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Tag: George Chauncey

Liveblogging Day 3: Part II, More on Professor Chauncey

By Paul Hogarth

[UPDATE] 9:21 The last post was getting long, so I started a new one.  Now, Thompson is going over statistics of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Thompson: “Courts used to be able to confine homosexuals based on their ‘pathology.’  That doesn’t happen anymore, correct?”

Chauncey: Yes

T: “California, Iowa and Connecticut have all granted the rights of gay couples to marry.  Doesn’t this measure an increasing acceptance of homosexuality?”

C: “Not really.  Those court decisions went against much of public opinion.”

At first, I was glad that Chauncey answered this question that way — to show we still have a long way to go.  But again, it makes me nervous for the reason that courts are an inherently conservative institution.  Chauncey has now just admitted that CA, IA and CT courts are more the exception than the rule when it comes to jurisprudence on the issue of marriage equality, “outliers” as a lawyer would say.  Rarely — think Brown and Roe — do courts deviate from tradition and precedent when it comes to decisions. (more…)

82 Comments January 13, 2010

Liveblogging Day 3: Early Morning

By Paul Hogarth

Good morning!  My name is Paul Hogarth, and I’m the Managing Editor of Beyond Chron (  I’ll be your Courage Campaign live-blogger for the trial today.  I’m in the overflow room of the Federal Building, literally the only place where you can watch it on video — thanks to the Supreme Court injunction.  We’ll hear later today if the injunction is lifted, but for now I’ll do my best to brief you all on what’s goin’ on …

[UPDATE] 8:49 The Defense’s cross-examination of History Professor Chauncey continues, and they’re asking him about how much — as a historian — public opinion on same-sex marriage has changed in recent years.  The fact that in 2000, Vermont Governor Howard Dean was denounced for supporting civil unions.  Lotsa statsitics on polling data are being thrown about.  The generational shift is noted — young people support it 4 times as much as their grandparents.

Thompson: “Spring 2004 was a decisive turning point in public opinion on gay marriage, correct?  It’s hard to think of any group whose opinion has changed more quickly, correct?” (more…)

45 Comments January 13, 2010

Liveblogging Day 2: Part V Afternoon Continues

By Rick Jacobs

Hang onto your hats. Anita Bryant is below and she’s not funny at all. Not at all.)

We’ve been hearing about hate crimes, including a vivid description of Mathew Shepherd’s murder and young Master King’s eighteen months ago.

“Two men are afraid to walk down the street holding hands now not because of fear of police, but of being attacked in society.”

We’re looking at hate crimes statistics and a document from the Safe Schools of California. (I had to leave the room, but there were statistics of hate crimes and reports of school bullying in the thousands).

“Save Our Children” in 1977 in Dade County Florida was the most famous response of local jurisdictions adding homosexuality to anti discrimination laws. This very name, “Save our Children,” returned to the theme from the ‘40’s and 50’s suggesting that children were threatened by gay people. This very successful campaign worked and then was replicated. There were 60 such campaigns through the 1990s and most were successful.

(There’s back and forth between the attorneys as to whether or not they can use a book he’s going to use. There are many documents that fall into this category or I’d not make this objection. Judge says it was not disclosed with witness’s deposition. Since defendant interveners have refused to testify about their messaging in Prop. 8. Because he was deposed about Save Our Children Campaign and he’s a historian. Sustained objection, but said you can find a way to refer through the fact that the book was part of the supporting documents for the depo. I may have the procedures wrong, but the intent here is clear: The Prop. 8 side does not want to allow any discussion at all for how they came up with their messaging.) (more…)

130 Comments January 12, 2010

Liveblogging Day 2: Part IV Afternoon Session

By Rick Jacobs

We’re baaaaaaaack!

Terri Stewart, the brilliant lawyer in the SF Attorney’s office who argued part of the case before the California Supreme Court, is conducting the questioning of Dr. George Chauncey who is an expert in LGBT studies. One of his books is called “The Gay Mark”, “Why Marriage”, “Hidden from History” and he is currently working on finishing a book about post-war gay politics. He is continuing research on the issue. He has received awards from Gay New York for best dissertation and won two awards from the American Historical Association (which ironically violated our boycott of the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego).

Based on his very impressive resume, Dr. Chauncey is accepted as an expert witness.

[UPDATE] 2:04 Dr. Chauncey says that anti-homosexual laws were more enforced in the colonial period, then less and then more again starting in the late 19th century. Most of the enforcement was around sex with minors. But then the Supreme Court decriminalized sodomy (anal sex, even though it decriminalized heterosexual anal sex, too). Sodomy laws were used to prosecute gay people. The range of laws used to prosecute gay people were not specific to gay people, but were used almost solely for that. Disorderly conduct came to be applied more and more to homosexuals and at some point the police started to enter disorderly conduct (degenerate) in their police logs. Then in 1923 (?) New York State criminalized solicitation for sex by one man to another. It was used against people at gay parties in private homes, clubs.

There were approximately 50,000 arrests under this charge from 1924 to the 1960s when then-Mayor Lindsay disallowed the police from using entrapment to arrest homosexuals. Similar laws were in place in other states, such as California. (more…)

79 Comments January 12, 2010

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