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Liveblogging Day 9: Part IV


By Rick Jacobs

Judge: Says to Boutrous (B), “So if the defendants finish their cross 90 minutes before 4:00PM, you’ll finish your case today?”

B: Yes.

Nielson (N): That’s a target, but unrealistic.

Judge: We have something to shoot for and can be optimistic.

N: Another article.

K: Given measurement problems, one could seriously doubt that sexual orientation is a serious concept at all. Do you think that is unreasonable?

Dr. Gregory Herek (H): Well, I think they are raising that (hard to hear due to static) as philosophical way of discussing various positions.

H: Philosophical debate. SO is a real construct. It’s something they feel and believe themselves. I realize they (article’s writers) were doing this in a summary fashion. Nuanced social constructionist’s view. When social constructionist talk about sexual orientation, they refer to the construction of these concepts at the social level in the same way we have race, ethnicity and class. Those are social constructions. But to say that there is no such thing as class, race, ethnicity or SO is not right. They are not saying that that is the way individuals see things, but that individuals see things through social construction.

H: Most social constructionists would say that social structure builds on raw materials. Social constructionists would say race is entire construction, but it is built on physical attributes. Does not mean that individual does not experience their sexual orientation as a certain thing and that it will just change tomorrow.

[So can you imaging waking up and saying, “oh, I think I’ll be straight today.” Or, “Oh I think today is gay”? This gives “gay days” at Disneyland a whole new meaning.]

[UPDATE] 1:48

H: Title page from Handbook of Applied Developmental Science, V. 1.

H: Chapter 5 by Lisa Diamond and Rich Savin Williams (?) are both developmental psychologists held in good regard.

K: There is currently no scientific evidence…that defines people as gay, lesbian or hetero. …

H: Note that this is part of a handbook and it seems to deal with young people. Here it mentions a 15-year-old boy who has fantasized about boys since 11. For adolescents, it’s difficult to define orientation for those people.

K: No consensus on definitions.

H: Consensus means unanimity. No unanimity on anything like this.

K: Few individuals form individuals report uniform intercorellations across their attractions, behaviors and desires.

H: Inter correlations cannot occur with one person. Have to be with more than one. Not accurate.

K: Do you believe it is an unreasonable statement?

H: Not unreasonable if you don’t have data, but we do have data.

K: Do you think this is outside of the mainstream?

H: I would be hesitant to judge work of my colleagues by looking at one or two statements out of context.

[K keeps asking about “reasonableness.” They are going to try to show at a higher court, I’m guessing, that the plaintiffs have not met a threshold of reasonableness.]

K: Concept of sexual orientation not as straightforward as every day conversation would imply. Complex dimensionality and fluidity.

H: She starts off by saying, “ As suggested in the introduction” lays out examples in which there were inconsistencies in behavior and self-identity, that’s reasonable.

[UPDATE] 2:10

This all refers to another article in which K is trying to show that homo is mutable.]

H: It’s at least possible for some heteros to have homo response and vice versa. When we look at Lowen study, we would say that many people say that they don’t experience attraction to people of their own sex. I’m not sure what is meant here by homo and hetero response.

H: He’s using the general construct of homosexuality and heterosexuality as conceived along a continuum, which means there is no sharp line by definition.

H: Lesbian Health by Andrea Solarz. I’m familiar with it. I may have read portions of it. It was released about ten years ago and I may have read portions then.

K: In introduction, second p around middle, “Lesbians do not constitute a homogenous, identifiable population for research study.” Do you agree with that statement?

H: (reading context to himself) I think that their point is that the lesbian population is not a homogeneous population. Say that some women identify with lesbian women’s’ community. Some do not. Age, economics, etc. mean that they do not constitute a homogeneous population.

K: Identifiable?

H: I believe that they are saying that not all women will identify in a survey due to stigma or it may mean that they don’t fit all three categories in definition that we have discussed all day.

H: Views vary across different groups, institutions and traditions. That’s how you could have different views of what it means to be a lesbian.

K: “In general, sexual orientation is behavioral and cognitive. Women may exhibit different degrees of same sex behavior, identity along a continuum.”

H: They are referring to Lowen again, those Venn diagrams. There are groups that are consistent in their identity and some that are not. They are trying to be as inclusive as possible.”

H: For a researcher designing a study about lesbian health must use information at hand. If you are studying sexual diseases, want sexual behavior. If identity, want to study those factors.

H: The actual percentages cannot be generalized to general population. Also makes sense that they are saying high percentage of women have heterosexual sex because of society and how they are treated, forced to have hetero sex.

K: There are cultures in which engaging in homo behavior is not seen as being labeled homosexual?

H: I agree with that.

[K keeps cherry picking sentences. H keeps pushing him to see the rest of the text that makes clear that these various definitions in which K is so convinced show that there is no such thing as gay or lesbian refer to scientific studies. So you have to define race or sexual orientation specifically for a specific study. As one of the witnesses said last week, Jamaican adults may not identify as African American, but once their kids grow up here, they are AA. What are they? It depends on the study.]

H: It can be argued that gay and lesbian describe identity. It goes beyond identity. Homosexual is also a descriptive term. And it’s primarily rooted in the mid-twentieth century.

K: Bisexual experience is common with gays and lesbians. Study of Denmark, Holland, US shows that large percentage of self-identified homosexual men had hetero experiences.

H: This is from 1970s. Not a good sample. A sample of convenience rather than representative sample. Growing up with expectations that they boy will marry girl and girl will marry boy, not uncommon for homos to say that at one point in their life they did experience heterosexual intercourse, but not who they are now.

[UPDATE] 2:28

K: Some women are more fluid in their sexuality.

H: More women change than men in the course of their lives.

K: Your studies showed that virtually no men and very few women found changes I their sexual identity?

H: Yes. (Here’s how we obtained sample.) Survey organization that allows for very large group to take internet survey. One of questions, are you lesbian, gay or bisexual? If they had answered yes to one, they were considered eligible for one of my studies. In that study, there was an initial series of screening questions that asked about their orientation. We gave them five categories. For men, which of follow best described: gay only attracted to men; bisexual mainly to men; bisexual to women; straight, mainly women, or straight only to women.

K: You relied on self-reporting?

H: Yes.

K: These studies did not go to question of whether their SO had changed?

H: No.

K: If you are trying to do study that predicts future behavior, hard to do?

H: As I said, if I were betting person, I would bet that self-description indicates long term behavior, but not always (again, this deals with fully formed adults).

K: (Reads out deposition of H) We certainly know that people report that they have changed their SO at some point in their life. We don’t know why, exactly why that happened in every case. People do not always have knowledge of mental process.

H: True. When you look at people’s prejudices and biases, they cannot tell you what’s going on, but they do have those prejudices and biases.

K: So you do agree that people don’t always have possession of their mental processes?

H: I do.

New thread here

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  • 1. Betsey  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Prop 8's only hope – obfuscate. In the long run, despite the inadequacy of the D’s positions and their mediocre (being charitable in the evaluation) legal team this all going to hinge upon how well written and supported by evidence Judge Walker’s opinion is. P’s briefs should make that an easy task. Clarence and Nino will then turn over every rock possible to remand as it currently appears very, very unlikely to find clearly reversible error. So D’s creating a voluminous record may well be good strategy as Nino at least will have bright clerks and Alito and Roberts will probably allow many amicus briefs (likely funded by KofC and LDS). Meanwhile, Pugno and Gallagher are financially set for life. In ten years natural aging process will put this all to rest absent coup by GB and the tea-baggers.

  • 2. Lionell  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Let's obfuscate a step further. Is there, or is there not, some confusion over the definitions of male and female (I cite the recent olympic runner debacle)?

    Is it, or is it not, true that there are physiological and psychological definitions of gender which do not always coincide?

    Perhaps, if there's no consensus between general social definitions and the various scientific definitions of gender, perhaps we need to remove this gender-specific requirement of marriage, and just make it between "two people"?

  • 3. Felyx  |  January 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    This is an excellent point. I am trying to contact the legal team to see if they have considered this and several other points.


    I was curious to know if it was possible to pass on 'tips' to the legal team. I work in the medical profession and have had a particular interest in genetics and gender. It occurs to me that there is a possible legal argument that might prove to be particularly effective if evidence can be found.

    Historically, genetic testing was never a factor in determining sex. This is a recent development for obvious reasons. There are cases in which married couples have discovered that while they appeared phenotypically (physical characteristics such as genitals) opposite in gender, they were in fact the same genotype (genetic characteristics such as XX/XY.) This genetic fact did not prevent the marriage prior to Watson and Crick in 1953 nor does it do so today (I am pretty sure considering there is only M or F on Licenses.) (As a reference point from popular culture one may recall the issue with female Olympians and genetic testing due to some participants being genetically male.)

    Furthermore, if such an individual with a phenotype not characteristic with genotype is sexed according to genes only, there is no law to prevent this individual from marrying another individual with like genitals (good luck finding a legal case on that one!)

    Genotype and phenotype discrepancies are solid enough but there is a further dimension of gender identity. There are numerous individuals of matching genotype and phenotype that go to great lengths to 'reassign' their gender. Again, if the gender reassignment surgery (GRS) is complete, the proper legal name and gender changes made to ID papers, I believe there are no (at least federal) laws forbidding such an individual from getting married to another person of the same genetic sex.

    As I understand it, the question before the court (and ultimately the Supreme Court) is whether voters can pass a constitutional ban limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

    If a man and a woman can be genetically XX/XY respectively, and if phenotype neither determines legal sex nor prevents marriage, how then can marriage be defined as between one man and one woman when neither gender is in itself defined?

    (The proposition was not stated as being between one genetically, phenotypically self-identifying gay/bi/straight man and one genetically, phenotypically self-identifying gay/bi/lesbian woman.)

    This raises the question of whether the Prop was well worded enough to not cause legal complication or was too vague in its definitions and merits repeal.

    Furthermore, how can this legislation be preserving a tradition of marriage based on genetic determination when such scientific knowledge was not traditionally available throughout the history of California much less all of recorded history? The 'tradion' of marriage, it would seem, has already been augmented with a new tradition…why not one more!

    If the state has a proven history of allowing same genetically sexed individuals (who BTW would not be able to reproduce) to marry, what precedent do they now have that overturned it that would allow the current ban to stand?

    And lastly, how did California enforce the same-sex prohibition before genetic testing that applies to current legislation? In other words, if it was no problem for genetically same sexed people to get married then then it was only the recent discovery of genetic identity that allows it to be enforced now. If genetic testing is ruled out as a requirement for marriage (disallowing the gender on an ID to be considered since it is genetic testing that is done at birth now to determine sex), and since a physical exam is not required, then why can I not simply say I am of a particular gender and get married to whomever I choose? (This argument may actually lead to gender being considered personal and private information and therefore not suitable to place on ID papers which could run into all sorts of legal issues, not the least of which is imprisonment based on gender which is already an issue for many transsexuals!)

    So far I read in the defenses arguments that the proposition is being viewed as a gay related issue (which it clearly is.) Furthermore I hear on the defenses side that there is too much uncertainty and irrelevance and no real relevant legal arguments coming from the plaintiffs.

    Since this case is leading to the Supreme Court, it could be valuable to have some fairly undeniable logic that is completely unrelated to homosexuality. By adding to the argument the fact that genetics has altered the definition of male and female (thus making the wording too vague and therefore not acceptable not only in California but in DOMA as well), and by pointing out the tradition of marriage was based on arbitrary sex determination, a practice no longer found to be accurate or relevant (thus showing the 'tradition' of marriage has already been altered), it would compel a judge like Clarence Thomas to make an extremely relevant and cogent legal argument that would justify such an undefined amendment while at the same time somehow leaving open the possibility for inter-sexed individuals to not be discriminated against. Such a dissenting argument would have to look DAMNED good to get all five votes! (Saying anyone could get married EXCEPT gays would be just too obviously prejudiced!LOL)

    After all, how can there be a marriage tradition based on men marrying women when there is no tradition of what a man or a woman is? How can a law be non-discriminatory when it leaves the inter-sexed at the mercy of the arbitrary decisions of others? Allowing marriage between ANY two individuals (of consenting age) resolves all these issues and leaves no one without this particular civil right.

    I hope whoever is reading this sees some value in it. I hope it can get passed on to the legal team. It may be something they have already considered and turned down for whatever reason they saw best but on the chance that they have not, it would be nice to give them one more tool in there arsenal.

    Angelboyfelyx yahoo (Thoughtful comments and beneficial information welcome. Thank you.)

    Post Script: I would add two other weaker points.

    First, rather obviously, even if an individual is genetically, phenotypically and self identifying as one gender, there is no law forbidding marriage to the opposite gender even if there is no desire, no consummation nor even further contact beyond the paperwork and ceremony itself. Gays can marry straights for benefits alone without legal repercussion. (There are many gay military men who marry to provide health coverage to their friends just because they can. It would be easy to find many individuals to testify to this.) This argument is rather weak I am sure but it goes to show the arbitrariness of the law. There is no preservation of an 'institution' if the laws leave such blatant loopholes.

    Second, if the ban were to stand, how would the Federal courts propose to legally enforce it? Is genetic testing mandatory? Will physical exams become mandatory? Is the knowledge of ones gender whether genotypically, phenotypically or self-identified something that is personal information and therefore private or is it public information and therefore in the domain of the government? Does the government have the right even to know ones gender? Is it a requirement for citizenship? and if so why? Will the federal government provide a definition of what a man is and what a woman is and then compel all US citizens to comply with gender laws? The questions go on…!

    I don't know quite how these would help the case but that last one is a bit scary! It addresses other issues such as the governments right to intrude on human biology!

  • 4. Felyx  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:15 am


    So far I read in the defenses arguments that the proposition is being viewed as a gay related issue (which it clearly is.)

    Should read…

    So far I read in the plaintiffs arguments that the proposition is being viewed as a gay related issue (which it clearly is.)

    Also, please pardon any spelling errors;`)

  • 5. Rose  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Does anyone know how to e-mail Judge Walker?

  • 6. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:14 am

    via the Ninth District Court's website, I think there was a email addy.

    Robert (The OTHER Mr. Wright to my husband-lol)

  • 7. J. Stone  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I would recommend holding off on e-mailing Judge Walker for now. Ethically, he shouldn't be reading e-mails about this case from people who are not parties to the lawsuit. His decision has to be based solely on what is presented in court. Plus you don't want to make some off the cuff remark that could be construed as a bribe, a threat, undue influence, etc. After he's entered his decision, then write him (if you still feel like it)–but even then, I'd exercise caution in the language used.

  • 8. Jeff  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I can't even believe we have to deal with this in 2010. If two people of legal age want to marry, they should be allowed,end of story. The religion thing is a good point, it's not a "distinguishable" characteristic, so that pretty much parellels homosexuality.
    Also, does this mean we don't have to pay taxes, since we aren't a classified minority ?

  • 9. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:00 am

    My CU spouse/DP partner/wife is demanding her rainbow parking placard. Hey, if we have to pay taxes we should get something out of the deal.


  • 10. Devon  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    They keep pushing this! The same exact argument… it's depressing me to a point of no words. I honestly felt like we had it in the bag, and I'm a pessimist.

    Even though based on this logic heterosexuality is not clearly definable, he is seriously weakening our side. If there isn't a "clear" definition, as he is trying to prove, how can we be protected as a class of citizens?

    I don't know anything about law and this is killing me! How good of an argument is this actually? From a professional's opinion.

  • 11. DonG  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Devon, I am a retired law professor, and believe me, the defense is going nowhere with this argument. It's so full of holes, legally, that it makes no sense.

  • 12. abbe  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

    i hope you're right!

  • 13. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

    DonG– I'm so glad you're here to add your viewpoint. Like Devon (above), I continue to find myself discouraged and anxious about a lot of what's going on. Your reassurances are much appreciated.

  • 14. Devon  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

    You don't know how much better that made me feel! This is all so emotional I've cried just worrying about it and I am not even from CA.

    I really just can't believe this is all happening… it honestly makes me despise the country I live in a love.

  • 15. Sara  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I think the witness and the defense are talking about two separate things… I think the witness is talking about definitions for a scientific study, and how analysts aren't using the same definitions, and how LBGT and hetero people don't define themselve in the same way.

    The defense appear to be using that as evidence to prove that sexual orientation is not definable.

    There's a strong disconnect between the two, and I think the judge sees it…

  • 16. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Well put, Sara, I agree.


  • 17. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:32 am

    So does the witness. He keeps pointing it out clearly that this or that quote is specifically about the particular study at hand. That is where things like "if you are doing a study on sexually transmitted disease, you define it by behavior, but if you are studying discrimination you go by identity."

    He gets it very clearly. And his answers are wonderful, because at no point is he agreeing with the defense's obvious attempt to get him to say that it's hard to define actual gay and lesbian people.

  • 18. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:56 am

    H: She starts off by saying, “ As suggested in the introduction” lays out examples in which there were inconsistencies in behavior and self-identity, that’s reasonable.

    Let's look at inconsistencies in behavior and self-identity in a person who has extra-marital sex and who also uses birth control yet identifies as a Catholic.

    Still protected? Yep.


  • 19. Patrick  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

    "Given measurement problems, one could seriously doubt that sexual orientation is a serious concept at all."

    You can't measure faith either, but religious nutjobs are a suspect class… what's the difference?

  • 20. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    No, not a suspect class — but protected under the 1st Amendment.


  • 21. Michael Herman  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Someone should ask them if stripping Americans of their righs is reasonable.

  • 22. Jeff  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I'm sorry, but most people are strongly hetero and strongly homo, there's always variations in-between, but more rare than not. Hetero men and women never even think about having a same sex fling as well as homosexuals never wanted an opposite sex fling.

  • 23. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Exactly, I don't know what it is like to fall in love with, or be sexually or physically attracted to someone of the opposite sex, but I accept that those people exist.


  • 24. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I identify strongly and proudly as a Gay man, despite having been married to a woman for 6 years. My ex-wife is now my BEST friend and we have a wonderful, beautfiul daughter together. But just because I was married to a woman didn't make me Hetero. I had never even "been" with a man, but I was ALWAYS gay and I knew it. I just wasn't willing to take the leap and admit it to anyone else. And while I loved my wife, I still always knew it wasn't the "right" thing for me– that I was living a lie and trying to be someone I was not.

    It's not the greatest analogy, I guess, but I suppose one could liken it to being right-handed– yeah, I COULD try to write with my left hand instead, and MAYBE I'd be able to do it even somewhat successfully for a while, but nothing feels quite the same and quite as "natural" and "normal" as writing with my right hand. Using my left is just awkward and uncomfortable. For me, being gay is no different– I KNOW who I am, and I'm not Hetero.

    I could've tried to force myself to stay in my marriage and be someone I was not, but it wasn't fair to me– and more importantly– it wasn't fair to my wife and daughter. My wife deserved a man who could give her 100% of himself– not someone who was only a fraction of what a husband should be. And my daughter deserved to have a father who was honest about who he is– not some coward hiding behind society's expectation of what it means to be a good person and a man.

    My wife and I have successfully co-parented our daughter for 16 years with nothing but love and admiration for one another and I know in my heart my decision was the right one for us all.

    I suppose my point is this: Under the right kinds of circumstances and pressures, I would imagine most anybody can force themselves to do or be something they're not, but that doesn't make it normal, or natural, or right. And it seems to me that it's a particularly UN-Christian thing to expect people to live under those conditions.

  • 25. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Very well stated!

  • 26. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 23, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I'm sorry to disagree on this point, but prisons, same-sex boarding schools, the 'classic' (pre-sexually integrated) navy, even live-in mens' shelters show that many men who would define themselves as heterosexual are capable of having 'same-sex flings' or even full-blown affairs. And those who share Larry Craig's proclivities (as i do, though he preferred airports, and was closeted, I preferred subway stations and parks and used to tell stories of my adventures at work when I came back late) know that many of the men there are heterosexual (or would define themselves as such, and just horny.

  • 27. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Our big problem with winning over SCOTUS is the defense's deployment of the "math defense."

    Dazzle 'em with numbers that seem to discount the actual facts. SCOTUS is not made up of statisticians.

    I fear a not-good outcome at SCOTUS.


  • 28. Jaime  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:03 am

    The defense is trying to prove that sexual orientation is not a definable class such as race, gender and other "suspect" classes that have been defined as such by law. Religion is not a suspect class because it is already protected in the First Amendment and does not aid in this trial.

    Because the concept of sexual orientation can be so varied when thinking about it in research, the defense is trying to make the case that something cannot be a suspect class which cannot be defined clearly. Which I don't think they are doing a good job of. Obviously as a

    Is there a cross examination after this? If there is they need to emphasize the point that people who are gay in identity, practice and behavior is the specific group that this is all about.

  • 29. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:06 am

    It's our witness, there will be re-direct.


  • 30. Jaime  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    That's what i meant! Re-direct. Thanks Ann.

  • 31. Marlene Bomer  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

    There's a myriad of variability in gender too!

    There's tens of thousands if not a million or so people in this country who are intersex! People who have missing or extra sex chromosomes, which means they are neither male nor female!

    You have people with conditions who look perfectly female on the outside but have male chromosomes, and you have people with conditions who look perfectly male on the outside, yet are genetically female.

    And of course there are those of us who're transsexual. We throw the religious reicht's definition of "man" and "woman" into a tizzy, and cannot fathom the condition whatsoever.

  • 32. Chana  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

    So the (interestingly) fucked up thing about all of this is that they're coming across a problem of academic language-which I think the witness has often and gracefully pointed out. But in terms of social constructivism (and the witness has attemtped to point this out too), race, ethnicity, and religion are ALSO socially constructed and are defined differently in different situations. It would take me less than 5 minutes to locate a number of articles that say so. And so how are queer folks different than protected classes? Hmm. How about we're not, if you're going to use this as evidence. FIVE MINUTES, Neilson. That's all it would take.

  • 33. Kyle  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find this whole line of questioning simply offensive? And why doesn't the Perry side bring up the obvious extension of this argument? If homosexuality is fluid and undefinable would it not be the same for heterosexuals? Heterosexuals don't have to qualify as measurably heterosexuals to get married. Indeed anyone who knows anything knows that many married men who call themselves straight have sex on the side with other men, and the same with women. The only way this argument has any merit at all is to assume that one identity (heterosexuality) is superior the other (homosexuality). Isn't this assumption inherently prejudiced?

  • 34. abbe  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    It is NOT just you.

  • 35. IT  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

    It's making me feel physically sick, frankly….trying to say I don't exist as a lesbian!

  • 36. Rose  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Is ANYONE truly a 100% heterosexual?

    Is ANYONE truly a 100% Homosexual?

    Does it really matter? and if so, why?

  • 37. Michael Herman  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I'm truly 100% hetero. I am not at all attracted to other men.

    However, I fully support samesex marriage, because banning it violates the United States Constitution.

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

    Ever had a same-sex experience?

  • 39. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Around 25 years ago a baby was born in a small town in south central Pennsylvania. They called him D.J. because, at his birth, his father proudly named him after himself… Dorsey John.

    I liked D.J.

    Of all my cousins on my mother’s side of the family he was the easiest to talk with; intelligent, witty, quick to smile, always enjoyed talking about events in the news, you know… not your typical redneck. At a small family reunion I asked my grandmother why he wasn’t there and she responded “I’d be surprised if did show up… him bein’ dead an’ all.”

    I was floored.“How’d it happen?” I asked, although I suspected a car accident or maybe a hunting accident… she sat me down on a kitchen chair and then pulled out a chair for herself and began to cry…

    I don’t think I’ll ever forget what she told me…

    “You know,” she said,“as D.J. grew up it seemed obvious to everyone that he was somehow different than all the other boys around. The things which interested all the other boys didn’t seem to hold his attention for very long, he was absolutely terrible at most sports, and as he grew he didn’t express the same interest in girls and dating as the others. All the kids at school picked on him and called him names. Many times after school he would go home with bruises on his face and body from the other kids picking on him, but he took it. His father tried to teach him how to fight so that he could defend himself, but he had no interest in hurting anyone… so he took it, and took it, and took it. As time went by his father began to suspect exactly how different D.J was and stopped spending time with him… and he took it. His father stopped talking to him and at times didn’t even want to sit at the same table to eat… and he took it. He said that the boy disgusted him… and he took it.

    Without a word he took it all.

    When he was about 17 he couldn’t stand the pressure of keeping his secret self a secret any longer so he told his family. When he told them that he thought he was gay his sister Maggie started laughing and asked him if he’d like to borrow any of her dresses and her makeup. His mother went in and sat on the sofa and cried. His father sat and stared at him for a long time and then got up and left the house. A while later he returned drunk and screamed,“I ain’t never raised me up no God-damned faggot!”

    With that he kicked the boy in the stomach hard enough that he fell down and couldn’t get up. As he lay there his father continued to kick and stomp on D.J. until he lost consciousness… then he left the house again. After some time D.J. came too enough to pull himself over to where his father kept his guns and took one down. Then he dragged himself out on to the front porch and propped himself up against the railing where he could see the sunset, put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger… while his father sat in the local bar bragging to his buddies about how he had stomped “the living dog shit out of his little faggot son.”

    While he was gone Marge (D.J.’s mother) called me to go over and help clean up the mess before he got back, but you know… it just seems that some stains can’t be washed out.

  • 40. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I am so sorry Dieter. That's why we need to remove this hate from the world. Too many tears

    Love, Barb

  • 41. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

    fortunately this was not my experience, it was from a fellow man who said I could post.

  • 42. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Oh. God.

    I don't doubt this for a minute. 🙁

  • 43. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:25 am

    OK, I'm crying.

    Did his father have any remorse? Or was he proud to have driven his little faggot son to suicide?

  • 44. Kenneth James  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    M. Dieter (53)

    Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you.

    Kenneth James

  • 45. Michael Herman  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:31 am

    If I knew someone like that, they wouldn't see the light of day again. I would chain the father down and give him three times the mental, emotional, and physical pain he gave his son. And when the time comes that he begs for death.. I will deny him of it, and leave him to suffer for the evil he has done.

  • 46. Marlene Bomer  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I'd do the same, Michael but then I'd add the graphic autopsy photos of his boy. Then I'd go to the f*ing church this sadistic bastard went to and show the bigot pastor those same photos to show him what happens when you preach hate.

    I'd even go to the point of taking that same pistol his "faggot" son killed himself with load an empty cartidge with a realistic bullet in it, and proceed to shove the barrel in his mouth and then proceed to scare that drunken moron out of his pants!

  • 47. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Michael, Marlene, I very much wish you wouldn't say things like that. I completely understand your anger. I'm very, very angry myself. I'm certainly not going to tell you not to feel what you feel.

    But how, exactly, does wishing you could commit violence on another human being make you feel once you've calmed down? Do you truly want to be the same kind of person that man was, or do you want to know that you hold yourself to a higher standard?

    And how would you feel if you found your words here someday being used to show how LGBT people are violent so there need to be laws to protect the straight people from us?

  • 48. Vernon  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

    That is absolutely heart-wrenching. I'm not usually one to tear up easily, but this story hit me where it hurts. I hope you don't mind if I share this on my Facebook page. I have some friends who should hear this story.

  • 49. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

    And sadly, his story is not uncommon.

    I know when I went to Holocaust museum, the survivors insisted "never forget". We know this repeated story is something very sad, but we should never forget.

    We have allies, there is a growing number of people "on our side". Those that know their own persecution and those that know "what is right". Then best of all, those that just can't believe that this could happen in our time.

    We are working toward ENDING that kind of story.

    How sad that the goal is to drive the gays out, intimidate them into submission.

    Stonewall was the end of being submissive. The genie will not go back in the bottle.

    The closet is still there, but as time goes forward, the youth will accept more differences. That is the fear driving all this. Some believe like Tam, they shelter the children from becoming gay. There are more that believe we cannot allow the "acceptance" of LGBTQ.

    It is very hard to keep reading this, riding the roller coaster, but keep going forward is what we will do.

  • 50. Marlene Bomer  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Let's not forget, Sandy that gay men were one of the *first* victims of the Holocaust, and the *only* survivors after the camps were liberated, who were jailed were those wearing pink triangles.

  • 51. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

    My family found out I was gay when I was 17.

    I was shown the front door, told to leave, and to never return.

    That was 23 years ago.

    Since then, not a single peep from my mother, father, two sisters or brother or grandparents, aunts, uncles. NO ONE. Not a single peep.

    Honestly, I do not know how I have made it to 40 without having killed myself. I guess I was just somehow strong enough to get through it. And stubborn and proud enough to know that I was never going to let anyone trample on me.

    I feel your cousin D.J.'s pain. We grew up so similarly, and now that I am older, I understand how easily that could have been me. Heck, it SHOULD have been me.

    Somehow, after they kicked me out, I managed to get to NYC. Life changed for me there. I found my tribe. I found the man I have been with for 10 years and forever. I found myself and I found moderate financial success.

    I got MORE than I deserved, not LESS. So when I hear your cousin's story, the tears I so often deny myself can finally flow. And I can remember where I came from so many years ago.

    And so I continue. To work toward making things a little less like hell for those who come after me.

    And I pray, if there is a God in heaven, that he teaches humanity quickly what he sent LGTB people here to teach them.

  • 52. Megan  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    This is the first time I've posted – I've been reading everything up until now, but just sort of lurking quietly, but I couldn't be silent after this. I've been with my girlfriend now for 10 years – that's longer than most heterosexual couples stay together, certainly longer than any of the 'normal' people in my family have been with their opposite-sex partners – and we've been harrassed, laughed at, degraded… but never anything like this. I'm in tears now, and I've been a thousand times before, for what everyone has had to go through. None of the hurtful words anyone has ever said to me has EVER been so hurtful that I felt I had to kill myself, but, in the end, I guess I always had my girlfriend – my wife, even if we cannot be legally married – to turn to. I am so sorry for what D.J. – and by extension the family members that actually loved him – had to suffer because of bigotry, prejudice and hatred. I don't know if Dieter will read this or be able to speak to the person who gave him permission to post it, but would it be all right if I reposted this on my facebook? I think more people need to see just how hurtful and torturous hate can be. I consider myself spiritual, not necessarily Christian but I do believe in God… And the God I worship would never, ever want any of his children to be treated like this. No God worth his salt would. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

    Megan (and her wife Morgann)

  • 53. Bry  |  January 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I just sent this story to my affirming mom. She's on our side 100%, she gets it entirely, but she needed to see this. Everybody needs to see this.

    RIP D.J.

  • 54. HeatherR  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Folks, I know this line of questioning from the defense re immutability is irksome, but you need to realize that this is something that the Judge brought forward months ago when both sides were preparing their briefs ahead of trial. Just to give you further background about why this is even a topic of discussion…

  • 55. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:11 am

    We have to prove immutability to get suspect-class classification. That's why it's being discussed.

  • 56. HeatherR  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Right. And that's why the Judge asked about it.

  • 57. Sam  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:16 am

    So the defense is throwing up differing articles left, right and center to murky the definition of sexual orientation?

    I suppose that effectively renders all the other testimony since the start of the trial ineffective, as it takes issue with the very foundation of the case.



  • 58. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:21 am

    We'd still have to prove it regardless of whether the judge brought it up.

  • 59. HeatherR  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I'm not sure why you're arguing with me about this. I made my original comment so that people would understand that this is something the Judge asked about, because many here didn't seem to know that. Oh well.

  • 60. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Sorry. This: "but you need to realize" came across as condescending, regardless of your intent.

    Not helpful in explaining the context, and not sure myself why you're arguing with me about this.

  • 61. HeatherR  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Sorry, I did not mean to be condescending. Many people here seem to have only started following the case last week and they may have missed out on the history of the proceedings. Others here, like you, have pointed out the suspect class angle, but no one else had mentioned the Judge specifically asking about immutability.

  • 62. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Okay. Not everyone's a law geek.

    My apologies for stirring the pot.

  • 63. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    How we label ourselves or others label us, or the variance or degrees to which we fall under those labels… none of this has nothing to do with marriage equality. People who are 100% or 1 % hetero but willing to marry opposite sex have the right. NO ONE (1% or 100% gay) who wants to marry the same sex is allowed.

    There's your freakin' statistic.



    Not really too Happy at this moment Kelly & Amanda

  • 64. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

    "This is from 1970s. Not a good sample. A sample of convenience rather than representative sample. Growing up with expectations that they boy will marry girl and girl will marry boy, not uncommon for homos to say that at one point in their life they did experience heterosexual intercourse, but not who they are now."
    Again, it appear to me the Defense is using out-dated data, and our witness is pointing this out to them, time and time again…

  • 65. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:39 am

    That's true, but it has its dark side.

    If they have to, they can point to the fact that the conclusions of the 1970's are so different from what today's experts are saying, and claim that the whole idea of gay and lesbian people is so new that society has a reason not to jump the gun and redefine marriage over it.

    After all, if the definitions keep changing, how can we keep up with the laws?

    Of course, society has been pretty damn good at picking us out of the herd to arrest, persecute, jail, and execute for centuries, no matter what we are called.

  • 66. Sara  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

    They don't… They just have to be prevented from passing discriminatory laws against us…

  • 67. e  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    From firedoglake:

    D: People don’t have understanding of their mental process, correct?

    H: Yes. People can’t tell you about their mental processes with respect to their prejudices, for example.


  • 68. Sam  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Again, it appear to me the Defense is using out-dated data, and our witness is pointing this out to them, time and time again…

    Yeah, and surely the social stigma attached to homosexuality from this time is a factor in what the data is representing too? People were probably reluctant to identify themselves as LGB, hence the muddy definition.

  • 69. Andrew  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Ah-ha! So that's what they're up to.

    They're trying to show that there's at least a minority of scientific thought that believes that sexual orientation is changeable. Therefore, it's not unreasonable to at least suspect this might be the case.

    They intend to later claim that being gay is risky and therefore the state can have a "reasonable" interest in promoting heterosexuality. Absent suspect-class status–which fluidity also hurts–that might be enough for the SCOTUS to hang a judgement on.

  • 70. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Race is a suspect class, and bi-racial or multi-racial individuals don't change that.

    Granted, it isn't fluidity in quite the same sense, but it is still the same idea. Not all individuals fit neatly into the pigeonholes, but the system still works.

  • 71. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    And being gay is risky because . . .

    People like the Prop 8ers incite hatred and fear of us, and, as a result, discrimination and violence against us.

    So, being gay is risky because they</b make it risky, not because it is in-and-of itself.

  • 72. Andrew  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Well because of teh AIDS of course!

    I didn't say it was a good argument, just one they're making. 🙂

  • 73. Beth  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

    And religion enjoys suspect classification even though it is a personal lifestyle choice.

  • 74. Beth  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I forgot!!

  • 75. Jes Gonzales  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Doesn't this idiot realize that even if he succeeds in proving there's no such thing as a homosexual, he's also proving there's no such thing as a heterosexual? What then? We'll all just be human, I guess. What a thought.

  • 76. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    OK, we can feel secure that all this testimony is going to move things forward, as difficult as this is to stomach.

    I am feeling better knowing Judge Walker wants this wrapped up today.

    I have to say Plaintiffs have excellent lawyers and excellent witnesses.

    As opposed to the Defense with Tam as witness and the apparently annoying Defense Atty's. The Judge seemed annoyed with the Defense Atty's.

    From my limited knowledge, it looks like things being laid out for Supreme Court to argue that same sex couples cannot "change" and therefore cannot have the right to marry the person they choose.

    That was the basis of Supreme Court overturning interracial marriage in States, the equal protection of the law and citing 14th Amendment.

    Thanks bloggers for doing this and putting up with the peanut gallery comments of mine.

    It seems to be the comments help to 'get through" all this.

  • 77. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Actually, Tam was a hostile witness for the plaintiff, not a defense witness. I believe that the plaintiff is expecting to rest today. Is the defense/intervenor side still in possession of witnesses willing to testify?

  • 78. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Right, Tam was technically our witness. The Judge is hoping and encouraging the plaintiff's case to rest today, and then we'll have the defense case. At which time — hold onto your hats, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. As stomach-churning as some of this stuff is, I think we're going to see worse. But I think they only have a couple of witnesses at this point.


  • 79. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Oh that's right he was Plaintiff's witness.
    I have to remember to think like a lawyer.

  • 80. pepper  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Well this is the first time Im reading a testimony in this case that actually makes me feel real bad/disturbed. I live in Holland where sexual orientation has been protected I believe for about 20 years at least now. Its very difficult to stomach these bigots being so demeaning and disrespectful towards homosexuals, and continuing to do so, today and wanting to deny homosexuals right to existence and protection and keep hammering on it. again and again. I know it's necessary, just real hard to stomach. If I sat there on the stand I'd feel harrassed for sure!

  • 81. Christine  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:29 am

    This is SO depressing! My girlfriend and I are in Germany right now and we are going to stay up until 2:00 reading this, like we did last night. I hope the defense finishes soon! Can't wait for the re-direct!

    Christine and Nancy

  • 82. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:34 am

    So, exactly how many NON-self-identified gay and lesbian people are going to try to sign up for a same-sex marriage?

    Or, more accurately, how many non-self-identified LGB people will?

    It's pretty easy to pick out who is being discriminated against – it's the one's your'e saying NO to, moron!

  • 83. Lon  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    "So, exactly how many NON-self-identified gay and lesbian people are going to try to sign up for a same-sex marriage?

    "Or, more accurately, how many non-self-identified LGB people will?"

    It is even more complicated, since many of us who are in the closet have one foot out. That is, we are out among some friends and some family but not others. We are out with some social groups and not others. We are usually not out at work. I have two jobs and am out at one but not the other. *whee!*

  • 84. Shannon  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I would like to state something important about all of this "social constructionist" stuff. I've been trained in critical theory and postmodernism, which is where a lot of the social constructionist approach comes from. I am a huge social constructionist and I adore postmodern theory. It is true that the most postmodern theorists out there would say that even though sexuality is socially constructed, it's still *socially meaningful*, politically important, culturally policed, etc. etc. etc. No one's saying that it doesn't matter and doesn't exist; rather, that it doesn't necessarily have a biological basis outside any sort of socio-political context.

    Also, I've read Lisa Diamond and I've used her in my research, and it's pathetic that the bad people are trying to use her in an anti-gay marriage way – she herself is queer and obviously supports equality. This all boils down to the following:

    Some people are in relationships with people of the same sex. Some people identify as gay. There are obviously huge differences amongst us, but that is what we share. Duh. We don't all have to be the same type of gay in order to have it be true that we are seeking a same-sex marriage.

  • 85. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Oh my God, there's more than one kind of gay! Like the flu! We can't protect the children from all of them? AAAAAAHHH!

  • 86. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Dogs and cats, living together!

  • 87. Alexandra  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    For lesbians and gays, being lesbian and gay is so "socially meaningful" in our culture in so many complex and challenging and dangerous ways that it is extremely hard for many college students, in courses which directly address these ideas, to wrap their heads around such concepts.

    Many lgbt students who are not able to conceptually and philosophically remove themselves from the "socially meaningful" realm, take these ideas very hard when the ideas are removed from their greater philosophical context–social constructionist concepts are viewed as negating their hard won existences. I think of Don't Ask Don't Tell; all the times I have had to remain silent; (too often) and the times I have been outed by those co-workers, fellow students and family who have outed me as a point of gossip—even though I am OUT!!! I think of the time that skin heads came after me and the police showed up. Even though they threatened to kill me, the skinheads only received disorderly conducts. My "existence" has been fought for each and every day, in some aspect. I have lost my family of birth over being a lesbian, they use it to demean me and I finally quit. But I am here, alive and HAPPY to write this. I understand the concepts of social construction and I get them. I am strong and an older gay woman. Thank you for your comment Shannon. And for the others, it is the silencing and negating that is so damaging, especially for our younger lgbt brothers and sisters. Matthew Shepard was not killed for being a part of some undefinable category.

    Thank you all, stay strong and love each other.



  • 88. Mouse  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Does this trial matter?

    Granted, I'm biased, and so is this site – my only source of information.

    It sounds like the defense isn't even trying. They did not break out the best and the brightest legal team to argue their case competantly and persuasively. Are they just wasting time and our side's money in a practice trial where the outcome – guaranteed to be appealed either way – has no impact on anything?

    With what we're seeing of their case, it will be devastating if we lose this – basically it will be a federal stamp of approval on discrimination against homosexuals. But if they lose, does that even matter? Sure, it will be nice for us to have the momentary validation, but does the decision mean anything important to the appeal?

    Can their lack of effort, their contempt for this current trial, their absolute and utter fecklessness help (whine: this trial was unfair, we weren't prepared nor represented well) or harm (slapdown: you have no case, as you've already overwhelmingly shown) them before the Supreme Court?

    Anyone with a legal background have analysis on this?


  • 89. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    IANAL, but I believe the appeal process is more concerned with technical issues – whether proper protocol was followed, whether the law was interpreted properly, and so on. The testimony and evidence in this trial will mostly stand during the appeals, so it still matters very much.


  • 90. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

    The trial matters as it will lay the groundwork for how both sides will proceed on appeal.

    Currently the defendants are throwing whatever they can out there as an argument so that when Vaughn makes his ruling they can have something more to work with on appeal. They have no intention of winning the argument at this level and they never did.

  • 91. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Potentially, it matters enormously.

    In a criminal trial, the first level trial is all about the facts and evidence (Think CSI), and appeals and such hinge on whether the procedures were followed properly.

    In a case like this, the first trial is essentially about providing the groundwork, and at appeals levels, especially when things get to the Supreme Court, the case ends up often being at least as much about the various inputs that outside parties add as "friends of the court" telling them how to interpret what was presented at the lower levels.

    That's why the plaintiffs seem to be presenting so much stuff that doesn't seem to explicitly be about marriage itself. Things like discrimination, conversion therapy, the funding and organization of the opposition, and the motivations of the Prop 8 folks need to be in the record so that experts later on can use them to either support or attack the conclusions that the judge makes, or to undercut what the defense claims.

    Count on it, the conservative Big Guns will weigh in as inputs to the later trials – where they can make these kinds of unfounded statements without cross examination.

    Yes, it matters. But it will not be resolved at this level. The judge even said so in the run-up. This is going to be appealed.

  • 92. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:26 am

    There already exists a federal stamp of approval on discrimination against homosexuals.

    They are called:

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell


    The Defense of Marriage Act

  • 93. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I'm not sure how coherent this post will be, so please bear with me. I was thinking yesterday about our chances if this case eventually winds up before the Supreme Court and came to a disturbing realization. I know that SC justices have to take the following oath of office:
    "I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

    But in the event that certain SC justices fully believe that homosexuality is an "abomination" or a "sin" in the eyes of God, it seems improbable, even impossible, that those justices would ever EVER rule that gay marriage be legalized, even if the case supporting gay marriage were the most water-tight, unimpeachable case in history. I'm not at all religious and don't claim to know a thing about how the deeply religious think, but regardless of whatever man-made oath a person like this took, I think the belief that God doesn't want gay marriage would overrule everything.

    When I consider that at least 3 and possibly 4 of the justices may well be this type of person, I'm very discouraged that we can have a fair legal decision from the Supreme Court about this issue. Yeah, I really bummed myself out thinking about this…

  • 94. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Yep. We can be assured that Scalia will vote against us no matter what. After all, he wrote the dissenting opinion when the SC overturned sodomy laws, in part because it would lead to same-sex marriage.

    He makes me sick.

  • 95. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:49 am

    We aren't Vulcan. It's impossible for someone to completely separate themselves without going back to their own experiences. Of course, one would hope that the SC Justices would be as close to that as possible, but history has shown that to be impossible.

  • 96. Lymis  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

    At the same time, people can honestly believe that marriage after divorce is adultery, and evil and an abomination and still allow the individual citizens to choose for themselves.

    I wouldn't assume that it is a given that they'll just write us off. At worst, they will come up with some sort of transparent BS that will be pretty easily overturned later on. (How much later is the big issue.)

    What is more likely if they want to sink us is that they will carve out some narrow reason to rule specifically on Prop 8, and by extension, California, while saying that it is not to be taken as a nationwide precedent.

  • 97. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

    My biggest fear is that if the Supreme Court declares that Prop 8 is constitutional and thereby gay people are not a protected glass, then all legislation protecting the rights of gay people will be thrown out . To me, a ruling for Prop 8 would basically be saying to the U.S. that yes, it is okay to discriminate against gay people. Maybe I'm overreacting.

  • 98. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

    This is, arguably, the most partisan Supreme Court that ever existed. Their ruling yesterday, right down party lines, is the shape of things to come.

    This isn't 'THE ONE'' for me. Not to discourage, but for me, this isn't 'THE ONE.'

    It sucks. Sucks hard. But this ain't our court, these Supremes. Go to their web site. Read some of their rulings/opinions. Then come back here and tell me they are not biased.

    You won't be able to . Their bias is not even hidden.

    This is what power begets.

  • 99. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Why don't we ask people who have been not the victims of hate crimes, but those who are the criminals? How did they identify someone as LGBT? It doesn't take a lot of intellect for someone to see two people holding hands and think, "they must be a gay couple." Then that thought flips another switch in their head that makes them want to cause harm to said couple. If gay people were completely undefinable, then there would be no hate crimes against LGBT people or those that are perceived as such.

  • 100. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

    You know, this is a really good question — and I can add an example.

    I have mentioned my long-time best pal, a gay man (although that friendship drifted because I refuse to remain silent about the need for healthcare reform and he decided to "excommunicate" me, a la Ayn Rand, because I would not accept his version of Truth on the issue).

    So, digression aside … back in 2006, he went with me to Lexington, KY, where I was participating in an equestrian event. This is not the first time we've traveled together. He is not at all flamboyant or outrageous in appearance, and *nothing* like what happened in Lexington had ever happened before.

    We were waiting to cross at a light when a bunch of college-age guys in a pickup drove by yelling "faggot!" … and started to bring the truck around the block. We left quickly, obviously. It happened on another occasion when we were not together and he reported it to me. How on earth could it be assumed that my pal was gay, regardless of the accuracy of the assumption?

    We are absolutely certain that we avoided a gay-bashing that day … and he refused to go back to Lexington with me again (AFAIK, he still calls it "Hooterville").

    Obviously these homophobes have some criteria they use to decide whom they are going to beat the crap out of on a given day …

  • 101. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Okay. There appears to be a film on this very subject that was at the 1997 Sundance festival. It's a documentary in which imprisoned gay-bashers explain their "reasons."

    It's referred to in this article:

    I'll see what I can find.

  • 102. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Found the info on "Licensed to Kill." Article is here:

  • 103. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I took a look at the page, and one of the ads said :"How Gay Is Your Husband? Take the Gay Husband Quiz & Find out how Gay Your Husband Is."

  • 104. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:20 am

    @Alan: I would bet my favorite pair of shoes that it's one of those stupid automatic adds that comes up on so many websites.

  • 105. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Fiona64, please excuse the side question, but would that euqestrian event have been Rolex? If so, major congratulations for qualifying.

  • 106. Gaby Tako  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I hope our side does some redirect since what the Prop 8 people are trying to do is show that human sexuality is too complex to be defined, ergo there is no concrete way to make G&L a "suspect class." Further, Prop 8 is trying to lay the foundation for higher court to consider "reasonableness" which is a great place for the homophobes to hide behind.
    But it all begs the question: Prop 8 specifically targets a group of people, whether malleable or not, that THEY identify and for which identification seems to be culturally understood.

  • 107. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Gaby, they will probably try to argue that the words of the proposition itself do not "target" anyone, simply "clarify" the definition of marriage (or some such BS). That is why it was so important to have all that testimony that is so hard to read, about the hostility people like Tam felt toward LGBT people, and the Gathering Storm vid, and all that stuff — to show that they're not really about "protecting marriage", they're anti-LGBT rights.


  • 108. Mouse  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Stigma causes people to want to be straight, to try to be straight, to self-identify as straight despite all evidence to the contrary.

    A person who gets out of an opposite-sex sham of a marriage after finally coming to terms with reality of sexual orientation is not an example of fliud definition. This person did not one day change orientation.

    They force us to hide in the closet and then want to close the closet door and say that proves we don't exist.

  • 109. Nick Griffin Miller  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

    "K: So you do agree that people don’t always have possession of their mental processes?

    H: I do."

    –Looks pointedly at K

  • 110. IT  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:01 am

    As long as religion is protected (and that's completely mutable) the argument is valid, but we lose the suspect class designation. And that's what questions like this are meant to do:

    Q: Authors discuss difficulty with measuring sexual orientation. P.4. They write, “Given such significant measurement problems, one can conclude there’s serious doubt whether sexual orientation is a valid concept at all.” Is that an unreasonable statement?

  • 111. sugarbritches  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Okay, people are getting really upset about today's cross examination, and I understand that, but please…

    The defense attorney's job is to try to poke holes in the plaintiff's case. That's why he's there. Among other things, he tries to trip up the witness, get them to say something inconsistent, or something that calls into question something attributed to an earlier witness. Etc. That's his job.

    So…among other things, he takes things out of context. That's all most of these statements about defining sexual orientation are. In a scientific study, it is necessary to indicate how, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THAT STUDY, something is defined. That's the only way one can usefully interpret the results. These definitions were useful for those studies, but they are entirely irrelevant otherwise. The defense attorney is simply hoping to get the witness to say "yup, that's the definition all right." Obviously, that's not happening.

    This trial is NOT about how to define sexual orientation. It's about the constitutionality of Prop 8. Essentially, the plaintiffs have made the argument that Prop 8 is unconstitutional for two very different reasons. This entire cross examination is simply an attempt by the defense to undermine one of those arguments. To do so, they will try to prove that sexual orientation is not sufficiently well defined, sufficiently static, immutable, etc., to place gays and lesbians in a suspect class. That's the only point of this stuff.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the comments indicate a lack of clear understanding of what the real issues are here. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS TRIAL, just as for purposes of the studies referenced by the attorneys, certain things take on far greater importance, and are subjected to far greater scrutiny, than is the case in our normal lives.

    It's not easy to watch the defense making the ridiculous assertions they've tossed out over the past two weeks. Their "science" has been laughable. Their objectivity is obviously nonexistent. Their agenda (and they accuse US of one??) is painfully obvious. The fact that they're spewing out crap arguments doesn't mean this judge, or the judges further up the line, are going to buy them. Presumably the judge has a pretty good head on his shoulders and he's paying attention. In fact, he's getting the whole story, including body language, the full conversation, etc., while we're getting blogged snippets.

    As I said, it's not easy when it feels as if one's basic identity is being tried in court, in addition to one's rights. But the fact that the defense is misrepresenting facts, misquoting authors, and generally grasping at straws to try to make a point honestly isn't very threatening to me. I'm absolutely comfortable with who I am. Instead, I'm really, really happy that all of this testimony is making it into the record. This is truly ground-breaking stuff, and it'll be in front of the justices of the supreme court before too long. And the defense, in trying to make their absurd points, is including more and more in the record that will ultimately only benefit us, both in the legal case and in disseminating so much of this information to the public for the first time.

    It's pretty silly to think that the fact this isn't being televised or shown on youtube means nobody will be exposed to this. This trial is huge. This is our generation's Brown v. Board of Education. Just about every single attorney in my office (and there are hundreds) is keeping an eye on what's happening.

    The fact that many of the major news outlets have not yet given this any significant coverage likely can be attributed largely to the fact that they want to wait until both sides have had their say. When that has happened, the analysis of the legal arguments will begin, and this will become pretty major news. It is very difficult for news organizations that strive for objectivity to do any in-depth reporting on only one side of a case.

    Please try to remember that this is a process. There are times when we all want to punch the monitor as we read the hateful, ignorant statements coming from the defense, just as we were cheering and giving high-fives when we liked something a witness on our side said. It'll be worse next week when the defense calls their witnesses. But a witness or attorney simply saying something doesn't make it fact. It's up to the judge to decide the facts.

    I don't want my rights to be on trial. I don't want them up for a vote that can be influenced by fear and prejudice. I certainly don't want my basic identity, the essence of who I am, being argued as to its validity by people who want me not to exist. But this is the only way we get where we need to go. I doubt that it was any easier for African Americans back in the 50s to watch these same arguments being made in an effort to continue denying them their rights, but we as a society eventually figured out the arguments were bullshit. That's the direction we're headed here, too.

    It's unfair, as well, that the process moves so slowly. We deserve recognition of our rights NOW, not a few years down the road. Every day I am angry that my partner and I never had the opportunity to get married, and never will. He died before marriage was a possibility. But even though it provides no comfort, I am acutely aware that this isn't about me. It's a lot bigger than that.

    Let's stay focused on the big picture.


  • 112. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Thank you for that. It makes me feel really good.


  • 113. Sam  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

    An awesome post, really puts things into perspective. Thanks 🙂

  • 114. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for that trial synopsis Sugarbritches. I am one of those in here who has never been to a trial, only seen them on TV, and they only last an hour : )

    A couple of questions, if anyone can answer.

    If we win this, and it's appealed, how long does that take? Could there be, then, another appeal?

    If it one day goes to SCOTUS, how long does that usually take (just looking for general timeline)?

  • 115. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Thank you. That really does help me keep perspective as an ally; I've just been seething in my chair.


  • 116. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Great summation sugarbritches. It's important for us to not get bogged down in the rhetoric or logistics of either side of the case. Especially at this point. We're sitting here armchair quarterbacking (or in this case adjudicating).

    Patience and a thick skin will serve us all best for now.

  • 117. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Thank you, Stas, well put. I agree, it's amazing and wonderful to see all this stuff get put on the record, to watch the defense's bumbling attempts to take things out of context and put holes in everything we're trying to do. To have Tam on the record admitting his ludicrous fears and lack of research, and his pathetic attempts to twist and manipulate the facts about his role in all this.

    Can't. Tear. Myself. Away. History is being made.


  • 118. Beth  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Yes, that's all true, but how much of the non-friendly media is really talking about this? Huff Post is barely covering it. Heck, even Rachel Maddow — apart from the interview with Olsen & Boies at the beginning of the trial isn't talking about it.

    I hate to say it, but the most coverage in the news has been around Cindy McCain wearing the duct tape.

    It's kind of infuriating.

    On the other hand, perhaps the fact that this trial is less important than, say, what happens to Conan O'Brien, only fuels the argument that we are politcally powerless.

    Glass half full. Glass half full.

    Your post is helpful, but it would be nice to get SOME exposure on this.


  • 119. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The Sacramento Bee (or, as I call it, the HateBee) is running about one article a day. Honestly, I find that I can't go there very often; the hate speech in the comments/forum section is too disgusting. But, there is at least one major McClatchy paper that is doing a summary of events for its readership.

  • 120. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Thanks, sugarbritches. It's easy for us all to get bogged down in and discouraged by tall he little things. It's really, really helpful to have someone like you to snap us back into looking at the big picture.

    And we also have to remember who's leading this fight. Ted Olson (et al), by all accounts, is a FORMIDABLE Attorney. I've watched his interviews. I feel like he sincerely believes in what he's doing here and he wouldn't be doing it if he didn't have confidence that he could win it. I have to keep reminding myself of that. It's one of the only ways I can keep my sanity.

  • 121. Dana  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Here there is a "suspect class" of people who want to marry someone of the same sex, isn't there?
    Certainly that should fit the criteria.

  • 122. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:13 am


    A "suspect class" is more than "I just want to do this particular thing."

  • 123. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am


  • 124. M S  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Okay, I get the whole 'suspect class' angle of this cross– how can prop 8 hurt GL's if there's no consistent definition of what a G or an L *is*? Or how can you say I was motivated by animus towards a group whose boundaries know no specificity? etc. What I don't get is how pressing a social scientist / research wizard / expert witness on how his scientific brethren define a given term means a tinker's cuss to the pro-8 voting public… does a person motivated by hatred EVER care about the facts? Does a person suffering an Allergic Ick Factor Attack consult the experts for a reasonable, well-researched perspective before going to the polls?

    Seems to me the point of this lawsuit is not about a certain sexual orientation– as we've seen, plenty of GAY people enter into hetero couplings, with varying degrees of success and happiness, and plenty of HETERO people enter into hetero couplings, with simliar or analogous degrees of success and happiness. It's about whether the govt has any right to restrict the right to marry as narrowly as it has thru prop 8.

    Obviously, the govt already restricts marriage in terms of minimum age, and it's easy to see why that should be. Anyone who brought suit to challenge such a law would get nowhere, no matter how many times Romeo & Juliet storm the courthouse demanding their rights as teenagers-in-love-how-dare-you.

    The govt also restricts marriage in terms of blood relation, and it's pretty easy to see why this should be so, too. And yet, by-gum, if two cousins get hitched in Arkansas and then move across state lines, *nobody* asks questions about the validity of their marriage license, or denies insurance coverage, pension benefits, tax consequences, or hospital visitation on the basis of their uncanny family resemblance or the fact that they really and truly BY LAW should not have been allowed to get married under OUR rules! (Full faith and credit can be a real b*** some times.)

    In short, this isn't about what social science thinks about sexual orientation, romantic love, or the relationship between sexual encounters and personal identity. This is about what the government thinks about marriage.

  • 125. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

    There is a new thread Day 9 part V.
    In case someone else didn't already post it.
    I have to manually refresh…

  • 126. David John Lawrence  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    "K: Given measurement problems, one could seriously doubt that sexual orientation is a serious concept at all. Do you think that is unreasonable?"

    Moi [left eyebrow arching far past where my hairline used to be]: Do you seriouly doubt your sexual orientation is a serious concept?

  • 127. Jeff G.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    "[So can you imaging waking up and saying, “oh, I think I’ll be straight today.” Or, “Oh I think today is gay”? This gives “gay days” at Disneyland a whole new meaning.]"

    This is EXACTLY what these people think us gay folks do.

  • 128. Chip  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    i am wondering if we will ever get to issue that marriage in civil law is a contract that grants rights and responsibilities to both parties. a contract, it has nothing to do with procreation or religion. any two people who want to share a life together shouldn't be treated any differently than two people who want to start a business together. it is a legal contract not a moral contract. while there are moral expectations included in the marriage contract they are nothing more than the terms of that particular contract.

    we will win this battle if the lawyers stay focused on the legal and not the moral.

  • 129. Aaron  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    This is a really good point someone named Ash made in Part II comments. It got buried, but it’s so important for understanding exactly how seriously people take DP:

    “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.”

  • 130. Mouse  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

    People take marriage equally seriously. To some it has deep meaning, and to others it's a means to health insurance or a green card.

  • 131. Hazumu Osaragi  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Old military term: "Marriage made in Finance."

  • 132. lesbianmother  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    DP is not equal. I work for a City (government job so to speak). I have a DP (and I really dislike using that term), I have to pay for her medical coverage. If you are married the City pays for the spouse, but not the DP.

  • 133. robert wright 1 of 18,000 second class married couples  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    well, that could be said of marriage all the way around, not just same sex marriage. I know quite a few heterosexual couples who have married for reasons other than children or love.

  • 134. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Shows how much DP's are valued by society huh?


  • 135. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:58 am

    THey were never INTENDED to be of any value for LGTB citizens.

    The purpose of the domestic partnerships was:

    1. To try and shut us up.

    2. To further stigmatize, by intellectually implementing Apartheid toward LGTB citizens. In the truest definition of the word Apartheid.

    Domestic Partnerships were simply a way for heterosexuals to identify 'the queers.'

  • 136. A  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:01 am

    It was a common idea at Oberlin College (Ohio) to try to get recognized as legal partners of one sort or another in order to get automatically granted off-campus living. Two straight women I knew got a house to theirselves for their junior yer.

  • 137. Juli  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

    It makes perfect sense – a roommate is a "domestic partner" – someone who shares your domicile, but certainly no connotation that this is an intimate relationship. I think it's a great example of how DP's are just not the same as marriage

  • 138. lesbianmother  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Isn't there a movie about this… Oh yeah, "I now pronounce you Chuck & Larry."

  • 139. Will  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    That may have happened, but it falls under "Really Stupid Things College Kids Might Do." They're going to be a bit surprised when they discover they're subject to community property laws and are legally responsible for each other's debts (and those Stanford debts can run pretty high!). I think most people who might enter into an RDP understand that the decision to do so is every bit as serious a step as entering into marriage, even if they aren't completely the same thing.

  • 140. Andrea  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Wow, if either one of them gets into a car wreck, that could turn out to be the most expensive gym membership in human history. I hope these aren’t Stanford Law students!

  • 141. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:47 am


  • 142. Patrick Regan  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Defense keeps taking all this time, but they ask nothing but the same questions. They are just boring. Even Judge is getting tired of it (from what I can tell).


  • 143. Desert Verdin  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Okay, but religious affiliation of an individual with a group fits exactly in line with what the defense is trying to get at here.

    Such individuals are members of a protected class.

    Even though their religious identity is a choice.

    Even though you can’t look at a person who identifies as a Presbyterian and say, “Ah ha! You’re oneathem Presbyterians, ain’tcha?!”

    Even though when you give such individuals questions on a form, not all who ID with the “ideal” of what “defines” a Presbyterian, such people are still considered Presbyterians and are protected under the law.

  • 144. Desert Verdin  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:48 am


  • 145. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:51 am

    You can look at some people and not be able to determine their race. To some people, race is a matter of self-identification. I just don't see how the defense's argument that sexual orientation is not immutable and therefore gay people don't qualify for protected class status can fly.

  • 146. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Exactly my point.

  • 147. kerri  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

    totally agree with you.
    I'm totally a lesbian, but everyone always assumes I'm straight … and when they hear that they're like " oh, really?" just because you appear to someone as what they assume you are doesn't mean you fit into any one identity … your identity is inside of you … and no one should be judged just because they are the way they are.
    I'm a married lesbian and I love my wife! Our marriage is very important to us … and we're domestic parterns too. We became DPs first so that when we got married we would still have that protection with us outside of the boarders of CA. If you get married you cannot register as DPs after the fact.

  • 148. Pam  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I don't understand the defense's train of logic. Why do we need definitions? Just want to open up marriage to same sex or opposite sex. Why do we need to put people in a box first? When we apply for a license, we can just just check boxes….party #1 male or female. party #2 male or female. End of discussion. We don't need to check boxes that this is a gay marriage or a straight marriage…although, I would think when the license is applied for it is obvious….although, I guess you could marry someone of the same sex but "self identify" as straight? Again, who cares? Just create a form that doesn't require definition…..if you want to get down to it, the definitions for gender are also fluid… it physical attributes or self identity? If that is their argument, I guess opposite sex marriage could be subject to the same line of questioning. I don't get what all this has to do with it? Just blowing smoke.

  • 149. Julie  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Actually that is not true – I married my wife in CA and we became DPs 2 days later (when the City offices were open). During the window period you could be both, and our attorney advised that we get both because the status of marriage was so uncertain. However, just because I have a CA marriage license AND a DP certificate, I still have to fill out an annual affidavit (with witnesses!) attesting that I am in said domestic partnership for my company to give my wife health insurance benefits. You can be they don't make all the married people produce _their_ certificates every year. When I asked why, HR mumbled something about it being a requirement of the insurance company (Grrr….)

  • 150. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Staright people think ALL gay men are fairies and ALL lesbain women are bull-dykes. (Not a judgment, I loves me some fairies and bull-dykes! ROCK ON!!!)

    If you don't fit into one of those – fairy or bull-dyke, you will ROCK their freakin' WORLD. Staright people just do not understand that.

    I live it every day. I have to come out ALL THE TIME. I mean, like, EVERYDAY. But I make it a point to always correct people when they assume my heterosexuality.

    It kind of pisses me off, becasue I thought I was a better dresser than I apparently am. Other than that, it's just a nuisance more than anything.

    Inevitable, what I hear is, 'you don't seem gay.'

    I usually answer, 'that's funny, you do.'

  • 151. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

    A friend of mine is a lesbian. I didn't realize it until I ran into her at a rally. How a random stranger is supposed to know, I can't say.

  • 152. Jason  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    This is also a good point.

    lots of people identify as this or that religious group, yet if you ask them what criteria is required, you'll end up with different definitions.

    For example, Baptists often don't consider Mormons or Catholics to be "real" christians. Some Orthodox Jews don't consider other people "real Jews" because they do not not practice the Orthodox customs.

    When asked, there are often non-believers in the church who are there simply there because it's part of their heritage. They go because of family, history, comfort, not because they themselves believe in any, or most of the teachings of that church.

    By this same logic that the defense is using, religion shouldn't be protected because it cannot be defined, either.

  • 153. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I know a Jewish family like this. They're a part of the synagogue and sent their kid to the Jewish school and all that, so they had the community and the benefits of being Jewish, but behind closed doors they were admitted Atheists.

  • 154. Beth  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    THANK YOU. What about all those people who change religions so they can marry the person of their dreams. Holy mother of….

  • 155. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 23, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Ironically, I was involved in a situation which involves both. As I've said, I was raised in a lesbian household. I have never known what religion my 'birth-mother,' Billie, was raised in, but when she met Claire and their relationship began, she became (or continued to be) a Catholic. Once I came along — ten years after their relationship had begun, and presumably as a result of a 'welcoming the soldiers home from WWII' celebration or the like (I was born in June of 1946) — I too was raised Catholic. Billie was relatively unobservant, but Claire would go to Mass with me every Sunday until she became too ill to leave home over the last five years of her life — and I became atheist — two totally unconnected incidents, btw.

    Once Claire died, Billie could no longer stand to live in the house we'd all shared for the last fifteen years of Claire's life and be haunted by the memories, so we moved to Baltimore — I moved again to Philly shortly afterwards — where, after a while she began a new relationship with a woman who was a Methodist. Billie became a Methodist and asked me to come down for the ceremony — a simple public welcoming word from the pastor — which was and is the only time I had been in a Protestant 'house of worship' in my life.

    So many things are 'mutable.'

  • 156. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Big Hair today = Evangelist?

  • 157. Desert Verdin 1 of 18,000 second-class married couples  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    “The higher the hair the closer to god”

  • 158. robert wright 1 of 18,000 second class married couples  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    It would be nice if you noted at the end of the other thread that you were moving to a new one. I was sitting and refreshing the page for quite a while until I had to log off and come back. I appreciate the efforts you all are making, but it would be nice to have thread updates on the bottom of all pages.

  • 159. Nick Griffin Miller  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:58 am

    For what it is worth, I made that same request yesterday, thanks for still trying, robert!
    Love is in the air Nick 🙂

  • 160. Desert Verdin 1 of 18,000 second-class married couples  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I’m boring your nick’s suffix. Love it!


  • 161. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:57 am


    Not "boring" but rather "borrowing."



  • 162. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Feel Free, now there can only be 35, 998 more of us who can add it to their names. 🙂

  • 163. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm


    this all makes me feel so sad & so small


  • 164. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:54 am

    "…one could seriously doubt that sexual orientation is a serious concept at all. Do you think that is unreasonable?"

    Reading this makes me feel horrible. I think I have to stop.

    Also, this means heteros aren't predictably hetero either. Or is SO a term that is only applied to LGB (because we aren't hetero).

    *sigh* this is so demeaning.

  • 165. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Perhaps the Judge also sees this as demeaning to our class…


  • 166. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Of course! See, everyone is heterosexual. People who claim to be LGB are just perverts and should be glad they are allowed to live at all.


  • 167. pepper  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

    naf, its not only demeaning, its disturbing, I wonder if they would have behaved this way if one of the 4 plaintifs was on the stand being approached this way, and if the judge would have been okay with that. Its almost harassment (thats how it feels to me anyway). Its surely pisses me off. Take care.

  • 168. Sara  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

    The fact that the defense is even asking these questions shows the blatant descrimination against lgbt citizens…

    It doesn't make me sad to hear that said. We already know what they think of us.

    But maybe a rational and reasonable judge needs to hear it to find that Prop 8 was motivated by hate and prejudice.

    S and J

  • 169. Aconite  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Mr HCI, you got it.

    Once, at a large library in the upper Midwest, I asked the reference librarian why all the books on bisexuality were filed with the books on adultery.

    She opened and closed her mouth several times, grew visibly flustered, and then blurted out, "You should be glad we don't file them under 'sexual perversion' anymore!"

    Honest. to. gods.

  • 170. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:58 am


    Can you get outside or just go for a walk or something? Treat yourself while you're out, and don't come back to this until tomorrow.

  • 171. naf  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I'm snowed in! hahaha 🙂
    but your point is well taken…gonna go do something else for a while 🙂

    I know it's hard for all of us, and I don't wanna be a downer —
    thanks for the love <3

  • 172. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:03 am


    Any time. Hey! Do you know how to make snow cream?

  • 173. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:07 am

    – Snow
    – Sugar
    – Vanilla extract (unless you want to get adventurous and try almond)
    – half-n-half or milk

    Scoop up a medium- to large-sized bowl of clean snow.

    Combine half-n-half (or milk), vanilla, and sugar to taste. Mix very well and add mixture to snow to taste.

    If you have some chocolate syrup, you can make chocolate snow cream.

  • 174. Desert Verdin 1 of 18,000 second-class married couples  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    My psychological bell is tolling, too, naf.

  • 175. Alex O'Cady  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    He usually does. He might have forgotten or not gotten around to it yet on this one, but I’ve noticed on most of the posts he does say “Moved to a new thread” at the end, with a link to the new one.


    Alex & Jessi

  • 176. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:11 am

    That is why I mentioned it. Might be others doing the same. 🙂

    Robert (The OTHER Mr. Wright to my husband-lol)

  • 177. Rose  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    This is all for crap.

    Who cares if a person changes their sexual orientation……they still are entitled to marry the person of their CHOOSING.

    Judge Walker has to do the right thing……..otherwise I just might lose hope in this whole fight

  • 178. Shannon  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I agree with you, Rose 😉 I understand the whole arguing for immutability thing, but I really, really, *really* get annoyed by the constant focus on biology and how we can't help anything and how "why would we choose this?!?!" etc. I would love to just focus on having the FREEDOM to live our lives in accordance with what's best for us.

  • 179. Bill  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I don't have a choice to be gay, but if it WAS a choice, I would definitely choose to still be gay.

    I really would.

  • 180. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    N: That’s a target, but unrealistic.

    Judge: We have something to shoot for and can be optimistic.

    Is it just me, or has Judge Walker seemed, throughout this whole trial, to be wonderfully snarky?

    On a more serious note, sexuality ‘not a serious concept’? REALLY??? Ugh.



  • 181. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I don't know about snarky per se, but I can tell that he is getting a little fed up with the D/I side asking the same question in eleventy-one different ways.

  • 182. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:20 am

    This is very true.

    Also, I'm British, and tend to assume snark as a default, which is possibly why I'm interpreting it that way. 🙂

  • 183. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:24 am

    He's trying to use a bit of humor to get the point across that someday, eventually, he'd like this trial to be over. It's part of his job to try to move things along, but without sacrificing too much in terms of important evidence. I don't think I've heard him say much that I'd consider snarky except in reference to scheduling (well, and the ubiquitous black binders, but that is also sort of tied to the length of the trial).

  • 184. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Again, it's possible that it's my default interpretation. But there was something (yesterday?) where he said at one point when we'd asked to introduce something – the NOM video, maybe? – that he'd shown himself to be 'open to evidence', or something, and then later when the defence was objecting to everything asked, he said he'd register a standing objection so the defence didn't 'have to stand up after every question', or something like that – those were the things that made me raise an eyebrow.

    Of course, without actually hearing/seeing it, it's hard to tell. The eternal problem with the written word!

  • 185. couragecampaign  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

    yeah, i would not say snarky at all. he has a good sense of humor and as Ann said, he does want the trial phase to end before we do.


  • 186. pearlheartgtr  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    “[So can you imaging waking up and saying, “oh, I think I’ll be straight today.” Or, “Oh I think today is gay”? This gives “gay days” at Disneyland a whole new meaning.]”

    Reminds me of what Andrew Dice Clay said in his act years ago about Bi-Sexuals. I would repeat it here but some people have a touchy sense of humor.

  • 187. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Handbook of Applied Developmental Science, V. 1
    Lisa Diamond
    University of UTAH

  • 188. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:09 am

    This is why I always tell people that evaluation of sources is vital to understanding whether there may be bias …

    (Heck, I'm still waiting on Phinney's promised peer-reviewed, scientific articles that show being LGB is a choice …)

  • 189. Andrew  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:37 am

    If you believe the mere fact that a university happens to be located in the same state as an infamous church's headquarters, it's you who needs a refresher course on evaluating sources.

    It's Brigham Young University–owned by said church–that you might want to watch out for. 🙂

  • 190. Andrew  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I seem to have accidentally the whole predicate there, but you get the point.

  • 191. Shannon  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:42 am

    No no no! Don't think Lisa Diamond is against us because she isn't. She herself is queer!! They are totally using her words against her in a screwed-up way, which she even writes about in her book – how worried she is that her results will be twisted by the right wing.

  • 192. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Shannon and Andrew, thank you for your clarification. I stand (sit?) corrected in re: my assumptions because of the way the question was posed.

    I am still, however, waiting for Phinney's "sources," which I suspect are colorectal in nature …

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