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What are they Trying to Hide?

DOMA Repeal Marriage equality Prop 8 trial Televising Videos

By Matt Baume

Just what are the Prop 8 proponents trying to hide, and why are they afraid to let the public see their witnesses being cross-examined? We may find out after a hearing on Monday. John Boehner’s defense of DOMA is found to be full of junk science, a semi-reprieve for LGBTs fearing deportation, and there’s lots of work still to do in Maine.

By the time you watch this, a judge in San Francisco has probably already heard arguments over releasing the tapes of the Prop 8 trial. The Proponents of Prop 8 have been fighting tooth-and-nail to keep that footage out of public view.

So, what are they trying to hide? They claim that their witnesses are afraid of intimidation, or of losing their privacy. But that doesn’t make any sense. Both of their witnesses, Kenneth Miller and David Blankenhorn, have spent years pursuing publicity and a public persona. They’ve never shied away from the spotlight before — it’s only now, under oath and penalty of perjury, that they don’t want the public to see what they’re saying.

What the Proponents are really trying to hide are all of the admissions that their witnesses made under cross-examination. Both Miller and Blankenhorn lacked knowledge and expertise on the very topics about which they were called to testify.

Miller said he couldn’t remember how much of his testimony had been fed to him by his attorneys, and the Court ruled that his testimony was “entitled to little weight.”

And when Blankenhorn was questioned, he was forced to actually agree with the case against Prop 8, with quotes like “Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion” and “we would be more, emphasize more, American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before.”

So, it’s no wonder that the Proponents want to keep that footage under wraps.

In national news this week, John Boehner’s crusade to save the Defense of Marriage Act was dealt a setback by one of the very researchers on whose work he’s based his case. Boehner’s legal filings cite the work of Dr. Lisa Diamond, who this week filed a declaration of her own, calling Boehner’s statements “incorrect.”

But Boehner’s problems don’t stop there. He also cites research by anti-gay activist George Dent, whose papers depend on work by discredited researchers Walter Schumm, Thomas Schmidt, Paul Cameron and George Rekers, whom you’ll remember from last year’s “lifting my luggage” rent boy scandal.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Dent cites work by a phony front group called the American College of Pediatricians. Despite the name, the ACP isn’t a legitimate professional medical organization — it’s a tiny group set up solely to spread false information about LGBTs.

In other news, the Obama administration announced plans to review 300,000 immigration cases, which is likely to lead to a de-prioritizing of cases involving the law-abiding spouses of American citizens. Although this isn’t a long-term solution, the move is expected to provide some temporary relief to foreign-born LGBTs who are legally married to Americans.

And finally this week, Maine is on its way to repealing the state’s marriage ban, with 5,000 signatures collected over the first weekend of signature-gathering. That’s still just a tenth of the minimum required, and only about six percent of the eighty thousand they’re targeting to have by January.

You can help out in Maine, no matter where you are in the world. Go to to find out how you can make a difference.

That’s it for this week’s headlines. Visit for the latest on the attempts to release the Prop 8 tapes. And visit for more on all these stories and more. Remember to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our daily news alerts to be the first to know when news breaks.

We’ll see you next week.


  • 1. Ronnie  |  August 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    From today:
    "11:26 (Ana): Pugno is now holding court with reporters, making the claim that he must guard against the release of the tapes to protect against witness intimidation, a year and a half later."

    This argument is total BUNK…….

    1.) The trial transcripts with the names & professions of the witnesses are already public as well as the pre-trial testimony interviews with the witnesses….. Since their names & professions are already public knowledge & they have had previous public speaking engagements this idea that they somehow already have anonymity is a LIE!!!…. It is called Google…. WELCOME to the 21st century rePugno.

    2.) They had 3 witnesses testify for them during the trial…..We had many more…NONE of them are crybabying about being harassed or threatened if the tapes are released….. The Lovings were threatened & harassed before, during, & after Loving v. Virginia……. Paul Katami & Jeffrey Zarrillo; Kristin Perry & Sandra Stier are the couples that are the faces of this trial…. They have done TV interviews & appeared in print. Their faces, their voices are everywhere as openly gay in a country where even politicians currently running for President are affiliated with & surrounded by people promoting & perpetuating mass murder of LGBT people, violence towards LGBT people, harassment & bullying of LGBT kids, teens & adults or perceived to be LGBT, harming kids who have LGBT parents, & signing deals with the Devil…… I mean "pledges" that have them promising to create an actual Gestapo.

    The Prop h8 supporters are bigoted COWARDS!!! & should either own their words & actions or STFU…. If you can't stand the fire don't strike the match… (Sprays fire extinguisher at the Prop H8ters)…… <3…Ronnie

  • 2. gaydadtobe  |  August 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    What are they hiding? Nothing. That's exactly what they are trying to hide, cause they got nothing!

  • 3. Alan_Eckert  |  August 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

  • 4. Reformed  |  August 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    They simply know that many more people will watch a video of a trial than would read a published transcript. They know that what they can say to mislead the court is very different than what they can say to mislead the public.

  • 5. Scott  |  September 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

    First, I believe the video should always have been made public. But, did one of the witnesses participate after being told by Walker that the video would not be made public? That is a separate issue. If that guarantee were not to be honored, how could anyone trust a court after that? There may be some wiggle room that I'm not aware of. Walker might have indicated that he himself wouldn't release it or that it wouldn't be released while the trial was ongoing. I would like to know what form this guarantee took. Was this even discussed at the hearing on Monday?

  • 6. Sagesse  |  September 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

    It would have been a simple matter for Proponents to obtain an affidavit from the witness(es) who object to release of the tapes. Proponents didn't do that.

  • 7. Ann S.  |  September 1, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Quite right, Sagesse. There was not a word from any witness, so it's all speculation that they relied or that they fear retaliation or intimidation.

  • 8. Is Boehner’s DOMA D&hellip  |  September 20, 2011 at 5:53 am

    […] months, Prop 8’s proponents have been fighting “tooth-and-nail” to prevent the release of the trial footage, claiming that their anti-equality witnesses […]

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