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Judge Walker announces break in trial

Trial analysis

By Julia Rosen

Judge Walker this morning announced that he is going to delay the closing arguments for several weeks after both sides finish with their witnesses. He wants more time to look over the evidence, prior to the final arguments.

This indicates that he will be active questioning from the bench during the closing arguments. This is keeping with his engaged demeanor throughout the trial. As our regular Trial Trackers know, Judge Walker has consistently interjected his own questions throughout the proceedings.

Due to this break, it is likely that Judge Walker will not take much time after the closing arguments to issue his ruling. So we should expect it in late Februrary or early March.

Today or Monday, the plaintiffs will finish with their witnesses. The defense is unlikely to take nearly as long with their witnesses, especially since they seem to be trying to prove their case during cross-examinations, and a few of their witnesses have already dropped of their lists.

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80 Comments

  • 1. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I don't know how usual or usual that is, to delay closing arguments like that. Could someone else who does know please comment?

    Thanks,
    Ann

  • 2. Alex Tsai  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    And what will be the next step after the ruling & for how long?

  • 3. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Alex, we can expect that the next step after the ruling will be the appeal — no matter who wins, it's fairly certain there will be an appeal. I can't speak to timing, though.

  • 4. Richard W. Fitch  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

    My sincere appreciation to all those who are participating in these blogs, both those a part of Courage Campaign and those responding in comments. It is rare to have an opportunity to witness the mechanics of our govt in such detail. Thanks to all.
    Love,
    Richard

  • 5. paulo  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Could someone at Courage Campaign please get an answer to this question:

    Clarence Thomas just issued his ruling on Corporate campaign money by referencing this trial on Prop 8. His statements were highly biased and they were commentary on an ongoing trial which may very well end up before the SCOTUS. Is he required, either legally or ethically to recuse himself from any Prop 8 appeal now that he is on record with opinions on the trial before it is finished??

  • 6. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Oooh. That's a good point. I would *expect* the esteemed justice to recuse himself.

  • 7. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

    One would EXPECT him to… but I think we all know how that'll go. Sure is a lovely thought, though.

  • 8. MJFargo  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Remember. This went before the Justices already regarding the YouTube issue.

  • 9. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    My understanding of the YouTube issue is that there's a long-standing rule that Federal trials don't get broadcast… ever. They were just upholding precedent, not commenting on this trial specifically.

    Please correct me, anyone, if I'm mistaken. I'm by no means well-versed in this sort of thing– just basing that theory on prior comments I've read here over the last 2 weeks.

  • 10. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

    but this went to youtube BEFORE he made his prop 8 bias comment in finance reform

  • 11. Ryan Blazer  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Not quite, it was a different case Hollingsworth vs. Perry, 09A648. It was purely based on a Court Procedure without prejudice to facts and merits of this case.

  • 12. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Matthew S., I heard (I think on Slate's podcast) that a couple of circuits ARE televising court proceedings. I thought it would have been the first, also, but it turns out that it's not so. The SCOTUS's reason for denial (not enough time to comment) was pretty laughable, though.

  • 13. Dan Hess  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Ha, wonder if the Court will decide not to hear the case since they already ruled on a part of it. Probably not, but if they did it'd make SSM the law of the land for Circuit 9 and hopefully set a precedent for the rest of the nation.

  • 14. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I can't speak to your whole question, but as to whether he is "required, either legally or ethically to recuse himself…"

    Supreme Court justices determine at their own discretion whether they must recuse themselves due to a conflict of interest. There are some precedent guidelines, such as Sotomoyer recusing herself for cases that she herself had participated in as a lower court judge, but other sorts of conflicts are determined by the justices themselves. No one, not the Chief Justice, nor even all eight of the other members of the Supreme Court, could force Thomas to recuse himself if he doesn't want to. That's my understanding, at least.

  • 15. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

    but wouldn't that leave the door wide open for us to appeal their decision based on bias previous to the decision?

  • 16. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    So let me get this straight…a judge can say "I think fags should all die"..and then be allowed to rule on a case wherein the lives of gays are at stake?

    WTF kind of country do we live in?

    me thinks this ass needs to remember whos shoes his daddy was shinin not so long ago.

  • 17. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Michael, thank you for saying that.

  • 18. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Dieter M, that comment is completely out of line. How is that one bit better than what the homophobes have been saying about us? Is it a statement to be proud of?

    You're better than that.

  • 19. Brian  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I interpreted Dieter's comment to be referencing religious White people, rather than saying 'that n***er should get back into his place' – I perceived it to be an expression of hope that Thomas would recuse himself if there was a potential perception of bias. (After all, who are we facing in court? Religious White people, for the most part.)

  • 20. Andrea  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Deiter M., even here and under these circumstances, you are expected to be better than the people attacking you. "Best Little Boy Possible," remember?

  • 21. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Andrea, you honestly see no difference between striving to be the perfect person in the hopes that someday you'll be "enough" and refraining from making a blatantly racist remark?

    Nobody's saying Dieter M has no right to be angry, or to express his anger. I do, however, object to his expressing it by attacking the race of his target. Thomas' race has nothing to do with the issue at hand, and that remark was over the line.

  • 22. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Dieter,
    Words are powerful tools, which can either hurt or help to mend an open sore. I am offended that as a member of the GLBT community (I am assuming you are) you would stoop to character assasination. Unless I miss my guess, none of us at this website are personally acquainted wtih any of the Supreme Court Justices. This kind of remark reflects badly on our community, as a whole and speaks to some of our own problems we have yet to overcome.

  • 23. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    oops,
    Love,
    David

  • 24. Matt  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    While I certainly agree that we should refrain from from making bigoted or racist remarks ourselves, that's not how I interpreted Dieter's remark. It seemed to me that he was only pointing out that, as a member of a group that has historically been discriminated against, Thomas should be more willing to oppose the discrimination of others rather than support it, as his comments suggest.

  • 25. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Deiter,

    I am deeply offended that you would make such a horrible racist comment.

    I am in shock that anyone who agrees that we are being discriminated against would use Such a Shameful Reference!

  • 26. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    One other point I forgot to make is that character assination are the tools of scoundrels and thugs and I am wondering which category you fit into?

  • 27. Frijondi  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:32 am

    I still can't see Clarence Thomas's name without thinking, this is the guy who told Anita Hill there was a pubic hair on his can of Coke. How he got confirmed is beyond me. Even if I were the sort of person who thought sexual harassment was no big deal, I would still have serious reservations about this man's judgment.

  • 28. Ann S.  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Frijondi, you and I believed Anita Hill, but apparently many in the Senate did not. Many of the public did not believe Anita Hill. She testified on a Friday, Thomas responded on a Saturday. Far more people saw his testimony than hers.

    Anita Hill really didn't have much to gain from testifying, and she did so under compulsion. Thomas had everything to gain by denying it angrily and playing the race card, so he did.

    Thomas's confirmation was a travesty, but here we are.

  • 29. David Crane  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I just read his opinion and, in addition to citing one instance of Prop 8 using the same tactics to pressure someone into donating to their cause, he writes, "My point is not to express any view on the merits of the political controversies I describe." Seems like he gave himself room to avoid accusations of bias.

  • 30. Michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    What was his statement and where can one find them?

  • 31. David Crane  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    My addiction to this trial has introduced me to the wonders of scotusblog.com I've pasted the link to the page with the justices' written opinions on the citizens-united ruling.
    http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/01/citizens-united

  • 32. Andrea  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Cornell has a HTML version up, at: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.h

    It is much easier to navigate and search than the PDF.

  • 33. Marcia  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:02 am

    We can pretty much count on Thomas to vote against equality anyway. He's pretty much a right wing sockpuppet when it comes to civil rights (except his own, needless to say).

  • 34. Marcia  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Oops, sorry about the repetition!

  • 35. Another Ray  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

    "late Feb / early Marh" ?!?!??!?

    I can't wait that long!!!!!!

    The CC & P8TT guys have done an incredible job!

    I am amazed and appreciative.

    … and I'm hopeful.

  • 36. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Wow. That's going to feel like forever waiting for his ruling…

    I understand this is just Phase 1, no matter his ruling, but this really difficult to go through. Really difficult.

    Is anyone else finding that? Just that this is mentally and spiritually exhausitng to have your very humanity on trial???

    What I do find interesting is that I have not heard a single straight person talking about this trial. Not a single one. I don't think most of them even know it is happening right now.

    So, if they are really soooooooooooooooooooooo desperate to 'protect marriage' then how come they are completely ignoring this trial?

    It coudn't be that this isn't REALLY about 'protecting marraige' or anything like that, could it?? It couldn't be that this was never about 'protecting marriage' at all, but rather about making sure that LGTB citizens continue to be abused and discriminated against not only by their families and society, but via the government as well?

    Naaaaaaaaaa.

    Couldn't be.

  • 37. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I too am finding this spiritually exhausting. I have to admit that my mood has taken a SERIOUS nosedive in the last 2 weeks. Part of me feels like I should take a good, long break from this (and current events in general), but I can't help but feel like this is too important NOT to follow.

    Still, what little faith I had in our system of government and my fellow citizens is most definitely waning.

  • 38. Sam  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I would try to put those strong emotions to use rather than try to dampen them. Is there a way you can get involved in doing something to help the cause somehow?

    I'm itching to help, and I'm on the other side of the Atlantic!

  • 39. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Indeed.

    While it is certainly important that our government stop treating its citizens with different laws, it is TRULY hurtful (and highly immoral) that our very fellow citizens, our heterosexual co-workers, family members, friends, and even perfect strangers that we pass on the street are illegally holding power over ourprivate legal affairs. Which is what marraige is. A legal contract.

    That is what proves to me that this is not about marraige even 1%. It is simply about hurting people.

    That is a tough, tough lesson to learn so repeatedly about humanity thoughout 1 lifetime.

    At the same time, their mistreatment of us has made us who we are.

    Which is to say, a kinder, gentler, funnier, more compassionate, more peaceful segment of society than any other group I can think of.

    I love who I am. I love being a gay man. I wouldn't change it even if I could. And God would never want me to. Hell, she made me that way!

    Hang in there. We'll make it. This is our HISTORY being created right in front of us. It's exciting. I have never felt more pride to be a part of this tribe.

    Love,
    Bill

  • 40. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Bill wrote: What I do find interesting is that I have not heard a single straight person talking about this trial. Not a single one. I don’t think most of them even know it is happening right now.

    Do you mean literally hearing? Because there are straight allies blogging about this event, commenting in newspaper fora and participating here. ::waves at Bill::

    Unfortunately, there are also some hate-filled people doing all of those things …

    I am finding it exhausting myself, I must tell you …

  • 41. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

    No, I know the bloggers are on over-drive and drinking 55 cups of coffee an hour. I know this only becaseu I am drinking 56.

    What I meant was that when I bring it up in mixed company, not a single straight person has even known a thing about it. They don't care. They only care when they get to show up and condemn at the ballot box.

    That's disappointing.

    I envisioned groups of gays and straights gathered around their repective screens like a football game.

    Example:

    STRAIGHT JILL: "Am I gonna have to get married in birkenstocks now???" (runs from room crying)

    meanwhile over at gay Ted's house:

    GAY TED: "If Sotomayor thinks I'm doing her hair at HER wedding, bitch is crazy!"

    Not really, but straights have SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much interest in saying crap to us about 'don't agree with the lifestlye' or 'adam and steve' or whatever, but something this important go on and nothing but cricket chirps???

    To me, it simply speaks of their TRUE desire. NOT to 'protect marraige,' but to hurt people, cause pain, condemn, and oppress via the ballot box.

    I must say, I'm a bit disappointed in the straights. 'Protecting marraige kinda stuff'' is going on, and, like I said, cricket chirps.

    It's very interesting.

  • 42. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Bill, I can tell you that this straight woman and her straight husband and our straight daughter and every member of our family, straight and gay, knows all about it and is following it.

  • 43. Sean  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Bill:

    My word may not count for much, but I just want you to know that not all us 'straights' are haters. Many of us are here with you, standing by your side and trying to help.

    And this is one straight who will NEVER stop fighting for your rights.

    Love,
    Sean

  • 44. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Bill, thank you for clarifying. I realize that my evidence is anecdotal, but I can tell you that in my circle of friends, gay and straight, this is a key discussion.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 45. Chris Boltz  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Many of my Straight co-workers and many of my (I assume to be) straight students have been following this trial — mostly by following end of day sum-ups as opposed to following the live blog. They are very concerned. As a community we have to end the notion (and the rhetoric) that straight folks are our enemies. Many are not, and I feel like the number of allies is growing daily — much of the growth is due to the recent trials and set backs have brought the issue to the forefront. I know someone who was going to vote for Prop 8 (as her church instructed her too) because gays and lesbians "already have all the same rights as married couples." She asked me why we cared so much about the word, I explained that their are differences, and with out the word it doesn't travel from state to state, and we don't get federal benefits etc. She changed her vote. If we can succeed in getting our stories out their, without the bias and the rhetoric, I believe we can gain allies. So many of my students are firmly on our side, and we are moving more and more "middle-aged" folks. We need to keep working with our straight friends and family, not maligning "all straight people" We can't hate them just because of their sexuality, if we do we are no better than the people behind Prop 8.

  • 46. Colt  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Hi Bill–

    Just wanted to let you know, I'm a straight girl and the trial is basically all I talk about, to anyone. It makes my parents happy because they don't have time to follow the threads all day. I've been telling everybody I know about what's happening (and what side they need to be on!). Don't get down–there are lots of straight people who are addicted to this trial and hoping so hard that soon EVERYONE will have equal rights to marry whoever they want.

    Love,
    Colt

  • 47. Marcia  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:06 am

    I haven't heard anybody talking about it, and I'm a straight supporter. Please don't sell us short: this, like everything else, has a national short attention span and addiction to cotton-candy news to compete with.

    As much as I love dogs and as pleased as I was that it had a happy ending…. this hasn't gotten even 1% of coverage from the "liberal media" (HA!) as the rescue of that dog from the river in LA on Friday.

  • 48. Pete  |  January 24, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Thanks for the support! I can't begin to describe the feelings when someone breaks from the majority of hating GLBT and stands up for equality. Gave me the “Warm and fuzzies”. Really need to hear people like yourself after reading (and re-re-reading) Tam’s horrid testimony. Hope we all hang in there !!!

  • 49. Ann S.  |  January 24, 2010 at 6:13 am

    This morning I was at one of my knitting groups (we sit around, drink coffee, chat and knit). Someone who knows I would be following this trial very closely asked me about it, and all of us engaged in a conversation about it. Everyone was keenly interested and a supporter of marriage equality. I do live in a very blue county, but of course you can meet anti-marriage equality folks anywhere. I was very pleased at the response, and as far as I know they are all heterosexuals.

    Just wanted to share that with all of you. Take care,

    Love,
    Ann

  • 50. Meredith  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Yes, Bill, I'm also completely exhausted by reading all this. It just brings back all the horribleness of coming out, of realizing that people hate me for who I am. I hope beyond hope that the judge hears that hate through all this testimony.

  • 51. Sean  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Also feeling the strain here. I've been refreshing these pages every chance I get for the last two weeks straight. And I'm a straight, middle-class white male. So that should tell you something.

  • 52. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

    It is scary that Judle Walker could even, at heart, be one of those haters.

    This trial has reminded me how truly vulnerable we are.

    I am not saying Walker is biased, but you never truly know who is an ally.

    A tough way to live. A hetero could not even begin to know.

    Wish they were better to their LGTB children.

    Think God would want them to be.

  • 53. Sean  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I don't know Walker personally, but from his attitude throughout this trial, I would say he's pretty neutral. If anything, I'd say he's on our side…many of his comments have pointed towards him losing patience with the defense very, very quickly…

  • 54. Roger  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    It's never been about protecting marriage. It's about punishing sinners.

  • 55. Frijondi  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Bill, I agree with you that Prop. 8 is about discriminating against gays for the sheer joy of it, rather than about "protecting traditional marriage." Discrimination can be a lot of fun. No one's completely immune to that.

    But I disagree with the notion that gays, as a group, kinder and gentler than other people. Collectively, we have real grievances, but does not mean that individual gays are necessarily fairer or more moral than individual straights. In fact, I think that view is dangerous. For me, the whole point of the gay rights movement is that we *are* just like everybody else — and everybody else is a pretty mixed bag.

  • 56. Pete  |  January 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

    True, we ARE everybody else. The good, the bad and the ugly. Still, you can't help but wonder, without all the oppression if a few more GLBT would have a lot fewer neuroses

  • 57. Jack Geisser  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I have to say I agree with Bill. While I have seen straight people commenting here, I am utterly disturbed at the lack of interest I've seen in the straight community. I have several straight friends, many that are attorneys, and I they have not said anything.

    I live in Washington, DC and what is even more disturbing is the lack of national news coverage this has gotten on major news channels. I have them running all day while I work and have heard little to nothing about this trial. If I hadn't known it started I wouldn't have tried to find these blogs. I understand that news has been flooded with the tragedy in Haiti and the political upset in Massachusetts, but this trial is the beginning of a landmark decision that will play out in the SCOTUS. It deserves as much attention as the Citizen's United case–though the gravity of that decision has yet to sink in for most.

  • 58. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Exactly. That is what tells me that straight people care less about marraige then they care about continuing theor tradition of hurting, damaging, and condemning their LGTB children.

    I really do not take joy in saying that. It actually hurts. Because 99% of my 'circle' happens to be straight. And to see that they really care so little about this is just WEIRD.

    Heterosexuals alone voted to strip me of my rights in the state that I live in (CA) yet they can not be bothered to actually witness the ramifications of what they did. Which was to REMOVE EXISITING MARRAIGE RIGHTS for LGTB citizens. They didn't vote to DENY. The voted to TAKE AWAY. That has never happened before.

    The OFFICIAL language of Prop 8:

    "Shall the California Constitution be changed to ELIMINATE THE RIGHT (emphasis mine) of same-sex couples to marry providing that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California?

    Our fellow citizens care enough to show up at the ballot box to ELIMINATE THE RIGHT that we ALREADY HAD, and now they are "kinda tired of the whole thing???"

    Yeah. Kinda pissed about that, I am.

    But why that attitude from a heterosexual would surprise me, I know not.

  • 59. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Wow. Just re-read my 4:48PM post.

    I thought I had no more Prop 8 anger left.

    I was clearly wrong.

    I forgot just how much that day hurt. And I am a gay person that, at heart, could not care less about marraige. It is simply not a legal position I wish to be in. Yet my partner and I remain happy as clams 10 after years together.

    It's not the marraige thing with me. It is about the taking away of an existing right.

    Toward what other group would the taking away of ANY rights be tolerated?

    So, Prop 8, as evidenced by myangry post, hurt me most deeply on that level. On the level that my fellow citizens of these United States in the State of California would dare step into a ballot box and take something away from me becasue they hate me.

    Hate me. That's is your right. But it is NOT your right to step into a ballot box and strip rights from me.

    That is not anyone's right.

    Even when you hate the people you are doing it to.

    How simple IS that to understand?

    And why is 'gay' the only exception to that rule?

  • 60. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Bill, you're right.

    Laws are supposed to be used to expand rights, not take them away.

    The real slippery slope (that the Prop 8 side just ignores) is that now *any* unpopular group's rights can be put up for a vote.

    You know the question most likely to stop the discussion with a Prop 8er?

    "Which of your rights is it okay for me to put up for majority vote?"

    Dude, you hear nothing but silence.

  • 61. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Because they have worked to keep us those Others, those Deviants, those Sinners. Now that they did the "Righteous" work of God they are fine just going on about their business as usual. Patting themselves on the back and listening to Dobson.

    Proph8ers kicked the Beehive, the Bee's defended the Hive, and now they have gone back to being Bee's. Until they feel the Queen(in this case the Bible) is going to be harmed they have moved on to other things.

  • 62. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Jack, I'm straight and I'm also appalled at the lack of coverage, even in our San Francisco Chronicle (which has absolutely no excuse for not having someone there every single day) (well, other than the general downhill trend of all papers and laying off a bunch of staff).

    As frustrating as this is, there is some disturbing (to me) straight-bashing going on in here (mostly by Bill), which will serve no good purpose but only tend to push allies away.

  • 63. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I respectfully say that straight-bashing is a stretch Ann S.

  • 64. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Bill, point taken, but I respectfully ask you to stop tarring all straights with the same brush. I've asked you before. Please stop. You are alienating me and probably other allies.

  • 65. Brian  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Agreed, Ann. My three straight roommates are just as concerned as I am about this trial – they follow it just as often as I do, and whenever any of us have had to spend time away from it, we ask the others what has gone on.

    "Straights hate gay people and want to hurt us" is a shitty and stupid message, Bill. You need to stop. That's like saying that all Catholics are child molestors, not just the priesthood or a specific subset thereof.

  • 66. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

    @ 45. Ann S. | January 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks, Ann.

    I also believe that I've said to you before that perhaps an unintended consequence of heterosexuals painting homosexuals not only with the same brush, but most often with the very same bristle, is that it does not leave us alot of wiggle room to view you as individuals as well.

    Heterosexuals do it to stereotype us. LGTB's do it because often, it saves our lives. Literally. (Our learned distrust of heterosexuals is what I am speaking of.)

    I re-read my posts. Clearly, this trial has brought out my anger over this issue. However, I did not say anything untrue. If I understand you correctly, you take umbrage that I did not remove you from the group of heterosexuals that seek to oppress LGTB people. Not my intention. I took it as a given that anyone (besides George) heterosexual posting here was an ally and would understand my post in that context. I will clarify in the future, as it truly is not my intention to offend. Not even a little.

    If an angry gay man, who has recently experienced heterosexual citizens stripping him of his rights and of his dignity via the ballot box, is enough to make them no longer an ally, I would question how much of an ally this person was to begin with.

    If you have not experienced that for yourself, I hope you never do.

    But if you do, then you will know how dark, how demeaning, how humiliating and how dehumanizing something like this feels to a human being.

    That is likely to cause some pain and anger.

    Which is why it was done.

  • 67. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Bill, I do not fully understand your anger of course, but I am angry on your behalf too, and I am and will remain your ally.

    Thanks for your comments. Let's put it behind us and concentrate on our common opponents.

    Love (really!),
    Ann

  • 68. RightthingtotdoTX  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    straight white male

    married 16 years

    two sons

    linking my contacts to this site, firedoglake, pam's etc

    as many as i can

    i'm talking about this trial with everyone and anyone

    the problem is that my friends are who they are for a reason…we all have similar takes on society, the world etc.

    so preaching to choir

  • 69. Jack  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Your sentiments are understood and completely appreciated, but as I listen to a CNN news story about a BK Whopper bar that is going to serve beer, I can't help but feel slighted. If they thought this trial was more newsworthy and stories were broadcast to the broader population, more people would recognize that this is a segment of the population that the defense is arguing doesn't exist. They are arguing that people don't have the right to human dignity let alone the right for whom to love.

  • 70. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Jack, your point is exactly why I am so frustrated that the video coverage was denied. I wholeheartedly concur that people DO need to see and understand what is going on here. This is the civil rights case/cause of our generation(s).

    I completely concur that more coverage should be taking place in mainstream media.

    To Rightthing's point … I think that there is something to the "birds of a feather" thing as well. Of course we are talking about it with our circles, which are most likely like-minded, LOL (I have some friends with whom I disagree on various matters political and philosophical, but we disagree without being disagreeable).

    I wish there was more I could do than I have done or am doing, to tell you the truth. I can't grab people by the lapels and shake them until their teeth rattle (despite tremendous temptation) and get them to grasp that what they're doing is wrong. 🙁

  • 71. R Lavigueur  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I agree with everyone above feeling the stress and strain from this, I've been refreshing these pages constantly over the past two weeks. Personally, I'm feeling very, very lucky to live in Canada where a narrow majority support my right to marry, but these are things that can change very quickly and this trial has hit home the scale and organization of those who want to deny people the most basic dignity and respect. I am not an American, but what happens in this trial is of fundamental importance to people everywhere.

    Because really, it doesn't matter at all that I'm following this trial as a Canadian. Yes, we have the right to marry here, but there are 33 million Canadians, so the result of Proposition 8 alone involves more people than live in my entire country. As I read the comments posted here, it is impossible not to be moved by the stories and the feelings and the experiences, because in the end we're all human beings, no matter how hard the bigots try to run and hide from that fact. No matter how hard they try to argue that sexual orientation doesn't exist, or is a disease, or something to be scorned, they still have to hide behind their vague analogies of storms and shadows, because to admit the truth is to acknowledge our common humanity. And when we are acknowledged as humans, then the hatred withers away from the vast majority of people.

    This trial is barely registering in the American press, and it might as well not even exist as far as the majority of Canadians are concerned. But we are here, and I for one will continue to follow every update for as long as this takes. I will continue to raise the topic with my friends, straight and otherwise, and my thoughts and hopes are with you all.

  • 72. Brian  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Canadian here, too, and I agree with your entire post.

    I was actually contemplating what a successful rebuttal (as opposed to parody) of NOM's video would entail. Probably would include something about the storm that has been going on for centuries in our lives is suddenly getting worse, or somesuch.

  • 73. Frijondi  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Since the passage of Prop. 8, I have been looking longingly at Canada. Actually, it's not just Prop. 8, but the fact that nearly half the country voted for a presidential ticket that included Sarah Palin. But I hear you guys have your own problems with creeping theocracy as well. (I have the impression Stephen Harper leans that way.) What's it like at the local and province level? Do you have a lot of hard-right candidates running for minor office? That's how they started to get a toehold here in the eighties.

  • 74. Casey  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    In reading these posts, the fascinating thing to me is the vast quantity of love and respectful disagreement happening here. In reading the posts between Ann S., Bill, and others, I see disagreement, but also much respect of individual views. I understand the anger many gay people have (as a lesbian, I too feel anger on a deep level), but I also understand the desire of straight allies to be viewed as what they are…alies. I just want to mention that the respectful discourse, even when we are striving to understand one another, is wonderful. I have been reading the blog comments of Prop. 8 supporters, as well, and I have not seen this level of respect (or proper grammer and spelling). Bravo to you all. We are truly a community, and I am proud to be among you.

  • 75. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Casey, thank you. I do not share the painful experiences many people here have related, but I read them all, and I weep inside (and sometimes outside) for the pain and the cruelty that has been inflicted. The pain I feel is on behalf of so many of you, and my brother and his husband, and my BFF and her wife. And for all of us who want to live in a society where two loving adults can marry one another, regardless of sex.

    I am glad you understood the respect I have and I hope my remarks have not been hurtful to Bill or anyone else. If they have, I apologize.

  • 76. Casey  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    PS: I feel the need to drink wine while reading these blogs, so I apologize for misspelling "allies", then saying how wonderful we all are at spelling. LOL.

  • 77. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Casey, LOL, that's always the way, isn't it?

    Love,
    One of your alies,
    Ann

  • 78. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    LMAO…Casey and Ann you chicks rock!

  • 79. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Aw, Michael.

    ::blushes::

    You do, too!

  • 80. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Another straight male here, letting you know you have another supporter! I am so disappointed with the state I have lived in all my life. I used to be so proud to be from here, now I would sooo love to leave!

    The bigotry evident in PropHate is sickening, I'm thinking of designing a t-shirt with a NO H8 logo!!

    Keep up the fight, keep up the hope!!

    Love, Tony

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