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Day 7 preview and more from Mayor Sanders

By Eden James

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization that has funded the legal challenge to Prop 8 in this court case, announced in a press release that the following gentlemen will be taking the stand on Wednesday — Day 7 of the Prop 8 trial:

  • Ryan Kendall, a gay man who will testify about the “conversation therapy” he underwent in his youth and how he has been affected by discrimination
  • Gary M. Segura, Ph.D,Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He will testify about the relative political power of gays and lesbians as a class of citizens, and their level of political vulnerability.

The rest of AFER’s press release is below the fold, including comments by Mayor Jerry Sanders and his lesbian daughter Lisa at the daily post-trial press conference on Tuesday (as well as the YouTubed speech by Sanders shown at the trial on Tuesday). A staunch Republican and conservative, Sanders made this provocative point at the press event about the meaning of equality:

“I think denying marriage equality is just as wrong as telling blacks that they couldn’t use white-only drinking fountains. It’s government action that’s founded in prejudice,” Sanders said to reporters at the courthouse. “The first step towards equality in society is equality under the law.”

Longtime reporter Rex Wockner also attended the Sanders presser and has photos and quotes here.

It’s early morning on the west coast but no matter what time zone you’re in, feel free to use this as an Open Thread to discuss whatever is on your mind in relation to the trial. (more…)

117 Comments January 20, 2010

Quick Hits: Day 3

By Julia Rosen

There is a ton of excellent work being doing in covering this trial. Here are a couple of quick hits.

  • The LAist has the letter from Dr. William Tam, which was introduced today and whose incendiary deposition was aired in part during Dr. George Chauncey’s testimony. The pro-Prop 8 letter includes this lovely gem:

    This November, San Francisco voters will vote on a ballot to “legalize prostitution”. This is put forth by the SF city government, which is under the rule of homosexuals. They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children. I hope we all wake up now and really work to pass Prop 8.

    Tam was supposed to be an official Defendant-Intervenor in the case, but he withdrew right before it began.

  • Karen Ocamb over at LGBT POV has coverage of last night’s AFER press conference.
  • Adam B over at the big orange satan, eeer, I mean, Daily Kos has substantial quotes from both the majority opinion by SCOTUS and Breyer’s dissent.
  • The crew over at Fire Dog Lake continued their excellent live blogging and reporting. The wonderful Marcy Wheeler has joined Teddy in SF, aiding with the liveblogging. Hopefully, we will see some analysis from her too.

And just a quick thanks to a few of the folks sending traffic our way today, too many really to mention all of you, which is just amazing: Andrew Sullivan, Margaret Talbot at the New Yorker, HRC Back Story, Dante Atkins at Daily Kos and the NYTimes.

15 Comments January 13, 2010

Short guide to the names and players

By Julia Rosen

Rick has been posting a fast and furious update to the proceedings, but there is not a lot of time to explain the cast of characters. So, for those who aren’t complete legal nerds and have not been following the case in detail for months, here is a brief breakdown of the major players.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger: the formal name of this case. Perry is one of the plaintiffs. Officially as Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the defendant, but he and the Attorney General, Jerry Brown have refused to defend Prop 8. Instead, the Yes on 8 campaign are the main defendants. The trial is being heard in the federal District Court. More background here.

Judge Vaughn Walker: is Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is the presiding judge for the trial. He was nominated to the bench by Ronald Regan and has been the chief judge since 2004. More here.

Ted Olson: former solicitor general, who has argued in front of the Supreme Court on a number of occasions, most famously on the winning side of Bush v Gore. He is one of the preeminent conservative lawyers in the country. He will be arguing for the plaintiffs, supporting marriage equality. WikiPedia entry.

David Boies: was on the opposing side of Olson for Bush v. Gore. Much like Olson, though on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum, Boies is an extremely well-respected lawyer with lots of experience arguing in front of the Supreme Court. He and Olson are long time friends.

American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER): The non-profit organization founded by Chad Griffin and Bruce Cohen which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs. Their website can be found here. formerly the “Yes on 8” campaign, the organization has evolved into an advocacy group and are acting as the primary defendants.

Ron Prentice: former Yes on 8 chairman who now serves at the Executive Director for, which is leading the defense.

Paul Katami, Jeffrey Zarillo, Kristin Perry and Sandra Steir: the four plaintiffs, two committed couples who are not permitted to wed under current California law. All of them testified on the first day of the trial.

Andy Pugno: chief legal counsel and current candidate for the Assembly.

19 Comments January 11, 2010