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Back in court

Trial analysis

By Arisha Hatch

I didn’t realize it at the security check or as I waited in the lobby for an elevator to the 17th floor of the Federal Building yesterday. I didn’t realize it in the food court as attorneys that I knew from the past approached me to see how I was doing; No, I didn’t realize it until Prop 8 defense attorney Cooper stammered and struggled to answer a question posed by Judge Vaughn Walker, that I hadn’t been in a courtroom in almost two years – since I was sworn into the California bar as an attorney.

My name is Arisha Michelle Hatch. I’m currently working as the National Field Director for Courage Campaign’s Equality Program on a project called Testimony: Equality on Trial, but I was always supposed to be a lawyer. Perhaps because my grandmother never could be or because my father wasn’t – I always knew that this was my calling.

I’ve never live logged before – didn’t expect to be live logging yesterday – and the former English-major in me can’t even bare to go back and read the threads we posted (ripe with grammatical, usage and spelling errors I’m sure). But sitting in that courtroom watching Cooper squirm, I remembered – or re-remembered, perhaps – the lawyer that I at one point wanted to be and how this equality work that we do everyday actually is so important.

You see, despite my straight-ally status my life these last few years has been at times strangely connected to marriage equality and Proposition 8.

The day after the California Supreme Court granted gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in May 2008, I found out that I failed the California bar exam for the second time. I remember the morning before I found out the exam results – how nervous I was. I knew that if I didn’t pass this time that I’d have to leave my job at the firm. I remember walking to the Oakland BART station to cross the bridge to go to work. A ladybug fell on my eyelash and then onto my hand. I took that as a sign; I decided at that moment that no matter what the result – whether I passed or failed – that I was still moving in the right direction.

I got into work that morning and the first person I saw was my attorney-mentor and supervisor Molly McKay. And she was beaming. She could finally marry, or so the court said. While working at the law firm, I knew that Molly was an activist, but I didn’t know how big of a deal she was. At the time, she kept a wedding gown in her office, sometimes draped over her door (I’d be willing to bet it’s still there now) and would say things like “you never know when you might need to get married.” That morning she was happier than usual as she gave me my daily assignment and just before I left, knowing that my scores were coming that evening, she grabbed my hand and said “I give you all my luck.”

In retrospect, re-taking the bar exam for the third time had its perks; unable to practice for 3 months while I waited for the results I started doing things that I never knew I wanted to do. One day I went in and volunteered to make phone calls for the Obama campaign, 3 months later I was working 20 hours a day for in that office – never had a moment to think about whether I passed the bar, whether I’d ever be a lawyer.

Two weeks after Barack Obama was elected President and Proposition 8 was approved, I finally passed the California bar and all I could think was that Molly had given me her luck and needed it back.

I went to work for the Courage Campaign partly because of that handshake in her office in that office that day.

I know this is long, but I wanted to explain to you (and myself) why I felt a lot of things yesterday. There were times that I wanted to laugh out loud or hiss when Cooper mentioned marriage’s procreative purpose; wanted to scream when he attempted to distinguish himself (and Prop 8 supporters) from proponents of racial segregation laws that although now gone, still affect my family in ways so subconscious that they are difficult to articulate.

But what I was most surprised by – what I’m still struggling with – is how much compassion I felt for Cooper as he attempted and failed to make a single coherent argument for his side. Maybe it’s a lawyer-thing, maybe it’s a law school thing, but I had flashbacks of moot court; that moment in a trial or during a hearing when your forced to make an argument that you know in your gut doesn’t “pass the straight-face test” because – although weak – it’s the only case you’ve got to make.

It’s a desperate feeling really; standing center-stage, naked, your argument prepared and a judge who’s only job is to find, illuminate and grapple with the weak spots.

That’s what I saw on Wednesday in that courtroom – a desperate attorney. I lost sleep last night wondering if he actually believed the things that he was saying, wondering if he was sleeping well, wondering why I couldn’t completely villainize him in my mind. And that’s the hardest aspect of this equality movement – the villains don’t look like villains. They aren’t walking around with fire hoses or batons or dogs, and when approached they seem almost meek at times, unprepared to back up their arguments, sometimes almost – almost – conflicted. Again, I don’t know what Cooper felt last night, but there’s a hopeful person in me who thinks that even Cooper will, as Langston Hughes wrote in my favorite poem, one day see how beautiful you all are, “and be ashamed.”

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  • 1. K!r!lleXXI  |  June 17, 2010 at 7:55 am


  • 2. JonT  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:33 am


  • 3. Michael L  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Yeah I felt bad for him too, even though I had in my foremind that he's the bad guy.

    Well as you said hope the words from that poem ring true to him some day when he realizes he was on the wrong side of history.

    Straight allies FTW (for the win)

  • 4. Felyx  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Sorry to all of you…I just can't feel bad. If you can't say it with pride why say it? If you can speak with confidence why speak? If you don't believe in what you are saying then why not say what you truly believe?

    If Cooper is doing this for money then he got paid and I cannot lend any sympathy. If he is doing this due to his beliefs then he needs to speak from the heart!This is not an actual person who requires his day in court…this is an ideological amendment that was voted upon. There is a reason Olsen and Boies are taking their position…they believe in what they are doing and in what they are saying!!! And they are probably not getting paid what they could reasonably demand for their service. Is this the case with Cooper? There is a reason that no one else took the case…those who refused decided either that their integrity was intrinsic to who they were or at least knew an indefensible position when they saw one.

    So again, I am not going to proffer any sympathy to Cooper. He is not a bad person but he is making a choice. He chose to do a job and if he cannot do a good job then that is his CHOICE!!! and the consequences of his choice is his to either enjoy or suffer!!! I do not believe in the proponents case but I would have stood by the law and what I believed. I would have said what I DID believe with pride and confidence.

    I do not fault him for who he is, I do not mock him for how he lives his life…but I do spoof his piss-poor unprepared performance!!! You may not be able to choose the circumstances of your nativity but you can choose to do a good job at what you do!!!

    Cooper…You Failed!!! (And I pity you not!)

    My Out-spoken Opinion,

  • 5. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Arisha, you are to be commended. this has been a long haul that started even before this trial. None of us really care if there were misspellings or other errors in the blogposts yesterday. We were all just so glad that you were live blogging for those of us who were unable to get into the Federal Building and into the courthouse. Thank you fo much for being one of our allies, and for putting your money where your mouth is. Our should I say writing a check with your mouth that your heart is enabling you to be able to pay. You are a shining example.

  • 6. Ronnie  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I concur…..<3…Ronnie

  • 7. Ryan Greene  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I wonder if you would have the same attitude about Maggie Gallagher. If you're looking for a fire hose bigot, I'd start with her.

  • 8. Evan  |  June 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Ironic that you should say that. After the closing arguments I wrote a response to Maggie Gallagher on the NOM blog that I can GUARANTEE will never be posted because I told her 1) don't put your feet up in court–it's rude, 2) Mr. Cooper did an abysmal job, and 3) I prayed to God she realizes that she is on the wrong side of history before it's too late.

    Not that I'm a very religious person (at all), but I hold out hope and faith that somehow they'll come to see the light. I believe our mission on Earth is to help others and ensure equal rights, not to lock people behind unfair, arcane, or cruel rules that do nothing but demean us all.

  • 9. Shannon  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Arisha, you have no idea how many people appreciate the work that you do! I too wondered if the defense attorneys really believed what they were arguing, or if they were simply making a desperate "game play" hoping they could eek out a win. And of those two possibilities, I don't know which is worst.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Arisha, as a person who also once was pursuing a legal career, I understand the sense of personal connection to the what we all witnessed yesterday.

    My own professional arc differs – I became disabled by a chronic illness before being able to sit for the bar – but I too felt a calling to law. And it was in order to do just the kind of advocacy that is demonstrated in this historic case. It's been over a decade since I graduated law school, but seeing this trial has reminded me how much I enjoyed the process.

    One of my personal realizations while in school was that I enjoyed litigation. I never would have predicted that. Accompanying that realization was an awareness of what a 'rush' it is to be in the thick of it and how single-minded one becomes when championing a cause. For what it's worth, my opinion is that Cooper believes passionately in his cause. Something I've observed is that the best litigators become that 'zealous advocate' for his/her client that attorneys swear to be.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us and I'm glad you were able to be there yesterday.

  • 11. Chris S  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Sometimes the villains realize where they're heading, and turn around:

  • 12. Kathleen  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Wow. Moving story – not only his, but the stories of the others who have touched his life.

  • 13. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yes, and I went to their facebook page and joined.

  • 14. GAYGUY  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

    WOW…that is a tear jerker! He is right also…the religious leaders do need to take a step back and re-evaluate what it is that Jesus/God actually want them to preach!

  • 15. Mandy  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

    wow what an amazing story. I love that his mother is the one that started the seed to his path to enlightment

  • 16. chet  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I watched my little sister's moot court and have never been so terrified. But she kicked ass!

    I posted the comment below yesterday but it seems more appropriate here…

    Olson was awesome. Cooper rambling and unfocused, and kept returning to his “because it just is” argument.

    I was sitting behind the woman who was tweeting for protectmarriage. In the middle of Cooper’s rambling, she actually typed, without hitting enter:

    Cooper says stammer stammer stammer

    and showed it to her seatmate for a laugh. About 10 minutes later, she whispered to him “He’s so bad.” !!!

  • 17. a  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Ha! Nice!

  • 18. Felyx  |  June 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    If you don’t believe in yourself or at least in what you are doing then it will show…it is telling that his own team mocked him…what do they believe? Where were they when he needed their support? If they are so unconcerned with his well-being and felt so free to mock him when he was at his lowest what does that say about their cause?

    I know where my heart was when my team gave their argument.

    Felyx – who believes in a cause worth believing.

  • 19. Lymis  |  June 18, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I remain convinced that NOM is in it for the money. Losing big, especially with the case not broadcast, allows them to scream "activist judge!" and declare the sky well and truly falling and scrounge up yet another round of cash.

    Even if they lost California, they still have all the other states to raise money in. If they can stretch it out long enough, they can retire before the whole issue dies.

  • 20. Jon  |  June 21, 2010 at 2:13 am

    It's not the attorney's fault that the client's case is weak.

  • 21. Pam  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

    that was so beautifully written. thank you for joining this cause(:

  • 22. Balu  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Anisha, Your blog shows how beautiful and compassionate person you are. You truly represent the principles of Gandhi and MLK, that there is good in ALL of us, we just have to find it and nurture it. Thank you for the post.

  • 23. 109  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Your writing and your story was beautiful. Thank you so much for everything you're doing.

    You are far more compassionate than I, for I do see Cooper as a Villain. He is trying to take away rights from a group of people, and if he knows his case is weak, then i fully fault him for valuing his shoddy argument more than a people's rights. To me, they look like villains because they are making people suffer a second-class citizenship every day.

  • 24. Felyx  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Who was it that said…(and maybe I am paraphrasing)…

    Villainy is nothing more than good people making bad choices. – F

  • 25. Glenn I  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Bad people are only good people who do bad things?

  • 26. Dave P.  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Even if he's not a hate-filled bigot who really feels strongly about the issue, and he knows the arguments against marriage equality are hollow and wrong, he still took on the case. Nobody put a gun to his head. He decided to do it. Even if it was just for the money, that makes him no better than a mercenary who harms innocent people just because it's part of the gig. So he's either a bigot or a self-serving inconsiderate jerk.

  • 27. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:34 am

    @Dave P. There is also the strong possibility that he is both. After all, being a self-serving inconsiderate jerk does NOT preclude one from being a bigot.

  • 28. nightshayde  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

    In fact, the two often go hand-in-hand.

    I keep thinking that Pugno & Maggie & Cooper & all their ilk haven't really taken this trial seriously. I'm quite sure they really don't see why anyone would want or expect them to provide "evidence" to prove their case. In their minds, there's probably no need to prove what they feel is obvious. If they lose this round, they won't see it as a failure on their part (or on their case's part) — they'll see it as proof that the activist judges and disgusting pro-gay liberal whackos are so bent on pushing "the gay agenda" that we are completely willing to discard reason.

    When the pro-marriage equality forces eventually win at the SCOTUS (whether in this go-around or in another within the next few years), they still won't think there's any logical reason to stop discriminating. They'll go on and on about how our society is going to hell in a handbasket & that the left-wing whacko liberals are going to be the downfall of civilization as we know it.

    These are the people who wanted the judge to ignore all books written by people on our side or anything that's been written in the last 30 years.

    I still wonder how their side will react when a popular vote somewhere goes against them. I'm sure they're all for the voice of the people being heard as long as the voice of the people is on their side, but that they'd invent some reason to find fault with any popular vote that went against them.

    Of course, they haven't accepted defeat as far as getting parental notification laws for underage girls seeking abortion. They keep putting it on the ballot and putting it on the ballot and putting it on the ballot…

  • 29. draNgNon  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    it's also possible that he felt more strongly about it all when the case began, and, like some of their witnesses, has now reached a different conclusion. it's also possible that he felt, when the case began, that the side he represents had more solid evidence, citations, etc, to back up the position. now the end of the trial is come, they don't, people backed out, witnesses reversed, and he's left trying to argue his side – with which he may or may not still agree – to the judge.

    it's not like he can just say ugh, I don't want to do this any more.

    I know, it's vastly more likely he simply really believes burden of proof is really on the plaintiffs – he did have a point about precedent speaking to rational basis, after all – but the other two are possibilities.

  • 30. draNgNon  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    oh oh

    and it's also possible – and I personally think vastly more likely – that they want to lose the case.

    think about it. if they lose the case, there will be a ginormous backlash. and they will be able to take that all the way to the bank

  • 31. Kathleen  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I think they wanted to win at District Court; they just recognized a while ago that they won't, so they'll wring as much support out of that as they can.

  • 32. Lymis  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Most anti-gay people really think that their views are unassailable. Of course marriage is about babies! What kind of idiot doesn't see that?

    I don't think, even the legal team, they thought they would ever have to actually support their views with logic and legal theory. It's clear that they think tradition and dictionary definition end the discussion.

    I think he was serious when he said he didn't see why they needed to present any evidence at all.

    But then, it was equally clear to people that blacks were subhuman and women were incapable of owning property responsibly.

  • 33. nightshayde  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:37 am

    So … if this case goes to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then all the way to the SCOTUS, they can NOT introduce more evidence*, right?

    Isn't it possible that justices who would have been happy to rule against same-sex marriage if there had been the slightest shred of evidence presented won't really be able to do so without evidence?

    If the H8ers' case is eventually lost at the SCOTUS level because they didn't think actual "evidence" was needed at this piddly District level, I'm going to have a VERY good laugh.

    * [ALICE]How can they give more evidence if they didn't give any in the first place? [/ALICE]

  • 34. Audrey  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Thank you for your story, Arisha! And for your empathy toward those involved on the other side.

    I have a piece that just went up on the Ms. Blog that is less charitable toward Cooper. But then, just quoting what he said sounds like satire.

    Here's a link:

  • 35. MJFargo  |  June 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Terrific summation (I actually liked it better than Maureen Dowd's…but hers was good too.)

  • 36. Brandy  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:40 am

    A bit off topic. (My apologies Arisha.. and WELCOME!)

    But man, prop 8 has got quite the business running over there.. I think they are celebrating their need to go to the supreme court on the site. They pretty much threw in the towel on this round in an outrage about how short sighted Judge Walker is. They get right to their favorite part in no time:

    "Most of us can afford $20, or even $50 to help fight for marriage. (Think one less meal out with your family this month.) Some may even be able to give $100, $500 or $1000."

    They are SERIOUSLY asking people to skip a family meal.. why so Maggie can have it..


  • 37. Felyx  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Maggie wants to 'goerge' herself on your cookies….she is like a fat blue cookie monster!!!

    Maggie….robbing families of mealtime is the way to show support for marriage!!! Hey…here's an idea….use the argument that they are financial distressed over trying to fund gay marriage repeals and annulments!!! That will show the SC how destructive gay marriage is!!! (No…but there should be!)


  • 38. Rikaishi  |  June 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Ah, speaking like true televangelists now.

  • 39. Lymis  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:04 am

    The extra money we have to pay every month because I can't be included in my husband's insurance alone would pay for a hell of a lot more than one meal, Maggie.

  • 40. Ronnie  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:21 am

    hahahahaha…."Good God Man"….well I mean the anti-gays are already boycotting McDonald's because of the pro-gay ad aired in France….golly with all the Big Mac's, Homonuggets, and Mc MUFFins they won't be eating & keeping the Gay Meal Toys from their kids….(hahah Gay means Happy)… just about 2 months one person can donate $50….& "skip a family meal"….. but….but….Maggie…what about family values….the family that eats together….well…they eat together….but anyway…here's an idea how about you get off your lazy feet up in the court room fat @$$ and cook my dinner woman after all you do promote "traditional" values & no TV dinners don't count as cooking.

  • 41. Ronnie  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:22 am


  • 42. nightshayde  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Considering that I won't eat at either Carls Jr or Chick-Fil-A (or Dominos or Mrs Fields) because of donations they make to organizations I find abhorrent, sounds fair to me.

    Besides — if all the right-wing fascist homophobes in our area stop going to McDonalds, that should shorten the lines.

  • 43. Alan E.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:13 am

    The one place I simply can't stop going to (I've limited it to about 3 times a year though) is In-n-Out. It's just too damn good.

  • 44. Felyx  |  June 18, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Dear Maggie,

    I will match you dollar for dollar for every meal you don't eat. Actually, since I have only $0 dollars, I will match you 2 for 1.

    (Gandhi fasted for peace….what do you fast for Maggie?)

  • 45. fiona64  |  June 18, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Somehow, I can't imagine Maggie being motivated enough to go on the same kind of hunger strike she demands of her sheep followers.

    (Just watched "Hunger" last weekend, with Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands. I remember the real incident and it still got to me …)


  • 46. Bolt  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Maggie G. would ask a poor family to take the food away from their children so she can have her paycheck.

    Do the christianists know that she's taking them for fools?

  • 47. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    No, they don't. That is the biggest pity of it all.

  • 48. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:16 am


    I'm not sure I could say I have compassion for Cooper et al., but I definitely understand their position and why they're fighting so hard. They're part of the so-called "social conservative" movement, which is really an offshoot of the Religious Right. A key plank in their basic platform is that homosexuality is a sin, so if (actually when) the current government-sanctioned stigmas with respect to marriage, military service, and employment get struck down, they suffer an enormous blow. There are entire organizations like NOM that depend on discrimination being in place. They will face the choice of either sticking by their outmoded beliefs and losing hordes of young people to more progressive churches (or to no church at all), or embracing more progressive ideals themselves – and since they are set in their ways the latter option terrifies them at least as much as the former. I'm really, really trying not to be all awash in Schadenfreude at the thought of this…really trying and generally not succeeding. >;-D

  • 49. nightshayde  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I'm trying to hold off on the schadenfreude right now — but hopefully I will be reveling in it in the near future.

  • 50. Chris  |  June 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    It's not schadenfreude. These people have based their lives and livelihoods on turning their personal insecurities into public policy. Wishing they were out of business isn't gloating – it's the decent thing to do. (Although admittedly, I'll find it hard to not gloat myself – they're such annoying people.)

    When talking to them, however, I always make it clear that I love them as I would a troubled friend, and not an enemy. That kind of attitude drives them nuts.

  • 51. Kim in El Mirage, AZ  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

    So beautiful. Thank you.

  • 52. Phia Westfall  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    @Arisha – Thank you. Your words moved me to tears, and I am grateful for your support and compassionate example. Count me as another who sees Cooper and others backing Prop 8 and hurts, wondering if they struggle, and hoping they find peace somehow!

    @Felyx and @Dave P. — It's easy to look at someone who has made choices that we don't agree with, or who believes differently than we do, someone who causes pain — and to declare that they have no claim on our sympathy or our compassion or our love, because they have knowingly chosen their path. It's the argument that I've heard from many homophobic religious zealots, in fact, about the "miserable" and "sinful" lives of gays and lesbians; they deserve the suffering and pain they deal with because they chose to accept who they are. They may not have chosen to be gay, but they chose to openly defend that choice — it's not like anybody put a gun to their head and insisted that they flaunt their poor choice as something acceptable — they decided to do it! They aren't bad people, but it was their choice to be "out and proud," and the consequences of that choice are theirs, good or bad.

    Hopefully you can see where I'm going with this — I bet even the right-wing religious folks with their blinders on believe they've got "a cause worth believing in," and I do feel a great deal of compassion for them. I hope they see, as Arisha mentioned (thanks for spurring me to research Langston Hughes, by the way!) our beauty, and are ashamed… or at least compassionate in return. Well-spoken indeed.

  • 53. Phia Westfall  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Whoops, subscribing now…

  • 54. Felyx  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Your argument holds up, Phia, until we get to the part where…


    (But trust me…I still do a darn good job at it!) ;`P -F

    (PS: We are not telling him he cannot be a lawyer or even preventing him from practicing law…we are just choosing NOT to pity him.)

  • 55. Dpeck  |  June 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    There's a fundamental difference.

    I have never done anything to hurt them. They may feel uncomfortable about gay people, but they have never been hurt by me.

    They, on the other hand, have made careers out of causing me very real harm. They have taken away my equal rights, they have hurt me financially, they have made a career of making public statements that actually put me in physical danger by encouraging some people to act on their own hatred of gays.

    So whether these people do this out of personal commitment driven by hatred or strictly for financial gain, they are not deserving of any leeway and they get NOTHING from me as long as they continue to hurt us. And even if they stopped all of their anti-gay activities immediately they would still owe me more amends than they could ever deliver.

  • 56. Phia Westfall  |  June 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I guess that's just where we differ, then. I have been hurt by these people, too. I can't say it was easy or fun growing up in a Mormon household, trying to reconcile their hatred and intolerance and that of all the other church folks around, with being transgendered. They have profited from my pain and that of many others. They have made careers out of this destruction.

    And I still hold compassion for them. Not pity — because I feel pity is a wasted emotion, and often only serves to show that you feel better or more important than the object of your pity — but I feel compassion and hope.

    Yes, they are the ones in the wrong, and they likely won't ever make full amends for the suffering they've caused… but they're also part of our shared "Human Family," and as much as I loathe what they have done and continue doing still, I can't bring myself to say they don't deserve the same compassion and care that I wish for myself…

    Maybe I'm an eternally optimistic fool, and maybe I'll be trampled underfoot by those more "realistic" and "grounded" than I am. I really don't know — but I do know that, like Arisha, I "can't completely villainize" any of the Prop 8 supporters.

  • 57. Phia Westfall  |  June 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Oh, and as a note, many of these people do this out of personal commitment driven by misguided love, not by hatred or for any perceived gain. People have committed unspeakable horrors throughout history because they were uninformed, misinformed, or just plain wrong — and did what they believed to be right and just and true and caring, and did so with zeal and passion. Just because we can see that their actions are hateful and hurtful, doesn't mean that they see it…

  • 58. Glenn I  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:42 am


  • 59. Straight Grandmother  |  June 17, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Phia, I must say you would not make an "optimal" soldier/warrier. It's a battle we are in, a war, a cultural war. And I aim to take no prisoners. Leave them on the side of the road writhing while we march through the triumphant arch in victory with our heads held high.

    They have the information, science is on our side and yet they cling mostly with an attitude of "superiority" to thier bigoted h8tful beliefs and harmful actions. When they surrender, I will show compassion, until that day they are the enemy.

  • 60. Phia Westfall  |  June 18, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Does anybody else remember "Courageous Conversations?" Anybody watch the little video on the Courage Campaign's main website with Eric McCormack and Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

    Funny, but that take on things doesn't sound much like "leave them on the side of the road" or "until they surrender, they are the enemy." Maybe I'm missing something, but it came across to me a whole lot more like "compassion, understanding, caring and hope" for those who don't grasp why this is so important to us. It seemed to me that someone else thought the way to win this "war" was to talk from our hearts, to share our stories — "stories of self," if I've got things right — and that doing so was more effective than "we don't see eye to eye, so get out of my house!"

    I don't know about anyone else, but I feel the same emotion behind that line from Julia in the video (if it hadn't been delivered tongue-in-cheek) as I do from Straight Grandmother's last sentence above.

    Again, maybe my eternal optimism is foolish. Maybe I'll be trampled by the "warriors" who fight with no mercy, take no prisoners, and march with head high. Only time will answer that one. But I'm going to keep hoping, I'm going to keep compassion in my heart for the people who have no compassion or love… and even more for those who care deeply and love greatly, and do what they believe to be right, causing pain and suffering in the process. They need it most.

  • 61. Straight Grandmother  |  June 18, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I mean no disrespeect but you kinda remind me of the French during WWII. "Oh nothing is going to happen. If we are nice enough and keep talking everything will be fine" Everything is not f-ing fine!They have attacted us on many fronts. Every constituitional amendment declaring that marriage is between a man and a woman in, I think it is 41 states, is THEIR victory. They declared war on us and you know what, they are winning!

    In fact this lovely prop 8 trial did not even get it's impetus from the gay and lesbian (Bi & T) community. Nope, it came from the straight couple, Rob Reiner and his wife Michelle Singer. I think us heterosexuals know how to fight better, for YOUR rights than you do.

    Talking, being nice, having trial readings in the park blah blah blah blah blah. You ain't gonna win with that. Look Martin Luther King did not stay in his church in Atlanta Georgia and preach from the pulpit, he took it to the streets. He took it to the courthouses. Nicey, nicey is not gonna get you shit because you fail to assess your enemy correctly. While you are being nicey nicey they are passing constituitional amendments against you. I was not going to say this but I changed my mind. i think it is TOTALLY pathetic that for the closing arguments all of 100 or so gay people showed up for the ralley. This is San Francisco man, gay mecca. And the at most 100-200 of your peeps felt it was important enough to show up. At least I give Get Equal props, they have figured out that you gotta be in your face. I know my opinion is 100% opposit of this nicey nicey website, oh well, thank God the nice hetrosexauls of Rob reiner and his wife Michelle Singer and Ted Oldon and David Bois stood up for you because shame on you, you are certainly not doing enough of that yourselves. It's a f*ing cultural war that the H8tros have declared on us and you know what YOU are loosing. Tale it to the streets. You almost don't deserve to win this cultural war becuase of the lack of effort you put in. Millions of African Americans marched on Washinton for their Civil Rights, you get like 100 – 200 GLBT's in San Francisco to show up for closing arguments? Honestly can you really say you deserve to win this cultural war?

  • 62. Billy  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    The main difference between "us" and "them" is that…

    our whole argument is: "Leave us alone, and get out of our lives. It is none of your business what consenting adults do in our own private lives in America."

    Whereas their argument is: "You are anathema to our religious/societial ideal, and it would be better if you'd conform or didn't exist."

    I understand the concepts of compassion and empathy; putting yourself in someone else's shoes. However, when I try to take our opponents viewpoints and put them into a perspective I can understand, I find it amazingly difficult. You know why?

    Because I've already dealt with those demons over a decade ago, and I consider it regression if I try and empathize with that point of view. The self-loathing, the thoughts of "why can't I just be normal, like everyone else", the constantly trying to model yourself after someone else's view of what you should be.

    That is what the other side is really saying: "Get back in your closet where you belong, because you don't fit in our worldview and we don't know how to handle you. It causes us to focus too much on who we are and how we define ourselves. You're making us feel uncomfortable. Go away. I hate feelings."

    I'm sure that if we sat down and looked at our opponents' own lives, we'd find that this issue is more about them and less about us. These people that rally so hard to fight us are instead fighting their own personal demons and projecting on us. Personally, I matured enough to see the argument for what it really is. The other side needs to grow up and get over the whole "feelings are icky" mentality, and examine their own lives before trying to impose their worldview onto mine, just so they can sleep better at night.

    The other side isn't capable of fairness and/or equality. They haven't even matured past the stage of their collective psychosocial development, so how can we expect them to understand such "hard" concepts such as compassion and empathy?

    So, please spare me the lecture. I cannot and will not empathize with someone who refuses to "grow up". Especially people that are literally decades behind me in maturity trying to preach to me from what they call a "morally superior" position.

  • 63. Billy  |  June 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    ^ the above before the blue was supposed to read:

    "They haven't matured past the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage of their collective psychosocial development, so how can we expect them to understand such "hard" concepts such as compassion and empathy?" with a link to wikipedia explaining what that particular psychosocial development stage means in this context.

    HTML is hard. How much longer must I suffer without a preview or edit button? :p

  • 64. Santa Barbara Mom  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:06 am

    The difference I'm seeing between the feelings of Phia and Billy is that Phia's feelings are based on an "eternal prospective", a perspective that I, too, relate to.

  • 65. Sheryl  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Phia, I totally understand your position. You probably won't really like my next comment, but you have not left your Mormon upbringing behind; you have taken the good from it and left the rest behind. Your attitude is what Christianity should be not what it has turned into.

    With that said, I also understand those who disagree with you (the pains of being a Libra). Don't know how Cooper personally feels about Prop8 but he did take the case and is making money representing that side, and as such, I don't think he particularly earned his money.

    There are many who will lose their income if gays are given equal rights, they will fight hard for that not to happen, their minds will not be changed. However, there are many who are sincere in their beliefs and are not receiving compensation for their role in Prop8; their hearts and minds can be changed and those are the ones that need to hear the stories, get to know the people, and see the trial re-enactments. They need to learn that what they have been taught about the LGBT community is not true.

    For all who were raised in the Mormon church and were treated very poorly by family and friends when you came out, I feel for you. But, not all Mormons treat the LGBT community that way (including Mormons in Utah). We may be in the minority but we exist. Not all Mormons in California donated to the Yes on 8 campaign (including some of those who did vote yes), My no on 8 bumber sticker was proudly displayed at church functions. Not all church members stood on street corners waving those ridiculous signs, some of us had the No on 8 signs to wave. Unfortunately, we are in the minority. That will change with time.

    While I'm not sure I'd wish the parents reaction on the child, I certainly do wish that all who are so opposed to homosexuals having equal rights, one day have a child who says "by the way, mom and/or dad, I'm gay/lesbian." Especially when it is a child who has been a faithful church member. Then, maybe they will understand that it is not a choice and not a sin.

    Sheryl, Mormon mother to a wonderful son, who just happens to be gay

  • 66. Phia Westfall  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:52 am

    @Sheryl — I have no problem at all with your observation. It's a fact I've recognized throughout my comments here, and in many other aspects of life — that I've taken the good and left the rest.

    @everyone — The views I have expressed here reflect the values I was taught throughout life, and I do truly believe and mean what I've said. No, not all Mormons or other Christians or Catholics or members of any religious group support(ed) Prop 8. No, not everyone who goes to church has closed eyes and a closed mind. They are indeed a minority, and yes, that will change.

    But I don't think it will change with anger or outrage or loud, shouting, in-your-face attitude. I am confident that change will come through empathy, compassion, love, and as people whose beliefs are sincere but misplaced are given enough information to choose for themselves what they truly believe, from all of the options available.

    @Santa Barbara Mom — my usage of the word "eternal" was in the general sense of "forever and ever," not the specialized religious usage of "Eternal Life" or "Eternal Perspective." While I am glad that your perspective, framed by Eternity, lends you the ability to relate to my words, it's not a perspective we share. Keep the compassion and hope, regardless — and thank you for your kind comments!

  • 67. David Kimble  |  June 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Thank you Phia, for being here. I, too, am "Ex-Mormon" – grew-up listening to their doctrine and questioning how I fit into their mold. I finally came to the decision I didn't fit into their neatly packaged version of humanity. I am far more caring than any of them give me credit for in life. I rejected Mormonism, only after serving a two-year mission for the Church. I have studied many religions in life and found them all to contain some truth, but none that contain all truth. The Mormon's believe Sunday to be the correct day of worship, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. Here's why – the Commandment to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy was an Old Testament Commandment – in the time of Christ, Saturday was the true Sabbath Day. The Jews and a few other Christian sects still observe the Sabbath Day, as Saturday. When I have questioned them about this, most of them say, "The day doesn't matter." It is a creation Sabbath, not a resurection Sabbath, as much of Christianity observes. Christ came not to change the law, but to fulfill the law. Since the Sabbath day is one of the 10 Commandments, why would Christ change the day in the Mormon Church? I submit he did not and this is only one of the many doctrines upon which I don't agree with the Mormon Church.
    <3 David

  • 68. Santa Barbara Mom  |  June 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Phia, that is beautifully stated, and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  • 69. Dave  |  June 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Want to see some real chutzpah on Maggie's part? Over at,. she actually posted this:

    * * * * *

    Cooper fighting hard to protect 18,000 gay marriages
    Postted by Maggie on Wednesday June 1th at 1:47 pm.

    Cooper: Long discussion of 18,000 marriages. Cooper fighting hard to protect 18,000 marriages and Prop 8. "We think that grandfathering of those marriages is perfectly rational and common and perfectly constitutional." Judge seems to suggest it is all or nothing.

    * * * * *
    Unbelievable gall.

  • 70. Kathleen  |  June 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I'd like to be able to chalk this up to her being uninformed. But I'm quite certain it's well thought out propaganda.

  • 71. R Lavigueur  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Unless I'm mistaking what she's saying, this seems to undermine her entire existance. If she thinks Cooper should 'fight hard' to 'protect' the 18,000 already existing same sex marriages, then she must, by definition, think same sex marriage is a good thing.

    Except that we all know the reality. As Kathleen said, its good propaganda since it means that they're 'protecting marriage' but at the same time, she's as much as saying that the 18,000 same sex marriages that already exist need to be protected but the 18,001st will Destroy Society Forever.

    With logic like that…

  • 72. Ed  |  June 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    i just posted a comment on NOM's site….very respectful, but asking what would happen if maggie or bryans children would turn out to be homosexual…..

    its awaiting moderation (so of course it wont pass)

    still felt good to ask


  • 73. Rikaishi  |  June 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    It’s great to hear a different perspective on the players involved.

    I’ve been thinking a bit about how surreal this whole experience must have been for Judge Walker

    A gay man himself, he has to listen to Cooper tell him that homosexuality is a choice.

    George Chauncey’s testimony on the history of discrimination – the persecution and demonisation – was a trip down memory lane. Walker is old enough to have lived through most of it.

    Likewise, elements of the plaintiff’s testimony must have resonated strongly with his own experiences.

    I may be an atheist, but I can still fantasize about some capricious divinity setting this up then laughing herself silly at all the confusion, right? 😀

  • 74. Taelyn  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    To highlight this for a moment, it seemed, to me, that his line of questioning both pre- and during closing arguments demonstrated that he was able to put his own potential bias completely out of the picture. I doubt the prop h8 team will see it that way, of course.

  • 75. Rikaishi  |  June 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    It's not unreasonable for them to assume bias. Thing is, it doesn't matter.

    I'm not sure about the selection process for judges (I assume random) but it's got to have been highly unlikely that this specific case would be presided over by a gay judge. You could almost call it a miracle. It would have been far more likely for the presiding judge to have a conservative bias, and probably the most unlikely outcome would be a Judge who has no strong feelings on the issue.

    Basically, I think it was luck of the draw and they have no right to go crying about drawing a crap hand. Especially when all the bias in the world would have been hard pressed to save their case.

    A biased decision would be noted by Walker's peers, and hurt his reputation and career, so it's not like he has free reign in his decisions.

    Not to mention that it all balances out since everyone knows the supreme court will be biased against us.

    So basically, all's fair in love and war.

  • 76. fiona64  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Rikaishi, cases are indeed assigned to judges at random. Walker's alleged sexuality (he has neither confirmed nor denied) is irrelevant.


  • 77. Kathleen  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    I just can’t let go of this little nugget. I discovered that Proponents, in their response to Walker’s questions (Doc 687), incorrectly cite the case Maynard v. Hill as having been decided in 1988. It was decided in 1888.

    It speaks volumes – both to the competency of the lawyers and the Proponents’ world view.

  • 78. Glenn I  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:40 am

    1888? 1988? There's a difference?

    good catch

  • 79. Alan E.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:16 am

    What page was it on?

  • 80. Alan E.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:16 am

    dangit subscribing now.

  • 81. Kathleen  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:31 am

    The case is cited twice: pdf pp 6, 29

  • 82. Lori  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Even though I really don't like Cooper, I had to cringe in sympathy listening to him being grilled by Judge Walker.

    Great post.

  • 83. Sagesse  |  June 18, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I don't have Cooper figured out, so it's hard to tell whether to feel compassion for him.

    There is one very important distinction between him and the proponents of Prop 8… he was not a promoter of the campaign, he is a lawyer hired to defend it. He is doing his job. Everyone is entitled to legal representation, and it is his job to do that for the D-I's. He is not like Pugno or NOM or ProtectMarriange or the Mormon Church who created and rallied for Prop 8. Yes, he's being paid, but he's not 'in it for the money' in the same way Pugno or Maggie or Brian or Blankenhorn are.

    That said, I think I have read somewhere that he is a Christian, a religious person who supports Prop 8, and is arguing for something he believes in.

    He is a respected appellate lawyer who argues before the Supreme Court, in a league with, if not the equal of Olson and Boies. Olson and Boies have said he is a good lawyer, although I can't tell if that's professional courtesy (it's unethical for one lawyer to disparage the competence of another lawyer). He was handed a can of worms, a campaign strategy and messaging that was designed to persuade, not to withstand serious academic or legal scrutiny. With respect to the courtroom strategy for the defense, there's a good chance he's having his strings pulled by his clients, the likes of Pugno et al.

    All that said, he sure looks incompetent much of the time. He needs to take poker face lessons from Maggie and Brian to learn how to repeat senseless drivel over and over again while someone is challenging him, without stammering and stumbling and blithering and blathering and letting on that you may be making no sense. (As I was reading the transcript of his cross-examination – er – closing argument, I kept visualizing the Supremes reading it and cringing.)

    The entire defense is built on the notion that higher level scrutiny does not apply. What happens if Judge Walker rules based on strict or intermediate level scrutiny, and Cooper has no evidence on the record to challenge that judgment on appeal? Perhaps it is the best defense, since they had more to lose than gain by 'going there', but it still feels just a little bit incompetent.

    Then there are his slippery arguments that probably don't fool anybody. If someone went before a moot court in law school and put forward his main argument 'from authority' ('because I said so'), what grade would he get… C? The one that bothers me most was when Cooper said there were only four decisions in the lower appellate courts that found LGBT to be a suspect class, and 'all were overturned'. Welllll, one of those was when the California Supreme Court wiped out Prop 22 in 2008, and that was 'overturned'… wait for it…. by Prop 8. That argument is so circular it's making me dizzy. No higher court dissected the ruling and rejected it. The statement may be technically true, but it's intellectually dishonest.

    So I guess I do feel compassion for Cooper, because he may just have destroyed or at least maimed his career as a respected attorney arguing before the Supreme Court.

  • 84. Lymis  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Actually, the California Supreme Court was very careful to write the Prop 8 decision in such a way that it most definitely DID NOT invalidate the heightened scrutiny requirement for sexual orientation.

    The conclusion that marriage must be allowed was overturned because of the specific constitutional language that Prop 8 put in the constitution, but they weren't overturned.

    People think they were because they see the whole of the first case as being about allowing marriage, and the whole of Prop 8 as overturning that decision, but it doesn't work that way.

    Under California law, now, sexual orientation issues still come under the heightened scrutiny.

  • 85. Bolt  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:50 am

    It's safe to say those words are powerless in California. The state Supremes that created it, carved out an exception by upholding prop 8.

  • 86. Kathleen  |  June 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    The exception the have carved out may have to do with marriage specifically. It's quite likely that if a law (short of a constitutional amendment) that discriminates based on sexual orientation were passed, it would still have to withstand strict scrutiny.

  • 87. Alan E.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Being at the trial, it was difficult to watch Cooper. To make matters worse, he went right after lunch, so it made it all that more lethargic.

  • 88. John  |  June 18, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I have been reading these updates and articles every day before work starts. As strongly as I feel that our side has every right to take this by storm, I still fear…I suppose I fear everything that exists to which we are considered anathema. It is disgusting, but the fears seem grounded…people are out there and trying to ruin what is just for any American.

    I found a really interesting article here:…. It talks about the case and some other cool stuff…economic benefits of gay marriage. I would suggest checking it out for a bit of lighter reading. And they have a great icon of two husbands on a wedding cake ^_^

  • 89. Tim & Mike Quade  |  June 18, 2010 at 5:58 am

    We now have one of those in our china hutch…..LOL

  • 90. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 18, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Here's some things to chew on from a radio show:

    1) Saying that same-sex couples are in a marriage cheapens the term marriage much as saying that grape juice is wine.

    2) If everyone were gay, the human race would eventually cease to exist (when someone brought up IVF, this was considered "cheating"), so there is an objective standard by which same-sex marriages have a lesser value

    I'd call the first garden-variety prejudice, the second has the same logical flaws as the procreation arguments Cooper is making. I haven't heard anything new lately, have you?

  • 91. Mandy  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

    what if I like grape juice better then wine. Wouldn't that make ss marriages better then opposite marriages?

  • 92. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Mandy, you win the internet for the day. 😉

  • 93. Rikaishi  |  June 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Good call. I've never tasted a wine that I liked. So gimme grape juice any day.

  • 94. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Wash that Rushing Windbag's "show" by any chance?

  • 95. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

    No – actually, I've never listened to his show. This was a local guy (I flip between NPR and a local "right" station, it's like news from alternate universes). He was actually being rather noncommittal on the matter, which in an improvement because several years back he would vocally mock same-sex marriage. The times really are a-changin', even if it's not as fast as we would like. One point I agreed with him on: we're overdue to make a decision on this and move forward.

  • 96. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 18, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I just thought I would ask. I listen to Rushing Windbag whenever I need a good belly laugh. He seems to be good for those on a rather regular basis, if for no other reason that his acrobatics wrt logic.

  • 97. PamC  |  June 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Good point; in fact, I’m hearing increasingly shrill and “way out” hysterical viewpoints expressed by the far right. It’s almost (dare I say it?) a death rattle. They have lost on all fronts: moral, legal, spiritual, rational, so all they have left is irrational & dehumanizing accusations. Makes them look downright Phelps-ian and (I hope) just as distasteful.

  • 98. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

    @Straight Ally #3008. This has really been eating at me, and I am going to come right out and say it.
    That radio show host really has a logical fallacy in th first comment. Has this individual forgotten that without grape juice you CANNOT have wine? So how can the very necessity of the item cheapen it?

  • 99. Mandy  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Personally I don't hate Cooper for his position as prop 8's attorney. Everyone has right to representation even in civil cases. If I let my prejudices affect those representing the "bad" guys then I might even hate Ted Olson or Boies.

    I don't doubt that Cooper is a good attorney I just don't know what happened here. It doesn't seem like his heart was in it. I am wondering if on a personal level if he is believing what he is saying. If you don't believe what you are arguing and have nothing to back it up you really don't have anything.

    As for straight grandma's post I too am concerned about the lack of support or activism in the gay community. I have noticed that about other important issues out there (not just about gay marriage or gay rights). People aren't out there fighting the way we need to. The right wing is out there working, breeding and creating new recruits to mold this country into what they believe it is instead of what this country was founded on. I think the problem is that the right wings and their cronies are destroying their country while they are destroying our rights. By destroying the country creating distractions while they mobilize against freedom and equality.

    I think we need to have compassion for other human beings no matter what side they are on. However we all need to become warriors while maintaining our compassion.

  • 100. Dave P.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Yes, Straight Grandmother's post was right on. After the 2008 election, I was devastated when prop8 passed, but most of my anger was not aimed at the people who voted for it – it was aimed at the lazy short-sighted LGBTs who didn't do anything to stop it from passing. I worked my ass off and donated a LOT of my own money and time to try to stop H8 and it made me furious that so many of us didn't do anything to help. It almost made me want to give up.

    But I didn't. I've kept working on this. I keep talking to people, I keep donating to the people who make the best use of the money, and I keep the issue visible. For example – I have a very long commute on a busy freeway every day to and from work. Since before the 2008 election, I have had huge signs in the rear window of my car with messages about marriage equality. Before the election, they were the standard "no on 8" signs. Immediately after the election, I changed it to a huge sign that said "VOTED YES ON 8? SHAME ON YOU. PROP 8 HURTS FAMILIES". These days, the sign reads: "PROP 8: HURTING FAMILIES WITH BIGOTRY AND HATE SINCE 2008". I encourage others to DO MORE. GIVE MORE. GET INVOLVED AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE AS IF YOUR RIGHTS DEPEND ON IT BECAUSE THEY DO.

  • 101. Richard A. Walter (s  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

    And even if you cannot make the trip yourself, go to Facebook and sign up with "Let's All Unite for Equality and Ride to Washington DC at One Time" to organize the riders in an area of a fifty mile radius from where you live. We need all the people we can get, from all walks of life, from all socioeconomic levels, from the entire spectrum of the LGBTQQIA community to support this, and so far, it isn't happening people. THIS IS OUR LIVES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT! It is time for all of us to get up off our rears and get out in the streets, set on the busses, get this thing going so that we can co-ordinate all the departure times from every departure point so that everyone arrives in DC at the same time, and so that people see the ridership growing as we cross the nation. We need to let them see that we are not going to be oppressed any more. We need to let them see how many of us there are. And we cannot count on the internet alone to get the word out. We have got to take it to the streets. I am not playing about this. LET'S DO THIS!!!

  • 102. Straight Grandmother  |  June 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

    To Mandy, Dave P & Richard Walter, well thanks. I thought I was going to get crucified after i hit the send button on my last post. Dave P I am so very proud of you and so very grateful. Even to this day you fight on.
    Bob- My parents are fully supportive of equal rights across the board for everyone, they don't accept the preachers word on everything. And although it might seem like i have a safe perch in France in reality it is really quite frustrating that I can't be there showing up with a sign and chanting. I was in DC for 2 days in May and in advance of my trip I wrote GetEqual, and gave them my dates and said if they had anything going on I would be happy to show up. They did not have anything for me or I would have gone. I was disapointed.

    I read about all these Gay pride parades and I wonder why if 10,000 people will show up in San Diego for a Gay Pride Parade, for basically a fun filled day, that they won't show up when it counts? Can you imagine the public dialog that would be going on right now if 10,000 chanting people had showed up outside the courtroom for closing arguments?

    I am suspecious that the reason you are not able to mobilize your troops is because there is no "one" great gay leader. You have no Dr. Martin Luther King. Also I think the Human Rights Campaign hurts you tremendously. Their quiet, back room deal making, keeps you off of the television sets. You are out of the public eye and you are invisible. And it seems to me that that is the way the HRC wants it. Dave P at least thousands of people every day are forced to think of this issue becasue of you and your signs. YOU are doing the right thing, now if we could just get the other 9,999 people in San Diego to also put signs in their cars, it might be a start…

    You also Richard you also are doing the right thing. Mandy at least you are honest enough to come out and state the truth.

  • 103. Sagesse  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Mandy, you said

    "I don’t doubt that Cooper is a good attorney I just don’t know what happened here. It doesn’t seem like his heart was in it. I am wondering if on a personal level if he is believing what he is saying. If you don’t believe what you are arguing and have nothing to back it up you really don’t have anything."

    This is what I was getting at when I said I don't understand where Cooper is coming from. I would bet that if you were to ask him what the best defense of Prop 8 would be, it's not what we're seeing. It's embarrassing, it's humiliating to be giving less than his best (even if his best would be less than impressive).

    I'm not a lawyer, so I can only guess why Cooper looks less than professional… but he's not on his game.

  • 104. Alan E.  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:23 am

    If President Obama can't even get through to Americans by talking at a 10th Grade Level, then how are we going to convince more 'Murcans that it's okay to be gay?

  • 105. Kathleen  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I know… isn't that waaaay scary?

  • 106. New  |  June 18, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Everytime someone now says "Maggie" I picture that LAMISIL MONSTER. I wonder why?

  • 107. Bob  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Straight Grandmother, I understand you angst, but the court case would not or could not be decided by how many people marched in the streets.
    Never worry, there will always be a time to take it to the streets, we have in the past, we can again, the court day for me was not one of activism, but a time for reflection, llistening to the arguements presented, we went to court seeking justice, which we have for the present placed in Judge Walkers hands,
    civil unrest on the streets before or while it's happening, hopefully would not influence the scales of justice.
    what a sham if a court decides a case on who shouts the louder.
    Thank you for your observation though, from your safe perch in France. Perhaps you could take the fight to your parents who still attend and support one of those right wing religious full on anti gay churches. That may be a good place to vent that pent up anger..
    As far as the court case , I for one have no regrets, it was an honorable fight, amaziingly argued by our legal team, in that arena, there is nothing that was missed, that's where the fight was on that day, and we won, based on the evidence presented.
    Our opponents had no evidence, because their arguement is based on religious doctrine, God is their evidence, it's a blind belief, which does not belong in a court of law.
    As Judge Walker said , the danger is that we win, then we will have brought on the culture war, and you can proceed with your call to arms, to defend our rights.

  • 108. MJFargo  |  June 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Compassion is very different–to me–than feeling sorry for someone. In Mr. Cooper's case, I felt compassion that he was out of his depth in this courtroom and at closing I felt embarrassed for him. But sorry? The damage done to the lives of so many people as well as reinforcing such ugly stereotypes of gays and lesbians…. I'm still very angry about the Prop 8 campaign and THEN how clearly they fought to keep the evidence out of court. was shameful and they should have felt ashamed. They were exposed and seemed to have known better. So to wind up in a Federal Courtroom to explain their behavior all they could say is…"we want to channel irresponsible procreation." After all of what they did and said (and are still saying out of the courtroom)…compassion and embarrassment, yes. Sorry, no.

  • 109. Kathleen  |  June 20, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Great NYT Op-Ed piece "Weddings for Everybody!"….

  • 110. Mouse  |  June 21, 2010 at 5:28 am

    "all I could think was that Molly had given me her luck and needed it back."

    This line brought tears to my eyes.

  • 111. Colon Cleanser&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Official Colon Cleanse…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]…

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