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Liveblogging Day 9: Part II


By Rick Jacobs

Dr. Gregory Herek (H): IF we go back in time, we see that these ideas of homo/hetero emerged in 19th century medical discourse. May have been in some writing before, but that’s when we first find in medical discourse.

[Mr. Nielson, the lawyer for the defense, who is conducting this cross-examination has a monotonous, flat voice. His orange hair, white shirt, red tie and blue suit make him stand out physically, but he’s very soft-spoken.]

N: Indeed two leading researchers in this area estimated that only half of those who have same sex sexual ID as lesbian, gay or bi.

H: Can be limitations in defining all who are not hetero because not all have broad personal or social ID but still occasionally have sex with same sex.

N: The world in which today’s youth come to understand their sexual orientation is vastly different than before.

H: World is vastly different today in many ways.

H: Among youth we see embracing of the word queer and they use that as label of description and yet that was an epithet. Youth self ID as queer, so gay, l and bi may not be fully applicable.

H: Chapter from book I co-edited in 1990s, research of l and g in military entitled “Why Tell if You Are not Asked.”

N: You write, “Although hetero and homo behaviors alike have been common throughout human history, the way cultures have dealt with governing them have varied widely.”

H: Yes.

N: “In US today, popularly understand as two types of people, homo and hetero.”

H: But sentence began with “For at least a century today and in Europe…”

N: This classification system differs from other possible ways of defining sexuality because it focuses on the individual…”

H: Yes.

N: Creates two ideal types.

H: Again I would say that there has been an expansion in the last few decades that includes bisexuality.

N: Hetero, homo, bi trichotomy creates three types?

H: I’m careful about using ideal type because it’s a sort of category.

H: By saying ideal type, not saying what we should strive for, but clean, clear distinction and that’s what’s meant by ideal type.

N: Defining oneself as gay or lesbian and more recently queer, provides entry into social communities?

H: Yes.

N: I have a copy of the book here. Do I have to show it?

Judge: Let’s let the witness make that decision.

H: I would like to see the book.

Judge: Do you have a copy?

N: No.

N: Are you familiar with this book?

H: Never seen before.

N: Edited by Badgett. Do you know her?

H: Yes, I do.

N: Chapter about economics and beyond.

H: Familiar with Badgett, but never read this article before.

Judge: Why don’t you ask a question?

N: We’ve identified the books and have designated articles, but have not wanted to copy entire books for copyright reasons, true of both sides.

Judge: Why don’t we try a question…(impatient).

N: Reads from book. Do you agree that homosexuality covers several potentially distinct dimensions.

H: Certainly a difference in behavior and attraction, so yes.

N: One approach that I have used with social survey data involves relative lifetime frequency of same sex partners. If had same or more ss as hetero partners since 18, lgb.

H: She is trying to draw conclusions from national surveys. She found that almost 90% were consistently hetero and 1-2% consistently homo. Some in between. I believe what she is doing is trying to develop rationale based on lack of data.

N: Do you agree with rationale?

H: I have not read it.

N: Do you agree that if person had as many same sex as hetero partners since 18, they are lgb?

H: We have to make assumptions and we have to explain assumptions so other scientists can see what we have done. Prof. Badgett had to report lgb as someone who had at least as much sexual contact with same sex as with hetero. Not ideal type, but she has spelled it out. We will evaluate data based on her explanation.

H: In area of studies of sexual orientation, she is well regarded, but as a non-economist I cannot attest to how she is viewed by economists.

N: Want to move whole book in.

Judge: Whole book? (nods head quizzically)

(Back and forth because N is confused. Keeps interrupting Judge. We’ll admit three pages and reserve on chapter and book.)

[UPDATE] 10:48

N: Reads from another part of another book by Badgett and shows that H was acknowledged in her book. (N wants to make the point that there are multiple definitions of homosexuality. Obviously, he wants to make clear that if there is ss marriage, we’ll not have a good definition of homos. On the other hand, heteros have been getting married for years but without definition; hence, some homos marry heteros and it does not go so well.)

H: Everyone is influenced by economic trends.

H: I’m not sure what she (Badgett) means by “heated theoretical debate” over definition of sexuality. Without having the context of having read this book recently, I cannot comment on that sentence and know exactly what she meant by it.

N: Your honor, we have confirmation that opposing counsel was given the whole book?

Judge: Nods head (as in why are you telling me that).

H: I cannot comment on that observation unless I have read the book.

N: The sexual orientation definition has provoked a heated theoretical debate. Do you agree?

H: I don’t know context of what she is talking about. If you can explain to me the writers on each side and what they are commenting on, perhaps I can comment on it.


N: Alright, thank you.

N: Reads from Badgett: Do you agree that someone who has had as many same sex as opposite sex partners is not strictly hetero?

H: Probably depend upon number of partners in each group. If a person reports having had one of each in whole life, could be difficult to determine because we don’t know when they had those relationships. Could have had one or other a long time ago and don’t know length of time of each. Can’t know without looking at data set.

N: Leaving aside data set, do you agree that as many same sex as hetero partners mean they are not hetero?

H: You can’t leave aside data set. You have to see the context.

N: Of people who have had one or more same ssex partners, 49% are hetero. 59.8% identify as homo if they have had equal or more same sex partners than homo partners, but only 15% as hetero.

H: This is her way of breaking out data.

N: Does her way of breaking out data affect of definition of homo?

H: No. 90% hetero. Another core group consistently ID as l or g. Badgett is looking at group in the middle to try to get to some way of dealing with data.

N: Sexual orientation is not an observable characteristic as sex or ethnicity.

H: Typically cannot tell by looking at person if homo, but may not always be able to tell race or ethnicity, either.

N: I want to admit whole book.

(Plaintiff objects)

Judge: I’ll admit these pages. When might we take a break?

N: The questions about sexual orientation go to our theory of the case so I’ll keep questioning the witness.

Judge: That’s fine, but when might it be a good time to take break?

N: I’d be happy to do that whenever the court wishes.

Judge: Very well, then. Why don’t we do it now?

[Nielson for Prop. 8 is trying to show that there is no consistent definition of homosexuality and that people’s orientation changes throughout their lives. I presume that they will then try to show that we cannot have same-sex marriage because we cannot define it and it will force people into categories that are not appropriate. What does not make sense here is that there is no definition of heterosexual marriage by Nielson’s logic. People marry in that institution because they can. Given the option, we know that lots of homosexuals will marry; they already have. Is he going to show that there will be lots of legal problems over time with this? Does he want to prove that “gay” is not real, that by opening up all institutions to gays and lesbians, we’ll get more gay people because then people can “choose?” He does not understand we do not choose to be gay or lesbian or bisexual. Why would we?

This is the key to the essence of the votes. Observant religious folks may not want to accept homosexuality because of their belief system. Many do not accept evolution, either. But the majority of Americans are inherently fair. If they know that we do not choose and if they see us and our stories, they will change their minds. The next generation already is.

And let’s keep in mind that it does no good to attack religion. In fact, as Courage’s research shows, that’s counterproductive. As we saw with Dr. Tam yesterday and from Gerry Shih’s excellent NYT story this morning about the Christian Chinese community, they believe what they believe. We do not advance our cause by attacking them. ]

Help spread the word and keep your friends up to date on the trial: Click here to share the Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 Trial Tracker on Facebook!

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  • 1. sugarbritches  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:31 am

    So he's going to do his best to establish that there's no clear definition of "gay" and therefore can't be suspect class. Is he saying that someone is only partly gay? If so, how about someone who's biracial? If they're only partly African American, are they part of a suspect class? Pretty sure that one's been decided pretty definitively.


  • 2. Elizabeth  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:40 am

    maybe they're trying to make it so only gold-star gays and lesbians can get married, the rest of us have proved we can have heterosexual sex/relationships/that awkward highschool moment and so should only be allowed to. or something like that.


  • 3. DebbieC  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:00 am

    So the woman who originally lived a het life (so to say) came out, and fell in love and has a long term relationship with her first girlfriend isn't gay because she hasn't had enough ss partners? Oh yeah – that makes LOADS of sense.

    I don't think Badgett established a good working definition of gay for her study – which means the whole thing is essentially flawed.


  • 4. Elizabeth  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:03 am

    not saying it makes sense to me either. This whole line of questioning is bothersome.


  • 5. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Yeah, I'm assuming he's trying to say LGB isn't sufficiently definable to be a suspect class. (Seems to me that including the B makes the definition a whole lot easier.) But, funny, they never seem to have trouble defining us when they want to discriminate against us. Love, K.

  • 6. Mykelb  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:58 am

    They don't have trouble hanging outside of gay bars to bash us either.

  • 7. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:31 am


  • 8. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Love, David

  • 9. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I can't tell how Nielsson thinks he is making a stronger case for himself by showing that SO cannot be easily defined?

    Does it being hard to define imply that it is fluid?

    The fluidity of SO is largely a matter of how you defined SO in the first place.
    If you define being GLB as the relative proportions of the gender of your sexual partners, then clearly being GLB will include lots of sexual fluidity.
    If you define being GLB as personal self-ID, then your self-ID is not going to be as fluid, and thus being GLB will not be fluid.

    These people are idiots.


  • 10. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Chris, you nailed it. It's a matter of how the question is asked.

    And the idea that a person who has had an equal number of same-sex partners as het partners is gay or lesbian? Good grief. If someone has had two partner in their life (please consider this as an example only), where one is a weekend "fling" with a same-sex person and the other is a 25-year-marriage to an opposite-sex person, and that person self-identifies as straight, what on EARTH is the logic that makes that person gay?

  • 11. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Or vice-versa, of course …

    I realized that I did not complete my thought. If a gay man has been with two women in his life, for another example, but has had only one same-sex partner for the past 25 years and self-identifies as straight, the same absurd 'logic' notes him as straight.



  • 12. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:42 am

    They really are just scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Kinsey – the king of fluidity and continuum sexuality – defined sexuality in terms of your attraction to each gender. Sexual attraction is hard to discretize, because most people have varying amounts of attraction to either gender, and thus he created a continuum to ease that.

    But do you hear people going around saying "Are you gay?" "No, I'm actually a 4"

    Personally I think Nielsson is probably a 2.

  • 13. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Okay, I can't type. Obviously, in my second post, the gay man is self-identifying as *gay.* I think I need to stop for a while; my mind is too angry for my fingers to keep up. 🙁

  • 14. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:43 am

    @Chris: I actually did the Kinsey analysis … I'm a 1.3. But I suspect I'm a rarity in that a) I actually did it and b) remembered the number, LOL.

  • 15. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Fiona, that is the beauty of the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. It shows everyone who checks in the absurdity and the lack of logic. This is also why they did not want the trial televised, or even on tape-delay vis YouTue. They did not want their irrationality shown to the world.

  • 16. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:43 am

    It is just a need of many heterosexuals that sexuality be bound very tightly into a well-labeled box.

    Consider not having that mental restriction a blessing.

  • 17. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Of course, it also doesn't take into count those OS partners someone may have had in trying to remain closeted for fear of persecution by family, friends and the PropH8 type people.


  • 18. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Could it possibly be that sexual orientation is much more about who GLBT people are attracted to? Who GLBT people fall in love with? That concept seems lost on the Prop 8 side who seem to want to employ an over-simplified sexual barometer to determine what box we fit into. I consider myself a lesbian, not because of how many women I have had sex with in my lifetime vs sex with men, but because I am and have always been emotionally and physically attracted to women. For me, it is the core of my emotions, the absolute central part of who I am and what I feel that draws me to women, and not to men. I am absolutely in love with my wife!

    Love, Susan (and Lynne)

  • 19. Henry  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:39 am

    I agree! I'd add this: It's a very strange position for the Prop 8 folks to be taking. If sexual orientation is so difficult to define, and so fluid, how can they support a definition of marriage that is exclusively one-man-one-woman?

  • 20. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:47 am


  • 21. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Bingo…We have a Winner!

  • 22. pbrim  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:24 am

    If sexual orientation is so difficult to define, and so fluid, how can they support a definition of marriage that is exclusively one-man-one-woman?

    They can make the claim that they are two separate things. SO is, in their view, a amorphous, changeable concept, gay today and straight tomorrow. But one-man-one-woman establishes a bright line, a strict standard that can be clearly identified. (I suspect they are denying the existance of trans-people, intersex and gender queer.)

    Which all gets back to the claim that they are not preventing LGBT from marrying — they can marry any OS person they want. Plus, they may be laying foundation to fight a "suspect class" ruling. How can something be a suspect class if you can't tell whether someone belongs to the class or not, or if people can easily move into and out of the class?

  • 23. Slade  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:33 am

    How about the only thing that should really matter is how you Self-ID? Its your life and you're the one who is being with that person and no one has the right to say what your SO is regardless.

    So what if you mostly had a homosexual relationship 70 or 80 percent of your life? If you came out from that and realized you were straight and ID as straight, fine.

    If you were in a heterosexual relationship 70 or 80 percent of your life and then stepped out of it to pursue a homosexual lifestyle and ID as homosexual THEN FINE.

    And lets not even get started with trying to discuss the fluidity of SO. What about the fluidity of sex and gender? What about gender identity? How would you define "marriage" then whether it was Same Sex or Other Sex marriage?

    Why can't we simply have MARRIAGE which is open of all identities, orientations, sexes, genders, what have yous as long as it is between two consenting adults??

    This lawyer's whole bickering is just pointless.

  • 24. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Precisely. I could not agree with you more Slade.

    Love, Susan

  • 25. Balu  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:32 am

    putting in a random comment so that I can also say "Love" 🙂


  • 26. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:00 am

    It is kind of fun isn't it?


  • 27. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:46 am



  • 28. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:21 am


  • 29. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Wonder if 'N' is confused by the Judge's questions, the content of the book, or 'H's' answers.


  • 30. Ray Harwick  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:56 am

    LOL, I did that, too, in the last thread.



  • 31. sugarbritches  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:36 am

    No matter how you slice it (self-ID, sexual partner, etc.), I'm 100% pure fag. Woohoo!


  • 32. gaydad05  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Just wanted to say I'm putting Rick Jacobs on my "Hilarious and Heroic" list. Many thanks to him and the smart, provocative folks who've left comments and guided me and others through the legal rhetoric.


  • 33. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:45 am

    The lack of an absolute definition is good, at least in my opinion. It kind of makes what you feel and how you feel it that much more unique. Though, it bugged the hell out of me while I was growing up and learning about the nuances of sexuality.


  • 34. Desert Verdin  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:45 am

    They sure don't have any trouble IDing us when they harass us, beat us, and murder us for being LGBT.

    Desert Verdin

  • 35. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:05 am

    So very True…

  • 36. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:47 am

    I wonder if he's trying to prove there's no suspect classification (and we want there to be a suspect classification) because LGBT people are not a "discrete" class (because of fluidity), and SO is not an "immutable" trait.


  • 37. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:52 am

    At which point I like to point out that religion is a suspect class.


  • 38. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Yes, and because of that, the immutability of the class seems to be the point the courts are most flexible about. But we should also remember that religion is a suspect class not solely because of the Fourteenth Amendment. Religion occupies a unique place in American Constitutional Law because of the First Amendment as well.

    That said, I think their claims to be unable to define LGB won't hold much water with this court or any other, even SCOTUS. If SCOTUS rules against us, I sincerely doubt it will be based on this argument.

  • 39. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I don't know about you all, but I can't identify a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew when I walk down the street. They all look the same to me! 😉

    Putting us into a clearly defined category though is par for the course for these folks. After all, they want a nice clear category called DP's or CU's so anytime we tell someone we have a CU they'll know automatically they're dealing with a queer, and if you say you're married, everyone knows you're straight.

    They really like their categories and labels, eh?

  • 40. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:20 am

    And I've already forgot…jeez, so absent minded!

    Callie 😉

  • 41. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:48 am

    These kind of semantics are misleading. "Gay" doesn't have to be defined. Identifying as gay is enough.

  • 42. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:51 am

    IANAL, but I think that these semantics do mind to the court. In order to be classified as a "suspect class" the LGBT community has to be very clearly defined. Being a suspect class makes it easier for our side to win.


  • 43. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

    But isn't self-identifying as gay enough to demonstrate that one belongs to the class?

  • 44. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Self identification is rather squishy. Courts don't like squishy. I'm with you, and I would agree with you, but without a concrete way of identifying LGBT, the court might not grant that distinction.


  • 45. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Well It gives them an easy out I would think, if they want to take it.

  • 46. David John Lawrence  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Alpha-numeric tattooes on our forearms?


  • 47. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I guess they fear that since being gay is SOOOOOOOOOOO popular in America, all the really cool kids will want to join.

    Idiots. Truly idiots.

  • 48. Shannon  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Well, it IS cool at my alma mater [women's college] 🙂 I think that's what they're most afraid of – that sexuality really *can* be fluid and that people who identify as straight could end up finding someone of the same sex attractive. It blows their minds. That's why every time we legitimate their heterosexist premise by saying, "No, we can't help it and WHY WOULD WE WANT TO ANYWAY?!?!?!" as if our lives have no merit, we devalue our communities. I used to identify as straight; now I identify as a lesbian. However we all came to be in this community, we deserve the right to exercise our freedoms. [I'm writing a MA thesis about this whole debate at the moment.]

  • 49. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:50 am

    The reason their lawyer is trying to show the fluidity of sexuality is that it is much easier to define a protected class if the characteristic in question is immutable. It does not have to be (e.g. religion), but it helps. It may not matter to us, but to a conservative Supreme Court, they are hoping it makes a difference to show that sexuality is not clearly defined.

  • 50. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Isn't religion considered a protected class?

  • 51. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Yes, lol, it was my example of how it does not have to be immutable, but it still helps.

  • 52. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Your response is related to what I'm saying above about self-identification. How does a person prove that he or she is religious and therefore belongs to the protected class? By the number of times the person prays during the day? Seems to me that gay people are being held to a much higher standard.

  • 53. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I agree with JefferyK.

    By what standard must a person prove that he or she is religious (for the purpose of qualifying as a protected class)other than by simply stating that they are religious? Why should GLBT be held to any higher standard than simply self-identifying as such?

    Such hypocrisy

  • 54. Mykelb  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:05 am

    However, what will they do? Make everyone take a Kinsey test before they apply for a marriage license? Seems stupid. Besides, it is illogical to assume that everyone is purely hetero that gets married, even in a one man one woman construct.

  • 55. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:52 am

    They will make men lick a hot dog while being taped on video camera. A room full of heterosexual observers, led by Maggie Gallagher, will watch to see if any enjoyment is observed from the hot dog licking.

    For women, a taco will be used.

    This is how marriage permission will be granted in the future. By proof of what gets you off.

  • 56. Eddie  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Realize this is kinda off-topic, but why is this suit called Perry v. Schwarzenegger and not Perry v. California? Arnold doesn't even agree with Prop 8, yet his name is going to be stuck with this, well, forever. Anyone know how these suit designations are determined? Thanks!

    Love, eddie

  • 57. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Hi, Eddie. I'm not certain of the particulars, but I think it has to do with AG Brown refusing to defend the suit in court.

  • 58. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:19 am

    When they sued, they didn't sue the state of california, they sued Schwarzenneger and AG Brown. Schwarzenneger's name got stuck to it, even though became the defendant-intervenor.

  • 59. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Or because Schwarz. was governor at the time his name got put to it? Not entirely sure, tbh.

  • 60. A  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Interesting article speaks to publically laid out intend of prop H8 higher ups – found the link on AMER web site:

    "Frank Schubert, head of the PR firm that ran the Yes on 8 campaign, in a recap panel presentation to the 2009 American Association of Political Consultants Pollie Award Conference last year, explained how they crafted the message. Schubert noted that since most voters are moved primarily by self-interest, and since, in preliminary focus groups, most heterosexual subjects indicated that this issue had nothing to do with them and that they didn't see how same-sex marriage affected their own lives (sound familiar?), the best approach to move such voters was to appeal to unknown scary consequences, fabricated or not. As his associate Jeff Flint put it, "Something could happen that you may not like so you need to vote yes [on Prop. 8] to stop that from happening." In the arena of political advertising, outright lies are deemed completely acceptable as long as the message excites your base and frightens the middle 'undecided' voter over to your side. We've seen it happen over and over again."

  • 61. tech guy  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I get it. People might want to marry their pet rock.



  • 62. DonG  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    The plaintiffs are suing Schwarzenegger in his official capacity as governor, Jerry Brown, in his official capacity as attorney general, and several other bureaucrats in their official capacities. The plaintiffs are seeking to stop these officials from ENFORCING Prop 8 because it is unconstitutional.

  • 63. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Thank you, that helped me at least.


  • 64. e  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:07 am

    The official title is apparently, ''KRISTIN M. PERRY et al., Plaintiffs, CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, Intervenor-Plaintiffs, v. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER et al., Governor of California, etc., Defendants; DENNIS HOLLINGSWORTH et al., Intervenor-Defendants.''


  • 65. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

    San Fran was part of the plaintiffs? I thought they weren't allowed to join as P-I's

  • 66. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Alan, they were allowed, that's what all the economic data presented by the City was about. Also, Terese Stewart works for the City of SF. Yes, they're a plaintiff.


  • 67. Eddie  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Thanks fiona64 and DonG. That makes sense, I guess. Well let's just hope this case ends up on the correct side of history. For our sakes and Arnie's!

  • 68. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Thank you … that cleared up my (obvious) misunderstanding. 🙂

  • 69. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I don't recall reading anything saying that attacking religion was counterproductive. He said violence is counterproductive, but surely metaphorically attacking religion by using logic, reason and science is entirely productive.

  • 70. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:59 am

    He may have been talking about various comments on this site. Some comments were attacking religions.


  • 71. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Again, I don' t see how reasoned arguments against religion are a problem, or even pointing out that religions demand respect and deference on very flimsy grounds, and that it's entirely reasonable to withhold that respect and deference from institutions that promote hatred and irrationality.

  • 72. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Bob, I don't disagree with you (I'm an Atheist, which to some religious people is as bad as being gay ;)) I'm just pointing out what I think he meant. Today the fight is for gay equality. I'm up for fighting for the freedom from religion, but lets focus on this first.


  • 73. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:12 am

    PS. the more I think about it the more well, reasoned discussions are good. I think though that people always view reason as attacking their religion (and if you think about it, it kind of is). This pushes people away from other causes.

    I'm not sure what I think though.


  • 74. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I think Rick's point is you're not going to change the way a person regards their faith; and by attacking their faith, we put them on the defensive.

    The confusion seems to be this–people absolutely have a right to vote according to their personal beliefs. But, they do NOT have the right to create legislation solely based on their personal beliefs. There has to be another compelling reason for it. It must be proven to benefit society. This distinction seems to be lost on the part of the prop 8 folks.
    Linda and Leslie 🙂

  • 75. Mykelb  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Bob, you are so right. They should have call Richard Dawkins to the stand for our side. He would have blown away the religionists.

  • 76. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Exactly, and I think the argument that people aren't going to change their beliefs is false. If they actually understood the science they would be unable to defend their faith.

  • 77. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:14 am

    bob, your statement is exactly right.

    But too right. you used the word "defend" when it came to beliefs. This implies attacking. This is exactly what Rick was saying. I'm not saying we should just bow out, but I'm just telling you that you are talking about exactly what Rick was saying.

  • 78. Miller  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:59 am

    None of defining who is glb is needed if the marriage law would just allow two adults who want to get married. There is nothing in the marriage contract asking the person's SO nor should there be.

  • 79. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:04 am

    I have a little problem with the thought that none of us choose. I chose to have a sex-change. I was attracted to women. I still am. So, in a sense, I chose to become a lesbian.

    Beyond that, if there were marriage equality, marriage would be marriage. we wouldn't be classifying them as hetero marriages and ss marriages, They would be marriages. So why in God's Earth would there be legal problems with whether or not someone changes orientation?

  • 80. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Damn! Misplaced comment, sorry.

  • 81. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I can understand your point, Robyn …

  • 82. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:19 am

    It could be argued that you didn't change orientation. You may have elected to change your physical sex, but my guess is your gender was female, who was attracted to females. This made you a lesbian. Not what "parts" you had at the time.

    Just my humble opinion, and IANAL,


  • 83. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Did you choose those thoughts and feelings that led you to feel that a sex change was necessary to be the real you? You may have made the "choice" to have your outside match you inside but did you make a conscious "choice" for those feelings, needs to begin with?

    The minute % of those who do make the "choice" should not penalize the rest of us for something out of our control.

    Comments that reinforce the "choice" argument are counterproductive to those without that option. People who view us all as making a "choice" latch on to comments like that and say "Here is the Proof we needed!" One comment that supports their views is all that they require to dismiss the rest. Example: William Tam. They are reading these treads too and look for anything to hold on to the prejudice that they already have.

    Nothing But Love to you Sister please don't take offense.

  • 84. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Someone yesterday posted a link about all the research that is used by the X-Gays and NARTH. On it all the Doctors and experts who works have been distorted/altered to support these "conversion" places say quite clearly that none of the supposed finding of justification by these quacks is in their work. None!
    But that does not stop them from misquoting or misrepresenting years of study and expertise.

    One of them even went so far as to say Dobson is Bearing False Witness by his claims that her work supports his views about sexuality.

  • 85. drjams  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:50 am

    The point is – did you CHOOSE to be attracted to who you are attracted to? Not did you CHOOSE to follow those attractions… Hence I suppose the different definitions of sexual orientation (having to do with differences in attractions and behaviors.) I think we'd all agree that we may not have CHOSEN who we are attracted to but that we did CHOOSE not to deny our attractions.

  • 86. IT  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:03 am

    If marriage is marriage regardless of the gender of your partner, then what does it matter?

    My wife, for example, like many women came out to herself and family only in middle age. SHe was married to a man, and had children, before her epiphany. Now she's married to a woman. So what?

    Defining people as rigidly one or the other is only a problem if you have DIFFERENT categories.

  • 87. tech guy  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Exactly. Once SS are allowed to marry, we will no longer need the designation SS marriage or OS marriage (which is currently co-opted by hetero marriage as simply "marriage" without qualifiers). The definition of marriage will not change. Only who is allowed to participate is changing.



  • 88. Caleb  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:06 am


    So, let me get this "staright." I'm a guy. My first two sexual partners were women. Since then, all of my sexual partners have been men. Since the age of 10 or so, all of my genuine attractions have been toward the same sex.

    At what point would the pro-prop8 lawyer consider me "gay?"

    Do I need to have sex with 3 guys to cancel out the two gals to be gay… or does that make me "bi" at that point… what?

    I've always felt gay… from the very first day "sexual attraction" kicked in during adolescence. Sure, I tried the other side too. It was experimentation (like many straight folks who try the other side once or twice as well). Afterward, I felt bad for doing it because it wasn't fair to the opposite sex person I fooled around with because I wasn't being emotionally honest.

    I'm stunned they think they'll get traction with this line of reasoning.

  • 89. sugarbritches  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Ummm, I think once you reach a certain number of partners, it makes you a slut or something, doesn't it? 🙂


  • 90. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:55 am

    LAMO Sugar LMAO

  • 91. Phil L  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:10 am

    LOL! That's a good one!


  • 92. Devon  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Excuse me? I could have sex with woman ALL day but that wouldn't mean I was heterosexual.

    I am not emotionally or physically attracted to them, but they are perfectly capable of sex! Sex isn't the argument here, it's the couples we're defending. What in the hell will this prove?

    People have sex, sex doesn't define a damn thing. It's the individual.

  • 93. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:20 am

    As far as many are concerned, LGBs are slaves to lust and their genitals direct them. They cannot understand. apparently, the concept of romantic love existing in anything other than a M/F relationship. Anything else is just driven by sinful lust.

    Yeah, it's a load o' crap.

  • 94. drjams  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:54 am

    see.. I don't understand that line of thinking…it makes me think that the folks that think that ALSO have those "lustful" attractions but just don't act on them…therefore, they're closet queers. Actually, I take that back – I DO understand that! Our most fervent opponents are usually closeted queers themselves….ewww.. can you imagine that Mr.Tam might be harboring these repressed feelings?

  • 95. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Exactly! Why is this concept so hard for people to understand?

  • 96. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Ooops! My comment was in response to Devin… Sorry

  • 97. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Shouldn't we all be turning to Tom Cruise for clarification on this issue???

  • 98. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:07 am

    The comparison of number of sex partners to define orientation is ludicrous. By that standard, I am very straight.
    If you figure out who you are a bit later than some, and are lucky enough, as I have been, to find your one true love fairly quickly after, and are monogamous and are with that person for 25 years, the flaw in this logic is quite apparent!

  • 99. sugarbritches  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:08 am

    For purposes of same-sex marriage, how (or whether) we define "gay" isn't terribly important. By definition, same-sex marriage only applies to two individuals of the same sex. That piece is easy. But this suit is addresses a different angle as well, which is where defining "gay" may have some relevance.


  • 100. David from Sandy UT  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:09 am

    >> “. . .they believe what they believe. We do not advance our cause by attacking them.”


    I tell my fellow Utardians*:

    Individuals are welcome to believe in Jesus or the Tooth Fairy or whatever so long as they do not hurt other people. The political activity of the LDS organization, LDS leaders, and politically active LDS members caused significant emotional and financial harm to same-gender couples and their chldren. No religious belief and no amount of religious zeal justifies hurting children.

    Focus on behavior not on belief.

    Sandy UT

    * A Utardian is a resident of Utardia—The Pretty Hate State (a.k.a. Utah)

  • 101. Rick  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Speaking of which – shouldn't the mormon church in the US be losing tax-exempt status just like they did in the UK?

  • 102. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I think the important difference is how other people define gay and how the individual defines him/herself. There are many religious people who may fall into the category of Catholic, but not every Catholic follows every rigid rule the Church puts out or believes exactly what the Church tries to tell them to believe. The same is true for just about every religion. Every person has their own definition of a god or lack thereof. On the same page, a specific religion may have its own structural definition of a god, but the individual churches falling within this dogmatic approach may have variations. Sometimes those divisions may result in splitting sects, but other times the churches stay within the same realm. The Episcopalians are a good example when it comes to allowing openly homosexual priests. Also see

    The important part is how the individual defines his/herself. These individuals then find out that other people share common views as to how we each define ourselves and come together to form a community. There may be variations and debates, but ultimately, we don't try to impose our definition of the self on others. We allow others to make the discovery for themselves, unlike many churches that have a single-track mindset when it comes to the "sin" of homosexuality that is unfortunately not supported by scientific endeavors and research.


  • 103. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:19 am is great!


  • 104. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:12 am

    N: Leaving aside data set, do you agree that as many same sex as hetero partners mean they are not hetero?
    H: You can’t leave aside data set. You have to see the context.

    HAHAHAHA. This pertains to me (and others) who dragged myself through years of relationships w/ opposite sex, not knowing why I was so unhappy & why my relationships ended in failure.
    Since coming out, I have only had 2 same-sex partners because they have been real & lasting…still with my 2nd girlfriend & very sure this is who I want to be with for the rest of my life.

    So looking at my 'history of partners' is not a good measure of 'how gay' I am. Ridiculous! And insulting :/
    I've done enough 'proving myself,' tyvm.


  • 105. Lisa  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I loved that comment, too. "you can't leave aside data set."

    Again, our witness rocks.


  • 106. DebbieC  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I just can't get it through my thick skull why anyone would care or be hurt by two consenting adults of any sex, identity or orientation getting married. (Of course, I was also raised to question the various protestant religions I was raised as – and ultimately rejected them all. Depending on the day of the week, I'm a Pagan, Free Thinker, Agnostic, Atheist, or my own personal goddess – whatever works.)

    But for that matter, I don't understand why polygamy or group marriages would be bad either – again between consenting adults. (I'm a huge Heinlein fan and his many and flexible views of marriages and relationships.) If everyone is healthy and happy and wants to be there, who cares?

    Love to you all 🙂

  • 107. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I agree! Frankly, I think the government should get out of "incentivizing" marriages altogether. Why does our government reward ONE type of family? What about single people? Ugh.


  • 108. rf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:31 am

    polygamy causes issues with who's in charge. say you're dying in the hospital and your wife says pull the plug but your husband says no. Who do they listen to? Also, has the ability to let wealthy people collect spouses, leaving the poor sexually frustrated and angry. not good for the govt. also evidence that favoritism can cause secondary wives (and maybe husbands) and their kids to be more impoverished.
    There's definitely no leap from SSM to polygamy. maybe it will be legal one day but its going to take a lot more than just building on this case and others like it to get there.

  • 109. DebbieC  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Oh I didn't mean to imply a link- just a guestion based on comments made during discussion here and elsewhere. One has nothing to do with the other.

    And as far as who is in charge of decisions, the basis would be a legal contract, much as gays have to use now. But details would be up to group/family. (no matter- this is far, far into the future)


  • 110. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

    The point of the anti-gay people is not that WE would hurt THEM.

    This is simply THEM trying to hurt US.

    That was the sole purpose of Prop 8. To hurt people. I would have more respect for them if they were 'straight' about that.

    But this was about one thing:

    Heterosexuals hurting their LGTB children via the law. Because apparently how they treat us in daily life isn't QUITE bad enough.

    Again. Morality???? Where????

  • 111. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:12 am

    'There's a reason the pro-Prop. 8 defense team fought to keep this trial from being broadcast on the internet. They prefer the ballot box to the witness stand because their message is far more persuasive and well cloaked when it's delivered in carefully crafted sound bytes about defining marriage and protecting the family. In a trial, however, the reasoning behind their pitch must stand up to legal scrutiny. If one man and one woman are necessary because procreation is the "central or defining purpose" of marriage, as the lawyers defending the constitutional ban have argued, then what do they really think about straight couples who choose not to have children? Should unwed mothers be forced into wedlock? This is where it gets scary — for everyone!'

    This is from the story in the Huffington Post and I thought this statement was particularly applicable.

  • 112. Becky  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Off topic, but I've been very depressed over Supreme Court ruling yesterday. I feel better hanging out with all of you. I needed some love. Thanks.
    Love, Becky

  • 113. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:21 am

    There are some silver linings though. For one, the winning side's lawyer is also on our side! Two, while I'm thinking it will be a 5-4 vote, we can still win. This is a conservative issue too, because it has to do with personal rights and liberties.


  • 114. James O'Neill  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:23 am

    I feel for ya Becky!
    I feel the same way too.

    A conservative majority in the SCotUS is not a good thing.

  • 115. DustinB  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:18 am

    What confuses me is that they don't seem to understand that people who maybe have experimented with ss partners, but do not identify as lgb (i.e. consider themselves straight) are not going to have a same sex marriage. Legalizing it isn't going to make everyone be like "Oh, I have another choice?" People don't get married JUST because they can. I mean, I COULD marry my best friend Geneva, because its legal. Do I want to? No.

    You don't NEED a clear definition of this for this instance. The people that are in a SS relationship and want to get married, will. If not, they won't. Republican logic is so confusing.


  • 116. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Legalizing it isn’t going to make everyone be like “Oh, I have another choice?” People don’t get married JUST because they can. I mean, I COULD marry my best friend Geneva, because its legal. Do I want to? No.



  • 117. DustinB  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Also, I've had more girlfriends than boyfriends. I realized I was gay late in life (I'm calling 19 late here, in comparison to my friends). I'm definitely not straight though. Not one bit. haha


  • 118. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:26 am

    late? never too late 😉 try 29! but the last 10 years have been the best of my life : )
    I LOVE hearing ppl today saying that coming out in their twenties is 'late' — what a great amount of progress we have made!


  • 119. Lisa  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:32 am

    agreed! If you don't want gay marriage, you don't get gay married and that's it.
    I keep coming back to the "argument" where gay marriage is supposed to hurt anyone and I can't wrap my head around it. It just does not work, if you apply any logic at all.



  • 120. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:21 am

    "And let’s keep in mind that it does no good to attack religion. In fact, as Courage’s research shows, that’s counterproductive"
    You can be assured that once this trial is over, offensive things are going to be said through the media and elsewhere, out of context. We HAVE to remember and follow what Rick says.
    I have a real issue with intolerant people, yet I have to constantly remind myself that I don't want to be one. Tam almost pushes me over the edge……..I have decided in my mind that he is a very sick person and needs a lot of psychological intervention. I hope one day he will find it and be at peace.
    SB Mom

  • 121. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:21 am

    What about straight folks in prison? Some who've been in a long time have most likely had sex with as many or more same than opposite sex partners but that doesn't mean they're gay.

  • 122. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:23 am



  • 123. Mairin  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:45 am

    for that matter, what about virgins? are they in a sort of limbo until first sexual experience, and then it's just a matter of tallying?


  • 124. MKrumm  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Thank you. I actually got married as a virgin. i guess that was even more of a gamble than we knew.


  • 125. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Maiirin, I've wondered the same thing. I find it absurd how most people are 'assumed' to be heterosexual until proven otherwise. As if it is the sexual act alone that dictates a person's sexual orientation, and not the people themselves, their emotions and attractions and how they self identify. My God, how does anyone know for sure that the partner they marry (those who are virgins until married) are of the 'correct' orientation, if not for the fact that most people 'just know."

    My daughter has frequently come home from middle school to report that "so-and-so is gay," or "so-and-so is bi." Notwithstanding the fact that some kids do unfortunately have sex at such an early age, how would these 11 to 12 year old youngsters know such a thing, if not for self-identifying?

    This, I believe, strikes to the very heart of what scares so many people: If GLBT relationships begin to be viewed as 'acceptable,' and if gay marriage is legalized, my child might actually consider this as an option! Heaven forbid that little Johnny or Jane might figure this out for themselves in a more accepting world. Protecting children? They need to be protected from the bigotry, hate, prejudice, homophobia, ignorance, fear and intolerance that has served only to keep those who are GLBT in the closet, with reinforced feelings of hate and self-loathing.

    My children are not subjected to such hate. And, so far as I am able to tell, neither of my children are GLBT. Go figure! Raised by two loving lesbians…

  • 126. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Not gay. But perhaps just an iota more fabulous!

  • 127. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Question: Isn't Badgett an economist? Why is the defense trying to base a definition of SO on her writings?

    Happy Kelly & Amanda

  • 128. JimiG  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Sorry I got a little confused can someone help me understand the language. They seem to be trying to make language or classification foggy therefore discrediting data or numbers but I am not sure why. Can someone help me understand my first thought was can this be related to people of multiple cultural/ethical background that depending on the situation can relate to or claim either ethnicity based on need. Or I have friends who are American but go to another country so there children can have duel citizenship (not sure the benefit) so clearly I am still confused. I really did get the piont of this last witness.

  • 129. Chris  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:32 am

    No, he is trying to use data and numbers to discredit that the definition of your sexual orientation is "immutable". He's trying to prove that since there is such a fuzzy definition of "gay" or "lesbian", this means it is fluid.

    If it is a fluid trait, then you cannot make the "GLB" community a discrete class. This would prevent us from getting "suspect classification" which would really further our cause.

  • 130. Caleb  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    "And let’s keep in mind that it does no good to attack religion. In fact, as Courage’s research shows, that’s counterproductive. As we saw with Dr. Tam yesterday and from Gerry Shih’s excellent NYT story this morning about the Christian Chinese community, they believe what they believe. We do not advance our cause by attacking them. ]"

    Totally agree. As a skeptic, I've often tried to engage religious conservatives in rational debate. It's useless. Religion is about faith, not reasoning, and is inherently irrational. No quantity of evidence, rational argument, or science will budge them an inch from their, "it's a sin, so I fight it" argument.

    Rather than challenge their religious beliefs, you'll do a lot better challenging them on the precepts of separation between Church and State and fair treatment under the law. This won't get you anywhere with the uber-conservative fundies, but it does have some success with religious types who also really care about the constitution.

  • 131. DustinB  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I'm a Christian, but I do not believe I'm going to hell for being gay. I have quite a few gay Christian friends (I live in the Bible Belt). The right tries to pretend like we don't exist because they can't say we're inherently evil if we're part of the same religion they are.

  • 132. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:37 am

    There's no way you are going to hell for being gay. They need to remember that God created you that way. Maybe He even loves you more because He knows that He has given you heavy challenges to deal with.

    SB Mom

  • 133. Alex O'Cady  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

    My thought on this was always, I don't really think I'm going to hell (mostly because I personally don't believe in it), but if I do, then that's where all the cool people will be. We'll have a gigantic Pride celebration around the open fires:P

  • 134. MKrumm  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Alternatively, one could learn a bit more about the bible and the contexts in which it was written, then we could really engage the H8ers who use the bible to justify their visceral disgust. (I admit that even though I am a Christian, fellow Christians usually refuse to engage in this sort of discussion with me. Ugh.)

  • 135. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 23, 2010 at 2:47 am

    For a really good — if somewhat old — book on this, try and find a copy of Morton Scott Enslin's CHRISTIAN BEGINNINGS. Enslin was a very proinent Unitarian theologian, and he covers the ground wonderfully. (Interestingly enough one of his students — for just one class — was Martin Luther King, and King's paper for the class — he got a B+ — is in the on-line collection of King's papers.)

    The book isn't easy to find but is available and much worth knowing.


  • 136. Kate  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I suspect the argument about defining orientation has nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with defining a protected class. How can you possibly determine who is part of the class if we can't agree on the definition?

  • 137. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Maybe they're trying to show that if a gay man/lesbian has had sex with opposite-sex partners in the past, then OBVIOUSLY they're able to have 'normal' [sic] heterosexual relationships and therefore gay marriage becomes a moot point?

    Which is ridiculous logic, but then…


  • 138. David from Sandy UT  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Human beings are too complex to fit into distinct categories.

    The examination here is about categories used in research. The categories are important so that statistically significant findings can be extrapolated to a larger population.

    Real life is not a psychological study. This bickering about categories is irrelevant to questions of animus and equal protection before the law for all law-abiding adult citizens.

  • 139. James Sweet  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I presume that they will then try to show that we cannot have same-sex marriage because we cannot define it and it will force people into categories that are not appropriate.

    No, definitely not. As you surmise, that would make no sense at all.

    I think Nielsen's intentions are twofold: 1) By showing that the category cannot be precisely defined, he hopes to show that LGBT is not a "discrete and insular" class, and therefore cannot be a suspect class. I believe that he also hopes 2) to broaden the definition of LGBT in order to argue that the group is not in danger of discrimination, i.e. if every person who has ever had a homosexual experience counts as LGBT, then it's not such a minority anymore.

  • 140. Ash  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Speaking of DPs compared to marriage, students at Stanford become DPs with their non-student roommates so the non-student could have access to the gym facilities. True story.

  • 141. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:29 am


    hmmm…so DP has the value of a gym membership…

    I'll have to get on this right away & see how I can cash in 😉


  • 142. Andrew  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I'm guessing what they're doing here is trying to get the court to agree on some gold-standard of the proper way to ID people. Or, failing that, be able to say things like "by the plaintiff's own expert's definition…."

    When the DI-ers start trying to prove that gays can change–or that it's all just behavior, not an innate trait or identity at all–they're going to put up evidence of ex-gays. If the court has decided on a strong definition of "gay", we can't say "oh, they were probably bisexual" or "they only changed behavior, didn't change identity." If they can demonstrate people, under an expert-approved definition of "gay" were once gay and now aren't, we could lose suspect class status.

  • 143. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    If it's just behavior, I was straight as an arrow up until I was 30. The 19 years of almost 100%* gay sex fantasies leading up to that obviously had no bearing on my orientation.

    *I remember having a sexual fantasy involving a female just once in my entire life. So, it's not 100% but there would be an inordinate number of 9s following the decimal place after the 99.

  • 144. James Sweet  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:26 am

    And let’s keep in mind that it does no good to attack religion. In fact, as Courage’s research shows, that’s counterproductive. As we saw with Dr. Tam yesterday and from Gerry Shih’s excellent NYT story this morning about the Christian Chinese community, they believe what they believe. We do not advance our cause by attacking them.

    As long as you aren't asking anybody not to tell the truth about religion. That would make us as bad as the Liars for Jesus.

  • 145. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:31 am

    There were racist comments about Dr. Tam in another thread yesterday — I believe that's what this admonishment is about. But I would like to remind people that keeping silent when attacked by people because of their religious beliefs only enables them. Respecting someone's right to believe does not mean we have to allow him or her to demonize us. We must respond.

  • 146. Caleb  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I don't think the point being made was "don't respond." I think the point being made is that responding *to the attacker* will not have any positive effects on *their* beliefs.

    Heck ya, respond… publicly and loudly… but don't waste your time arguing religious dogma directly with a zealot.

  • 147. Kristen  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Tell it!



  • 148. Kristen  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Agreed, James. btw, I found the NYT article extremely biased towards positive portrayal of Tam and less so towards us. Did anyone else come away with this interpretation?

  • 149. JimiG  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Please dont attack religion I am a christian and a pastor and I am in full support and am not afraid to support same sex marriage. The truth is many are afraid to support same sex marriage believing they will loose their church friends and community. Instead of attacking them remember the truth is your best weapon.. As I say when you hate LGBT and same sex you are hating me, and I am or believe I am your friend/co worker.

  • 150. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

    If a person goes on television and states that their religion believes that gay men are pedophiles and there is no fact to back up that assertion, I will respond to that person. Being religious doesn't give you or anyone carte blanche to spread lies. It also doesn't enable you to circumvent the separation of church and state in the U.S. by pushing legislation that codifies your religious faith into law.

  • 151. Kristen  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Then please, as our ally, speak up for us and encourage others you know to do so. As proven during this trial, we are a minority group and need as much support as possible from our heterosexual friends. If there are many afraid to support us, they need to be courageous and tell their congregations that this is an is a human rights issue. Then, you will see less attacks on the church and religion. Silence=death.


  • 152. Paula  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:28 am

    This is the key to the essence of the votes. Observant religious folks may not want to accept homosexuality because of their belief system. Many do not accept evolution, either. But the majority of Americans are inherently fair.

    >>But, I think the essence of our response needs to be: believe what you want for your own ife, but you shouldn't have the right to stop me from believing how I want to live my life, when it has no effect on your life.

  • 153. Dana  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Isn't it significant, however that anyone suspected of being lgbt is subject to prejudice, whether or not they self identify? Doesn't that work to establish the category?

  • 154. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

    yes! …and soooo many young people (I teach h.s.) are ridiculed for being gay EVEN WHEN THEY'RE NOT. It's just the *perception* of being LBGTQ.

    lest we forget the two different cases of 11-year-old boys who committed suicide last year…


  • 155. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Some studies are incredibly biased against us.

    I was reading something a while back that said something along the lines of gay marriage was unnecessary because the vast majority of homosexuals are actually bisexual.

    Under the criteria, which I had to dig to find, for that study, I am bisexual. That's a load of hogwash.

    In order to be considered homosexual by that study, all sexual experiences from the age of 18 onward must be with the same sex. If you have sex with someone of the opposite gender, even just once, since you're 18th birthday, you're not gay.

    BS like that makes my blood boil.

  • 156. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:33 am

    "He does not understand we do not choose to be gay or lesbian or bisexual. Why would we?"

    If the only alternative is heterosexuality, I would choose to be gay for a thousand lifetimes if it were, in fact, a choice.

    We are peaceful, smarter, less violent, kinder, gentler, more compassionate people than heterosexuals.

    One only need look at how heterosexuals treat their LGTB offspring to know that.

    I'll stick with 'the gay,' thank you very much. No matter HOW much abuse our oppressors/creators dole out to me. The only other alternative is to be on the side that advocates for abuse and Apartheid.


  • 157. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Bill, you are doing to me and your other allies what you hate so much when some heteros do it to you — stereotyping the bad behavior of some onto the whole group. Please stop.


  • 158. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:45 am

    This. 🙁 I feel very hurt, given what I have been through on behalf of marriage equality — despite how minor it is compared to what many LGBT people have experienced — when I see a statement that implies I am no different from the people who pitch their kids out in the street.

  • 159. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Well put, Caleb. People are entitled to their beliefs………that too is a strong part of our Constitution. Like I said last week, I believe very strongly in marriage equality and I also have a strong testimony of my faith (which is Mormon). (Incidentally, NONE of the funding of the prop came from the church's general fund. It came entirely from donations of the members who wanted to donate. And because not all members felt the same regarding prop 8, the subject could not be approached during church meetings or even on church property).
    I try not to think of any outcome but positive from this trial………I only wish it could have been televised because it has been so informative. I have printed out the testimonies of the "experts" and am going to organize them for verbal ammunition, if necessary to be delivered in a peaceful matter of fact way.
    SB Mom

  • 160. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:51 am

    SB Mom, I'm glad you are supporting marriage equality, but it is just not true that the LDS's church's general funds weren't spent on the campaign. They filed several reports with the California elections commission (per requirements) stating as much. According to their filings they spent under a million dollars, but it simply isn't true that they spent no money.


  • 161. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Thanks Ann. Do you think I could still find those reports somewhere? Appreciate your direction.

  • 162. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:11 am

    SB Mom, if you do a Google search with these terms: "lds reports california fair political practices commission" you will find any number of news articles, some from LDS sites. I don't know the current status, but at one point the California Fair Political Practices Commission was doing an investigation on the accuracy of the reporting.

    I don't know all the details, but I have seen speculation that the value of a lot of in-kind donations was not showing up on the reports, like the costs of computer resources, video conferencing, printing of pledge cards, etc.

    I don't mean any of this as an attack on you. I know there are lots of LDS members who are supporting marriage equality, as you are. I do have a problem if LDS leadership was being dishonest about their involvement or not complying with applicable laws.


  • 163. Kristen  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Very well put Ann. SB Mom, if you look at the trial transcripts from yesterday, I believe that is the day that they showed the connection with the Mormon church and Prop 8 funding. They even talked about wanting to hide their role. Yes, please do the Google search also, I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for. Also keep in mind that the LDS church was very involved in fighting against the Equal Rights Amendment, this can be found on-line as well.

  • 164. RAL  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:18 am

    You may have already located some info but:

    Mormon church reports spending $180,000 on Proposition 8
    January 30, 2009 | 5:51 pm
    Top officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed reports today indicating that they donated more than $180,000 in in-kind contributions to Proposition 8, the November ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California.

    The contributions included tens of thousands of dollars for expenses such as airline tickets, hotel and restaurant bills and car-rental bills for top church officials such as L. Whitney Clayton, along with $96,849.31 worth of “compensated staff time” for church employees.

    The church said the expenditures took place between July 1 and the end of the year. The church’s involvement has been a major issue in the campaign and its aftermath. Individual Mormon families donated millions — by some estimates more than $20 million — of their own money to the campaign.

    On top of that, some Prop. 8 opponents say church officials violated election law by failing to file campaign disclosure reports outlining church funds being spent on the campaign. Fred Karger, who filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission after the election alleging that church officials had not properly disclosed their involvement, said he thought today’s filing proves that his complaint has merit.

    “They said they reported all their travel … now, when there is a [complaint filed] they disclose 25 Southwest tickets just in October,” he said. “They were required to report this” in an earlier filing, he said. Church officials could not be reached for comment this evening.

    — Jessica Garrison

  • 165. RAL  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Here is a partial list of official LDS Church contributions. These are not from individual Mormon donors.
    There are more:


    CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS SALT LAKE CITY UT / 84150 UT $19,715.08 6/23/2008 $19,715.08















  • 166. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Thank you for helping me find the website. Hopefully, this will clarify some things:
    Church Clarifies Proposition 8 Filing, Corrects Erroneous News Reports

    SALT LAKE CITY 2 February 2009 Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints clarified erroneous news reports following the filing of its final report on donations to the coalition.

    On Friday, 30 January, the Church filed the final report of its contributions (all of which were non-monetary) to the coalition. The report, submitted in advance of the 31 January deadline, details in-kind donations totaling $189,903.58.

    The value of the Church’s in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The Church did not make any cash contribution.

    Because media coverage about this filing ran without a comment from the Church, the following statements of fact from the Church add context to this story and should help correct the record:

    Fox13 (Utah): “The documents show the amount spent by the Mormon Church is greater than what was initially stated.”

    Fact: The Church, like other organizations on both sides of the ballot issue, was required to publicly file these donations by the 31 January deadline. The Church has been filing required contribution reports throughout the campaign. Those earlier donations “initially stated” were filed for specific time periods prior to this last reporting period, as required by law. Other groups are also filing their final contribution reports to meet the same deadline.

    San Francisco Chronicle : “Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.”
    Sacramento Bee : “The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the state's campaign watchdog agency into whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints violated state laws by not fully disclosing its involvement during the campaign.”

    Fact: This filing is in no way prompted by an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Many organizations are filing this week to meet the deadline required by law. We believe we have complied with California law.

    KFMB 760 AM (San Diego) :
    “Mormon Church Misstated How Much It Spent in Prop 8 Fight.”
    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints previously claimed only about $2,000 was spent in support of the measure.”
    365Ga y : “Mormon Church admits it spent 100 times more for Prop 8 than reported”

    Fact: Again, the previous disclosure of an in-kind donation was to meet an earlier deadline. In fact, previous filings detailed over $50,000 out of the total non-monetary contribution of $189,903.58.This week’s filing reported donations that fell within a different time period and required reporting by the 31 January deadline. Other groups also made their final contributions reports this week.

    Understanding the extent of donations from other organizations may help the media and the public better understand the context in which the Church’s donations were made.

  • 167. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:14 am

    SB Mom, I did see that, it came up in the search I recommended to you. And I hope you'll understand when I say that I'm not willing to take the word of just one side or the other. As far as I know the investigation is still ongoing.

    Again, thanks for being here and for supporting marriage equality. I don't want to get into a debate over whether the LDS church did or did not comply with campaign laws, since we don't have the facts or the expertise in the applicable laws to do that.

    Best wishes,

  • 168. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Thanks, Ann. I agree and in the meantime hopefully this article will help clarify to others

    On another note, today's questioning seems soooo tedious. Gotta think positive!

    SB Mom

  • 169. RAL  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I'll agree with Ann and just briefly add that the CFPPC investigation is, indeed, still on-going. We'll see what developments, if any, there are in the future.

  • 170. Susan R Barnes  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:32 am

    People have the freedom to believe whatever they want, to attend the church of their choice, or no church at all, to teach their children whatever they want to teach them. They do not, however, have a constitutional right to take away MY rights based on THEIR beliefs.

  • 171. MJFargo  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:34 am

    I'm finding the defense's "point" tedious. Sexual mores and behavior (gay and straight) have dramatically changed just within my lifetime (I'm 62). I agree that orientation can be "fluid," but not in everyone or even in most. That's an unscientific statement, but just because there's a continuum of SO, does that prevent me from saying I want to marry another person of the same sex. Who would want to do that who wasn't…homosexual?

  • 172. Monica  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    what Dr. Herek should mention is that a reason for person who experience homo and hetero sex is because as children we often model the earliest relationships we are exposed to, our parents. Hetero people breed homo children. There has also been many studies on how one's sexual orientation develops. Everyone goes through it, some get confused and struggle because of the heterosexist society we live in and some it comes easy because the fit into the heterosexist society.

  • 173. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    My God, the massively twisted illogic of Nielsen is giving me a headache!!!

    This line of questioning is actually insulting because what he's getting at is the amount of sex a person has had and with whom as a determine of someone's orientation. Again, they're so focused on the sexual behavior of people they can't see that it's possible for two people of the same sex to actually LOVE each other and want to commit to a life together, just like they do.

    So, what's the number limit? How many women do I have to sleep with before I can get a gay marriage? Aren't these people on the Prop 8 side supposed to be also the "no sex before marriage" people too? If you never have sex with either gender, then how do we know they're qualifed for hetero marriage? Maybe their idea of marriage should be left to those who don't have sex with those they love. Oh wait, they already do that! /snark/

  • 174. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Dang it, I keep forgetting…


    *can I just put "to infinity" here to cover all other posts?* LOL

  • 175. jthomas  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:39 am

    With this questioning, I think they're weakening the purity and clarity of their OWN definition of marriage as "between 1 man and 1 woman". I'm beginning to apply this interrogative analysis and assessment to all of the hetero-married couples I know, and it appears that a good percentage of them "miss the definition" and should clearly be in a DP…. or at least damned to hell with the rest of us. 😉


  • 176. Marci Walley  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I've been with 5 men and 4 women in my life. The men were before I came out as lesbian. Those relationships lasted a total of 4 years, all together. Of the 4 women, the last two relationships lasted 3 years and 10 years, respectively. I am currently in the 10 year relationship and am raising a son with her. I am as gay as the day is long. But you wouldn't know that just by looking at the numbers of whom I've been with.


  • 177. Kristen  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Good point! Wish they'd state this.

  • 178. Sam  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Why does any of this even matter?

    Individuals consent to entering a marriage contract. Whatever their sexual identity, that shouldn't limit them from entering a marriage contract. The only limitations should be the ones dealing with ability to consent based on age and similar factors.

  • 179. Rebecca  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:44 am

    "N: Leaving aside data set, do you agree that as many same sex as hetero partners mean they are not hetero?

    H: You can’t leave aside data set. You have to see the context."

    As an Engineer that question floored me and I love the reply.

    So let's sum up the defense in simpler terms. If we ignore all the facts and figures and I can get an expert to agree with my opinion then we win.

    How did this guy pass the BAR?

  • 180. Ann Catherine  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:47 am

    I have friends who are gay who went through their teen and early adult years in a time when their sexual orientation was "an illness", something to be "cured". In that environment, they had to try harder to be a part of a so-called "normal" environment with proms and dating and sexual awakening and hormones and all of that other stuff that makes pubescence/adolescence such a traumatic experience to begin with and do it without it being "normal". So, by the logic of Prop 8 supporters, these folks are not, even in their later lives, really and actually gay because at one time they were forced to try to be otherwise because of the prejudices evident in our society. And somehow that means that my friends weren't subject to discrimination. Man, I can't twist my brains around to come up with any sort of logic that would go there.
    On another completely different sort of tack, I was also a counselor for about 25 years of my life. I have never, ever counseled a single male who considered himself straight who did NOT experiment at some time in his life with a homosexual experience in his teen years, rarely later in his life but definitely in the teen years. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Now, by the Prop 8 supporters logic that makes all of them, every last one of them, not a heterosexual and that is just as much a stupid conclusion as their other conclusion.

  • 181. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:51 am

    If we're going to go by society's reaction to us, their "definition" if you will (esp. the defense's part of society), then anyone who has ever had a gay thought, displays a gay tendency or "appearance" (whatever that means), expressed a same-sex attraction, and/or CERTAINLY engaged in gay sex (even once, "experimentally") is GAY! It's as if they employ the old South's "one drop" rule, once applied to African Americans (A person can look as White as white can be, but if there is one drop of "Black" blood anywhere down the ancestral line, they're Black"). Pathetic.

    How many times have we heard, "Look at that walk. He's gay!" or "She looks like a lumberjack, she's a lesbian!" Or simply, "Ya know, I've never seen her with a boyfriend/him with a girlfriend… He/she must be gay!"

    Based on society's definition/opinion, there are A LOT of us out there. The defense's line of questioning is counter to their beliefs. They seem to think there are many of us, and that gay is gay – no gray areas.

    Happy Kelly & Amanda

  • 182. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Why are we even arguing about the genders of the persons who wish to marry, when nowhere in a civil marriage contract is a requirement, demand, or any timeline, where sexual activity MUST take place?

    Much Love,
    Dean and Ken

  • 183. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:00 am

    I'll take that a step forward and call them on their "no sex before marriage" hypocrisy too. Under their argument, a couple will have to have sex a certain number of times and with multiple partners of the opposite gender to prove they're suitable for a heterosexual marriage.

  • 184. Rick  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:56 am

    As much as I appreciate the thorough discussion of modern understanding of sexuality – this is all irrelevant. Loving v. Virginia upheld that consenting adults in the United States have the right to marry the "person" of their choosing. Not "opposite sex partner" or anything else.

    The only legal question that needs to be answered is, "Are the people trying to get married consenting adults?" The rest is all window dressing to fight well established law because that law isn't popular with some people.

  • 185. jdweekley  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Again, I personally object to the distillation of LGB identity to a sexual act or preference of sexual partner. This tactic diminishes my humanity and makes it very easy to categorically dismiss me as immoral. This is not about a sex act. It's about how and whom we love.

  • 186. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:02 am

    EXACTLY! It's insulting and degrading.

  • 187. Kevin  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:16 am


  • 188. rpx  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Dunno, this doesn't seem that hard to me. You ask the question, "Are you hetrosexual?" if the answer is no then you are- G or L or B or T. Lumped altogether GLBT, suspect class. You would have a hard time convincing me that G or L or B or T experience more or less deiscrimiation,.In other words, L's have more discrimation than T's. The real response is L's experience more discrimination than hetrosexuals. Not L vs GB or T. So lump them all together and recognize the suspect class, GLBT.

  • 189. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:27 am



  • 190. Phil L  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:22 am

    This line of questioning is absurd.

    When I was in high school I had a girlfriend for about two weeks. We had very little to talk about and I just didn't feel right about it. I knew that I wasn't really attracted to her and I called it off (not citing to her my lack of attraction). I never slept with her.

    Starting in college I began to accept the fact that I was/am gay (something I had known since high school and tried to deny/avoid) and eventually met the man who became my partner (and I'm still with him to this day, nine years later). Though I never slept with the girl (or any girl) I still "dated" her. Does this somehow make me bisexual even though I'm in NO way attracted to women?

    Some gay men (and women) sleep with members of the opposite sex to try to deny their real sexual orientation. This doesn't make their orientation fluid; it just makes them liars (I don't mean that in an offensive way – I'm just pointing out that hiding their orientation and sleeping with the opposite sex to do so is lying).


  • 191. Alex O'Cady  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I had similar experiences in high school…I dated boys a total of three times (two were the same boy), but the time I spent "dating" them barely adds up to more than a month, and the most we ever did was kiss. I've dated three girls, all of whom I slept with, one of whom I am now married to. What data qualifies? And what of my reckless "college years", where I didn't date anyone, but had a bit of experimentation with both genders (usually involving alcohol, what can I say- college years)?


    Alex & Jessi

  • 192. Kevin  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I might be missing something here, but I'm not entirely sure that I find the number of sexual partenrs and their genders to be conclusive of one's sexual orientation. For example, if you ask men who have been in prision for a long time what their sexual orientation is I imagaine a fair number will say heterosexual, but odds are good that most of their adult sexual encounters have been with other men.

    I think there are too many variables to determine by behavior what sexual orientation a person is. I wish John Boswell were alive today; we need a good gay essentialist on the stand.



  • 193. Kevin  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:24 am

    And I really, really hope that the Prop 8 people don't get started on the whole 1970's concept of the "political lesbian." That might open a real bad can of worms given the way this trial's discourse is structured.

  • 194. Alex O'Cady  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I wonder…what if someone had a threesome with a guy and a girl? Would this count as a point for either side, or be thrown out as simply sexual deviance and ignored? Very tricky, especially considering the trend toward more open attitudes toward sexuality and sexual expression. As a younger person, I can tell you I've known there to be a lot of sexual experimentation among the younger generation (can't speak for older generation, as I am not quite one of them). Not to mention the disturbingly common occurrence of girls being pressured into threesomes with another girl by their boyfriends, just because the guy thinks it'd be hot.

    I suppose the fundies would just consider this more evidence of the moral decay of the country due to turning from the church, but it begs the question.

    Alex & Jessi

  • 195. drjams  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:46 am

    I don't see how it matters if we call ourselves homosexuals or heterosexuals or bisexuals or queers or whatever – it's still SAME SEX MARRIAGE we are talking about. So if you want to call yourself a hetero but get married to someone of the same sex, that should be perfectly fine! Sure has been the case that many homos have gotten married to the opposite sex for a long, long time!

  • 196. Dale  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:08 am

    This all just really baffles me. I am gay and try REALLY hard to understand the other side but just can not. How can they disqualify us in society? I live in conservative South Carolina so understand a closed mind for sure. If you take religion out of the arguement, how do they legally have a leg to stand on to deny us our rights? How can they win this? Im lost…wasnt this country derived from religious freedom? What if the "Gays" created a new branch of religion and it allowed marriage. Could we then fight that it is our relgious freedom to marry?

  • 197. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Dale, a number of mainstream (and several smaller) religions are arguing that state refusal to acknowledge the same-sex religious marriages they perform is violating their religious rights. In fact, the Society of Friends (the Quakers) are suing in England because English law prohibits them from conducting same-sex marriages in a house of worship.

    We have religious allies. Just because haters claim to be speaking for all religious people doesn't mean they are. It just means they have big mouths and shout louder than the other side.

  • 198. Cynthia  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

    "He does not understand we do not choose to be gay or lesbian or bisexual. Why would we?"

    Dr. Herek's own research presented during the trial today showed that although a majority of LGB people reported they had little or no choice about being LGB, a minority reported they had a significant amount of choice. As one of those who participated in Dr. Herek's cited research and reported to him that I feel I chose to be bisexual, I find it very offensive to constantly be told I don't exist just because I'm not in the majority. It's rather like whne heterosexuals pretend gay people don't exist because gay people aren't in the majority.

    People do sometimes choose things that are difficult. People sometimes choose to join the army and fight to the death because they believe in that cause. I had only experienced attraction to the opposite sex until I decided that I believed it would be better to be attracted to both sexes, so I tried to start being attracted to the same sex and I succeeded. That was more than hald my lifetime ago, and I have been attracted to both sexes ever since. I am now engaged to be married to a member of the same sex and i am counting on this lawsuit to allow me to finally marry her.

    I have joined the Courage Campaign and attended Camp Courage Sacramento and formed a Courage Campaign Equality Team because I want to work with other LGB people to advance our common cause of legalizing same-sex marriage. But when you, Rick Jacobs, the founder and chair of the organization I am trying to work with, make statements like this that publicly deny the existence of people like me who feel we chose to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual, that makes me and others like me very uncomfortable and runs a serious risk of alienating us from your organization, losing valuable potential allies. I have been working hard to support your organization and I would like to continue doing so, but I cannot easily do so if you keep telling people I don't exist.

  • 199. Randy  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    "N: Leaving aside data set, do you agree that as many same sex as hetero partners mean they are not hetero?

    H: You can’t leave aside data set. You have to see the context."

    This is VERY typical. The Right frequently disdains science and ignores its tenets. As has already been observed, this smacks loudly of Scopes. Facts not in evidence, facts out of context, fact vs. theory vs. hypothesis… they are playing their usual shell game.

  • 200. Randy  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Further on, the definition of homosexuality is essentially irrelevant to the entire discussion. If Prop 8 is struck down, people will marry whom they choose, MM, FF or MF. If they fall out of love, or into love with someone else, they will divorce and remarry. Happens all the time. The idea that it will happen more frequently (which is probably where N is heading) is ludicrous on its face – which has already been demonstrated by a previous witness (Dr. Peplau?). There was no inflection in the divorce rate, up or down, in 2000 when SS marriage was legalized (was that MA, or the Netherlands? I've forgotten). The trend of increasing divorce continued to increase at the same rate as it had for decades before.

  • 201. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Loving v. Virginia specifically recognized that you don't fall in love with some generic "person," you fall in love with a specific person.

    I didn't fall in love with "some person the same sex as I am." I fell in love with this particular lovely, funny, warm, lactose-intolerant, dog-loving, punning person. This person is not interchangable with all other people of the same sex.

    In other words, if you secretly replaced my partner with somebody else of the same sex, I'd notice.

  • 202. Jeff G.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Defense counsel is trying to get the witness to say that sexual orientation is fluid and changeable, which is a key part of the proponents' argument against same-sex marriage (i.e., "just because you think you're attracted to the same sex now doesn't mean you won't come to your senses eventually"). The proponents appear to be conveniently ignoring the fact that people who come out later in life after having been in hetero marriages (and possibly having children) always had homosexual attractions that they attempted to repress by entering into a hetero relationship, just like society says we're supposed to. I'm really glad the witness brought that up in earlier testimony, prior to cross-examination, but it appears that the defense counsel is trying to make the court forget this point by trying to lead the witness to confirming that sexual orientation has a tendency to change over time, which just isn't true for the majority of people.

    One other point I'd like to make is that the famous Kinsey Scale was developed as a means to try to make sense of the data Kinsey and his associates collected regarding people who had multiple sexual partners of both sexes. That data was collected through interviewing people, and some people may have chosen not to disclose experiences they felt embarrassed about, and others may have chosen to embellish their stories by inventing experiences they never had. It's impossible to know how accurate the data really is, so Kinsey's conclusions may not be entirely correct. Sexual behavior is a topic many Americans are really uncomfortable discussing, even with their doctors. People lie all the time about what they do sexually (e.g., at the HIV testing clinics, how many people who regularly engage in unprotected sex actually admit to it? Probably not anywhere near as many as actually are doing it), so it's very difficult to get truly accurate data. The best anyone can do is say, "this data suggests …"

    In any case, even if we accept the notion that sexual orientation can change over time, that does not provide basis for denying same-sex marriages. If anything, it calls hetero marriages into question.

  • 203. truthspew  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Nielson needs to learn how to do proper citation, he can use the APA style should he wish.

    That said, I've known I was gay from my teenage years on. So Nielson is barking up the wrong tree.

  • 204. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Here's another factor to take into account regarding "changing sexual orientation": as children, some of us were given inaccurate definitions of what "gay" and/or "straight" meant, and therefore didn't know what we were.

    I was taught that being gay meant you hated people of the opposite sex. I knew I didn't hate them, so I thought I was therefore straight. Not until I got an accurate definition did I realize I wasn't.

    Did I change orientations? I was exactly the same person, with exactly the same feelings, as I had been from the beginning. I just had a different word for it.

  • 205. Liveblogging Day 9: Part &hellip  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

    […] Liveblogging Day 9: Part II […]

  • 206. tech guy  |  January 23, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I think the judge is bored with this line of questioning.



  • 207. James  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I don't understand what a rigid definition of "gay" has to do with SS Marriage.

    Surely if SS marriage were legal, theoretically heteros could choose SS marriage as well?
    "They wouldn't!", you say?
    "Why not?"
    "They're not gay"
    "How could you say if they're gay or not if there's no definition of what gay is".


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