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Testimony in the news


By Julia Rosen

It was a heck of a day yesterday. We had our big kickoff press conference with the legendary Dolores Huerta, the conceiver of Testimony Cleve Jones, the wonderful Rev. Eric Lee and many more.

The press coverage continues to roll in. My favorite headline is from the Advocate: “The Theater of the Unheard”.

For a quick reminder of the importance of Elena Kagan — or any potential Supreme Court nominee — look no further than the high court’s recent decision to block cameras in the federal Proposition 8 trial, in which testimony was heard in January and closing arguments begin in June. Decided down ideological lines, that ruling kept the wrenching testimony of gay plaintiffs like Kristin Perry and Paul Katami from the public. Now the Courage Campaign, a California marriage equality group, is trying to maneuver around that decision by encouraging nationwide reenactments of the trial.

Reenactments have been coming in from all over the country, everywhere from Shaker Heights, OH to Austin, TX. Some are incredibly inventive, while others are simply done. And that’s the point. What happened in that courtroom in San Francisco should not stay in that courtroom. It is up to all of us to bring this trial to life no matter where we live.

As Rick Jacobs said in a article on KTVU “Success for us will be if we lose control of this project.” More from that article:

Jones, after watching today’s re-enactment, said, “I’m really excited about it.

“There was an incredibly historic trial and the majority of Americans were oblivious to it. The technology gives us incredible power to connect people online,” Jones said.

We are all very excited, but this is only the beginning. There’s is a lot more to come.


  • 1. Ronnie  |  May 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

    "We are all very excited, but this is only the beginning. There’s is a lot more to come."

    and I would ad….

    And we will NEVER stop until there is FULL Equality for ALL….all across America….<3…Ronnie

  • 2. JonT  |  May 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Amen brother (subscribe 🙂

  • 3. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 14, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Glad to know this.

  • 4. Bob  |  May 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I agree Ronnie, there's a lot more to come, here in Canada the religious right, are beating their war drums, flexing their wings, wanting to be more like their U.S. nieghbours.

    I think Canadians need to begin organizing to avert potential disaster, if the religious right is able to asert it's influence with the Conservatives, they've threatened.

    In Saskatchewan, there is prresently a court case re SSM, to determine who's rights are more important, religious freedom, or gay equality.

    We can't rest on our laurels,

  • 5. JonT  |  May 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    'In Saskatchewan, there is prresently a court case re SSM, to determine who’s rights are more important, religious freedom, or gay equality. '

    Why do the two need to be in conflict? I think that if your religious bent requires you to hate on GLBT people, fine. It isn't as if GLBT people are trying to outlaw religion…?

    On the other hand, if you accept public money, then you do not get to discriminate WRT hiring, etc. If that's something a religious organization cannot handle, then tough shit, IMO. Don't accept public money. Easy.

    Ok, I'm being kind of factitious, but is that the gist of this trial?

  • 6. Sagesse  |  May 15, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Bob, correct me if I've got anything wrong here…

    The issue is proposed legislation, based on an actual incident in 2005, to permit an individual marriage commissioner to decline to perform a same sex marriage for religious reasons. This case is similar to the one in the southern US last year where a justice of the peace refused to marry an interracial couple. A marriage commissioner is a public official, not a minister (who can refuse to perform a gay marriage on religious grounds).

    In Canada, we can ask the Supreme Court (in this case the Saskatchewan court, which is one level below the Supreme Court of Canada) to rule on the constitutionality of legislation before it is voted on. If it is ruled constitutional, it cannot be challenged again after it has passed. The federal gay marriage law was passed this way. Used to keep the debate short and civil.

    Western Canada (mostly Alberta and Saskatchewan) are the most right wing areas of the country, but at that they're pretty mild by US standards. Their primary target right now is women (abortion rights), My sense, given our (federal) human rights laws, is that this shouldn't pass, but even if it did, it would not for practical purposes prevent anyone from getting married.

  • 7. Bob  |  May 15, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Sagesse thanks for sharing the link, I agree, Alberta, Sask, and also Manitoba, are the most right wing, I live in B.C. which is thankfully way more liberal, you're right this case in Sask. can't take away SSM. because of the nature of the case, as the link discribes.
    And as Jon T and Sheryl point out they're is no conflict, as far as we see it. But the religious right is trying to make one out of it, Saying a person with religious objection who is also a paid comissioner for the gov't should be able to refuse service on religious grounds, for us this is a no brainer.
    And if the judges see it fairly there could be no problem, but they are asking to exclude those comissioners who where appointed before SSM became legal. What I see from this is the religious right having no qualms about spending money on petty little issues, To make waves, I don't trust them, they have said outright, they will work with Harper, to seek changes re SSM, does that mean we need a Liberal win next time, that isn't looking to promising right now.
    Sargesse, being a Canadian, you may be more informed than myself, you seem to have solid faith in the Sask court system. which gives me some comfort.
    But I was born in Sask, my whole family is part of the religious right, and they're thinking is really fffed up.
    I think we could be more organized, even internationally to make a statement about keeping church and gov't seperate,

  • 8. Bob  |  May 15, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Also I wanted to say this may be small potatoes compared to the issues in the U.S., but I'm just saying, like an earlier quote from a civil rights activist, the only reward for being in the fight is to remain in the fight.
    We need to be ever vigilant, just for all those watching this trial,other countries who have achieved SSM, still are fighting to maintain this equality. and likely will for a while yet,
    And to all those engaged in the pop8 war, a heartfelt thanks for taking it a step further than anyone else, It is very important to all of us to put religion in it's place, (behind the pulpit) and not in politics.

  • 9. Sagesse  |  May 15, 2010 at 5:42 am

    The religious right in Canada is getting set to make themselves heard, and the minority Harper government is sympathetic, but not stupid. I'd love to vote them out next time around.

    The argument they're making…. gosh golly gee we have two conflicting rights here and no one knows which takes precedence… is pretty flimsy. Religious freedom is an individual right… it is not the right to inflict one's religious views on others, especially if you're a public official. I'm pretty sure the right to marry trumps the right to refuse to let you marry.

    Not only are human rights a federal matter in Canada, but marriage is too. The provincial courts know what the federal stance would be, and even if they do allow this legislation, it can still be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which would likely strike it down. That's my hunch… not a lawyer.

  • 10. Sheryl  |  May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I'm with you, JonT. In my opinion there is no conflict. SSM in no ways affects heterosexual marriage.

    And, yes, if an organization accepts government funding, then they either don't discriminate or they quit accepting government funding.

    The hate toward the GLBT community is totally beyond me.

    Sheryl, a straight Mormon with a gay son.

  • 11. Ronnie  |  May 14, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Oh no…It's the Gay agenda….wait…..she didn't choose to run for office unopposed…hmmm…all well..EQUALITY NOW!!!…<3…Ronnie:

    Posted on May 14, 2010
    Ohio Gets First Openly Gay Lawmaker
    By Editors

    The independent candidate who was to be the sole opponent to Nickie Antonio in her State House race has withdrawn, making her Ohio’s first openly gay lawmaker.

  • 12. Ronnie  |  May 15, 2010 at 2:30 am

    From and Joe.My.God….

    SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2010
    BELARUS: Gays Arrested And Roughed Up By Police At Slavic Pride
    Today Minsk cops burst out of a police bus several times to chase and arrest young gay men displaying rainbow flags at the city's Slavic Pride event. Early reports claim riot police beat and arrested several dozen participants. At times, the foreign press outnumbered both the police and the protesters. I'll be updating this post all day, below are the first images.

    (me) How close are the Hateros in America from doing the same here?

  • 13. Ronnie  |  May 15, 2010 at 2:30 am

  • 14. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I am shocked after watching that video about Slavic Gay Pride in Minsk!

    About a dozen of people came out to demand their rights, and they had to run from police officers arresting them for no reason but being gay or simply pro-gay.

    At some point, cops quickly took away the big rainbow flag that was left by protesters who ran away from police and had to leave the flag there.

    And then this bus with all the arrested protesters stopped and cops decided to arrest another guy who was simply standing there in the crowd… Apparently, his clothes were "too gay"… And the woman in the crowd was yelling at cops, "Bastards, what are you doing? Don't touch him! He was just standing there!" And another man added, "He's just an ordinary guy, he was simply walking down the street!" No further comment.

    K, Russia

  • 15. Papa Foma  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Dear P8TTers,

    We here in the Koch household have taken a real interest in the suffering and oppression of our young Russian friend here. We are actively seeking to help him leave Russia so he can continue to be active in the cause for civil rights in the Slavic world. If any of you are interested in participating in this endeavor, stop by my facebook page (the blue link under my P8TT name) and drop me a note. I feel that with several minds working in unison we will be able to help him escape his bad situation and turn around to help others.
    Papa Foma

  • 16. Kathleen  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Papa Foma,

    The link isn't working for me. Can you drop me a message? Kirille knows how to reach me — either through facebook or email.

  • 17. Papa Foma  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Sorry, for some reason the link does not work for anyone…here is my facebook search name…

    Thomas Bryant Koch.

    I thank you for those who have already responded!!! It brings tears to my eyes! <3 PF

  • 18. Ronnie  |  May 15, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I don't know how I can help….but If there's anything I can do physically…I'll do it….<3…Ronnie

  • 19. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Thomas Bryant Koch on Facebook
    Let's see if this link works…

    @Kathleen and @Ronnie
    Thank you for your interest! However, America does not want any more of those damn spy Ruskies, especially the gay ones, so there's not much anyone can do.

    K, damn Ruskie, the gay one

  • 20. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 16, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Actually, you are one of the ones we WOULD like to have over here. You are a wonderful person. Glad to have the additional link to be able to send uupdates as I get them from the groups we are working with in our circle.

  • 21. Lora  |  May 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I'm sure stuff like that happens here already. Whether it's people being beaten and killed by civilians or police beatings, which I'm sure happens behind closed doors, especially in certain parts of the country.

    Most of the time it's just not caught on camera.

  • 22. Papa Foma  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

    This is truly heartbreaking. PF

  • 23. Kathleen  |  May 15, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I agree. It's so hard to watch.

  • 24. John B.  |  May 15, 2010 at 2:59 am

    "Decided down ideological lines, that ruling kept the wrenching testimony of gay plaintiffs like Kristin Perry and Paul Katami from the public."

    What may be even more significant is that it also kept the testimony of people like William Tam from the public, so people will not see for themselves just how dishonest, disingenuous, and reality-challenged many of the supporters of Prop. 8 are.

  • 25. Sheryl  |  May 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    And, that John B. is, in my opinion, what the defendants wanted, not to have their side exposed.

    Sheryl, a straight Mormon with a gay son

  • 26. Sagesse  |  May 15, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Forgot to subscribe.

  • 27. Zack Ford  |  May 15, 2010 at 3:40 am

    A little constructive criticism for the campaign…

  • 28. Ronnie  |  May 15, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Posted on May 15, 2010
    Hundreds March in Cuba

    Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, joined hundreds of gay activists in a march in Havana on Saturday in a celebration leading up to the International Day against Homophobia on May 17th

    “We have made progress in Cuba, but we need to make more progress,” Castro said, as marchers made their way down the wide avenues in Havana’s Vedado neighborhood.

    Fired from work and/or imprisoned after the Cuban revolution, gay people began seeing progress in Cuba in the 1980s, in large part because of the work of Mariela Castro’s National Sexual Education Center.

    (me)……La igualdad Ahora!!!!….<3…Ronnie

  • 29. Joel  |  May 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Just to return to the topic, I think that this whole video thing is a noble and creative way to humanize and personalize our message, but is anyone going to see all of these dramatizations except the figurative choir?

  • 30. PamC  |  May 16, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Well, these dramatizations have made the Wall St. Journal, and at the very least, some of their readers may find them online. It falls in the "can't hurt, might help" category–while at the same time, preserving a record of the most dramatic moments of testimony. I could see these snippets being used in college classrooms for discussions of civil rights, human rights, gay issues, etc.

  • 31. Tim  |  May 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Reed Cowan of 8 a mormon proposition had members of 8 comment on a haters fb page (all are respectful). over 200 at this point.
    Some one posted a link to a letter that was sent to a paper in 2000. It is an amazing letter and wanted to share it with you trackers.
    Please read it and share with all you know
    Love Tim…

  • 32. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 16, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Thank you for the link to that wonderful letter!
    Mrs. Underwood made some great points from a very interesting perspective!
    If the world was full of people like her, we would have had a true heaven on Earth, I'm sure!

  • 33. Ronnie  |  May 17, 2010 at 1:35 am

    It's International Day Against Homophobia..Eqaulity Now!..La igualdad Ahora!..平等现在!..L'uguaglianza Ora!..今の平等!..Равенство Теперь!..والآن المساواة!..Сега равенството!..rovnost teď hned!..Ligestilling Nu!..Gelijkheid Nu!..Yhdenmukaisuus Nyt!..L'égalité Maintenant!..Gleichheit Jetzt!..Ισότητα τώρα!..שוויון עכשיו!..अब समानता!..Most egyenlőség!..지금은 평등!..Likestilling Nå!..Likhet nu!..ตอนนี้ความเท่าเทียมกัน!..Egalitatea acum!..A igualdade Agora!..Teraz płci!..برابرى حال!……..


  • 34. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 17, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I would have said:
    Равные права без промедления!
    But that's me, just a Russian guy…

    Anyhoo, thanks for including Russian!


  • 35. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 17, 2010 at 3:24 am

    And thanks for the Hebrew!

  • 36. Ronnie  |  May 17, 2010 at 3:06 am

    You're welcome….I only knew the Spanish translation…I used a translator website to do the rest….<3…Ronnie

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