been able to cry in months although I've really needed to on several occasions. I hoped tears would come while reading Helen Zia's testimony but they just wouldn't. I want you to know that I'm sitting here with tears running down my face…they started after reading your father's response to your explanation of Prop 8, and worsened after reading your mother in law's expectation that you would sit with the family at your husband's funeral. God bless you, your father, your mother in law and your late husband Gary. My heart goes out to you all.

  • 200. jack  |  January 16, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I love that the defense brought up that Californians voted twice to protect marriage, like we don't all remember… Yes, they voted twice but the result of each was based on prejudicial bias, not on the unconstitutionality of denying basic rights to a select group of people; that decision should have been left with the Supreme Court in the first place, not turned over to a vote simply because of the bias involved. I was among those fortunate enough to be married in California and it absolutely changed everything.
    People tend to believe that because I am a transman, I am less affected by this circumstance because it appears I am in a straight relationship (which I'm not, I look male but I'm still a lesbian damn it)…but denial of marriage rights to gays and lesbians is denial of marriage rights to the transgendered as well. My conservative mother in law and the rest of her side of the family truly loved me before then and I always knew that and felt it…but were unable to recognize me as her daughter's wife when we were just Domestic Partners. I always thought I didn't need a piece of paper to tell me that I was married, and I realize now that it's what we tell ourselves to get by when people deny us what should naturally be ours. That piece of paper tells everyone that she is my WIFE and we are MARRIED, no matter what anyone thinks. Wake up people, LEGAL RECOGNITION OF YOUR MARRIAGE CHANGES EVERYTHING.

    Straight allies, thank you for standing up for what you know is right.

    Helen Zia, Lia Shigimura, Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarillo: thank you for submitting yourself to this speculation in the name of the rest of us. Words can't express how grateful we should all be to you for being the face of our community in this trial, or how hard it must be to put yourself through it. My love goes out to you all.

  • 201. Marlene Bomer  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Amen and amen, my brother!

    To further delve in to details Jack kind of hinted on, we transfolk have a *major* say in this battle!

    First, the reicht continuously claims marriage is for "one man and one woman". Well, let's see… some states have laws which allow transsexuals to have their gender changed on their birth certificate — almost all of them post-op, a few just need a declaration) and some (like my state of Ohio) do not.

    This leaves us with a quandry. There have been many cases where post-op transsexuals have had their *legal* marriages annulled by bigoted judges, who declare biology is destiny. Meaning because I was born XY, I'm a male in the eyes of the court, even in the event I fully transition.

    So if I happen to fall in love with a male, many states see this as a "same-sex" marriage, because both our genetics read XY. OTOH, since I happen to be a lesbian, *I* can legally marry, even after transition.

    On the third hand, where does this leave the intersexed? Because they aren't fully male or female (they have extra or missing chromosomes), who in the hell are *thay* allowed to marry?

    If the bigots want to have "one man/one woman" marriages, then why aren't they demanding genetic testing to insure the female is XX and the male XY!

  • 202. jack  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks Marlene…. love that you've helped point out all the grey areas here, my favorite thing about all of this just from a personal standpoint is that I will never have any surgery to complete my transition and a lot of transgendered people make that same decision. As a result, I am truly a lesbian man, lol…from the outside, completely and totally passing as a manly man, and physically 100% biologically female. So I'm doubly screwed I guess, who the hell should I be "allowed" to marry?

  • 203. Woody  |  January 16, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I'm so thankful to have been able to read not Just Helen Zia's story, but the other stories in the comments on this site. Count me as yet another tearful person following the trial.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories.

  • 204. Len Silvey  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Jack: thanks so much for your comment. I want to add thanks to the other plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Steir, for submitting themselves to this litigation much as Paul and Jeffrey have and for the bold statements of Helen and Lia.

  • 205. Marlene Bomer  |  January 16, 2010 at 9:58 am

    As do I, Len! Isn't it the height of irony that our side's witnesses are open to ridicule from the moronic lawyers from Protect Marriage, yet *their* witnesses want to hide and skulk in the night like thieves, afraid of being shown in the light of truth and justice?

    They remind me of Gorgan The Friendly Angel from the original Star Trek episode "And the Children Shall Lead". He appears as a benevolent entity, as the truth is revealed, he becomes hideous and bestial.

    Our side is openly discussing the case, and open to responses from even the opposition, while the bigots keep their comments closed and are afraid to be exposed and ridiculed.

  • 206. michael  |  January 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm


    I see them like those children from the "Village of the Damned" Blank faces totally emotionless blinding following each other monotone voices soulless eyes….scary empty people to keep up this total farce

  • 207. Marlene Bomer  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    OOooooo another great anology!

  • 208. Willow  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I am sitting here bawling my eyes out. I want to get married to my beautiful Esa so bad, and thanks to them I don't know if I ever will.

  • 209. jack  |  January 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Keep your head up girl, it's going to happen. It has to. Hell, it's happened twice already, third time's the charm right?

  • 210. Steve  |  January 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Yeah, you know how Prop.8 will treat this. "It's just one story, one person", as they said in attempt to reject the testimony in the first place. Some people are going to buy that. What's important is that they drive home the point that there are hundreds, thousands of Helen Zias. You know, people who don't take marriage for granted.

    Thank you for covering this important event, I'm terribly upset that it is not being video recorded.

  • 211. Susan Wehrle  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Thank you for this blog. This is so important.

  • 212. Diverbear  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

    When the self-proclaimed importance (and income) for your way of life is crumbling you'll grasp at any straw to maintain the status quo. The fear of suspected witches filled the collection plates over a hundred years ago. The anti-Jewish hype filled the collection plates in the early 1900s. The McCarthy-spawned anti-communism era filled the collection plates from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. Playing the racial card filled the collection plates in the 60s through the 80s. Now the fundraising agenda for this decade rests upon using homosexuals as the scapegoats to keep the collection plates filled and the uneducated masses in a panic. There aren't many worthwhile future targets to maintain those full collection plates which help keep mega-churches in business as well as feed their leader's egos. Is it any wonder why some "religious" organizations, and right wing political groups are going to such extremes to milk the last "cash cow" they can still legally persecute?

  • 213. You Gotta Give ‘Em &hellip  |  January 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    […] to read the Courage Campaign’s live-blogging. (If you read one just update, read Helen Zia’s moving testimony on Day 5: “For brief moment in time, we experienced equality. We could go to fountain that was not for […]

  • 214. car maintenance&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Oil Change…

    […]while the sites we link to below are completely unrelated to ours, we think they are worth a read, so have a look[…]…

  • 215. Natural Colon Cleanse&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Colon Cleanse Health…

    […]we like to honor other sites on the web, even if they aren’t related to us, by linking to them. Below are some sites worth checking out[…]…

  • 216. Brad Pitt Workout&hellip  |  December 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Celebrity Workouts…

    […and you might wan’t to have a look at this, if you ever wondered…]…

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