Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Trial Trackers: We need you!


By Rick Jacobs

There are only a few witnesses left in this trial and thus my stint as a liveblogger for this remarkable community is rapidly drawing to a close… for now. But that doesn’t mean that the Prop 8 Trial Tracker web site needs to come to a close.

In just a few short weeks, Trial Trackers have inspired us to expand coverage and delve deeper into this historic trial as well as bonding together as a community, both in the comment threads and in other forums including Facebook. It would be a shame if that were just to disappear as soon as the last question is asked in Judge Walker’s court.

We here at the Courage Campaign Institute know that, collectively, our readers and members are much smarter than us and frequently come up with amazing ideas. So, in that spirit, we are inviting all of you to share your ideas on how best to keep this community going. Let us know:

  • What would you like to see us do with this site?
  • How would you all like to stay in touch with each other?
  • How do we best take all of the amazing stories shared here and use them to advance the cause of equality?
  • As the trial goes on hiatus until closing arguments, how do we best get the word out about what transpired to those who have not been reading this site or others covering the trial?

Your feedback is what makes this site so amazing — and will help us maintain it as a vital resource for the marriage equality movement as the Prop 8 legal process continues, most likely all the way to the Supreme Court.

Remember: There are no bad ideas, so fire away. We can’t wait to hear from you…

This has been and is your trial, your movement. Please help us create the next steps.

See you in court Tuesday!


  • 1. Ronnie  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    You can start video blogs of interviews with people all over the country both gay and straight who support marriage equality…..reading is great but as you can see by the prop ha8ts disgusting adds and simulcasts putting a face to the argument is very effective….JMHO!

  • 2. Stine  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    During the trial several g/l people have shared their stories. I think we need to hear more from Californians. What's your story?
    The more sharing there is the more the "other side" can start to identify with the g/l population as complete equals. I don't mean the people filled with hate or the strong supporters of "Yes on 8". I mean people that are legitimately torn about where they stand on gay marriage. People that are confused, that have been mislead. It's our job as "No on H8" supporters to educate everyone with human stories. To teach people that their fellow Americans are, indeed, created equal and deserve equal rights.

  • 3. Gayle Madwin  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Here is one place where we can post our stories:

  • 4. Laura Kanter  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    1) Perhaps have interesting and significant portions of the transcripts put up with commentary by you and others who were in the courtroom, and then by the "trackers" for discussion.

    2) Perhaps some guest blogs by experts, lawyers etc. about different aspects of the trial. For example, while we wait for a decision, how about a post about the suspect class designation and how that might play out.

    3) I would love to discuss the role of propaganda and dismantle more of the lies – get really specific about it so people can take away learning and pass on to others what they understand about how the right uses rhetoric and propaganda.

    4) I loved being a guest blogger and I would guess there are others out there who would too. It was great to feel supported and empowered by Courage Campaign to share my thoughts. (Can I do it again, can I, huh??)

    5) Maybe there is a way to transition people into regional groups and create equality teams? Good timing for folks in CA who are interested in stepping up, as will be having regional trainings…

    6) Can there be online equality teams?

    Okay – I'll stop. For now. Peace out.

  • 5. Kyle  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Regional training for what?

  • 6. Ronnie  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I'll be apart of the joisey equality team…..I want to guess blog I mean it may not be entirely filled with legal jargon but I will most def. entertain…

  • 7. Catherine  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I'd join the Joisey team too! I wouldn't mind blogging either. I think the ideas put forth by Laura are really good. I've been reading everything you've all written. Who knew that all glbt and their friends were geniuses?

  • 8. Callie  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I'd love to be a guest blogger too. I did it before a couple of years back for Pam over on her site, and I had my own political blog for a couple of years.

    Like Ronnie, I don't know legal jargon, but I do know my own experiences and life. Sometimes that's stronger than any academic case you can bring. The average people don't want to hear jargon anyway. We just need to tell our stories.

  • 9. Glenn I  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

    The first three of these get a hearty Yawp from me.

  • 10. Kyle  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Follow other legal proceedings that affect the community. For instance, the federal lawsuit filed in Massachusetts challenging Section 3 of DOMA. I read on another website, a comment asking why the courts were not clogged with legal proceedings on behald of the lgbt community and suggested we "organize". I know there are many such proceedings, but am not aware of a "legal proceedings clearinghouse" per se. Would be interesting to see and be able to follow other such proceedings and thereby have an overview of whats going on in the courts regarding our rights. Perhaps it could be set up with a "see whats going on in your state" vs "whats going on on a federal level" overviews.

  • 11. Alkanshel  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Ooh. Sounds like a good idea.

  • 12. Adam  |  January 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I clicked through to post this very suggestion. As an attorney, I do have a professional interest in following this, but as an advocate for equality, I also have a social one.

    I'd also like to suggest that you could deputize Trial (or Hearing, or whatever) Trackers in other locations where relevant legal proceedings are being held, so we can watch them as well. It's like the courtroom sketch artist for the Web 2.0 era–the way we get to see where the cameras can't go.

  • 13. Jeff jones  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Organize…. Definitely… When I find out about protests/events, it's usually less than 48 hours before the event, and I only hear it from one of the dozens of mailing lists I am on… It just seems like all the groups/coalitions etc. Don't really communicate and organize events sponsored by more than one group.

  • 14. Charles  |  January 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Yes yes yes, I can only concur.

  • 15. Callie  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I like that too. Just about every year we have Republican legislators put in a bill to ban gays from adopting. We tend to defeat it, but there's a lot of that going on. We even have a "don't say gay" bill going through to stop teachers from even being able to mention homosexuality in the classroom (in a positive light, I should add).

    The TN Equality Project group here does a great job of keeping us updated.

  • 16. Jeanne  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:30 am


    I'm in TN too and didn't know we have and Equality Project! Thanks! I'm in a rural area of the state and there isn't any GLBT networking here…easier for most to stay hidden.

    I think this site would be well used by updating those of us that aren't able to participate in person in activist groups by updating us on legal proceedings going on in the country that effect us. I wouldn't have known about the Prop 8 Trial if I hadn't been searching for GLBT rights on the net one night. Thanks to the media's indepth coverage of the trial!!

  • 17. Nick H  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I agree with Kyle wholeheartedly. This is the sort of reporting that simply does not happen in the media, and I for one would love to see more of it, specifically in terms of GLBTQI related cases and how they relate in a broader context on the federal level at the very least.

  • 18. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:30 am

    check out for information and updates about what is going on in your area. They ahve a great website and an email newsletter. They not only stay up-to-date with what is happening across the US, but they also keep up-to-date with what forms you need to file depending upon where you are and what your needs are to protect yourself and your spouse in your state. And they depend upon all of us across the US to help with that effort, not only financially, but by telling them what we know about what is happening in our own areas. I told them about the Prop8TrialTracker website, and I live in North Carolina. Yes, I would willingly be a guest blogger myself and share my life story, and I will gladly form a marriage equality team here in Cumberland County and the surrounding area. All I need now is for the GREAT folks at CC to contact me and tell me what I need to do. And to let me know when to start on the book getting all of this in one place.

  • 19. Rhie  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I second this. I am in WA state, and would be very interested in following the privacy case of the ref 71 petitions. Perhaps if the state sees the number of people who are interested in this case, and in marriage equality, the LGBT community here will feel empowered enough to push for true marriage equality.

  • 20. Susan R Barnes  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I like Ronnie's idea of gathering video blogs, and for the same reason–putting faces on our stories is worth a thousand words. We need to counter the illogical and prejudiced arguments of the anti-marriage folks with facts that directly refute the fear-based lies that were used during the campaign. This combined with video blogs would be very effective. The trial re-enactment will be equally important for accurately conveying what actually took place in court.

    In the meantime, I'd like to see this site remain active during the hiatus (and beyond), with regular postings from Courage Campaign to spur more input from everyone. Let's keep the conversations flowing! I have never in my entire life felt such intense fellowship as I have here during this trial!

    – Susan

  • 21. David  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I suggested this in an e-mail, but will suggest it here again, since you are asking – (by the way, thanx for asking). In addition to what the other people have suggested (which I think are all excellent suggestions) how about having us tell why the issue of gay marriage is so important to us personally – I think this would go a long way in helping to change to people's hearts on this issue. The emotional testimony of Zia is only example, there are other stories out there that I am certain are just as touching.

  • 22. Kyle  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:11 am

    This could be very powerful. Imagine a youtube filled with LGBTQI people telling their stories. I like this notion a lot!

  • 23. Sean  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I honestly believe the best way to get out what happened is to raise enough money to hire some very professional actors to re-enact the trial – even if it's just for youtube. I know there is talk of this (or perhaps it's already in motion), I just want to stress that the more professional it looks, the better. Why not see if we can get Neil Patrick Harris and other out professional actors to volunteer or do it for a reduced fee? As Jon Stewart just reminded us, this is a country that wanted the president to move the state of the union address to a night that didn't conflict with LOST!

    Besides, you don't need to dramatize this very much. The trial has been riveting! As good as any Law and Order episode, IMHO. Blocking the televising of this trial was a huge disservice to the American people. Let's get the message out in our own way then!

    Thanks for doing the blogging!

  • 24. Morrigoon  |  January 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

  • 25. Alan E.  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I heard on NPR that they will have access to big names.

  • 26. Urbain  |  January 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I have an internet radio show and will be delighted to interview you folks about your impressions of the trial and related issues. Please email me if you're interested.

  • 27. Callie  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Oh, that made me think of something! Live podcasts of experts in the field where people can call in and ask them their expert opinion on matters. Or it can simply be used as a means to interview people.

    Though I think most people are visual and would more likely view a video than listen to a podcast. I could be wrong though.

  • 28. Kyle  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:12 am

    How do we do that Urbain?

  • 29. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:33 am

    And how do I get in touch with you about your radio show?

  • 30. rpx  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    What I find very interesting in this trial is the History of discrimination against GLBTs. Most important the legislative History and Trials. What I would like to see is a web page for each of those 27 States that have "Marriage is only between a man and a woman" Then bring in the actors in the legislative initiative and have them provide a play by play of what happened.

    If you can get both sides that would be great, but the actors should be told to not just talk about their side but show evidence of what the other side did as well. They should post this in their local GLBT websites so that GLBTs can come over here and then share their personal stories about what happened to them during the legislative campaign.

    If the actors won't take the time to write it up perhaps someone with a good journalism background can go after the information. People may be very willing to be interviewd but not so willing to write it up. In fact this might be a very good way to approach this, get Journalism students to cover each of those 27 states. Develope a standard format so that we can read across each inititive and see that in 27 states it followed the same tact. I would think you would need to have 3 states researched and then you could come back and deveope the format. For example one area in the format would be organized religion (pro & con and the power of each). Next one would be television & radio, next one rallies, next one the money. Research 3 three other states, develope the format and then send out journalism students, prolly Grad students.

    What makes this site so interesting is that it is reading about a trial. In other states perhaps there were no trials so it won't have the same drama as watching a courtroom trial. BUT, you could develope a format so that it would be very similar for us to read it as if it were a trial. Perhaps shamlessly borrow the exact same broad sections that Olson and Boies used in this trial. And for goodness sakes we need an expert on the Netherlands to write up what happened there. I am amazed so much of this trial focused on the Netherlands!

    I think you need a good webdesigner to be able to design the user interface to present the data. Users should be able to look at the area of Television advertising and pull up the report of television advertising for each of those 27 states along with the users comments and see that data all presented together. Or the user looks up just his state and sees all the data related to to the initiative.

    Here is a universal rule you can make book on, no one likes to write, everyone loves to edit. You have journalism students write up the discriminitory campaigns by interviewing the actors, then let the actors edit. Permit attachements so that actual documents can be attached to the story being told. In this way it can be summarized in the story and the back up data, the evidence shall we say, can be clicked on and opened. Only way I see this getting done. You can substitute journalism students for anyone who volunteres and seems able and committed to take on the project.

    Goes without sayng you need a great project leader.

  • 31. Rob K  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I absolutely agree about the Netherlands. I sat in on the trial for a week and was shocked by how frequently the defense used it. We need to debunk this fear of places like these. I think that people equate the Netherlands simply with AmsterdamBand assume it is an awful, immoral country. On a side note, the Dutch feel the same way I have heard that brought up so many time over the past few years. To be frank, the Netherlands has one of the highest standards of living in the world, they can't be that bad!

  • 32. Jeff jones  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I would like to see this site become a way for lgbt event organizers to communicate with each other and organize even bigger and more powerful events… I was at the most recent Manchester hyatt boycott, and that was the most advance notice I recieved for any rally type event with two days notice… I don't know about anyone else, but I often need at least a few days notice to try and get out of work if needed. Events should be planned out weeks in advance, not days or hours, and this would be a great way to do so…

    Also, I noticed that the biggest problem so far is finding out WHY people voted for prop 8. Is there any way to ask in an anonymous survey why? As long as no identities are revealed, it should still fall under the guidelines of a secret ballot and whatnot.

    I also think one of the under-represented groups in this battle are the straight no on 8 voters…in a some instances we were more supportive than some of the members of your own community…so when interviewing people about their experiences, don't forget about this suprisingly large demographic…

    Thank you for allowing a site like this to happen, I didn't think I'd follow the trial, but I became addicted VERY quickly… There is a definite need for more sites like this in the interest of transparency in government… Thank you courage campaign…

  • 33. Joshua  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I would make a searchable database where people could submit their stories (title + story), along with a few selectable categories they can place their stories into. URLs to youtube could also be accepted (with their titles and descriptions indexed in the same way).

    Also, include an option to have their their names+contact info connected to the story (confidentially or not), so that the stories can be authenticated (if there ever is a possibility of submitting stories in the next equality trial, similarly to the public comments on video footage).

    I could even throw a few simple PHP pages together to accomplish this, if you guys need help (though, I'm more of a technical guy, so it would look *really* ugly unless someone else styled it for me).

    I would also try to migrate this work (url redirect, make sure prop8trialtracker still brings people to the right place 🙂 ) to a more generic equality site, like, and make the database of stories global across all the blogs/future court cases (can deligate new blogs for various cases/campaigns that may happen in the future off that domain).

  • 34. Tim  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Unfortunatly, (still) the mass majority of Americans get most of their information from that blasted Television. During prop 8 we did not (and we should have) had as many if not more ads on television.We should have been defending the lies that were being spred about children/schools. That is what tipped the votes to the right.The thought that our relationships/marriages were going to be taught in grade school (which was NOT true)scared many people that were on the fence when it come to this issue. We did not protect ourselves! Right then on the spot. Television still sells! It reaches more people and we need to fire back and hard!!
    Love Tim…

  • 35. Rhie  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Perhaps see if a representative from this site and the courage campaign can get on Rachel Maddow or another friendly show. She has a huge following online and on TV.

  • 36. rpx  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    The whole thrust of the campaign to deny civil marriage to GLBTs was to protect your children. Olson and Boies did not have any witness testimony from children which I think would have been very powerful. I would like to see a whole section devoted to children who are raised in GLBT familes. Not just that our expert says "doesn't hurt children" let's hear some actual stories.

    One person on this forum who I think was aged 62 said s/he was raised by 2 lesbian parents and it didn't hurt him/her a bit. Now that is the first time I ever heard a person say that. This is an area of great interest to me since my grandchildren are being raised in a lesian home. More first peson accounts by/about children who are or have been raised in GLBT homes, go out and get the information.

    Here is one from my side. Mommy is a physician, mama is a teacher to children with autism. Grandfather is a scientist at a world renowed research center, lets say it would be similar but much bigger (much bigger) than Los Alamos National Laboratory. Daycare benefits are provided to children and grandchildren of employees. Twin grandchildren attend daycare (through grandfather's employment) where you can assume all the kids in daycare come from a darned good gene pool, these are exceptionally smart little children.

    Our little grandaughter at 16 months old, not even talking, knows the routine and at the correct time without any directions or instructions goes to the paper towl dispenser and lays out the correct amount of paper towels one for each child no more and no less, in front of each tiny chair as she has figured out that snack time is about to happen. She is the smarted kid in her class at daycare, and also the most socially intelligent, raised by lesbians 🙂

    Her twin brother likes boy play, I think they call it rough play in research. he likes the boucy house, his siter doesn't. He likes to run and bang into the sofa, his sister doesn't. He is more the engineer, he is first to figure out how to push a chair across the room (and has the strength to do it) and crawl up on it in order to crawl up on the kitchen counertops. And because his sister is not as strong as he is, he pushes a chair over for her also so she can get up with him. Very very well adjusted, intelligent, loving children, raised by lesbians.

  • 37. one mama in philly  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    You are a good doting grandparent. I agree with many of the things that you said. But. I have to disagree with the 'gene pool' comment. I think that I felt much the same way until my would-be-wife and I adopted a baby. I started investigating early childhood cognitive development. Research shows that early childhood education is a good predictor for success – rather than genetics, socio-economic status, race, gender, … A good starting point for reading is

    And yes I have noticed that some boys do tend to play more roughly than some girls – but not all. We have to be careful here because children, including or especially infants, pick up on cues from us. Sooo we try to simply agree that the pink purse with sparkly stuff on it is very pretty and yes he can have one if he really wants it.

    His grandmother is a devout catholic and had serious trouble adjusting to out relationship. Yet she dotes on him like any good grandma. We have been together for 20 years so she has had some time to adjust. The best that I could hope for would be that she would simply not vote rather than vote against same-sex marriage – but I think I'd be disappointed. The rest of both of our families are definitely in favor of marriage equality.

    Much Love from the City of Brotherly Love,

  • 38. FeistyAmazon  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Courage Campaign you do darned good work.I was there at the rally the first day, and well, Rick Jacobs, gotta say it hugely bugged me when it said 140,000 singed people, instead of signed people! I guess we were singed by the process! We never got to televise it even with 138,000 voting for the televising, and only 32 against!

    I WOULD like to see this whole trial documented, like someone said above, in some kind of documentary/video reenactment with the exact words used. Though I haven't read this tracker everyday, I got the gist, and I think it's hugely important to see just where the money comes from, the propaganda, the churches that support this hateful measure, and their words and overarching agenda of discrimination and hate. Just like the 'kinder gentler' white supremacy groups who couch their words in euphemisms like protecting America and democracy and 'our people', the same is true with these rightwing groups and churches that want a theocracy rather than a democracy, on the backs of lesbian and gay folks, and anybody else they can demonize to rake in the bucks and gain power.

    I am TIRED of the discrimination, I'm a lifelong Lesbian, been out for close to 30 years, and it was only in 2004 I finally felt the power of the marriage words being meant for me when we first married, to then have that annulled by the State, , and have to marry again in that short window of 5 months in 2008 before Prop 8 passed.

    I'd like to see a documentary that exposes these Churches, their doctrines and documents(like the LDS Hawaii document against same sex marriage), the money trail, the belief systems, showing the hateful ads, and the demonizing of our community, all the lies that are told about us, that cause us NOT to have the political power we could have, or the social power more importantly. ENDA isn't passed, Don't Ask Don't Tell is still on the books, as well as DOMA, and Obama hasnt' really come behind us, only in rhetoric, but not in action.

    The same is so true of so many other politicians, they fear us cuz they know the well funded Catholic and Mormon churches oppose us all the way. It IS a culture war that continues to be waged on our backs, and by exposing this through the trial and in a video well acted and well documented, then the message can truly get out to the American people in a way it could not because the Supreme Court wouldn't allow the trial to be televised……
    -In Solidarity,

  • 39. FeistyAmazon  |  January 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    P.S. forgot to add we got to be in the overflow courtroom that first day and hear the testimony from the two gay guys, and then we got interviewed by NBC and Tracy Grant, and got on the 6 oclock news! That meant alot to us! We were there in the courtroom in the first CA Supreme Court arguement on March 4 2008, and have gone to many of the rallies and marched in the Marriage equality contingent for 6 years, but it was the first time we were actually interviewed by a major news channel!

  • 40. Barb  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    What an amazing feeling you must have. I wish I could be there, This is the closest i can come to being there in the courtroom. But it does give me a sense of being involved.

  • 41. Morrigoon  |  January 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Well, obviously with the issue not resolved until ssm is finally made legal, I'm sure there will be more to track relating to Prop 8.

    I think the trick will be pacing the content so that there always seems to be something "new" even when the available content slows to a trickle between trials.

    Perhaps do some guest "interviews" like you often see in magazines with commentators discussing the relevant topics of the day

  • 42. M_A,B,Cx2,J,L,ox3 gg  |  January 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

    Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 2 of the 14th amendment.

    Section 1.
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Section 2.
    Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section 3.
    No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section 4.
    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section 5.
    The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    *Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

    I thought to post this Bill of Rights 14th Ammendment for all to read and check out the Blog. Thank you.

  • 43. Robyn Elaine Serven  |  January 25, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I'm wondering why comment chains are limited to three. Someone can comment, get a response, and someone can comment on the response…but that seems to be it.

    Hard to get a good discussion going that way.

  • 44. Petr Tomeš  |  January 25, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Any chance that this meta-analysis can help in court?

  • 45. James I  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I think you should keep the site content closely aligned to the URL. This is definitely going to the Supreme Court, and (unfortunately) that could take years. Even beyond the final decision in the case, I think this blog could become part of our living history…documenting either our eventual freedom or our official second class status. Imagine school kids studying the 'real-time history in the making' aspect of this site in the future?

    While all the ideas about organizing in other states and using this site to launch more events are worthy, you should stay focused on the topic and not dilute it for other purposes.

    Just my $0.02,

  • 46. Barb  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I would actually like to see some blog section started about the hearings prior to when the trial began. I have been reading the transcripts and have so many questions and don't know where to post them (doesn't seem fair to post them within these pages).

    One thing I would like to add has to do with the way you have the comment section. Although I think in the short term, it's great not to have to have people register with unique user names. Unfortunately it's far too easy for us to post under each other's names the way the commenting section works.

    You could also keep this blog section for trial transcripts, articles and commentary pieces and add a forum where we could start our own threads. But not sure how appropriate that would be during a long trial like this.

    This is going to be the blog diary/library for future generations to read. Let's keep it professional.

  • 47. Chris  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Amen. Forums would be Amazing. It seems like such a productive way to get/give info. A place for tips, venting, courageous conversations. A place where threads and thoughts can be followed. Just my .02

  • 48. Linda  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I agree; a forum would be great. We need to connect not just as activists, but as family; and if we have a designated place to do that it will be easier to keep these comments more professional.

  • 49. Bill  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    First, as a person who reads at the end of the day or even the following day, is there any way — once the live-blogging is done for the day — to flip the chronology on the site so that a reader can start (at top of web page) with the morning's report and work their way down through the course of the day? For anyone who does not have time to check in during the day, this would be very helpful. With all the side blogs and articles, it's difficult to go to the bottom and try to work your way back up. But then I was also really annoyed by the backwards episode of "Seinfeld."

  • 50. lsfoster  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:13 am

    At the end of every day, they put up a single post which combines all that days blogs into one longer post. This can simply be read from top to bottom. They're the posts titled "Daily Summary".

  • 51. Bill  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Thanks. Will look for that. Hope it's fairly detailed.

  • 52. Raven H  |  January 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    In regards to the trial thus far I believe we are doing a phenominal job. Maybe it's internal bias so I take the time to read Pugno's blog on They are playing the victim card but I would like to have a professional opinion as to if any of his arguments will gain traction.

  • 53. Sarah  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    1) They have the comments section after each blog turned off. What are they afraid of?

    2) No verbatim excerpts. What are they afraid of?

  • 54. Alan E.  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I wonder if we could repost's blog posts so that we can have a forum to discuss it.

  • 55. Gayle Madwin  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Reposting them would be asking or another lawsuit from them, but linking to them would work.

  • 56. Beth  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    You might consider offering up several places to navigate to:

    1) Legal issues & updates

    A little civics goes a long way. I think the equal protection issue is lost on most people not deeply involved. Shed some light on what constitutes politcal power especially. Segura's testimony was riveting in that regard and really made me think that marriage equality advocates need to change the conversation.

    2) Personal stories — including couples, kids, non-gay supporters, like our parents, colleagues, and neighbors. If my marriage was okay with my mother, why isn't good enough for some total stranger? Or congressman?

    Prop 8's arguments have been that we are all moneyed elites or Will & Grace types. Feature the stories from the people posting from Arkansas, Alabama…all over.

    3) Myth Busters

    I've been amazed at how many persistent myths have been propagated in the Pro8 testimony. "DPs/CUs offer all the same benefits as marriage" for one. Link each myth to a personal story and a fact sheet. Dispel the idea that gay people are anti-religion or are comparing our equal rights struggle one-to-one with the Black civil rights movement (a LOT of anger over that).

    Show the difference between visibility and political power — just because two leading men kissed in Brokeback Mountain without ruining their careers does not mean we have equal rights. Don't even get me started on "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"

    And keep blogging!

    This service has been invaluable. Thank you so much.

  • 57. Randy  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Love the idea for Myth Busters with personal story!! Each time something is said that is not true we attach an accredited fact sheet and as many personal stories as pertain.

  • 58. Erik  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Love the myth busters idea

  • 59. Randy  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I would have to agree with those who talked about a place to put our stories, which was one of the most moving parts of the trial. And it is one piece that people will read; our stories have all that interests the public now, fear, suspense, forbidden love, and hopefully a happy ending. As an added benefit it would provide a pool of possible testimonials, subject to verification. But just imagine a site with over 1000 stories of coming out and falling in love, or of people who watched their kids deal with a society that doesn’t accept them, and even have a section for those who don’t agree with us. When you place the stories of LGBT, our allies, and our enemies together on one site I imagine it will be fairly evident what the motivating factor is in each (Love, Love, fear). I would think that as an online community we would need to keep a watch on the comments (I guess like craigslist, not sure not a tech guy), to keep them useful and keep them furthering the discussion, on all issues.
    As I am thinking about this these stories might be best as a sister site to this one, this one keeping up with the trial and other struggles happening in either the courts or legislature, more the professional side and the other site being the personal side to it all… Kind of rambling, sorry! I just think there is an opportunity here to make something that will last and have an impact.

  • 60. Randy  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Just another thought about the personal stories that I thought about in relation to Beth’s comment above: Make it possible to put Tags on a story by readers, this way as people read and think of things it relates to in the world or on the site they could add a tag. Later when someone wants to look up stories that have something to do with Immigration, or Military, or whatever it will be that much easier. I bring up the idea of making it user driven because I think we will get a lot of stories and it would be easier for this community to read and tag as we go.

  • 61. Beth  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Very cool! A Big Gay Tag Cloud! I love it.

  • 62. rpx  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

    a specific tag for grandmothers.
    I actually think the best format is probably the Wikipedia format. Are we allowed to start a wicki on this? Just use their website.

    When the dough head witness for the defense, actually the DI to be precise, the last witness who had virtually no credentials testified that in Canada when they sanctioned gay marriage they changed the words from Natual Parent to Legal parent. A hilarious comment was added

    CC: How will SS marriage hurt kids?
    B: When Canada passed ss marriage, struck words, “natural parent” and replaced with “legal parent”

    I see his point. Kids are very sensitive to these sorts of changes to the legal code.

    Go ahead, just try to change the part where Goldilocks creates a tort when she samples the first bowl of oatmeal. I dare ya.

    I think it would be hilarious to take the exact live trial blogs and in a different color font pick out some of the more thoughtful or lively or funny responses and insert them right in the live trial blog. Obviously you would want a second blog going. Kind of how once in a while Rick inserts a comment that is germain to what he has just written, do the same thing with uer comments. Not all the comments just the best ones.

  • 63. Beth  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Another myth: the Victimization of Prop 8 Supporters.

    I forgot another navigation tab:

    4) LGBT Legal/Social History

    …for the non-gay world and our younger community members. A few "Did you know that in 1982, gay bars in St. Louis were still being raided and patrons' names and addresses would appear in the newspapers?"
    (true!) might be pretty enlightening.

    Other Ideas

    ** Pitch a story to This American Life about what this site started out to be and what it has become.

    ** Ask everyone who posted a personal story to record it at a Story Corps location within a specified timeframe, like a blitz! Make March personal story month, or something.

    ** Enlist our visible community and pals to promote the site — or guest blog: Wanda Sykes, Ellen & Portia, Meredith Baxter, Barney Frank, Rachel Maddow, Rob Reiner, Lady Gaga. (I'm so sorry, I can't think of any other men! But you get the idea.)

    ** Use your fight over the logo to get more national press!!

  • 64. Sara  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Yes! This American Life and Story Corps are great ideas. NPR actually reaches a fairly wide audience. On the other hand, their audience tends to be people who want to be educated and think about the issues, but still….

  • 65. Rev Scott West  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I thiink that the idea about protests is good, but getting to know peoples stories is important.
    There are folks here in the midwest (not Chicago or DesMoines) that might be voting republican because they don't know their neighbors.

  • 66. Linda  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Most powerful testimony in my opinion was the SD mayor who changed his mind- that's the kind of stories we need to get out more often.

  • 67. Jim  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    1) The ability for anyone to download the entire trial in one PDF, like a book (the Apple Tablet comes out today!)
    2) Commentary from non-LGBT political community. Getting an interview with Cindy McCain or Megan McCain would bring a high profile conservative for gay rights street cred to the site.
    3) Commentary from Eugene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop.
    4) March in the NY and SF Pride Parades this year.

  • 68. Beth  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I *love* the idea of PDF of your trial coverage and commentary posts as one download! Love it love it.

    I agree with Jim that going outside the community to gain more mainstream media coverage is essential. The McCain women really boosted the trial's profile for a little while there.

  • 69. Dave T  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    The PDF idea is an easy one… I'll see if I can't tackle that one this weekend (although it will be very plain.

    A larger project would be to transform this blog into a book. There are a bunch of on-demand publishers who make this pretty easy – again, I'd be interested in tackling the layout, although it's a much bigger project and I have no idea about any copyright or privacy issues that might be involved. But this could be a money- maker for courage campaign. I'd be happy to donate my editing & layout skills.

  • 70. Michelle  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I have had a bit of experience in .pdf'ing and am not a complete idiot in copyright issues, and if necessary have the resources to gain answers to questions that might come up. Leave a comment on my blog if I can be of help in any way. I'd be thrilled to be of service and to offer my talents as well.

  • 71. Callie  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I've only read the first few posts here, but I wanted to throw out some ideas or additions to those before I forget them.

    1) Videos – I agree, we need people to see us and our families and hear our voices and stories. I have very close friends that didn't even know some of the bigoted things that have been said to me when I came out and they were shocked. The fencesitters need to hear our stories.

    Maybe do interviews with experts in the field, scholars on GLBT issues in America, and such. I'm actually a doctoral student myself so this would be a good opportunity for me too.

    BTW, I have videomaking skills so I'd be happy to help with a project like this.

    2) Regional equality trainings – someone mentioned this above and I thought it was great. Back when the Federal Marriage Amendment was always looming, I sent a message to one of the leading marriage equality groups (can't remember who off the top of my head) and I had a similar idea that was unceremoniously shot down.

    I suggested statewide Equality Rides (similar to the Freedom Rides of the 60s) where GLBT people who live in that state go town-to-town talking to people, sharing their stories, and just being visible. This could be very powerful with our straight allies involved. This doesn't mean protests in the streets, but simply being there and showing people this is who you're voting against.

    We need to obliterate the fear and the unknown, let people see us as human. The Prop 8 people fed on ignorance and fear. We need to go to the root of that. We won't accomplish anything with black tie dinners and pride parades that nobody sees, nor will we accomplish anything by "preaching to the choir." That'll mean getting out of our comfort zone.

    3) Oh, and I do love the regional equality trainings. I think even the GLBT community can be woefully ignorant of the problem. We get stuck in our little gay ghettos and forget that most people still hate us because they don't know us. We need to educate and empower our own community (at least once all the white parties are over /snark/).

  • 72. JD  |  January 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    A page with lists of links to useful sites.

    I am really enjoying the live blogging and chortle with undisguised glee at many of the bloggers' comments.

    For Example you can find actual:

  • 73. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Another thought…whatever focus the site takes, we need to leverage the power of the Internet in our favor by incorporating as many social networking, blogging, and RSS tools as possible.

    For example, our tech guy at work loves Drupal because we can update information on our three websites along with Facebook and Twitter all at the same time. So, someone updates and puts a new video on You Tube and loads it to the Courage Campaign site (or wherever). It'll be posted on all of the other sites at the same time.

  • 74. Patrick Regan  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I know many of these ideas were put out there already, but here are some of mine.

    1- Get some legal experts (from both sides of the argument preferably) to weigh in on how they think the trial is going. Have them read full transcripts. I love to hear some expert opinions as to the quality of our side's job, and how much of a chance they think we have.

    This is in no way a criticism of the bloggers/lawyers/transcribers. You all do a wonderful job. Please continue to do the wonderful work you do. I am just interested in some experienced litigators ideas.

    2- Videos. Especially re-enactments of the trial. Those can be passed around. Especially highlight clips. It makes it easier to show people what this is really about.

    3- keep the site focused on prop8. If you want to do other legal battles (which is a good idea) I suggest doing that on a separate blog and link between them. Having a network of blogs with a central blog pulling them all together might be better (think Gawker media almost).

    4- Forums. Just takes that comments to a whole new level. It allows for more detailed discussions.

    5- Rules- make sure people know that harassing prop8 supporters will not further our cause. We can be critical, but no mass emails to one person's email box. That will just make things worse and make us look like a bunch of internet vigilantes.

    You guys are doing awesome. These are just my opinions, others can take an leave as they please.


  • 75. Choinski  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Unfortunately I can't find it right now, but back when the Massachusetts legislature had its constitutional convention in 2004 to decide the fate of SS marraige, the Boston Globe had two ongoing blogs – one for and one against – that was just as gripping as this one is.

    The pro-gay side had really powerful writing; the anti gay side was petty, hateful and the original blogger was suddenly replaced with a more analytical one.

    Does anyone from Massachusetts remember this and can provide a link?

  • 76. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Are you thinking of I posted on that site ALL the time and met some really great people.

  • 77. Rev. Bud  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:13 am


    I want to share material designed to try to bring members of churches aboard as allies.

    I'm a United Methodist minister, retired, who has been an advocate for lgbt rights for many years. I have co-authored an educational piece on the history of marriage. It deals not with 'what' marriage is but 'who' has been excluded from being able to marry before we changed and allowed them to be married (by the State, by the Church)- slaves, interracial couples, divorced persons, and, finally same-sex couples.

    This last Sunday I was at our second largest United Methodist in our northern CA Conference (2500 members, Glide Memorial, SF is our largest.). The play was used as the 'sermon' in their four worship services.

    Though having references to our denomination, the play is usable for educational purposes. It can be used in any church that folks on this list would like to educate about the growing circle of groups that society and church first refused to allow marriage to but subsequently included.

    It is a 'readers theater' script. This means it can be done easily because it doesn't need to be memorized. it can be used in the worship service. Or it can be used in other settings, like study classes. In the latter case, there are materials at the website which give the historical background. The latter material is helpful in the discussion following the enacting of the drama.

    The material is found at
    You will also find there my email address. Please contact me if you are interested in using the material.

    This trial has shown how the Prop 8 forces exploited the churches to oppose gay marriage. Here's a tool to help develop allies for gay marriage in the churches. Not all will change, of course. But there are many on the fence to be wooed.

  • 78. Anne  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I'm a "reader" so personally I would pay for a print copy of the trial transcripts interspersed with comments from this blog…and with the various additional material you've been putting on this site and your commentary. A book of the trial would be awesome for me! but I admit, I'm probably in the minority.

    Videos of re-enactments of key parts of the testimony? reading off the transcripts? If they won't televise, can we act it out and put it on YouTube that way?

    You won't lose this community… even if we aren't frantically reading this on a daily basis, we'll remember what we read and take it with us. Please don't take down this site as I would love to have it as a reference!


  • 79. Martha  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I think there should be a permanent section about the courageous conversations that CC talked about during the holidays, maybe something outlining the idea, and then a comment board specific for sharing experiences and strategies.

    I loved that idea because it makes all us feel like we can actually contribute something besides $ to the movement, and gives us something to do (especially straight allies since we're typically putting less on the line by just voicing an opinion and not coming out).

    We need to focus not just on energizing our base and making rational arguments for those who are ready to listen and do their own research, but on reaching out to people who may not initially be super receptive, except that the message is coming from someone important in their lives.

  • 80. David  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:26 am

    I would like to see you cover gay marriage court cases around the world. I think it would be interesting to see the debates and arguments used in other countries. I know its probably unfeasible, but hey, its a small gay world, somebody's gotta know somebody's cousin in France or Germany or whatever.

    I think that looking at other country's marriage equality battles and showing them as relative to each other will help the overall struggle for justice in all countries (that don't censor your website).

  • 81. Kathleen  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I'd like to see the site used to help people to better understand our legal process and what the significance is of the various aspects of this and other lgbt civil right cases.

    As Beth said above, "A little civics goes a long way." I think it makes everyone better advocates if they know how the judicial system works (i.e. state vs federal, the role of the various levels of appeals), what the elements of a civil rights legal argument are and if they have some background on civil rights cases and the state of lgbt rights in this context.

    In reading the comments here and on other sites, I've become aware of just how little many people know about how our judicial branch works and what the stakes are.

  • 82. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

    To add to all the above comments, we should use all the information gained in "hindsight" from Prop8, and be ready to look for the lies and follow the money in future initiatives in other states. Try to document from before the vote their tactics.

    Love this site, keep up the fight!!

  • 83. Nick H  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:40 am

    I agreed with someone earlier in the thread, but just wanted to reiterate that I think the concept of live-blogging and tweeting other relevant trials in a manner similar to this one would be of the greatest possible benefit to the LGBTQI community. Personal stories are great, but it would also be nice to have a central place to watch and discuss the legislative/judiciary process, how it's done, what mistakes were made and what successes we can be proud of (My God Man!).

    I also like the legal commentary and consistently engaging discussion of the implications of what is being said in the trial. Reading all of this has taught me more about how the judicial system works than I ever knew, not to mention giving me a laundry list of authors and topics to look up in my (admittedly minimal) free time.

    Basically, you've done something wonderful and (as far as I can tell) unique, and I would love to see more of it on a broader scale.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you;

    Nick H.

  • 84. cc  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:43 am

    If possible I would love to see the simulcasts/ videos that were presented during the case. A picture is worth a thousand words even though you guys tried your best to explain them; a significant message was probably lost. We need to show the real side of the Yes on Prop 8 and put it up so people can have the full view of the hate and discrimination that motivated the initiative.

  • 85. Bx2216  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:43 am

    I'd like to see more doggedness exposing the spin and lies of groups like ProtectMarriage as well as the implications to the RC Church, the LDS church, et al.

    I think there are many who could use a civics lesson on how the legal system works (and, contextually, our government)

    And I would love to see more voices added from religious figures – often they are able to "talk the talk" to those who believe the lies and change minds and possibly hearts.

    My two cents – FWIW.

    Still – this is a great site with a wonderful community of commentators and bloggers!

  • 86. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I bet it would be very interesting to see the interconnection of arguments and parties involved in amendments that have passed in all the states. I'd be willing to wager money that the same names and organizations would pop up and that the same tired methods and arguments have been used. It would be a little something that I would point my friends and family to and say, "Tell me now that this isn't carefully orchestrated and deliberate discrimination."

  • 87. Woody  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:50 am

    What, no one mentioned the "Good God Man!" shirts yet? Setup a Cafe Press (Or better yet,–far more flexibility than Cafe Press) account and sell some to make some money to help run the site. Check yesterday's threads for awesome suggestions–my favorite was, "Lesbians like Boies." Maybe us guys could get one that simply says, "I like Boies."

    More presence on social networking sites would be great. I know there's an "unofficial" group on Facebook, but I'd love to see you more involved there. I spend way more time there than anywhere else. Twitter annoys me, so I'm not watching you guys there. Also, remember that FB is not Twitter, so incessant status updates may also be annoying to people on FB. Maybe something more of a summary and pointing back to this site.

  • 88. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:59 am

    I was going to since I came up with it but I'm sure they got idea from the rest of the

  • 89. Dave T  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

    How 'bout "Straight guys like Boies too!"

  • 90. Michael  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I would like to see live blog transcripts be put in a pdf file so that they can be distributed to friends and family. It should also be available to LGBT groups and ally groups and they should be encouraged to put links to it on their web sites.

    I would also like to see us get some commentary from law experts and law jounals maybe a section on this web site for legal professionals to way in

    The most important thing is to get the content of this trial out to as much of the public as possible

  • 91. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Hmmm, lots of us on here are offering our skills and expertise. Could there be a list created somewhere that we could add our names to so we can be contacted? Seems like it could be lost in the shuffle here.

  • 92. Jerry  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:01 am

    During the two week wait for closing….it would be amazing if we could find talent to actually put together for You Tube a replay of the highlights of the past two weeks trial in short chronological order in short segments….courtroom setting as if they are watching the event.

  • 93. Angel  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

    My ideas are:

    1. Create a forum for us to stay in touch with.
    2. Create text/video blogs for us to share our stories.
    3. Keep up with and share info on other related trials going on in America.
    4. Create a section that informs people of discrimination happenings throughout history.
    5. Links to useful sites.
    6. Post every biased opinion out there, along with the actual truth right next to it, so people who are still discriminating can finally know the truth.

  • 94. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:56 am

    yeah I'd totally love a trial-tracker you Tube channel where all of us, straights gays whatever, can share our stories but also tell why we are interested in the trial and why equal rights is an important issue to us!
    there could be like an video Blog from courage campaign in which there's asked a question to which all other could give a video response. every time a different question… get the idea? these blogs could happen at a regulat basis…
    apart from the question about the believes that leads to our commitment to equal rights and about sharing our stories there could be such questions as, "for christians: tell us why you see no conflict between supporting ss-marriage and being a faithful christian"…….

  • 95. Robert  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

    I'd like to add my voice to one of the above sugestions that going forward this site(or maybe a linked to site) could offer a rationaly organized blog of the lgbt civil rights fight across the country. This whole question of "political powerlessness" has me wondering where we stand in the various states. I'm afraid that I don't know much more than Prof. Miller about the national state of gay rights. What I'd propose is that each state would recute one or more bloggers to write short articles on the major pieces of legslation and cort cases in their state. I'm in Boise and would be happy to write a short article on the current (4th) attempt to pass basic discrimination protections in Idaho. I'd also love to find out what's going on in Santa Fe or Atlanta rather than just the major news out of NY or NJ.

  • 96. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Good idea! I'd be happy to do it for my state too (TN). Every year we have something anti-gay introduced to the legislature. It would be nice to have an on-going record of that.

  • 97. Angel  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I also wanted to point out that right now, on Logo (TV), there is a program on called "Late in Life Lesbians", about women who either thought they were straight, or pretended to be until their 40's or older. It shows perspectives from the women, and their children, and it totally hit home as far as this trial goes. I am in Texas now, but was a born and raised Cali girl til I moved here in 2004. I am 34 now.

  • 98. James Sweet  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Sports blogs tend to wind down quite a bit in the offseason, though there is still some traffic with people discussing offseason news like trades, etc.

    Similarly, it seems natural that this blog would scale back until the inevitable appeals. Keep us updated on any relevant news, but I think it is okay if traffic diminishes and posting frequency goes way down… and then pick it back up when the "season" resumes.

    Has the 9th Circuit given any indication that they would want to expedite the appeal?

  • 99. Linda  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I have to admit that I really don't have a clear understanding of how our 'organization' works. We have CC, and then there's AFER–are these two connected? Is one regional, and the other national? Or are they both doing pretty much the same thing? And then there's the HRC…what is our connection to them?

    It seems like there's a lot of duplication of efforts; we spin our wheels, but are we as effective as we could be?

    I see a need for an organized way of soliciting and disseminating information–perhaps regionally–with contacts for each for each region. Hubs, I guess you could call them. I think we are good at responding to calls for action; but we do need to know what is needed to be done (letter writing, emailing, etc.)

    We seem to be in the process of cleaning up our image, and that's a good thing. We are regular, educated, hard-working, moral, ethical contributors to society. I would love to see us present ourselves that way more and more.

    I realize I am not providing solutions to these observations, and for that I apologize. I know it's much easier to point out what needs to be done, than to actually have to figure out how to do it, and then make it happen.

    I will give this more thought.


  • 100. Bryan Baker  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:31 am

    This entire battle in court and your updates have been extremely educational, I have tried getting the word out yet there are so many people still not aware of your site. I think it would be a great thing to open up a facebook page, to get the word out to more people and spread the knowledge through that as a tool. Plus it's free!!!

  • 101. Barb - Lesbians Love  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:35 am

    I talked about it with a group of friends who didn't even know what Prop 8 was, and yes, they are GLBT. We don't live in California. I spoke this weekend with the editor of our local gay newspaper and asked if he was following it. I forgot to ask if he was also following this forum. But he is following the Prop 8 trial and they are finally writing about it. So word is slowly getting out to those who cannot follow in these blogs.

  • 102. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Rick, I would like to hear from smeone at CC about putting all of this into a book. I am perfectly willing to do whatever work is needed to do this–sending out releases to everyone, putting it all onto discs, and mailing it to CC for final approval and CC's search for a publisher. Right now I do not have money to give, but I do have time, and I can devote my time to compiling everything and putting it all together as a book so that we have a permanent record of our efforts once this is all over. This is history in the making, and in this small way, I can be part of it. But the most important thing is that we would then also have another way to remain connected as a community. You can contact me either here or through the FB page. Pleas let me know how you feel about this.

  • 103. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Oops! Forgot to hit the subscribe key again.

  • 104. Sandy O  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I would like you to take each days/weeks news articles about the trial during the time that the judge is reviewing the evidence. I would like this site to be my best source for news while I wait for the next phase to begin.

  • 105. Wolfinlv  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Perhaps convert to equality tracker where people can blog about situations in their state. Say if something came up in front of the las vegas city council I could blog about that. If something came up in front of the state legislature here in NV someone in carson city could blog about that. Turn this one state website into a national utility to track the legislatures and governments responses to GLBT rights issues.

  • 106. Aleta  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I second this idea!! There are many people watching from the edge of their seats in other states (I'm in WA), because this may influence laws in our own states.

  • 107. James  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:55 am

    One thing the Courage Campaign can do after teh live-blogging is done is to post any and all motions filed as well as Court reulings on the Motions. At the very leasdt, the site should provide links to these documents.

  • 108. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I think these are great ideas, but I would emphasize what another blogger mentioned, and that is "to keep it professional". Sometimes that can be hard when there is so much emotion involved. We already know the mindset of the other side and they will look for anything to substantiate their views. Being straight (& an active Mormon) I was very touched by your stories, and I think that approach would appeal to the majority of voters who are "on the fence". No one wants to hear the legal stuff and most would likely think it was tainted in one direction anyway. It has to come straight from legal sources like court documents………and people will eventually get that through the media (though often biased). But what they won't get are your stories. People who are not close to the gay community need to see over and over that you are no different than they are: ie you come from all professions, you are parents, some of you are Christians or have another faith, you are loving and want to be loved (a basic human trait!), and they need to know the adversities you have endured. Anyway, just my observation.
    I have thorougly enjoyed being a part of this community and being allowed to clarify a few of the ideas re my religion.
    Quesion? If Judge Walker rules in our favor, does Prop 8 get thrown out, or does it have to go through other courts? I hate the thought of having to wait for years….and with all the contention.
    SB Mom

  • 109. Erik  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:02 am

    I've been watching (er, refreshing constantly) from Nebraska and really enjoy what this site is doing.

    I think Calie and Patrick have provided some excellent ideas (as have many others on this thread). I may be rehashing a lot in my reply, but here goes:

    Making it a clearinghouse/action center for every state. Obama had an excellent campaign site that allowed you to find other supporters in your neighborhood, keep profiles, tell stories, learn about local events, etc. It seems like there is a big void in our community for something like this on a national level.

    As someone said above – we need to come out of the ghettos and let everyone know that we exist and are not the scary monsters we can sometimes be portrayed as.

  • 110. paulo  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:02 am

    My idea is very specific and activist.

    We should assume that this is going the SCOTUS for review and should start action now to force Thomas to recuse himself from the case. His comments in a written opinion show that he is already prejudice on the matter and has been giving facts judicial review before they are in front of him.

    Part of the reason that a judge will recuse himself is out of personal ethics but a larger reason is the publics perception of fairness. We should work to convince the public that Thomas is tainted in his ability to render a non-prejudicial ruling on this case. While I seriously doubt that it would influence his choice to recuse, such a groundswell would certainly generate outside pressures for him to do so.

  • 111. Erik  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Facebook Connect!

    If any site is built it would be great if they incorporated facebook connect. I'm sure many would agree that it's tough to have multiple logins for multiple sites. Besides, why reinvent the wheel when there is an already existing infrastructure?

  • 112. lsfoster  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I've seen a couple posts so far suggesting more information and follow-up on the LDS and RCC involvement in this. While I totally agree that following up on this situation would be really important, I'd also like to suggest that if this were done, there could also be some accompanying information about churches that are supportive of our cause, and also good reference sites for people who would like help reconciling the two issues.

    I think that religion is often a barrier to people supporting GLBT rights, and there is a lot of information out there that helped me reconcile my faith with who I was. I also don't think that just putting up a lot of info that would probably push against religion would be the best idea, without acknowledging that not all religions and churches are like that.

    Just my two cents.

  • 113. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Knowing who our supportive churches are is a great idea!!! I'd be willing to bet that our local UCC and Unitarian church has no idea that this trial is even going on. We need to get to the heart of this as an issue of social justice for these churches. They need to know what's going on.

  • 114. CGS  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I think we need to use the trial transcripts and supporting media/documents to create a streamlined summary of the key arguments for our right to marry. Telling people about this site is great, but most aren't going to slog through all of this (amazing) content because they just don't have time and it's too sprawling in this liveblogging state. Maybe there's a way to create a user-friendly trial document, a kind of guide, with links to relevant media and/or other parts of the site. It could include message boards and/or other ways to add to an ongoing conversation. It would be an interesting record of the trial itself, plus an ongoing space for dialogue about anything from coming out, to getting married, NOT getting married, discrimination, or more positive experiences/moments of connecting with non-LGBT friends, family, etc.

  • 115. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:43 am

    And what about finding the man whose protest of Prop 8 is trying to get a ballot initiative to ban DIVORCE? He is a straight ally and even has t-shirts! Gt his story on here. He said that everybody needed to ban the real cause of the destruction of marriage–divorce, rather than denying marriage to peple who believe init and are already committed to remaining together for life.

  • 116. julia mcneil  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Use this site in its exact same format to follow cases nationwide that concern lgbt issues. have live bloggers of excellent background and skills in courtrooms countrywide to document our struggle for civil rights. rick etc could travel or you could recruit local people to help-as long as same quality bloggers. also continue to follow the prop 8 case. video of the trials is ok- but you wont have the comments/comraderie to build understanding and community. focus on the valuable shared experience 🙂

  • 117. Tom  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:05 am

    I didn't read anyone else's comments yet so that I don't steal other folk's ideas. #1 – get folks connected on Facebook via the trial tracker group. #2 – keep doing updates here about the trial as it winds its way through the federal channels. #3. Guest bloggers would be great. #4 – not sure how hard it is to do but would be great to have easy FB/Twitter share buttons so that we can take this content out to the masses a bit easier. I have shared many a page but would be great if I could more easily share one blog post. I would assume that when this goes to the Appellate court, we will need this site again anyway so best to keep it alive with content that we can share.

    Bottom line – I love all of you who have been helping to keep us so well informed and I hope that we can all raise a drink one day to full equality. Even without that, would buy all of you a drink to thank you for your work here.

  • 118. Bob  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:31 am

    I'm glued to this site, peeping from Canada,, I've read blogs from people in other countries.
    I'd be interested in knowing how much of an international following this site has.
    The interesting thing about us as a minority group, is that we cross every boundary there is, we're everywhere, that's got to count for something.
    Thanks for pushing for equality, don't think our battle is over in Canada, we have legal civil unions but not equality in marriage.
    Is the courage campaign connected to , cheers from Canada EH!

  • 119. Aleta  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Look into immigration equality reform (a LGBT person being able to sponsor a ss partner into the U.S.)

  • 120. Woody  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Hey you guys know about Groklaw, right? Started out on the SCO vs (everybody) trials over Unix, but has expanded to cover all sorts of litigation in the tech industry.

    Seriously, contact those people over there, I'm sure they can offer you some exceptional advice on growing this community and making the most of the site. They have some superb legal experts over there–heck maybe some are interested in this trial and would like to bring their talents here for analysis and such.

  • 121. Jake G  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:48 am

    What if there was an 'ask a legal expert a question' section:
    (Not that I am trying to swindle all you great people down at the courage campaign out of bill-able hours of work ;))
    There are so many things that many of us probably dont understand. Basic things like how the ruling at this level in the federal court sets a precedent, or does it at all? And at what point in the appeals process will a ruling effect the constitutions in all of the states that are under the 9th circuit?
    I think it would be so cool to have a section where we could ask questions about the law as it pertains to this case.
    regardless though, I am learning so much! and having access to the blog on my iphone lets me read about the case in between my college courses. Thank you!~

  • 122. Becky  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:51 am

    I think you should really write a book. This trial should be studied by all college and high school students.

  • 123. Ira Zimmermann  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Every day I spend hours reading SCOTUS opinions and other documents to try to understand what's going on but there is so much to learn and I don't know where to look most of the time. I would love to see as much legal analysis as possible from real experts on the following:

    – Defense's case seems to have fallen apart. Chance of a mistrial? Consequences of that?
    – How are appeals made and what legalities might those appeals be based on if we win or lose?
    – How will case be routed through the federal judiciary? What the time frame for this?
    – Chance that final ruling will only effect only California, not whole country?

    2) SCOTUS
    – Any chance they will refuse to hear case?
    – Is marriage seen as a political issue by justices (remember Bush v Gore) or will they rule objectively?
    – Olson and Boies think more than 5 justices will rule in our favor. Who might those justices be?
    – A. Kennedy seems to be wild card. Conservative but wrote majority opinion in ROMER and LAWRENCE. Insight from legal experts about him?
    – Effects of a ruling for of against us?

    – What parts of Constitution are relevant?
    – What legal precedents will be looked to? (LOVING, ROMER, LAWRENCE, BROWN, Harlan's dissent in PLESSY, etc.)
    – Chances that LGBT's seen as suspect class? Can we win w/out this designation?
    – Other LGBT issues this case might effect in future?

    I know these questions are complicated but thanks a lot to anyone if they can answer some of these. I would also appreciate it if some one could point me in the right direction to find answers for some of these questions.

  • 124. David  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:34 am

    5- Rules- make sure people know that harassing prop8 supporters will not further our cause. We can be critical, but no mass emails to one person’s email box. That will just make things worse and make us look like a bunch of internet vigilantes.
    Thank you Patrick – this is such an important concept, since I would feel badly, if our actions provided fuel for their fire to get bigger.
    Thanks, Patrick!

  • 125. Ben  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I'd love to see an organized collection of the best quotes from the experts. Even Blackenhorn had a good quote about marriage not being religious in origin. I think it'd be a great resource for people to use. They could make their point, and cite the Harvard professor or the one that's been studying this stuff since the 1970's. Often you hear a lot of these points, but it's hard to cite them. This is an excellent opportunity to organize and cite the points for same-sex marriage.

  • 126. steveg  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Combined transcript.

    This transcript (and to a lesser degree the Firedoglake one) have a great deal of commentary / courtroom activity / etc that is missing in the official transcripts and greatly adds to comprehension. The official transcripts are presumably more accurate about what was actually said (after all, they have professional court reporters with lots of supporting technology …).

    I'd love to see a "our sides transcript" that includes updated text of what was said, enhanced commentary (since the time pressure of liveblogging is absent) and cross references (e.g. this witness just said xxx but that appears to contradict/enhance/alter/… yyy that was stated earlier/later/in deposition/in PM spin/…).

    It would be useful if at least some part of this was done quickly while folk's memories are fresh.

    This would provide a good base document for teaching about what happened.

    Depending on what happens during the appeal process, it might also make sense to produce updated version(s) that contain the decisions / arguments at appeal with cross references and additional commentary that can easily refer back to appropriate original testimony.

  • 127. Austin  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I want to hear from people who have voter's remorse. There were a lot of people out there who were lied to, and there have to be some who have come to realize the truth. I want to know their story, and I think others who may be in denial over what the truth is (I know many) may be influenced by seeing others strong enough to admit they were wrong, or that they were tricked into hurting their friends and neighbors.

    This trial has done a lot to shed light on these lies, and I think what we have learned could be used in conjunction with these stories.

  • 128. Rhie  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

    This isn't the last of the cases on this, is it? Perhaps you could liveblog those as well, or, if we get lucky, post the videos with commentary.

    Perhaps in the meantime, open this up to people who want post their blogs and stories. Have an entry form where a submission of an unlocked entry on another site can be posted, or where a person can C&P a document they wrote expressing their own opinions.

    Perhaps have some people moderate these entries (just to keep out thugs and spam) and post them once a week or so.

    I want to see this stay a place where a person can come to find all kinds of information on LGBT issues, organizations, victories, losses and stories from around the US and the world.

  • 129. Phil Roberts  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

    One of the points the defense is trying to make is that gays have a great deal of political power. It would be interesting/useful to know the laws by State that discriminate against gays and lesbians – and any movements in those States to change/eliminate those laws.

    Former (current?) bans of inter-racial marriage come to mind as a parallel discrimination issue.

  • 130. Pamela Brown  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I would like to begin by thanking Rick and all the folks at Courage Campaign for the trial tracker and commentary pieces. I am the Policy Director with Marriage Equality USA and we have been tracking the case as well. We think there is very valuable information that needs to be shared with people all across America. Marriage Equality USA has been producing weekly summaries of the informaiton shared in this case with the hopes it might make it easier to get this information out to the court of public opinion. You can download these summaries at our home page ( under our Federal Marriage Case page or directly at
    Thanks again!

  • 131. Another Ray  |  January 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Is it possible for Mr. Reiner to create a film/documentary on the trial BEFORE we go to the Supreme Court?

  • 132. Sagesse  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Do research on 'getting out the vote'. I have read that the anti-equality team (read older Rep folks) are more likely to vote anyway. So in any contest it is first necessary to make up a deficit on the pro-equality side before you can win, an uphill battle. I also read that in Maine, there were were no candidates for public office to vote for… just initiatives. Suggests that only those with strong views either way would bestir themselves to go to the polls. How does a minority motivate straight equality supporters to get off the couch and vote. It's a big job, and the dynamics could be better understood and managed.

    I'm Canadian, straight woman age 60 who thinks rights are rights… if you are a human being, you have them. Just here for moral support.

    Haven't read all the comments, so apologies if this has been raised.

  • 133. Sagesse  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    PS. Investigate the experience of other countries. Canada is very comparable to the US… socially, economically, historically. Homosexuality was decriminalized (nationally, by law, not the courts) in 1967 ("The State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."). Gays and lesbians have served openly in the military since 1992. We've only had same sex marriage (nationally… human rights are a federal matter) since 2005, so the history is short, but we've had gay and lesbian families for a long time. Because it''s less of a hot button issue here, the research doesn't get much play, and I wouldn't know where to look for it, but it must exist.

  • 134. Trial Trackers: Stay invo&hellip  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    […] you to everyone who chimed in on Rick’s “Trial Trackers: We need you” thread. There were some excellent ideas that we will be considering in the coming […]

  • 135. Andrea  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Just found this site … a couple of ideas off the top of my head.

    On the Myth Busting mentioned above, #56, it might be worth organizing it like the Index to Creationist Claims on

    A good way to give an overview of the states (and maybe countries, too) would be a map that, when you mouse over a state, displays its current status and/or historical events in a sidebar.

  • 136. Renee  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Some ideas to go with all of the great ones already suggested (with advance apologies for any overlap–I confess I haven't read every single post yet):
    1) Put together and distribute a press kit that presents highlights from this blog.
    2) Create a Prop 8 Trial Tracker discussion series that features professionals in key fields, the site's bloggers, and trial trackers–get some famous people to participate in the discussions and hold them in media-attention-worthy venues such as Davies Symphony Hall (SF).
    3) Create an online interactive LGBT discrimination timeline using testimony from the trial and trial trackers' own stories (the development of which could be the focus of the press kit).
    4) Raise money to place a full-page ad of highlights from this site in the WSJ (or another very mainstream conservative publication).
    5) Get Saturday Night Live to to do parodic reinactments of the trial's most important/astonishing/entertaining moments–and get the clip on YouTube.
    Again, many thanks to everyone who's made this site the essential resource and center of community that it is. (Which is a good reminder that it's time for me to donate more $ to it.)

  • 137. NK  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Ditto on what Renee said at post #136.

    This is a second time I'm retyping this suggestion so let's see if it works.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Pick out inspiring comments and stories shared on this site and repost it on CC's THE RIGHT TO FAMILY Facebook page and/or Prop 8 Trial Tracker page.

    2. Send out an email call for photo and stories submission to our communities in 435 congressional districts (435? or 465?).

    3. Compile stories from Prop 8 Trial Tracker comments section with what you received through your call for submissions and post those on again THE RIGHT TO FAMILY Facebook page and/or Prop 8 Trial Trace Facebook Page.

    4. Take those stories and pictures and create a traveling exhibit titled either "Our Shared Journey," or "Our Shared Testimonies," or "THE RIGHT TO FAMILY." Ideally, since our case is one of Constitutional significance and the inequality our community suffers at the hands of society in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment, this exhibit should be a supersized scroll, a la AIDS Quilts, representative of the US Constitution. Let's drive the point home with this imagery.

    5. Hold a ceremony to re-enact a Declaration of Independence on the steps of SCOTUS and deliver the Scroll on the Supremes, symbolically or literally, right before Olson/Boies goes present oral argument. This ceremony + re-enactment of Declaration of Independence should be a media blitz and publicizable moment.

    Those are just some of my suggestions. I will provide more as ideas come to me.

    I want to personally thank Rick Jacobs for his bleeding fingers for his tireless effort in liveblogging this trial for us. Also, many thanks to Paul, Julia, Brian, Robert, Eden, Caitlin, Laura and other CC staff members for providing a space for healing the wounds of discrimination in the form of this forum, THE RIGHT TO FAMILY and Prop 8 Trial Tracker Facebook page. Let's continue to put our heads together so as to figure out a clear path forward for all of us.

    United in love,
    -Nakhone Keodara
    The SoCal Voice
    Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

  • 138. It’s a shame the Co&hellip  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    […] is my suggestion, which I believe is my best so far, to Rick Jacobs and to the Courage […]

  • 139. Richard W. Fitch  |  March 13, 2010 at 10:09 am

    [{ catchn-up }]

  • 140. hurtownia elektryczna  |  November 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups
    thank you once again.

  • 141. lens for nikon d40 digital  |  December 14, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished
    to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed
    and I hope you write again very soon!

  • 142. Glory  |  March 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to understand so much
    approximately this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I think that you can do with some % to drive the message home a little bit,
    but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read.
    I will definitely be back.

  • 143. fo  |  April 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I moved the mouse in horizontal, vertical, and circular motions
    to get a feel for how well it operates. Typically these on line companies have a database
    of babysitters. Decide on it, you will hardly ever regret.

    Review my page; fo

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