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Prop 8 trial: Plaintiffs plan to use video clips in support of motion to unseal, including Courage Campaign Testimony reenactments

Prop 8 trial Televising Testimony Videos

By Adam Bink

Earlier today, plaintiffs (our side) sent a letter to Judge Ware, informing him that they plan to “use and refer to” certain video clips in support of their arguments. The plaintiffs filed a motion to unseal the tapes from the trial and release them to the public. The letter (h/t Kathleen) is found below:

[scribd id=63044410 key=key-2j5atfzne5cg2notfc1z mode=list]

Among the video clips are two re-enactments of the Prop 8 trial from Courage Campaign’s Testimony: Equality on Trial project. The project staged re-enactments of the trial, including many from the general public, designed to educate the public on what happened in that courtroom since the tapes were sealed off from the public. The first one referred to in the plaintiff’s letter is one we staged with Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (playing Kristin Perry, the plaintiff in Perry v. Brown) and actor Josh Lucas. It took place in a park in West Hollywood. The second was submitted as a puppet re-enactment of a line of questioning from Theodore Boutrous. We’re delighted that the AFER legal team is able to use them in court to demonstrate that the tapes should be released.

The two clips can be found below:

The rest of the video clips referred to in the letter come from the Marriage Trial website, another site devoted to re-enactments, and from a 2007 debate on C-SPAN.



  • 1. Alan_Eckert  |  August 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I wish I could be there on Monday!

  • 2. Gregory in SLC  |  August 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hearing on CSPAN?

  • 3. Ann S.  |  August 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm


  • 4. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Okay, I can't imagine how they're going to contextualize the Prop8 trial reenactment starring stuffed animals to buoy our argument that the tapes should be released, but I'm strangely amused by the notion that it's going to be made part of the public record.

  • 5. Ann S.  |  August 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    That's an easy one — "Judge Ware, would you rather have people learn about the trial from the actual tapes, or from hand puppets?"

  • 6. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 24, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    "Yeah but, lookee at Hizzoner Mr. Fluffy Owl! He's so cute…and fluffy!" I dunno…seems like a risky strategy.

    And you KNOW the Proponents are going to spin it as proof gay marriage will be taught to children, or leads to (fluffy) bestiality, or something. Or even worse ( and more hypocritical) they'll say showing that re – creation is DISRESPECTFUL to the court! Because wasting state money and court resources with a lawsuit based of imaginary injury…that's deference to our judicial branch, or something. *sigh*

  • 7. Kate  |  August 25, 2011 at 7:28 am

    NOMbies: "Fluffy Owl should have recused himself!!!!"

  • 8. James  |  August 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I have been following this case intensely from the beginning. I have even read many of the transcripts. However, I have not seen this reenactment until today.

    Perhaps it is because of Marisa Tomei incredible acting job reading these words, but I was just thunderstruck by how powerful Kristin Perry's testimony actually was. Maybe the real tapes are more dry and boring like how most actual court recordings falls far short of the typical dramatic court scenes you see in the movies, but I doubt it.

    In any case, these tapes truly do need to be released so the world can see how this issue is indeed the defining civil rights issue for the 21st century.

  • 9. James A. Tuttle  |  August 25, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Will the decision to release the tapes be made immediately or will there be a wait involved? Legal Eagles??

  • 10. Alan_Eckert  |  August 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Ware will let us know on Monday. He was ready to release his decision within 24 with the last case, but there will be a lot more to consider from the oral arguments this go around.

  • 11. James A. Tuttle  |  August 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you!

  • 12. Sagesse  |  August 25, 2011 at 4:53 am

    A lovely interview with Perry and Stier.

    Prop 8 suit emboldens plaintiffs

  • 13. Sagesse  |  August 25, 2011 at 5:17 am

    The full census data for the US are available this week. The information on couples and families can be a powerful weapon in the arguments for marriage equality and against DOMA. Nice testimony in this article.

    New Numbers, and Geography, for Gay Couples

  • 14. Sagesse  |  August 25, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Good recap of developments in the last year.

    LGBT students: Safer this year?

  • 15. Ronnie  |  August 25, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Subscribing & sharing……….. This is the hateful, repugnant, & inhuman America NOM et al is creating & perpetuating……

    Kentucky Lesbian Couple and Children Attacked by Anti-Gay Crowd at Fireworks Display: REPORT

    "The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that a group of people shot fireworks at the couple and their children, taunted them with anti-gay slurs, and threatened to kill them."

    **Caution** The derogatory words & threats these homophobic neanderthals used towards this family are graphic……but here's the kicker….. wait for it….. This was done by a "God" fearing congregation that was partying in a church parking lot across the street from were the family was………. Is this how the anti-gay crowd plans on "protecting" children?………hmmmmm? …… > I …Ronnie

  • 16. Ronnie  |  August 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Gay Soldier Outed by Viral YouTube Clip: VIDEO

    I posted the Towleroad article a few weeks ago about the soldier who is currently serving in the Middle East & is gradually coming out of the closet while documenting his journey. Well he posted a video of a military band on his base covering Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on his YouTube channel. That video went viral with over million views & was featured on the Carson Daily Show……..

    "The servicemember says that because his video of the band went viral, his fellow servicemembers discovered the gay-related videos, so he was outed to them. And, he's extremely happy to report that they were "more than okay with it" and offered him congratulations."

    Here is his new video, "Coming Out – DADT"…… <3…Ronnie:
    [youtube 7LVMPQdlKLw youtube]

  • 17. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Many of you may remember me posting a week ago that my employer had decided to resend certain domestic partner benefits and discounted goods and services stating bogus IRS taxation 'rules'.
    Well as of this morning I have recieved an email from the President and CEO of Group Health stating that this will NOT happen, that GHC is very proud of their treatment of those in the LGBT community both as pateints and as employees. They are investigating further to see who actually made this decision and why and will follow up with me later. But for now we are full and complete again here at GHC 🙂
    I am beyond happy and proud right now.

    Mark (and Robert)

  • 18. LCH  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This is wonderful news Mark! Your situation is another lesson in speaking up.

  • 19. AnonyGrl  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Yay!!! Good for them, and good for you!!! Very glad to hear it!

  • 20. Gregory in SLC  |  August 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

    : D !!!!!

  • 21. Ann S.  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Yay, great news!!!

  • 22. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Thanks everyone!!!

  • 23. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:30 am


  • 24. dwpiper  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

    That is good news – congratulations!

  • 25. LCH  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:32 am

    O.T. re: Rick's letter to StopSB48. It would seem that Rick Jacob's letter asking them to correct the falsehoods they were spreading about SB48 did not fall entirely on deaf ears. I noticed that their website has been edited. It doesn't say that SB48 will teach sexual practices anymore but it still says this:

    "It forces children to study materials that tell them their families’ values are wrong."

    "It forces schools to use a social science curriculum that promotes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles that undermine traditional family relationships."

    "SB 48 will use all social science curriculum, including history books and other instructional materials, to teach children as young as five not only to accept but also to endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality. "

    Thanks Rick. Let's keep it up.

  • 26. FlexSF  |  August 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I love the bouncy gestures of the puppets when they talk. Ted B. sways and swings while Professor Cott wiggles. Assuming the puppeteer is one person, this is symbolic evidence that our right side and the left side of the body are two wildly different entities. Thanks for this laugh.

  • 27. Ronnie  |  August 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

    "Ex-Gay" Survivor Tells Story
    Samuel Brinton, now a 23 year-old MIT graduate, tells Bay Windows about the "ex-gay" therapist his parents forced him to visit at the age of 13.

    "Together, the therapist and Sam’s parents instilled in the boy the belief that he was the only living gay person in the world, that the government had killed all the other gay children, and that they’d kill him too if he acted gay. He carried this belief as truth until his second year of college."

    (me) Sam specifies that this session leader was a "religious therapist" & NOT a doctor…….There are not enough words…. So the government killed all gay children huh?….. This session brought to you by….. wait for it…. so called "good" & "moral" "Christians"……. THIS is the inimical & inhuman comportment NOM et al perpetuates, they are the REAL purveyors of hate.

    They'll "protect" the children?….. when pigs fly…… > I …Ronnie

  • 28. Ronnie  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Here is the full article…..
    Survivor: MIT grad student remembers "ex-gay" therapy

    He was placed in the ER 7 times after being beaten by his father. This kid was forced to endure having his wrists strapped to a table then blocks of ice were placed on his open palms (that was step 1), had copper heating coils wrapped around his wrists & hands (step 2), Step 3 came along with his 1st attempt of suicide (5 in total) in which he was strapped into a chair with needles attached to electrodes stuck into his fingertips….. all the while his heterosexual biological mom & dad, you know the kind that NOM et al says is the "ideal", knew & accepted that their son was being physically & mentally tortured. They even went so far as to lie to his little sister telling her that he murdered somebody. His last attempt at suicide took place on the roof of the 3story house his family lived in…. Sam remembers telling himself, "If I don’t change, they’re going to kill me."

    Thankfully, he didn't jump. Sam went to college, passed a city ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination in Manhattan, Kansas, named Top LGBT Activist in the country last year by the Campus Pride organization, serves as the national secretary for a progressive fraternity for GBT men, & is studying nuclear engineering on a MIT fellowship…… "Sam is ever on the lookout for opportunities to help others in the same situation, with the message that not only does it get better―it can be made better."

    "…….'I know who I am,' Sam says now. 'I know I can’t change it. I’m strong in my faith, and I’m strong in my sexuality.' And Sam is sure he’s still going to heaven."

    "My life is perfect." ……… This kid is a survivor… shame on his parents…… <3…Ronnie

  • 29. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks posting this Ronnie, hard as some of it is to read. Reminds me yet again why we have to continue to fight this culture war on all fronts–kids won't be safe until we expose and eliminate as many sources of homophobia as we can find.

  • 30. Alan_Eckert  |  August 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Just in from Judge Ware:

    "We will not be recording Monday's Perry hearing as the Defendant-Intervenors do not consent."

    Of course they don't.

  • 31. Ann S.  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    No, of course they don't. Cowards.

  • 32. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I can't believe it matters if they give consent or not. I don't consent to be a second class citizen!!

  • 33. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:34 am

    True to form, I see. I'm wondering if this show of deference is bad news for the tapes…they're not going to "consent" to that either, and other courts (including SCOTUS) seem to buy their nonsense about how THEY are subject to attack if they show their faces. Because so many homophobes get attacked these days, and gay people who testify aren't at risk at all. *growl*

  • 34. Ann S.  |  August 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I wouldn't read too much into it as far as release of the tapes.

  • 35. Elizabeth_Oakes  |  August 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Hope you're right. It would be a huge win for us (and the country) to see exactly how it all went down….seeing is believing. Shine a light on the Prop 8 Proponents, Judge Ware!

  • 36. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  November 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

    […] lot of folks are divided on all of the media attention to things like Courage Campaign members’ re-enactments (which were later used in the courtroom) and Dustin Lance Black’s staging of a play on the […]

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