Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Liveblogging Day 9: Part VI Finishing up the day


By Rick Jacobs

We’re back.

Nielson (defense lawyer) (N): No consensus on what causes SO?

Dr. Gregory Herek (H): What I said in my expert testimony is there is no consensus of what causes people to have one or another SO.

N: The factors that cause a person to be homo or hetero not clear.

H: Yes.

N: Widely differing sources for adult sexual orientation, but no single theory enjoys broad support.

H: Yes.

H: My hypothesis, based on data currently available, is that we will find people went through multiple paths to sexual orientation.

N: Reading from Porcini Encyclopedia (not a mushroom here, but it may change if it is converted.)

N: No single theory is likely to explain homo or hetero.

H: That is my thesis.

N: Researchers are looking at homosexualities and heterosexuality’s?

H: That’s right, based on differences in cultures as we have discussed. In not coming up with single explanation, pointing to increasingly pluralistic view of sexuality.

N: People arrive at gay identity without having engaged in sex and others only after multiple homosexual experiences?

H: Yes.

H: It was at the time I wrote this (in 1970s) that some women considered themselves as “political lesbians” but were not attracted to women.

Judge: Why not common now?

H: Not sure, but think political climate has changed.

H: Reasons that we can speculate that homos may have higher ed rate than heteros. We can speculate that hetero women leave college to have kids and be with husband. Same with gay men. Might be that gay men don’t have children so can get more education.

It may very well be a real difference (ed level). In my studies, found higher ed level in homos than heteros, so it may very well be a real difference, but I do not know.

N: Turns to testimony of Prof. Nancy Cott on 12 January. P. 328 line 6 of trial transcript. “Is behavior infinitely malleable by social circumstances and by culture” with the “exception of self preservation.”

H: I have not thought about it and would have to think about it.

N: Is it a reasonable statement?

H: I ‘m sure Prof. Cott had a reason for saying it, but I’d have to think about it.

N: Back to big binder.

Judge: I thought we were done with the big one!

N: Badgett theory is choice of sexuality based on factors such as income level. A family’s economic status might allow for more homo. A family’s economic status may be more open to homosexuality than not. Do you agree with that?

H: I don’t understand what she is saying here. One possibility is that having higher income allows people to have more exposure to more same sex partners. Could also be that homos go school longer and have more exposure.

N: As you sit here today, is there any reason you would say this could not be possible?

H: As I sit here today, I cannot say. I would have to have read the entire article. This looks like an economist’s argument and I am not an economist so it would be very difficult for me to make a judgment.

[UPDATE] 4:12

N: There is no single developmental pathway that leads to a homo, hetero or bi orientation.

H: As I said previously, my hypothesis is that there are multiple pathways to sexuality.

N: Women’s sexuality is not tightly scripted due to genetic or hormonal influences?

H: I’m guessing that Prof. Peplau is offering that contrast with men’s. Women’s sexuality does seem to be more responsive to situational and environmental factors than does men’s sexuality. This notion of erotic plasticity is more applicable to women than to men.

N: She speaks specifically about erotic plasticity as broad way to understand women’s sexuality?

H: Broad, yes.

N: One implication of this research is that the very concept of sexuality may be misguided. Is that possible?

H: I’m very reluctant to comment because I have not read this paper. It may very well be that the focus on sexuality may be easier in context of men than women, vs. sexual orientation more appropriate for women.

N: (Again, Prof. Peplau in big book): “Available evidence indicates that biological factors are do not explain sexuality of women…

H: What she’s suggesting is the available evidence is that there is not a strong biological explanation for sexual orientation in women. We do not understand development of sexual orientation in men or women.

N: There is no inevitable association of masculinity and femininity have effect on sexuality. Evidence that biological factors do it are weak. Women’s erotic and romantic bonds are influenced by environment.

H: I agree with these.

N: (1990 article) “Evidence suggested that increase in demographics and diversity in same sex relationships.” The visibility and presence of gays in urban population attracts folks…

H: I believe they may be saying that people who were attracted to same sex did not know that there was idea of being gay. For those individuals, the existence of visible gay communities would allow them to realize others like them to find others like them and develop community.

Judge: How are we doing, Mr. Nielson?

N: We’re getting there, Your Honor.

Judge: Good.

H: Lesbians and gay men are likely to have had more years of education than lesbians and homosexuals.

N: There is mounting research evidence that pattern of women’s sexuality varies across time and place.

H: Again, this is something we have already discussed. Talking about different cultures, different socio-economic groups. I would agree with it in that sense.

N: (This is all from Peplau) Living in same sex institutions also increases chance or erotic and same sex attraction between women.

H: She refers to a 1929 study of women in same sex college in which women had tense relationship with another woman. And same in same sex prison. May be that same sex institutions foster greater sexual bonds for women.

[UPDATE] 5:19

H: I would certainly agree with the statement that we don’t know all of the causes for sexual orientation.

N: Study found that young females were more likely (than the older cohort) of having a ss sexual partner in adulthood? Need to look at age cohort effect as to why homosexuality became okay.

H: I would offer hypothesis that people who grew up before 1950s, when there was no discussion at all of homosexuality due to stigma. Older people might be extremely reluctant to express their sexuality.

N: I assume they’ll test their hypothesis. I have not read the paper. Sometimes the author will posit a hypothesis and then disprove.

N: Can you name any tangible benefits that are available to married couples that not available to DPs? Tangible?
Our side objects.

H: I’m not a legal scholar, so I don’t know about the law. In terms of tangible benefits meaning money, inheritance rights, etc. you see the more intangible benefits such as more stable relationship that might become tangible.

N: Are hate crimes illegal in California?

H: I believe crime is illegal in California.

[EVERYONE, including judge, gets a good laugh.]

N: Are gay hate crimes illegal in California?

H: Yes, and they still happen here.
(one or two more idiot questions)

N: I believe I am finished, but I have to check.
Judge: I hope we get good news!

N: Yes, no further questions.

D (back up for plaintiffs): Good evening, Prof. Herek!

D: Puts up text of Meyer on screen. “So what is the correct definition of the LGB population? … It is the researcher’s intellectual responsibility to answer this questions with reasoned justification.”

H: I agree with this.

D: Are there are other areas in which there is differentiation in studying?

H: SO is not the only area in which things get pretty messy. Race and ethnicity also.

D: Would same labeling issues as for SO come up for racial or ethnic groups?

H: Why certainly, if you look at the different labels we have used for racial and ethnic minority identities over past 100 years. SO research has borrowed from research into ethnic and racial minorities.

H: For the vast majority of people we see that for the vast majority of people sexual attraction and behavior solid. Look at Lowen study. 90% of heteros never change and 2% or so homo, les, bi stay that way. The rest is where it gets messy.

H: I have interviewed thousands of people. Some people do not understand heterosexual but if you ask if they are straight, they understand.

D: There were a lot of questions today about causes of sexuality. Does that change your belief that some people are gay and some are straight?

H: Yes. They are unrelated really. People tend to be consistent in their sexual orientation. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 92% of people in Lowman study are consistent. L, G are consistent with attraction and ID even if did not have sex with ss partners due to societal issues.

H: Continuum is important because some people change. Among gay men, only about 5% had any degree of choice and 20% of lesbians say they had some degree of choice. Somewhat more for bi. (These are in my research.)

D: Do the three different aspects of sexual orientation—ID, sex and attraction—overlap?

H: Prof. Diamond made very clear that you cannot use her data on plasticity, particularly among women, to generalize to population. Interesting to see how it develops. Does not change my opinion that most people do not choose.

D: Peplau says that there is very little actual change in women’s behavior due to plasticity.

D: Are you familiar with Prof. Robinson? He was hired by defendant interveners.

N: Object. He withdrew as witness.

D: He lives more than 100 miles from courthouse so we can use his depo for any purpose.

Judge: You may proceed.

D: Robinson Depo: “Do you agree that sexual orientation is very unlikely to change? No.”
“And you have not found that change from therapy is common?”
“No. It’s not common at all.”
“Okay. So when you make a statement, homosexuality is no more immutable that those identifies one takes on I various walks and works of life … that don limit to 93% church going and 78% very religious…” [Which is cohort that Spitzer used. Very religious group of those who said they had “converted.”]

If my statement bout the mutability of homosexuality were tied exclusively to Spitzer’s research or anything like it, then indeed it would be an implausible inference.

H: Agree. Spitzer used very small religious slice.

N: Recommendation from APA (I think) that not use sexual preference because it means that someone can choose. Better to use orientation.

H: I agree.

D: Puts up Kris Perry trial testimony that says “well for me what it means I have always felt strong attraction and interest in women and formed really close relationships with women…”

H: Consistent with definition of homosexuality.

D: Puts up Perry testimony in which she says it’s easier to have relationship with boys or men, but it did not work.

H: Consistent with what I said before, that there is social pressure.

D: If two women want to marry each other, is it a reasonable assumption that they are lesbians?

H: Yes.

D: Is it a reasonable assumption that if two men want to marry they are gay?

H: Yes.

D: I have no further questions.

Judge: You may step down, Prof. Herek. You win the long distance award.

Judge: Mr. Boutrous, you have about 90 minutes of document presentation?

B: Yes.

Judge: You can do that on Monday morning?

B: Yes, your honor.

Judge: And then you will rest?

B: Yes, your honor.

Judge: Mr. Cooper, will you be ready to call your witnesses on Monday?

C: Yes.

Judge: Can you tell the defense so they are ready?

C: We’re not sure who will be first, either Dr. Ken Miller or Mr. David Blankenhorn.

Judge: Are they both going to testify on Monday?

C: We’ll identify 48 hours in advance who it will be. We just have not decided.

Judge: (not amused) Very well. The defense needs to be ready for both witnesses on Monday.

Judge: Those are your only two witnesses?

C: We may call one other witness just to identify documents?

Judge: One of your people?

C: No. One of theirs.

Judge: Very well. Monday at 8:30.

Help spread the word and keep your friends up to date on the trial: Click here to share the tracker on Facebook!

Tags: , ,


  • 1. e  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

    PLEASE inform of new thread!!

  • 2. Paul - England, UK  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I assume it is written in chunks, so the other chunk is still being written? Or typed up?

  • 3. Alana  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    He usually does, it just takes a few minutes. Please be a little patient and not immediately comment that he's done something wrong. If you really want to see any new posts, refresh the home page instead of (or as well as) the current thread.

    Much appreciation to the CC and especially our daily note takers–I can't imagine how hard this must be to transcribe. I really value it!


  • 4. Matthew S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Please stop posting this… if you refresh your browser and look to the right under the heading "Recent Postings" you'll see when there's a new thread.

    We're lucky to be getting threads at all.

  • 5. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Please subscribe to new posts, then you will be informed by email.

  • 6. Paul - England, UK  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I agree with 3, 4 and 5

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

    you need to chill out. there is reight hand navigation on the site for a reason, and it has all the recent posts.

  • 8. Tyrras  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I am SOOO grateful for these posts at all. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • 9. Nick Griffin Miller  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Actually this is to All-but trying to keep it in the thread.

    I was sitting back today trying only to read the comments both here and @ Firedoglake I noticed a trend…

    Everyone is really getting quite testy.(meself included) This is a result of all that dry questioning on top of a couple of days of really emotional, heartbreaking testimony.

    Some of us are lashing out at each other, and of course, feeling a LOT of anger and venting that pretty much everywhere it can be vented.

    Normal human behavior. BUT lets try to start the next week on a more balanced temperament.

    I noticed that Rick (here) spent the ENTIRE DAY not only having to listen to this testimony, but having to try to get the words to come from his ears to his brain to his fingers. No mean feat!

    Same over at Firedoglake-the same person Blogged ALL DAY.

    I admit, I got testy when I couldn't find a thread or two as well, for this I truly am sorry.

    Lets get em-in court-fairly-and try not to bite each other in the feeding frenzy?

    Loves to everybody!

  • 10. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Another hypothesis as to why l&g achieve more is to prove that they are no less than the average person. jeffreyk on FDL said

    Well, I worked my way through college because I thought a degree would help protect me against anti-gay discrimination. I could move a little upward socially, out of the conservative working class. Does that sound familiar to anyone?</blockquote

  • 11. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Very true. Prove we are no less than they keep trying to make us be.


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

    I think there's a name for this, at least in gay male therapy — Best Little Boy in the World. The trap is that no matter how "best" you are, the dominant culture still considers you a faggot, so self-esteem doesn't necessarily come with overachievement. You can't shake the stigma, no matter how "best" you are.

  • 13. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

    So now they are making our case for us…again. There is a STIGMA we live with, and here's proof. We try harder to be better – but they keep trying to shove us back into the closet.

  • 14. JefferyK  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am


    Sometimes I wonder if that is why heterosexuals hate us, if that is what all this irrational legalized discrimination is about. They want to maintain superior status over us because they know we are better than they are.

  • 15. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    @JefferyK re: "Best Little Boy In The World."

    I know this seems appropos of nothing, but I appreciate your explanation of this phrase WRT gay mens' experience. I have a wonderful pal who talks about trying to be the "best little boy in the world" while coming to grips with his sexuality, and I understand far better now what he meant. There's a lot more to that phrase than meets the eye, obviously.

  • 16. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    @JefferyK , post #12

    Not all heterosexuals hate you/us. My 89 year old grandmother said, when one of my distant cousins' grandmothers wouldn't talk about her grandson being gay, "I just don't get it! He's still their grandson!"

    Creating a they/us dichotomy just reinforces difference, rather than going on the "peoples is peoples" philosophy that means we're all human, hence all deserving of rights and acceptance and love…just like Gram is willing to give to a young man who is her deceased husband's cousin's grandson, when his own grandmother won't give it.

  • 17. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Also, it may be that people with a college education are not necessarily more likely to be homosexual, just more likely to be out about it and not closeted. It could be that the college experience provides more exposure to out LGBTs and more opportunities to come out in a safe environment.

  • 18. fiona64  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I would agree that greater education levels cause one to understand and accept a broader range of experiences, absolutely. "Normal" is a fluid concept, after all.

  • 19. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Aw gee, and here I thought it just meant that LGBT folks are just plain smarter!

  • 20. Mykelb  |  January 23, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I grew up in a family where it was expected that me and my siblings would go to college, land a good job and become responsible citizens. That was a family expectation because both my parents had master's degrees. They saved their money to send us to school and sacrificed many things for it. From what I see of America today, that is not exactly possible for parents to do. It's a huge struggle for kids to get a college education on the whole. But I have to say that my main reason for getting an education was to be free from my folks ideas of sexuality and family. So I could be independent of their anachronistic social values. I knew who I was and what I was, and that didn't fit in with their plans for me. I had to be smart and strong in order to forge my own destiny with or without their acceptance or help.

  • 21. Glenn I  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Part of the reason I went to college was to escape my small town and get myself to a metropolitan center where there would be more of a possibility of finding a fulfilling life as a gay man. I wasn't tirelessly devoted to school.

  • 22. Wilson V.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

    THANK YOU for posting this! When I read the following:

    H: Reasons that we can speculate that homos may have higher ed rate than heteros. We can speculate that hetero women leave college to have kids and be with husband. Same with gay men. Might be that gay men don’t have children so can get more education.

    ,I was like, "REALLY? Do they REALLY think college is a filter and only the gays come out?" The reason why I went to college is PRECISELY because I wanted to escape the conservative working-class mindset, coming from a working-class family myself, and wanted to be in an environment where open-minded people would accept me for who I am.

    Also, the argument about higher incomes allowing for more contact with gays is ridiculous. Higher education = higher income. Higher education = (usually) more open-mindedness. Therefore: Higher income = more open-mindedness. Although that surely doesn't account for old money…

  • 23. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Judge Walker really doesn't like that binder, does he?

  • 24. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I imagine one day seeing a parody cartoon of him with a GIANT binder about to chomp down on the whole court.


  • 25. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I would do that if I had any artistic talent. Anyone else?

  • 26. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Or nothing but a pair of eyes peeping out through mountains of them!!

  • 27. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Happy, that would be FUNNY. Thanks for the laugh.

  • 28. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    No, he doesn't. Especially since he will be wading through t during the break between the close of defense case and the closing arguments. You can bet someone is going to catch some fire over that binder.

  • 29. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It's not just THAT binder, there have been many, many of them from the defense team.

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

    and so far the only thing they have been useful for is proving that their side is CLUEless

  • 31. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Amen Dieter!

  • 32. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I have a feeling, they (defense) finally did their homework recently and recently got all this stuff together and are throwing it all at him…


  • 33. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    They are trying the old tactic of "Throw enough BS on the wall and some of it just HAS to stick!" LOL

  • 34. Charles  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I think today went very bady for us. It's not that Herek is wrong, but he's not "unflappable" enough. He's too scholarly, too. I totally get that he doesn't want to say absolute things, but to laymen, he has to otherwise he just seems to be undecided or to concede the point… i don't think he's doing a very good cross…

  • 35. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I'm not so worried. I suspect the plaintiff attorneys will quickly wrap it up with a nice little bow on redirect.

  • 36. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Charles, I think Herek's actually doing a very good job. He's pointing out when questions he's being asked are ridiculous, like to comment on a study by an economist when he isn't one, or when the defense is taking things out of context. Walker has to be fairly scholarly to have gotten where he is, and Walker is the important audience here, also the appellate justices (who are also likely to be quite scholarly).

    He's being very cautious about what he says, and that's a very good thing.

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

    I agree with Kevin. They are trying to prove that all homosexuals are only sometimes homosexuals. H said in early testimony this was a small portion of the larger homosexual group. The defense is focusing on this small portion and making it seem like everyone is like this. The Plaintiff attorneys should clear this up on cross. Of course many people experiment with different sexual ids before they figure out who they are. Some people know early on. It's all part of development and trying to find out what makes one happy. It's not that inherent homosexual tendancy is changing, it's that, I would guess, lots of people who think they might be gay, would want to know for sure before they decide to label themselves as something society hates. I bet there would be a lot less "fluidity" if there was no discrimination.

  • 38. Mykelb  |  January 23, 2010 at 2:03 am

    What they need to show is that all children are given the expectations and behavior by their parents, peers, and the older generation that they are to behave as heterosexuals because being homosexual (or otherwise) is not acceptable behavior, therefore, children and teenagers present themselves as heterosexual until it becomes so conflicting with their true selves, that they then have to come out or become mentally ill,. or abuse themselves or act out in inappropriate ways. They need to show that this pattern is the norm and it is caused by homophobia.

  • 39. Paul - England, UK  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

    OMG this is gripping

  • 40. eshamlin  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Luckily laypeople don't get much of a say. The judge seems to know what's going on. Hopefully cooler heads prevail.

  • 41. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I'm going to have to go with 'maybe people with better economic status are more likely to be homosexual because they have more exposure to academic/more liberal climates and environments.'

    Just a hypothesis.

  • 42. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    OK, so the more money and education, the more likely to be homosexual?

    Does that mean that the hating heteros are just poor and ignorant… ahem, I mean unedu-ma-cated?


  • 43. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    uh-oh…just wait til all those rich folks in Texas find out they are gay…….
    wonder if they'll give their money away to get rid of the "gay"…LOL

  • 44. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Or they just went to really conservative schools/places. I can imagine that there would be colleges where topics like homosexuality would be heavily frowned upon; I can't speak from personal experience, but I'd guess most of the Christian colleges around the US would qualify.

    I mean, if you only ever hear of a classification in negative terms, you sure as hell won't want to self-identify as one.

    Really just postulating here. I'm straight, so I can't say I've had any personal experience with this. Even so, the defense is really starting to get on my nerves.

  • 45. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    OK now say you are straight…now when you say straight do you mean in the context of ..oh shucks…let me get my binder…LOL

  • 46. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Um…let's see…more than half of my sexual encounters have been with people of the opposite gender! *triumphant*

    Yep. If I sleep with a man anytime soon, though, I'll have to start changing all my blog profiles.

  • 47. JonInSF  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Not just religious colleges like BYU or Seton Hall. Military schools would as well. Semi-private (VMI), state (New York Maritime) and of course the federal service academies. ANY institution or program (including the various ROTCs) would be distinctly socially conservative and at the very least "dissuasive" of LGB students.

  • 48. Joel Wheeler  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I think they are more likely to COME OUT as homosexual for those reasons, not to BE homosexual. Working class has it bad as far as stigma goes; who knows how many never come out?

  • 49. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Sorry, terminology problem. Yes, more likely to come out as homosexual.

  • 50. Mykelb  |  January 23, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Being gay, at least for me, was knowing, as a young child, that I was attracted to same sex, not other sex. Crushes as a boy on another boy. I hadn't any interest in girls or girly things. I never wanted to be around women or girls. When I got older, I learned that society thought I was sick (I was only 12 when APA took us off the mental disorder list). So, I grew up with people calling me sick, not to my face but through watching how they behaved toward gays and lesbians in general. I knew that in order to overcome the homophobia and become who I really was, I would have to be so independent that I would not have to rely on my family for anything. That is the reason I strove to become educated, so I could get away from the homophobia in my family and find people like me. Find someone who was like me and would love me the way I needed to be loved and to hell with everyone else.

  • 51. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    All one has to do is simply turn to the judge and say.."judge..are you homo or hetero?"

    How do you know?
    If you are not acting out an urge I.E., having sex at any given moment , then your sexuality is simple a matter of your own perception at that moment.

    I am not having sex right now. I am STILL gay.

  • 52. Will H  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I agree I do not know why people don't understand this! I am straight, I know I am straight, there is now way i am gay. Why would it be any different the other way around?

    Stay strong people.

  • 53. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

    H: Lesbians and gay men are likely to have had more years of education than lesbians and homosexuals.

    Why are lesbians in both?

  • 54. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Just a typo, I'd imagine.

  • 55. M S  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Because we're so unpredictable– obviously! 😉

  • 56. Ruth Rainero  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Could someone please thank Rick Jacobs for his amazing work. Am very grateful to be able to follow this trial in such detail.

  • 57. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I've thanked him almost daily. Thanks again, Rick.

    You da man, baby! 🙂

  • 58. Roger  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Based on the above argument used by the defense left handed people don't exist because right handed people use their left hand and vice versa and that there is no such thing as a Chinese person because there are more than one Chinese subgroup.

    Regardless of whether gay exists or not the point is that people who are committed to each others and want to raise a family should be allowed to do so under the exact same set of laws regardless of gender, to do otherwise is totally unconstitutional as it discriminates by gender and violates the equal protection clause.

  • 59. Allred  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Bravo Roger!

  • 60. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Now we're at the heart of the matter. Thank you, Roger!

  • 61. Sean  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Is it just me, or does Judge Walker SEEM to be on our side? I know he's supposed to be neutral all the way until the end, but his attitude towards the two groups definitely shows he has much more patience with the plaintiff than the defendant…

  • 62. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Well, it seems like the defense is deliberately trying to be difficult, so he might just be frustrated with them.

  • 63. Sean  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Yeah, I did notice that. Still, that can only help us, right?

  • 64. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Maybe not. They could try to use it to claim bias in an appeal. Not likely to work, but it should be of some concern.

  • 65. Sandy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Like in sports, trying to draw a foul or penalty.
    I'd say the Judge is doing a great job, allowing witnesses to speak, allowing lots of leeway on repitition.
    He only seems to say anything when the same thing is rehashed, being patient.
    Defense are trying to play "gotcha".

  • 66. Artemis  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:31 am

    The Judge seems to be on the side of reason, not on any one particular side. Very intelligent man and I am happy he will take his time to look at all the evidence. In the end, based on the side of the law, I think he will determine Prop 8 is a violation of our Constitution. That is the side of reason 🙂

  • 67. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    That is because Judge Walker does not tolerate those who waste his time and the taxpayers money. He is demonstrating that he is a judge who wants every lawyer on each of the two sides in any argument in his court to come to work prepared and up to speed. Obviously, the "defense" team has not done their homework, and are doing said homeork in the courtroom on the spur of the moment. It is truly showing up in their questions and their insistence upon repetition.

  • 68. Linda  |  January 23, 2010 at 6:07 am

    The prop 8 lawyers are not trying. They are purposefully losing this case, I think. Their focus is on the appeals court and then SCOTUS. To me their behavior has been contemptuous, and I think Judge Walker has been offended.

  • 69. Linda  |  January 23, 2010 at 8:05 am

    This trial has been characterized as a Kangaroo Court proceeding. I think the prop 8's attorneys are reflecting that attitude in their approach to this case. They show a real lack of respect for Judge Walker, and for the Federal Courtroom; and I think that is grating to Judge Walker. It has to be hard to remain neutral when one side is just so pompous yet ill-prepared.

    Of course, the prop 8 people want to be able to point to Judge Walker and scream "BIASED!" It's like a set-up.

  • 70. Phil Grisier  |  January 23, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I suspect he is simply not a fan of incompetence and ignorance on the part of lawyers in front of his bench.

  • 71. Morrigoon  |  January 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

    "I suspect he is simply not a fan of incompetence and ignorance on the part of lawyers in front of his bench."

    Yes, but who else could they get to argue for the defense? 😉

  • 72. Ray Harwick  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:24 am

    What is so galling is that in phase of the trial we are characterized as "Politically Powerful" and in another we "Don't Exist."

    Geeze. Make up your mind!!!

  • 73. activecitizen54  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Ray, we are GODs in that instance and I do understand the defense's confusion. It's very hard to deal with Fact when living in belief and denial….

  • 74. Dick Mills  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Ray, they are just trying to cover all of the "suspect class" arguments. If we are politically powerful, we are not a suspect class. If we don't exist, we are not a suspect class. If the court believes either of those arguments, then we aren't a suspect class. They do, though, basically undermine each of those arguments by making both of them.

  • 75. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    They would if they had any to make up.

  • 76. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    H: She refers to a 1929 study of women in same sex college in which women had tense relationship with another woman. And same in same sex prison. May be that same sex institutions foster greater sexual bonds for women.

    How about because there were nothing but women in these places? What sort of hetero anything is going to happen in a same sex environment? Gay sex also occurs among men in same sex prisons and institutions… Hello?

    I'm sick of having the lesbians singled out here! LOL

  • 77. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    oh now all I have to do to finally get laid is commit a crime?

  • 78. Kevin_BGFH  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

    They're seriously trotting out a study of behavior from 80 years ago?

  • 79. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    So am I. I thought this trial was about all of us, not just one segment of the LGBTQ community. But then, this is a "straight" man who was doing the questioning, and we all know what their favorite fantasy is.

  • 80. Phil Grisier  |  January 23, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Oh, and it happens among hetero sailors on board ships for months on end. (oh my!)

    What all this proves is that hetero sexual behavior is mutable given limited access to members of the opposite sex.. The class of people in question in this trial is not defined by sexual activity but sexual identity.

    So… "lots of noisie signifying nothing."

  • 81. marksid  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I understand that this is difficult and offensive to read through, and appreciate the legal comments as to why the defense is taking this line of questioning. Before following this trial I had no idea about suspect classes, thanks for expanding my knowledge, and your great coverage CC!

  • 82. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

    It might have been a dream since my brain is now chum, but did someone post a link to a place that had the full transcripts of the trials here yesterday or the day before? I thought I had bookmarked it (which is why I now think it may have been a dream). I will go look for it, if anyone remembers there being a link : )

    Chum Brain Barb

  • 83. Christopher in San F  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Hi there….here is the link with the transcripts. Hope this helps!


    Christopher in San Francisco

  • 84. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Oh, thank you thank you thank you : )

    much appreciated.


  • 85. marksid  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Here you go:

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

    I think I will have them printed and then read them….that's a whole lot'o pages!

    Again, thanks to everyone for the links.

  • 87. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Is this the AFER site?

  • 88. Rose  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    What men are Gay and never change or fluctuate, but women are whimsical and therefore can change their sexual orientation if the wind is blowing in the right direction……………….what a bunch of horse crap


  • 89. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:32 am a gay man…one time in my teens I TRIED to have sex with a woman, but found it to be like having sex with a bowl of jello that wasn't done yet..LOL..

    eww I think I just threw up a little in my mouth…

  • 90. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Mmmmmmmmmm……………… jello………… 🙂

  • 91. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Yes Rose, even in the non-existent suspect class of maybe/maybe not homosexuals, women are still not taken as seriously as the men.

    We've come a long way, baby….


  • 92. Phil Grisier  |  January 23, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Yes, that age-old argument about the "weaker" sex – "unable to make up their minds."

    The defense people are such abvious bigots about everything. Did they bring in a single African American, btw? Odd, given the overwehlming support among that suspect group gave in passing H8.

  • 93. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Yes, they did and I have downloaded the transcipts that were there.
    Love David

  • 94. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    A 1929 study? Seriously? WTF???

  • 95. Julie  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Not to be too off topic here but a dear friend of mine just called from Hawaii and Civil Union vote just passed their state senate. It goes to their house and then should have enough votes to override the governor's likely veto.

  • 96. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:32 am

    woohooo aloha!!!

  • 97. DonG  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    The web site for the transcripts is:

    Hope this helps.

    Love, Don

  • 98. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:33 am

    hey people dont forget to check out to view the trial re-enactments.

    up for less than 48 hours and somewhere around 7,000 views already on youtube.

  • 99. Mark  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:34 am

    It appears that the general thrust of the argument is that environmental factors influences sexual orientation. Therefore societal choices on who can get married to whom could impact those environmental factors and influence sexual orientation.

    It is just the creepy 'save the children from teh gay' argument wrapped up in interpretations of old studies.

  • 100. Phil Grisier  |  January 23, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Not really. What is shows is that sexual activity is influenced by enviornment/sociatal factors. Gay men who marry and have children are still attracted to men and often have sex in secret as well with men, in bus stations, dirty book stores, rest stops, etc.

    The questions in this trial involve sexual identify/orientation, not about sexiual activity.

  • 101. Joel Wheeler  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Rick Jacobs: rah rah rah! Rick Jacobs: rah rah rah! Rick Jacobs: rah rah rah! Rick Jacobs: rah rah rah!

    Seriously buddy, you carried us ALL through this so far; THANK YOU!

  • 102. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Hmm…If LGBT people don't exist, then there couldn't be any animus, right?

    So…..who am I, then?

    And why is it so hard to understand that many of us have had hetero experiences? We were raised to assume we were hetero! Only after we bashed our heads against the wall in unbearable frustration did we figure out that, 'hey, this doesn't work for me.'

    If being a lesbian had always been possible, in my own thought processes as I was going through adolescence and young adulthood, I would have understood myself at a much younger age.



    Love, Linda and Leslie

  • 103. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

    So understand your frustration Linda. It's not that we don't exist, it's that they'd rather we NOT exist. They ignore we are here, so all the misinformation and lies that they spew don't mean anything to them. They ignore us, so they don't care if we hurt or not.

    sad sad people.


  • 104. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Oh Barb. They FAR from ignore us. They spend every waking moment, and probably dream at night about ways of keeping us down. We can not be ignored. But we can be, and constantly are, pushed aside and treated like garbage. They don't ignore us, they despise us. It's not rational, but it's a fact.

    Kelly & Amanda

  • 105. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:44 am


    I imagine I will never have as many girlfriends/wives (well, wife, someday, please) as I had boyfriends, simply because I kept telling myself every guy "just wasn't the right guy." I burned through man after man after man (I know, I sound slutty now), because none of them EVER fulfilled me, in any way. I couldn't care less how they felt, what they were interested in, what they had to say, what they had to offer, but because I could not imagine that I might be a lesbian, I just kept getting back on that horse!

    I never had a hetero relationship that lasted more than a month or so. I've never had a homo relationship last less than several years. And I have been fulfilled and engaged completely in every one of the homo relationships.

    What does that tell the "gay might not even really exist" camp?

  • 106. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Seriously!!! I made the mistake of getting married. Talk about hell. And the whole time I couldn't figure out what was wrong; but nothing worked in that marriage.

    Now, however, I have a wonderful gf. Our relationship (yes, that's right–RELATIONSHIP–something those folks seem to forget about) is the polar opposite of my marriage. And the sex is great, too! 🙂

    We sure would like to marry…..

  • 107. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I frustrated many men. I wouldn't sleep with them, the thought creeped me out. Those old boyfriends and I are still friends, boy were they glad to find out I am a lesbian.

  • 108. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Yeah, the funny thing is, had someone asked me what I thought I was at 14, I would've said asexual. I didn't like guys, so I just thought I wasn't a sexual being. Never considered women until circumstances presented themselves when I was sixteen. It was really a mix of a "Oh, duh" moment and a "So -this- is what arousal feels like!"

  • 109. Mr. HCI  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:26 am

    If someone had asked me when I was 14, I would've said I was straight; I had myself convinced for years that I was straight. The fact that my fantasies were almost 100% gay from the moment I began to have them (just before age 11) was immaterial. All the books I could find told me it was a phase and would go away, so I thought gay was just for fantasies, and one day I would meet some woman and get married and have kids. It wasn't 'til my mid-20s that I even admitted to myself that I might not be straight.

  • 110. kenny  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I am a gay man who has had more (bad) sex with women than (good) sex with men, after today I would be confused if that makes me gay or straight, thats IF I existed at all.

  • 111. Mark 'RikerBear  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Are we done for the day? Did I miss the last bits?

  • 112. David  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

    No, we are not done for the day – we are on redirect.

  • 113. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Does anyone else wish these two straight guys (I assume) would stop bickering and just ask us gay folks if we exist or not? WTF!

  • 114. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:42 am


  • 115. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:37 am

    This delay is killing me. But it's the fastest update around!

  • 116. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

    actually at they are tweeting live everyday…like watching it live..I just like the summary here better.

  • 117. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

    OK Dieter, I know I'm going to sound ancient, and I'm actually not, but I just can't hang with "tweeting." It just…. irritates me for some reason.

    I like full sentences, well thought out, amply descriptive – even long-winded, not blip-its. I don't like there to be room for error in interpreting.

    On another note, Dieter from Sprockets would ask if I would like to touch his monkey. Please tell me you've never asked that of anyone! LMAO right now!

    Sorry, I had to – and I love the name – but I just had to! 🙂

  • 118. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    If it makes you feel better, I'm not much of a fan of it either, and I'm 19.

  • 119. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I hate it too..but it is nice to not have to wait so long for this obsession called prop 8 trial…LOL

  • 120. Brian  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

    23, hate tweeting/twitter and believe that it lowers discourse of all sorts to an unacceptable level.

  • 121. Mark 'RikerBear  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I grew up in a VERY poor home, very poorly educated (until my adulthood), I had very strong male figures in my life, VERY strong religeous upbringing….so by those standards I should be straight
    Ummm….nope…. 3 dollar bill here 🙂

  • 122. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Ha ha ha! Know more than a few people that fit that same description.

    Hey, shouldn't these rich lawyers be gay?

  • 123. Happy  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    No doubt some of them are, but it's mutable, so….

  • 124. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:43 am

    When all this is over, how can we continue this sort of anecdotal contact with each other? Is there a forum on CC for discussions, etc. that are not activist-related? I love this newfound family of mine!

  • 125. John  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

    There's a Facebook group (at work, so I can't link to it).

  • 126. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:52 am

    This is it but there are a couple of additional crossovers too.

  • 127. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Linda, by the looks of things, we will all be friends through SCOTUS (I am sure I am spelling that wrong, but too lazy to spell check.)

    Which I think that means years!

  • 128. Ms. Rusty 1 of 18,00  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:46 am

    >>I’m pretty sure K is Michael Kirk from the side of the defense.<<

    Thanks to Marc and also to Anna. I also thought maybe K was someone who was replacing N until I saw both speaking one right after another.

    Seems unusual to have two attorneys x-examining at the same time — well, at least unusual in state court.

    Ms. Rusty and Lt. Brooksie

  • 129. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Welcome Rusty. For further clarification (so you don't have to wait for a response 😉 ) the site has a photo list of the primary attendants at the trial. The site needs a little html work but you can glean who everyone is.

    Glad I could be of help.


  • 130. Anna  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

    That makes sense…what's with the two lawyers, though?

  • 131. Scott  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    So we've gone from the 21st century to the 70s to 1935 to 1929. Next up: cave paintings that depict someone changing their sexual orientation.

  • 132. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:51 am


    And the cave-man version of that guy on Rachel Maddow the other day will be on TV, and Rachel will say, "Dude, it's painted on your wall!"

  • 133. Alkanshel  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

    …in which case the plaintiffs should trot out the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Iliad.

  • 134. Marc  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:56 am


  • 135. Charles  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:03 am

    omg that actually really funny, I laughed out loud. 🙂 Thanks Scott

  • 136. dalow  |  January 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Regarding noticing "position" of Judge Walker: Over a period of 30-plus years I have served on 8 (eight) different juries. In my opinion, you can never tell what the judge is thinking. Even on the last day, as s/he says "thank you" and "goodbye". That's the job.
    My gratitude also to the folks at CC for keeping us informed.

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

    I'm starting to imagine this world of fluid sexuality the defense has invented. There's the verizon guy constantly following you around, asking every five steps, "Are you homo now?" "How about now?"

  • 138. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

    and, instead of a cell phone, he would he have a BIG BINDER in his hand!

  • 139. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

    What I kind of got from Herek was there there is a core group of people who identify, have attraction, and act consistently as bi/hetero/homo and that the fluidity comes from there being people who only make up one or two of those properties.

  • 140. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

    So, some people have

    Attraction to opposite sex and don't act on it – probably fear of persecution

    Identify as being Gay, Heterosexual or Bisexual and have stuck with one since birth – probably never had any fear about it (I do believe that…there are people that jump off of bridges attached to a small line of rope)

    Act consistently (AC), this is confusing, so they didn't have either of the above, let me see if I get this…

    (AC) Attraction to opposite sex and then acted on it and remained homosexual…I belive that

    (AC) Didn't identify as being gay until one day acted upon it – they woke up one day and said I "that dude/lady is hot" and acted upon that…not quite believing that unless they were drunk.

    But, doesn't that pretty much still in all accounts say "homosexual" none of them changed

  • 141. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Lilly, that's what I got too, really. Sounds like DI's having none of that, though.


  • 142. Lily  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Yeah, pretty much how I understood it. Though, I think what the defense is trying to do is say that, because people with same-sex attraction don't define themselves as homosexual and don't act on it, and have heterosexual relationships, then it is, in some way, a choice.

    This is, of course, silly. But there are also homosexuals — define themselves as homosexual and have a long term relationship with a same sex partner, but still find the other sex attractive. So, one day, they get out of their same sex relationship and go have a long term relationship with the opposite sex.

    Of course, applying this to all people is horribly misleading.

  • 143. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Or a big adult toy! LMFWFAO!

  • 144. Joel Wheeler  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

    My understanding of this phenomenon has been that the distribution looks like a dumbbell: lots of 'data points' concentrated on the ends ('pure' homo/'pure' hetero) with a much sparser distribution in the 'middle.'

    Gender itself follows a similar pattern (see 'intersexed') from what I understand…

  • 145. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hmm, makes sense, sounds plausible. Would like to see some data somewhere (not that I'm doubting, just like to see numbers).

  • 146. activecitizen54  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Thanks to all the invisible, mutable, highly variable Lesbians or maybe Lesbians in the room who entertain and distract so delightfully.
    The Gay Men, our Gaydar works. The Defense can just ask us who is Gay or not….
    Thanks to Rick for all his hard work…
    Keep the Faith the end is near on this part at least…
    And, you know, it's a tad strange to be pulled apart on these levels. We just are.
    We're here, We're Queer. Get over it….

  • 147. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I don't see a new thread, and over an hour since update. Rick, you okay?

  • 148. Aaron  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    wheres the redirect?

  • 149. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

    It's now almost 5:30 Pacific? Court recessed? what's happening?

  • 150. Taylor  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

    What an exciting (rolls eyes) day of testimony. I had to spend a little time reflecting on if I actually exist, but alas, I've come to the conclusion I do exist. 🙂

    My biggest fear is that SCOTUS rules against us. What happens then? Do we move? Do we stop paying taxes?

  • 151. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Well, if we don't exist, can we be taxed?

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

    Oh yes, they may even find a way to tax us MORE.

  • 153. Artemis  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

    They already do in California. We have to pay more to get our tax returns that heterosexual couples. We have to pay for a dummy joint return to file with the state since we are forced to file together. We really need to change that!

  • 154. Alan E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

    If you live in the Bay Area/East Bay, my tax people charge what they would charge a straight married couple even though they have to do the extra work.

  • 155. RebeccaRGB  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I know I'm jumping ahead of the blog here (FDL updated before P8TT did) but the redirect ends thusly:

    D: If two women want to marry, are they lesbians?
    H: Yes
    D: If two men want to marry, are they gay men?
    H: Yes
    No more questions



  • 156. Woody  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:24 am


  • 157. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Nice! to the point.


  • 158. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:25 am

    That is awesome. Thanks!


  • 159. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

    OMG!!!…The Christian Science Monitor is reporting right now that yesterdays expert witness nutbag "Tam", was an excellent witness for their side, who provided proof of a loving caring family man and how he is an example of how families should be run…LOLOLOL…do they not KNOW the transcripts are available, and there are re-enactments on youtube?..
    They are touting him as a fine example of what they stand for…..

  • 160. Tim  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

    CSM is quoting Mr. NImocks from the Prop 8 proponent side, not giving this as its POV.

  • 161. Dieter M.  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I did not say otherwise… I said the CSM was reporting it….I simply did not feel the need to launch into a diatribe about it.
    when I said THEY are touting it I was referring to the defense……
    but if it floats your boat to nitpick..then good on ya!!

  • 162. Aconite  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Don't be fooled by the name of the paper. CSM has an excellent reputation for neutral reporting and journalistic integrity. It's not a fundie rag.

    Read carefully. Don't make the mistake of thinking that their quoting someone is the same thing as presenting that view as truth.

  • 163. Barb  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Goodnight fellow bloggers, (all diversity letters and acronyms)

    Was a great day. Frustrating at times, but your company made it so much easier to deal with.

    See you all on Monday, B & E.

    Love you ALL,

  • 164. Bruce  |  January 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

    This was a long and trying day for all involved. To the keepers of this blog, thanks for a full week of truly inspiring public service.

  • 165. paulo  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Sorry but I am a little angry.

    As a boy of 11 when I finally made the connection I would have done anything to be straight. I stopped going to church because I was convinced God hated me. I stopped hanging out with the boys because I was afraid they would see me looking and know what I was thinking, My grades crashed. By the time I was 18 I was a basket case and the night of my graduation I made a conscious choice to live in the closet rather than commit suicide. It took me another 20 years of pain to finally come out.

    That the Prop 8 people want to prove that I had any choice at all is insane and insulting and thoroughly blood boiling.

  • 166. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Paulo, I know what you mean. They're discrediting all that many of us have suffered. It's their own insistence that homosexuality is an abomination that has caused us such horrible pain.

  • 167. Joel Wheeler  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I feel you, paulo. Seriously. I grew up in an evangelical home and played "best little boy in the world" instead of crashing, but I feel that old frustration and rage reading these testimonies.

  • 168. A Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Paulo – your anger is justified. Unfortunately, there will always be those who feel the way they do. Be strong and follow the light in your heart – try to let it go so the past doesn't consume you.

    I can't speak from personal experience of the pain you endured, but I can speak as a mother who comforted her son from endless taunting and ridicule.

    You are important, you matter, and you are gift to be treasured … always have been and always will be.

  • 169. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    To A Mom, your comments here are moving and eloquent. How lucky your children are to have you for their mom. Thanks for being here and thanks for supporting your kids.


  • 170. A Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    No question that I support my own kids … but I'm here in support of all these *kids* (no matter how old they are)
    A Mom

  • 171. Carl E.  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm


    You hit the nail right on the head. It's funny how memory works – there's rarely a day goes by I don't recall a particular 30 seconds or so from 1984:

    I'm riding in the front passenger's seat of my Dad's Z-28. He had come to my Boy Scout meeting to drive me home. I just sat there, going over and over and over in my head, "Of all the billions of people in the world, why did God choose me to be gay?"

    That's it. I only recall sitting there in the car thinking 'why me?', doing my damnedest not to burst into tears. Some people say if they had access to a time machine, they'd cheat the lottery or the Kentuck Derby or something. Me? I'd go back to that 12-year-old kid and let him know that despite what he 'knew', despite how the world around him made him feel, he'd be OK. He wouldn't believe me, but I'd make him look me in the eye and I'd say, "You won't hear this from anyone else, but you have the strength, the intelligence and the character to make it through this. I PROMISE."

    Oddly enough, when we were around the age of 25, my best friend (who couldn't be straighter if you ironed him, and a Marine) asked me, "Carl, if there were a pill you could take that would make you straight, would you take it?"

    I could only give him the truth. I told him that for the first 22 years of my life, I'd have answered with a vehement 'yes'. However, at that point, I'd say 'no'. If I hadn't been gay, I wouldn't be the man I am today. I wouldn't understand what it means to be hated, to be discriminated against, to be loathed. I wouldn't be able to identify with other people who are treated in the same way. I offer help to those who need it, I offer comfort to those in trouble, I have love in my heart for EVERYONE. Despite our struggles, despite our setbacks and despite the outright hatred aimed squarely at us, I wouldn't trade the gay me for anything in the world. That other Carl would be missing something wonderful.

    Everyone have a great weekend! I'll see you all here Monday morning.

    With Most Heartfelt Love and Joy,


  • 172. truthspew  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Ok, reading this I think it's time to tell a short story. I knew I was gay as a teenager. But social pressure pushed me into a marriage by age 23. In fact prior to this I'd only had sexual contact with a neighbor boy.

    The marriage lasted less than 1.5 years. By 25 I had accepted that I was gay.

    Social pressure, and more to the point familial pressure is enormous.

    And the identity thing, yes ethnic identity is interesting. I am predominantly of Italian ancestry and identify as such. But I am also part Mohawk too, and part Irish.

    But I most definitely am gay. The direction of the defendants questioning insults the hell out of me.

  • 173. A Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:43 am

    These past 9 days have been intense and emotional. I am so hopeful that the exceptional team of Boies, Olson et. al., will prevail and move us light years towards equality in my lifetime.

    Looking forward to coming together on Monday and seeing what the other side presents. After Tam's testimony, we must remember to keep our cool and consider the source.

    Love to you all!
    A Mom (who is so proud of her g/l son & daughter)

    p.s. I may not be as educated as most on this blog, but smart enough to know that discrimination is wrong and equality is a basic civil right. We will fight the good fight.

  • 174. Joel Wheeler  |  January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

    : )

    Thank you A Mom! You brought a little tear to my eye!


  • 175. A Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Joel — awww re @Paulo comment … I'll bet you were (and still are) "the best little boy in the world" — just like my son, and he's almost 30!!

  • 176. Chris Peterosn  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    i wish you were my mom 🙁

  • 177. rpx  |  January 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Me too –
    A Mom (who is so proud of her g/l son & daughter)

    And a loving grandmother to our twin grandchildren.


  • 178. julie  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    dont know how you live bloggers keep yourselves from standing up and screaming- i'm gay cause i was born this way! know you cant do that but id sure want to! The comnts about education-its a class thing the higher up you are($) the more you can cushion yourself from discrim. The lesbian comments-sure right im a dyke bc i hung out w/girls when i was young- where do they get these people? never mind-i already know. thanks 4 all you are doing. go out this weekend in public and hold your sweeties brave!

  • 179. Richard  |  January 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    As for the "Fluidity" of SO, for me, the fluidity came with my coming out. I had to do it in steps. I married while on Christmas Leave in the USN, only because it was the "expected" thing to do. And it was truly a recipe fo disaster. A closet fag married to a closet lesbian. Zmy first wife and I became very good friends after our divorce, even going to the few gay clubs we had available to us together. when I began coming out, I first told myself I was bisexual. then I accepted, temporarily that I am gay, and had another relatonship with a man, this one was fulfilling. then I went back into the closet and married again. I was sleeping with another man the night before my second wedding, and going out with other men during this "marriage." In total, I have spent 5 years and 4 months in straight marriages, and the remainder of my time in same sex spousal arrangements that have yet to be legally recognized. I finally left the closet for good shortly after turning 27. I have not looked back, nor have I regretted finally being honest with myself and with those around me. I am now in a marriage that after April, will be recognized in CT, but not yet in my home state of NC. That it why it is so important that we stick together, and each of us work in our own local communities to regain the unity we had in the first years after Stonewall. Only then will we win theright for all of us to be married legally in our hometowns with any friends and family who support us there to celebrate our marriages with us, and only go out-of-town to get married when that is our choice. Unlike now, when we have to get married wherever it is legal to do so. And I truly feel sorry for all of my brothers and sisters in Delaware who cannot even do that without risking a $100 fine and/or 30 days in jail.

  • 180. A Mom  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    A naive question for the legal beagles re: Marriage Equality and DOMA …

    Please explain how we achieve equality for ss marriage if DOMA is in place? Is it a federal thing that doesn't effect individual states?

    I'm confused. Help. TIA

  • 181. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that if the Supreme Court rules for us, the demise of DOMA can't be far behind. There is a federal case that has been filed in Massachusetts by the legal team that basically won marriage equality there, specifically targeting DOMA. I'm not sure which may reach the Supreme Court first.

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

    There are also two other trials in the process dealing with elections fraud WRT Prop 8. So these people are in hot water up to their necks or even further than that. But they don't realize that yet.

  • 183. Aconite  |  January 23, 2010 at 12:19 am

    A Mom, you've already figured out that the shortest answer to that is, "It's complicated."

    IANAL (I Am Not a Lawyer), so all I can give you is a layperson's understanding of the issue. For a fuller discussion, definitely see an expert. But I'll explain what I can.

    DOMA keeps the federal government from recognizing any s-s marriage. People have pointed out that this infringes on state's rights; in fact, the State of Massachussetts is bringing a lawsuit against the federal government for just that reason. You can be married in, say, Iowa, and the state recognizes your marriage, but you can't file a joint federal tax return, your spouse won't get Social Security benefits if you die, and the federal government will not let your spouse be covered under your insurance if you're a federal employee, for example.

    If the courts find that LGBT is a "suspect class" (see earlier threads that deal with what that means in detail)–which is part of why this case is so important–then DOMA and laws like it are declared unconstitutional and are struck down. That's our best case scenario.

    You're right that in order to achieve equality, there has to be federal recognition of s-s marriage. There are about 1100 rights that automatically accrue to married couples. Many of those rights cannot be gotten in any other way than to have the label "married." Without that specific label, you don't have those rights.

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

    All their arguing about how we got the way we are doesn't change a damn thing. I'm lesbian. Period. It took me way too long to figure this out, and I'm not interested in wasting more of my life trying to justify my existence to a bunch of bullies. I have just as much right to marry; and I have just as much right to raise my children the way I see fit.

    The fact that there is divorce, there is child abuse, there is unfaithfulness ruins their argument for the sanctity of marriage. This isn't about marriage, traditional or otherwise, it's about religion. It's the Christian Right asserting it's privileged status and saying, "You have to live according to our beliefs; you're taking away our rights if you don't."

  • 185. Linda  |  January 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Love Linda & Leslie

  • 186. Phil Grisier  |  January 23, 2010 at 4:00 am

    The " sanctity" of marriage means that it's a union blessed by God and the church. Look up "sanctity" of marriage in the dictionary. Sanctity has nothing to do with procreation.

  • 187. Casey  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I wish I could say DOMA won't be far behind, but I think it will be a long fight. People like control…it's just human nature. I think there is a true, deep fear in many people that marriage equality will mean some sort of Shag-A-Thon between all living things. As insane as that is, it seems to be a part of many peoples' beliefs. Of course, those of us who get it know that this is about love, but if you're not educated, it seems like it's about sex. I am interested in opinions of folks like Cindy McCain…to what extent do you see conservative allies expediting the repeal of DOMA (if at all)?

  • 188. Casey  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Also, how likely do you think success is, given the current SCOTUS composition? For the repeal of DOMA or a ruling on Prop 8? To what extent do we need pressure from the executive branch, and how do we pressure HIM to pressure THEM?

    So many things to think about…I am going to write a strongly worded letter…

  • 189. Ann S.  |  January 22, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Casey, the executive branch isn't really supposed to pressure the Supreme Court, they are an independent branch (remember Roosevelt's infamous court-packing ploy?) They are appointed for life, anyway, and not really subject to anything the President can do to them.

    I am not sure at all what the SCOTUS will do. Like so many other cases, it probably depends on J. Kennedy.

    If you can find the comments of DonR on various posts, you will find them both helpful and hopeful. He is a retired law professor and has outlined why he thinks we will win this one.

    Elsewhere on these fora (no idea where at the moment) (oh, it's not too far above this post) I mentioned that a federal case filed in Massachusetts is directly challenging DOMA. I know less about that case than this one, so I can't speculate about what will happen. I do know that an excellent legal team is behind that one, also.

    If you are moved to write the President, you can remind him that it IS entirely appropriate for them to file a brief in support of our side when the case gets to the 9th Circuit and then the SCOTUS. But frankly, I wouldn't hold my breath, sad to say.


  • 190. Liveblogging Day 9: Part &hellip  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    […] Liveblogging Day 9: Part VI Finishing up the day […]

  • 191. Chris Peterosn  |  January 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I have been posting my own review each day on my you tube site.

    It is quite hard to read all that testimony (takes hours)

    I hope to see equality for the LGBT in my life time. every trial brings us that much closer. Win or loose our faces and our stories are spread around the country. I tell my good friend pat all the time "we will win not only because we are right but because there children are going to come out gay and its hard to fight the future"

    Take care everyone and long live equality.

  • 192. laura  |  January 23, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I'm amazed at the level of attention to the possible link of higher education and homosexuality based on findings that there is higher education in homosexuals than heterosexuals. And then link it to income. I am from a family of 4 children, so our family's income is the same. I am the only one who is homosexual. Oddly, I'm also the only one who graduated with honors and would have received scholarships had life not gotten in the way. Regardless, I fail to see the link between money and/or education and homosexuality. Either the attraction is there or it isn't. Isn't it?

  • 193. P Cabrera-Nguyen  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Jeez…"our" side hasn't done their homework. First the Christofascists cite Diamond's work, and our folks are clueless that she has publicly denounced their interpretation –or rather distortion–of her findings. Then, they don't mention that Dr. Spitzer himself harshly criticized his own "study" of reparative therapy. Watch the videos of both Spitzer & Diamond doing just that at

  • 194. James  |  January 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Still, after reading how the defendants are trying to say homosexuals are not a suspect class of citizens, I still don't get it. If we're not a suspect class of citizens why are there so many laws for or against our rights? Are we a suspect class when we're given Domestic Partnership or Civil Union laws? Are we a suspect class when we're included in hate crimes laws? We're just not a suspect class when it comes to marriage??? It makes no sense. If we're not a suspect class how can so many laws have been written to deny us rights???

  • 195. sarah  |  January 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Why didn't we call more witnesses to the stand? Why not schubert, garlow, and mcpherson? I would like to hear their testimony. I feel like we should hear from those people.

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