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Liveblogging Day 9: Part V


By Rick Jacobs

[All from Steer court testimony]

Nielson (defense attorney conducting cross) (N): Are you aware that Ms. Steer was previously married to a man?

Dr. Gregory Herek (H): Yes.

N: “When I married Matthew, I loved him.” Does that surprise you?

H: I had no expectations about it, so it does not surprise me.

N: “When I met Matthew, I was attracted to him.”

H: Same reply.

N: “When I married Matthew in 1987 I wanted to have a meaningful marriage…”

H: Same reply.

N: Have you always had a sexual attraction to women? Does that surprise you?

H: That’s what I’ve been saying all morning. People are raised to think they are supposed to be hetero. You
are defining Ms. Steer’s time period of sexuality for entire life. We refer to durable as for a period of time, not entire life.

[Now moving on from Steer’s testimony.]

N: (Back to H’s deposition). Some portion of gays and lesbians report having been married earlier in life. Is that consistent with Miss Steer’s testimony?

H: Yes, it is consistent with what Miss Steer reports.

H: Now looking at Gates, Badgett, Hope study from UCLA Williams Center.

N: Figure that shows a number of people who were previously married and are now gay. Just like plaintiff Perry. Not unusual?

H: No.

[Judge is at that highlighting again. He bends right over his book and marks the passages when they are pointed out. He’s also getting or has a cold.]

N: Reads extensively from Steer’s testimony that she had to have enough experience so that I could “adopt the sexual orientation for myself.”

H: What she’s describing here is that she experienced these attractions as an enduring pattern. Once she saw that enduring pattern, she gave that enduring pattern a name.

H: A New Look at Sexual Orientation (for women), published in CSW Update by Garnett and (?).

N: “The fluidity of women’s sexuality and sexual orientation.” Scholars from many disciplines have noted that women’s’ sexual behavior is subject to fluidity and change…”

H: There is more evidence that women are more susceptible to environmental influences on their sexuality.

H: Women do develop their sexuality over a lifetime. We believe that people develop over a lifetime, not just sexually.

H: Reads in another study on women’s sexual orientation. Do not know article, but know Peplau, who has a very solid reputation.

N: “Although some may think of sexual orientation as being set early in life and not changing, growing evidence that a woman’s sexuality can change over life….

H: Consistent with what I’ve been saying.

[I admit that I drifted over and read some comments on the blog. This is deeply, deeply repetitive. N wants to get into the record everything he can to show that there is no such thing a homosexuality, that it is a choice, just like changing your dress or shirt (you decide which you want to change). Herek is patient. He just keeps repeating over and over that we’ve discussed all of this. “It is possible and it may vary.”]

[UPDATE] 3:15

H: We do have these retrospective accounts. As I said in my deposition, some people remain celibate for various reasons, so they may not act on their self-identification.

H: In this study (over ten years of women), she recruited women who called themselves bisexual, lesbian or hetero. She says that the patterns of sexual attraction by women remains fairly static. Most of movement was between groups who moved from bisexual to unlabeled. Very few if any who adopted label changed from lesbian to hetero. This is about labeling, not about attraction. In other words, the change took place from labeling not, attraction.

K: Puts up another friggin’ study. [By now, he must know more about homosexuality than any other straight man (is he?) than anyone in the Prop. 8 camp. Too bad Dr. Tam did not review this before he concluded that this all leads to incest and pedophilia.] “The instability was most pronounced by women…” but not exclusively.

H: I’m not familiar with this study, but earlier study. I was concerned about study because only nine males and eleven (?) females who ided as gay, lesbian or bisexual. I would not be surprised to see changes in how people view their sexuality in adolescence through early 20s.”

[UPDATE] 3:25

[Okay, kids. We have new evidence. We’re relying on a letter from Sigmund Freud from 1935. This guy is determined to prove that someone sometime has “converted” from being gay to straight. Of course, no one studies whether straight people can convert to being gay. And if there have been gay people forever—and history says there has been—why do they think it’s abnormal?]

H: This study includes people who were recruited because they were young and had sex with both men and women. Appears that few changed their id.

N: No one in this trial is saying that g and l should be forced to change, but is it your opinion that if someone wants to change they can?

H: It is my opinion that current interventions that have been designed for the purpose changing SO have not shown to be effective. Certainly, due to societal stigma, some have said they want to change,but we have not seen it work and it is not safe.

N: Is attempt to change always harmful? Is it impossible to change?

H: I’d be reluctant to say that anything is impossible. Limited data to show that it is always harmful, but the limited data we have shows that harm is done, i.e., depression. The data that are available do not work and are not safe.

H: Article by Robert Spitzer Published in 2003. Can some gay men and lesbians change their orientation? 200 participants report having changed their orientation from gay to straight.

He’s a very prominent psychologist known to be involved in diagnosis. He was involved in removal of homosexuality from DSM (changing it from being a disease). I believe he chaired that.

N: This study indicates that many gay men and lesbians report making a change from predominantly homo to hetero.

H: I would not take issue with that statement. Those people “report” this self-perceived changed. These individuals might have changed on their own without intervention because they are highly motivated to do so due to religion. People reported to Dr. Spitzer that they had changed.

H: The problem is that we know that people are not always aware of their mental processes. This is why when we test an experimental drug, we assign them to groups and see what happened. We are also familiar with the placebo effect. This is just an illustration of how people are not necessarily able to tell you why things have happened to them.

N: You have taken individuals at their word in your self-reporting studies?

H: I have tried not to. I try to use an experimental design for that purpose. I take them at their word that they experience little or no choice. It’s not that I asked them how they became lesbian gay or bisexual, but they say they did not experience conscious choice.

H: Appears to me a copy of letter Sigmund Freud wrote to a woman who wrote to him from America about her son being homosexual. It was written a long time ago and is known as “Letter to an American Mother.”

N: Fortunately, we have a typewritten version. “You ask me if I can abolish homosexuality … in a certain number of cases we can succeed in lighting the germs of heterosexuality present in every homosexual.” Do you believe that he is wrong?

H: Letter was written in 1935. “What analysis can do for your son is to bring him harmony and peace of mind whether or not he remains homosexual.” I believe Freud was very pessimistic about changing people form homo to hetero. His view was that everyone is bi and their outcome depends and development.

N: Do you believe he was accurate in saying that there is limited success in conversion by Freud?

H: The problem with using a psychoanalyst to self-report is that there is no check on what he is doing. He is both trying to make the change and reporting it. The patient may want to please the psychiatrist. I’m not sure this would all pass muster with modern science.

N: we can take a break now if you want.

Judge: Let’s just plow on, unless witness wants to take a break.

H: How much plowing on do we have?

Judge: Good question.

N: 30-45 minutes, depending upon length of answers. (Snarl!)

H: I can stay pat.

Judge: Why don’t we stand up?

(A minute later) Let’ take a five minute break.

[NOTE] Following the break, a new thread was started.

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Tags: , ,


  • 1. robert wright 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Again, please inform that there is a new thread. People are sitting on the last one because there is no notice of a new thread. Please.

  • 2. AJ  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    If you also check the "Recent Posts" menu on the left when you refresh, you can see if there is a new thread.

  • 3. AJ  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I mean on your other left.

  • 4. couragecampaign  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Thanks Robert, added a link for folks on the other thread.

  • 5. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

    When you leave a comment, click the box that says "Notify me of new posts via email." That might help.

  • 6. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Hopefully the defence picks up on this and points out that the same applies to heterosexuality, about which we know even less since it's understudied as an orientation compared to non-hetero orientations.

  • 7. Bob  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Also, what #1 said.

  • 8. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I don't understand how people can think homosexuality is a choice. People come out knowing full well that they may be discriminated against, shunned by their family and friends, or even killed. Why would anyone risk subjecting themselves to that if they could choose otherwise?

  • 9. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    They don't! Which is why many many many people try to ignore the feelings, try to have relationships with OS, try until they realize, they are different. That was me, oh my did I try to be straight…I did not want to be gay.

    Many tears later, I finally accepted it.

    It's maddening that I had to fight the fight with myself…yet alone them telling me there was no fight.

  • 10. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    John, IMO people find it easier to justify their hatred if they view homosexuality as a choice. It becomes very easy to blame the victim.

    "Well, if you hadn't chosen to be queer, I wouldn't have had to beat the snot out of you. It's your own fault."

    Not at all unlike the domestic violence victims who are told "If you would just do as I say, I wouldn't have to hit you." (Been through that particular experience myself …)

    It's nonsense, obviously … but I think that some people like to feel righteous in their violence in order to justify it to themselves.

  • 11. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Fiona, I agree, and I'm so sorry you had that experience. I've been lucky enough myself that I haven't.

  • 12. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

    According to some it's….."The Devil!"….. followed by….

    "Amen and pass the apple sauce!"

  • 13. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Which, of course, is a perfectly reasonable justification in secular law.

  • 14. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Dear Mr. Defense Attorney:

    Please get to the [email protected]#king point!!

    thanks so much

  • 15. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:17 am

    N wants to get into the record everything he can to show that there is no such thing a homosexuality, that it is a choice, just like changing your dress or shirt (you decide which you want to change).

    And he is completely missing a crucial distinction: Sexual Orientation is not a choice, rather it is a recognition.

    It was a recognition on my 12th birthday that I was attracted to girls.

    I then spent the next 7 years coming to terms with what that meant. 7 years from recognition to 1st kiss w/ a woman.


  • 16. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Oh, and *gold star* here, at 44.

  • 17. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:18 am

    This is so repetative – I really wish he would get to the point, too!

  • 18. Wolfinlv  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:19 am

    there is another blog site I've been reading both because neither is court reporter so pretty sure that some nuances and things are in one and not the other. It's also they seem to be updating opposite of each other so can read one while the other is typing etc.

  • 19. QStick01  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Thank you for notifying us of the Firedoglake site! Fantastic reporting site!

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

    When someone brings up the subject of "choice", I simply ask at what point did that person choose to stop having sex with the same sex. . . . talk about a "Duh" moment. . . I always get the same response, "I didn't choose." I don't do this with malice, I just want to point out the logic, or lack there of.

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

    John the ONLY people that think Homosexuality is a choice are the ones that want to believe it. For what ever reason.
    If they were gay they would understand that it is not something that you can just change at will.
    I ask them this: Can they change their sexuality?
    I think its safe to say they cannot!
    This whole line of questioning is making me sick!

  • 22. Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Much love Tim…

  • 23. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:22 am

    All this talk about women's sexual ID fluidity…maybe women appear to have a more changing ID because lesbians are less socially stigmatised than gay men in some places, so they feel safer coming out when they finally recognise the patterns of their attractions.

  • 24. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Excellent point, Anna.

  • 25. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Plus Lesbianism is a major turn on for most men. Women have no problem, in most cases, with other women being Lesbians(maybe because of that one time way back) but for the men who remember fooling around with Johnny behind the woodshed its degrading to their macho man BS they hate the gay men. I think they are a constant reminder of "bad choices" made along time ago, Same thing goes for those women who are anti gay, Since they have all just "grown out of it" they can't see why most of us can't do the same thing!

  • 26. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I know of a guy like that who was incredibly uncomfortable when I came to his wedding. We used to talk all the time and have no trouble with communication, but his wedding was the ultima of macho-ism. He said only one sentence to me when I came up to congratulate him. It was clear was didn't want to address those thoughts that day.

  • 27. Lynn  |  January 23, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I am a straight female, but for a time I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a man who found bisexuality attractive, he made it his goal to manipulate me to suite his fantasy of someday having a threesome. He manipulated me, always subtly, sending me softcore porn, etc until after two years I was half convinced I could be, maybe be bisexual.

    But in reality I was not, just in that situation I often just went along with the manipulations because I got tired of fighting, and he had convinced me I was to weak to leave. I did in the end though, I was lucky enough to wake up to what he really was and escape.

    I sometimes wonder if similar situations are part of why some think women are more 'flexible' because of how desirable some men find lesbianism, if some individuals take on the role to please others, and not themselves regardless of their own sexuality. But I only know my own experience not that of others.

  • 28. bJason  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Let me see if I understand …

    H8: Marriage now must be codified into law/amendment as being between only one man and one woman because men want to marry each other and women want to marry each other.

    Why isn't the mere assertion that H8 sees a necessity in this law/amendment admitted as evidence that homosexuals must, by their own admission, exist? And why, if homosexuals exists AND H8 says they should not be allowed to marry each other (and proof can be provided that many agree – laws/amendments exist), should homosexuals NOT be considered a suspect class??!!

    Am I missing something? Is this too simple?

  • 29. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:47 am

    No your not missing anything here except the Bible. Because we all know that everything in our society is based on the Bible….That is the foundation of all this BS!
    They just don't want to admit that.

  • 30. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    It's the sanctity of marriage! The only type of marriage in the entire bible were those between 1 man and 1 woman.

  • 31. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

    @Alan E: Except the marriages which are between 1 man and hundreds of women …

  • 32. Drew Murray  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Im deeply concerned that the plaintiffs have chosen to build their case around psychology and sociology. Why not genetics and biology? There is plenty of research out there proving genetic, biological, and prenatal environmental predictive links to sexual orientation. Im afraid that if they do not touch on these topics, just mental and social topics, they are leaving out a major proponent of a strong case.

    Homosexuality is on trial here, not just same-sex marriage.

  • 33. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

    My very existence is on trial here.


  • 34. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Because those studies are not 100000% conclusive. Several other factors can also fit in.

    They can believe in their faith with no concrete proof, but they need Homosexuality to be proven without a shred of doubt.

    Really interesting how that works for them.

  • 35. Drew Murray  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    um… none of the studies are conclusive. Thats what theyve been arguing about all week, that one study cannot always be generalized about entire population – that sexual orientation is not conclusively the same in all peoples experiences… if conclusiveness is their goal, they are not achieving it yet.

  • 36. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I cannot believe that they are following this line of questioning.

    Come to think of it, isn't this line of questioning ALONE proof that their whole argument is rooted in animus?



  • 37. Mouse  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

    It certainly feels that way.


  • 38. Ray Harwick  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

    The ONLY thing Defense is achieving is to introduce these studies into evidence. "H" is damn good at dealing with this stuff.


  • 39. Ronnie  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:30 am

    The idea that makes me the maddest is that People who are not gay feel the need to continuously say they know how I feel and how it feels to be gay.

    if you are not gay or apart of the LGBT community what gives you the right to ASSume you know if it is MY choice or not?

    It is 100% exactly like a caucasian person saying they know how it feels to be a person of color.

    Its an oxyMORON!

    I'm just saying!

  • 40. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Maybe they just mean that they understand what it's like to be discriminated against, rather than that they understand – specifically – what it's like to be gay.

    Just saying.

  • 41. Callie  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Oh yeah, I know what you mean, Ronnie! I have people doing that to me ALL the time in real life. I mean, it's like we're treated like children who don't know our own minds, hearts, and bodies. I'm turning 40 this year. I've been with the same woman for 15 years. I think I'd know if I'm gay or not and what that feels like.

  • 42. Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Ray you are right its a big game!

    love Tim

  • 43. Pend  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

    In my case, it took so long for me to self-identify as "gay" because nobody in school taught me what it was. Growing up in Rexburg, ID (>95% mormon community), I had no frame of reference except knowing that what I felt and what I thought were sinful. From the age of 12 to about 25, I simply thought of myself as a broken abnormal human being and not as I do today: a normally functioning gay man. If I had been prepared for life properly by my educators as a young teen, I would not have had to struggle for so long with defining myself.

    Alas, that did not happen, as I suspect it does not happen for most kids who are gay/lesbian/bi. It is really no wonder that there is ambiguity over how to define "gay" in the way that non-gay use the term, but I think it is really no mystery what "gay" *is* to those who are gay even if they don't have the word for it.

  • 44. Other Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I think they SHOULD teach about homosexuality in schools. It should be in sex ed in high school. And it WOULD increase the number of gay teens! But only because it would teach the closeted ones that they are normal and that there is nothing wrong with them.

  • 45. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    You know, back in the days of dinosaurs (when I attended high school), there were no Gay/Straight Alliance clubs or GLSEN at school. That fellow I've mentioned a few times in sharing anecdotes? My gay buddy? We dated for a while in high school; he came out to me a few years later. He was trying very hard to be "straight."

    Younger folks (gad, should I now be shouting "Get off of my lawn"?) are comparatively fortunate … and still the issues remain.

  • 46. Pend  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Exactly! I completely agree. And you don't even have to go into actual sex discussion, because (a pet peeve of mine about the term "homosexual") being gay is not just about sex. Just a way to help kids understand that attraction to male or female is normal and how to deal with it that is constructive rather than destructive.

    I can point to so much suffering of guilt, shame, and fear I experienced as an adolescent and young adult because all I knew was what my seminary teachers told me and knew nobody who I could relate to with the same experience. I guess that's what infuriates me the most about the pro-Prop 8 side claiming 'protect the children'. If they only knew what harm to children they were causing…

  • 47. Other Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Yeah, it's definitely gotten better. Win or lose, I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that it's gotten much better. There are out gays (not many, but there are more than 0!) in entertainment, government, academia, etc. and it's no longer ok to bash gays, at least among educated nonreligious people…

    What I was trying to get at are the stupid anti-gay ads about how passing gay marriage will lead to it being taught in schools. If I were a parent, would I want homosexuality to be taught in schools? YES. So that my (fictitious) children, if they were gay, would learn that it's OK and there are people to talk to about it and resources available for them. And if my kids were not gay, then they'd hopefully learn to be tolerant. Just like how they teach world religions in school! I remember learning about the 5 pillars of Islam in 7th grade. Did it make me want to become a Muslim? Did learning about the Luddites make me want to throw my computer away? Did learning about the Oneida community make me want to participate in group marriages? Gosh they give kids too little credit.

  • 48. Dick Mills  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

    If the point of all this repetition is to prove that there are no "homosexuals", that everyone is some degree of homo/straight, then they can argue that Prop H8 doesn't discriminate against anyone, as everyone is the same. Could be an argument against suspect classification.

  • 49. Wolfinlv  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

    OMG he brought up Freud. Really Freud. I think that most people would agree that Freud is a bit outdated. That would be like asking about MAC OS 10 and bringing up DOS or older operating system manual and saying but here it says to do this… LOL

  • 50. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Great analogy Wolfinlv!!!


  • 51. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Not to mention the fact that his methods have been largely discredited by modern psychology.

  • 52. Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Teach the controversy!

  • 53. Kate  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Following up on an earlier comment: the drive here is almost certainly to undermine homosexuality as a potential "suspect class." The four criteria include being an identifable group (lots here to attempt to undermine that), and being an immutable characteristic (again under attack here.)

    Strangely, I'd think religion would fail the same two tests, and race would be tricky to get universal agreement on defining in the same manner as orientation. As with most of the trial I'd think these tactics would be much more effective in a jury trial – in a bench trial you're unlikely to distract the judge from the core issue. We'll see.

  • 54. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Religion is somewhat different, being protected by the First Amendment.

    We can win this case even without winning on the suspect class argument, but it will be much harder.

  • 55. Dick Mills  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Ann S., one could certainly argue that Prop H8 is a law which does infringe upon freedom religion. Since all of the groups who backed it were religious groups, and since those religious groups do not speak for ALL religious (and non-religious) people, then Prop H8 does infringe on everyone's religious freedom who doesn't agree with the dogma that same-sex marriage is "sinful".

  • 56. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Dick, I think that is a very good argument, too. There are a number of churches that want to perform same-sex weddings, and their rights are being infringed upon. The Prop 8 folks were careful to try to keep religious arguments out of their official propaganda — perhaps that's why this argument isn't being used. I don't know.

  • 57. Dick Mills  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    They did keep it out of their propaganda, but virtually everyone from that side who made a public appearance, or was in charge of any aspect of the campaign, or supported the campaign with donations, or even volunteered for the campaign was very religiously motivated. And, for the most part, that came out in testimony at this trial. The defendants also made a point of discussing the fact that there were religious groups (a definite minority) did actively oppose them.

    They clearly showed (perhaps unintentionally) that the vast majority religions pitted themselves against a minuscule religious minority – and won. That sounds like a pretty clear violation of the establishment clause to me.

  • 58. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Can someone with a background in CA law confirm for me something?

    Doesn't CA already view sexual orientation as a suspect class?

  • 59. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

    The California Supreme Court held that in 2008, yes. But now we're in Federal court and the case will turn on the Federal constitution.

  • 60. Mary  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Yes, but that is under the CA constitution, not federal.

  • 61. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:55 am


    That was, in fact, how Prop 22 was overturned. However, what is really going on now is the very first *federal* question about same-sex marriage, because the Prop 8 decision created two classes of gay people — those who are married and those who cannot be married. That's how we got here — because now there is a (very clear to me) violation of the 14th Amendment.

    This brings the question to a whole different level, because now Prop 8 is being challenged under the US Constitution — and LGBT people are not a suspect class at the *federal* level.

  • 62. IT  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Irrelevant, this is being brought on FEDERAL constitutional grounds.

    Equal protection was not brought up in the california challenge; it was all procedural.

  • 63. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Thanks all for the clarification.

  • 64. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    If gays choose to be gay, then it follows that straights choose to be straight.

    So, Mr. Straight Man (or Ms. Straight Woman):
    Could you choose to become gay? If no, there goes the argument. If yes, why don't you?

  • 65. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I have brought this up repeatedly (I am straight, and I didn't choose) to those who argue that it's a choice. I ask when the people making the argument made their decision. I inevitably get the sound of silence, or "But everyone is straight. It's only the gays who choose."

    Um, no. If it's a choice, that means it's a choice both ways.


  • 66. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Exactly. Even if you try to call it the default, that doesn't make it not a choice. And to quote Rush: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

  • 67. PM, in the UK  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Oh no; their master plan of boring is into submission is working!

    Just go out into the street and requisition a whole coffee-stand, Rick!

    I'm guessing that since ALL this time has been spent circling the same supposition ad nauseum, the redirect will probably an impressively short debunking of the whole marathon.

  • 68. Ben  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

    It's not entirely about choice/not. A big part of the case is about establishing non-hetero sexual orientation as a constitutionally suspect class that is due special constitutional protection. They are trying to establish that this class cannot even be defined. If it can't be defined, how can it be subject to these protections.

  • 69. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Why are the plaintiffs not arguing more strongly the comparison to 'race.' Not only are there many different types of mixed-'race' people and combinations of 'races' (depending on how you define race) but a person's self-identification with one of his ancestral groups may change over time, as he prefers to stress that group. (A person may even discover, researching his ancestry, that he is not — or not entirely — the 'race' he has thought he was.)

    Yet in practice, the division — in almost but not quite al cases — is simply 'white vs. non-white.' A person who is, say 1/4 AA, 1/8 Japanese, 1/8 German, 1/4 Malay, and 1/4 Amerind — and I've known similar mixtures if not, afair, that particular one, who is the victim of discrimination or a hate crime does not have to prove the perpetrator is biased against that particular combination, or any particular group, just that he is biased against 'non-whites' and he can't be excused from bias because he claims, 'well, the guy is 1/8 German, so I thought of him as white.'

    This should at least countr mopst of the defendant's arguments about 'you can't define people as g,l,or b' since the bias being shown is against 'non-heterosexuals.' (And, of course, in these cases, what matters is the perception of the perpetrator. A totaly strtaight man walking past a gay bar can be gay-bashed.)

  • 70. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Most of the "change factor" is a result of people being made to feel they "should" and that is they only way they can be accepted.

    But, will that fact come to mean anything to the judge (or anyone else, for that matter?)

    Yes, the testimony from the person that went to NARTH and all that will be pored over.

    I am one that changed myself because of the pressure to do so. As rightly stated, it was for a period of time, yet somehow maintaining that change was unsuccessful.

    I am currently in my 22nd year with my wife (one of the 18,000 that is a separate class)

  • 71. Ray Harwick  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Geeze. If the Defense is going to dip into ancient history like Freud, why not just bring up Leviticus?

  • 72. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    No need to stop at Leviticus!

    Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!


    *pukes more*

  • 73. Jay  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Oh, they will. Give it time.

  • 74. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:53 am


    I couldn't possibly sit through that again.

  • 75. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Geeeeze, how much longer can the defense draw this pointlessness out? H is doing so fantastic of a job that I'm pretty emboldened, though!

  • 76. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    If they bore the Judge to tears, that can only help us.

  • 77. Ms. Rusty 1 of 18,00  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I seem to have missed something. Can someone tell me who the K is that has been ID'd during last couple of hours. I know that H — Herek — is OUR witness, N — Nielson — is their attorney conducting cross-examination, but I can't figure out who the K is referring to.

    Ms. Rusty and Lt. Brooksie

  • 78. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    good question. I was just assuming he was either some random guy, or a replacement for N.

  • 79. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am


    ~Anna 😉

  • 80. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I'm pretty sure K is Michael Kirk from the side of the defense.

  • 81. Yann  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    The Spanish Inquisition also has reports of succesful conversion of "witches" to normal women. It doesn't have a great rate of survival, but hey, it works!



  • 82. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Yep … you drowned if you were innocent, and you died at the stake if you were guilty. Gotta love that whole thing …


  • 83. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Wait a minute . . . homosexuality is caused by a germ?

  • 84. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Of course. Didn't you read the gay agenda? It's on page 3.

  • 85. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    keep in mind that was 1935.

    omg, don't get too close, you're gonna catch the gay!


  • 86. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

    "Gays Gays Stay Away, If You Don't You'll Turn Me Gay!"

  • 87. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

    There is a new post made about Judge Walker announcing a break in the trial (at least that's the headline)

  • 88. Allred  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    speaking to self ID, my son is white and Hispanic, he does not appear to be of mixed race and is assumed to be wholly Caucasian. He has always self ID as Caucasian. He is my son from early marriage to woman, was raised in South, so felt I should marry even though I self ID as Homo since about 6 years old. Now married to my husband one of the 18000 and have been with him for 18 years.

  • 89. Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I would just like to thank all of our witnesses (exc. Tam) for testifying in this trial. While I’m aware that most of these people are highly educated and leaders in their fields, it still seems like a very challenging task to not just wilt under the pressure of testimony and especially cross-examination. (I know I have trouble just presenting to just 5 people at work!) And if they say a single wrong word, the defense could pick up on that and make a big deal out of it! It must be very tough to come up with just the right answers, to think about the question you are being asked, about an answer, and just as importantly, whether your answer can be misconstrued or twisted. I’m sure our witnesses (again, exc. Tam) are volunteering their time and expertise, and without concern for being harassed or ridiculed by pro-Prop 8 forces. Many of them have dedicated much of their lives to studying gays and lesbians, and I greatly appreciate that too.

    Oh, and LOL at using the Freud letter as a scientific study. Hahaha.

  • 90. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I think we should thank Tam most of all! 🙂

  • 91. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 8:59 am

    re: Uncle Sigmund

    yeah, the fact that they're bringing him up at all is really laughable. has the defense cited more than one study or so that was done since 1980?

  • 92. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    No, they haven't. It's been pretty laughable. The last twenty years have been enlightening as far as studies on sexuality have gone.

  • 93. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I think they still live in 1980. Big Hair, shoulder pads, one of the Attorneys probably has on a Michael Jackson Jacket or one f'n glove.

  • 94. ruby  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

    ruby is waiting for the defense to bring up that apparently all women are bisexual after 11pm on showtime. perhaps he'll show tapes to prove it. 😛

  • 95. michael  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    LMAOROTF….That is to much!!!

  • 96. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:03 am

    And here's another thing:

    How in the HELL did someone decide it was legal for 18,000 homos to remain legally wed because they did so within the golden months pre-prop. 8 passage? Don't get me wrong, I'm truly glad for all of you who have been able to have your marital status recognized, but allowing yours only makes more ridiculous disallowing the rest of ours. If Prop. 8 defined marriage as limited to one man and one woman, that premise is defeated by the exception….

    …well, it's one man and one woman, unless you are same sex who married during a few months when we hadn't really decided yet what it was.


    If ours are outlawed, all should have been outlawed. It would have made a stronger case for the pro Prop. 8 side, anyway…. not that I want their side to be strong! LOL 🙂

  • 97. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

    But if they were intelligent enough to understand that, they wouldn't have banned it in the first place.

  • 98. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    That's because there is no ex post facto law in the US — but that is also how there is a Federal question for the first time. There is now *obviously* an equal protection problem.

  • 99. Andrea  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    There is no prior restraint either, but the defense argues you can't prove that the milk won't turn sour nonetheless.

  • 100. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    There really wasn't any way they could have struck down the 18,000 marriages, having themselves authorized them to go forward in the first place.

    It would be a legal nightmare to suddenly declare 18,000 couples no longer married. A divorce usually must be declared by a judge, there is usually a division of property agreement, custody decisions if there are children, etc.

    But I still think I understand where you're coming from, because it is a rather bizarre situation that we've ended up with.

  • 101. David  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:11 am

    I read somewhere, the Prop8 side will go to court demanding that the 18,000 SS couples who have been wed legally be declared "null and void". Sorry, I don't remember where I read that, but if anyone else has seen the story, please share.

  • 102. Ann S.  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:14 am

    David, they already did that, and the California Supreme Court ruled that the 18,000 marriages stand. The federal courts don't really have anything to say about that.

  • 103. PM, in the UK  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Oh my goodness – I thought for sure that Sigmund Freud was scraping the bottom of the barrel, but he's got 30-45 minutes to excavate a new sub-basement.

    I'm crossing my fingers for Ancient Greece; go on Nielson – ask Judge Walker to admit Spartacus…

  • 104. Casey  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Right?! Freud is the man who famously said "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"…but only when it applied to, oh yeah, himself! When anyone else smoked a cigar, it was due to latent sexual desire for their fathers. You'd think he was a Prop. 8 lawyer.

    Their whole line is insane. I would love to see our guys ask Tam, "When did you first realize you were straight? Did you ever consider that perhaps you could change? Maybe all you need is a good gay lover. It's important to other people that you be gay".

    Why does this trip to Crazytown have a carload of iniquity? If there *has* to be a solid definition of THE GAY, as evidenced by the number of dudes you shagged, why isn't there the same for straight folks, as defined by how many chicks you jiggled? And why is it anyone's business, whether you are gay or straight, bisexual, queer, transgendered, martian…? I can't believe how illogical and sad this supposed defense is. I have to go throw up now.

    1935. Just sayin'.

  • 105. Jon  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Letter from Sigmund Freud from 1935.

    Whose credentials are what again?

  • 106. Liveblogging Day 9: Part &hellip  |  January 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm

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

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