California | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | News | Proposition 8

Federal Prop 8 Trial: Updates, Links, and Video

Here are several items related to the federal Prop 8 trial which I've put together.

 roadSan Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (below, right) is scheduled to testify in the Prop 8 trial on Tuesday. His September 2007 speech in which he reversed his position on same-sex marriage is epic. According to AFER, "He will testify about his decision, as Mayor, to support the City of San Diego’s participation in an amicus brief advocating against the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and why he concluded supporting marriage equality was and is in the best interest of the local government and community. City Attorney Dennis Herrera will conduct the direct examination of Mayor Sanders."

Sanders roadAlso scheduled to testify are M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D., a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who will testify about the private harms caused by Prop. 8 and the impact of same-sex marriage on the marriages of different-sex couples, and 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.

 roadProp 8 supporters have shortened their witness list for this week: " Instead of six people, they'll only have two. The lawyer for the sponsors of the proposition that bans gay marriage says their witnesses are worried about their safety.' Their concern was the same that others have, that they will be targeted for retaliation, both professionally and personally," said Andrew Pugno, Yes on Prop 8. The reason they withdrew those expert witnesses was not because of cameras, it was because they did not want to subject them to cross examination by David Boies,' said Theodore Boutrous, No on Prop 8."

 roadThe SF Chronicle on how Prop 8 backers have been invoking Obama's statements on same-sex marriage at the trial.

Hoover roadMargaret Hoover, the conservative great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover, penned an opinion piece for FOX News this week in which she declared she's joining the fight for marriage equality: "We Republicans have often found ourselves on the wrong side of civil rights struggles since the 1960s, but there was a reason that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father is said to have supported Republicans. Republicans were historically the party ever-expanding freedom to disenfranchised minorities, from newly liberated slaves to giving women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony was a Republican. By supporting the AFER trial we have an opportunity to establish our historic credibility on civil rights issues once again. But we should support marriage equality because it is the right thing to do."

 roadCharles Karel Bouley on the request by Prop 8 supporters that all tapes be destroyed: "Their fear over their bigotry, hatred, their uneducated, non-factual arguments based in religion and not law being one day exposed speaks volumes. It means even they know how wrong, how beyond-the-pale their arguments are; they don't want the world to see them for what they really are, hear them how they really sound under oath, watch their condemnation of people whose only crime is they want to enter a legal contract that others in their state enjoy and not be discriminated against based on gender. Because if people were to actually see it, hear it, watch it in depth, they would be able to see it for what it really, truly is."

Karger  roadFred Karger of Californians Against Hate had a camera on hand at the Prop 8 trial, and interviewed a few key folks. Stuart Milk talks about "packaging fear," and Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco, discusses joining the legal team. Activist Adam Hahn talks about his perspective on the trial, and lead attorney David Boies talks about the day's testimony.

Watch Karger's interviews, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Please forgive my total ignorance here, but CAN they destroy this info? I haven't seen this answered anywhere and I am not as educated on this as I should be. But what specifically defines a "public record?"

    Posted by: Chad | Jan 18, 2010 8:18:56 PM

  2. Technically it's not "public record." While the judge and gays wanted the video recordings delay-broadcast via YouTube, the US Supreme Court supported the neo-Nazis' suit to forbid that.

    The judge has arranged for the recording to continue, however, for his personal review.

    The facism of the effort to have ALL taping, so far, erased is that that would include any recording of anyone not just their own allegedly-scared-for-their-lives witnesses.

    One would say "Shame!" but they are beyond such words.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jan 18, 2010 8:36:05 PM

  3. What are the implications of more of the defendant's witnesses refusing to testify? Can anything be gleaned from it?

    Posted by: K | Jan 18, 2010 9:00:52 PM

  4. I wonder if they are "throwing" the match, setting their sights on SCOTUS, and believing that it is there that they will win the end game.

    Posted by: MackMichael | Jan 18, 2010 9:03:35 PM

  5. Thanks, Michael!

    Posted by: Chad | Jan 18, 2010 9:07:56 PM

  6. Well, mackmichael, let's be real: no one in their right mind thinks this case won't be repealed, our side included. For all practical matters, this trial is a show. A show we could have watched, had SCOTUS decided to do the right thing.

    Posted by: K | Jan 18, 2010 9:17:08 PM

  7. K, are you saying that no one in their right minds would think that the Proposition won't be repealed or that the case won't be appealed? I'm just wondering where you are coming from.

    Posted by: MackMichael | Jan 18, 2010 9:36:35 PM

  8. how am i supposed to feel when a republican will speak out on our behalf but most democrats will not?

    hard to know who really has our back & what their motivations are

    have to stand firm & withhold votes from politicians who won't step up to the plate for us

    Posted by: steve | Jan 18, 2010 10:06:21 PM

  9. karger's hot!

    Posted by: wbnyc | Jan 18, 2010 10:35:21 PM

  10. Why are they worried about their safety?.... Will the truth come and beat them up?....Give me a break...I'd imagine nazis might feel the same way back in 33 if there was an internet!

    Posted by: John Normile | Jan 18, 2010 10:37:49 PM

  11. Whoops, sorry. I meant *appealed* as in, whichever side is ruled against will *appeal* to SCOTUS. Stupid brain.

    Posted by: K | Jan 18, 2010 11:24:47 PM

  12. Nah, you have a perfectly terrific brain, K...yes, we all knew there would be an appeal. My point was that, strategically speaking, Prop 8 can further this fraudulent "victim" narrative, attempt to neutralize our very real history of discrimination and abuse, as they roll into SCOTUS by "losing" witnesses and losing in the 9th circuit. Should we organize and protest, should we boycott advocates of discrimination, they can just point to us and hope that a dumbed down America fails to see how their side has called for boycotts, discriminated against us int he work place, and hunted us down on the streets.

    I don't think we are coming from different places, K. ;o)

    Posted by: MackMichael | Jan 19, 2010 12:10:15 AM

  13. Margaret Hoover is awesome.

    Posted by: JT | Jan 19, 2010 12:57:58 AM

  14. Here you go.

    IL is the new MA, but worse for the LGBT community. IL's Coakley is David Hoffman, both are focused on the irrelevant crime fighting and come from the government side of crime. They have no experience and knowledge about what ails us.

    So the danger of Hoffman is that he worked for a Blue-Dog Dem, Senator Boren who voted for Clarence Thomas. He clerked for 2 right wing Judges Rehnquist and Jacobs. He said he did it for his resume but he is a really a progressive Dem now. Well if he can sell himself so cheaply then so then why can't he sell himself so cheaply now?

    Hoffman's legacy? We will probably have 2 progressive Supreme Court Judges replaced in the next 6 years. Here is what the NYT ( reported last month about Supreme Court clerks and their ideology in their later jobs:

    "A Supreme Court clerkship really brightens the legal résumé, and former clerks have their pick of the best jobs at law firms, in the academy and in government.

    The career choices they make also say something important about the state of the Supreme Court. A new study has found that former clerks have started to take jobs that reflect the ideologies of the justices for whom they worked."

    . . .

    “Do justices select like-minded clerks?” he asked. “Of course.”

    “And do these clerks go into private practice, government work and the legal academy and use their legal skills to promote ideological views that are compatible with their justices? Of course.” "

    People want jobs and are concerned about the economy. The only Dem with any experience in legislation and who knows about business and banking is Jacob Meister, an openly gay candidate, He can kick Kirk (the said to win Repubs) ass because Meister has real world experience in health care, labor, education/special needs, banking regulation, real estate, etc. Kirk is a long-term government payroll guy with no working knowledge of any business.

    The powers that be are trying to keep Meister out of the WTTW debates. WTTW is a Public Broadcasting Station. Every other debate recognizes Meister as a candidate and includes him in their debates EXCEPT the government run station. CALL AND EMAIL Jay Smith (773) 509-5607 and complain. If you are a member CANCEL and that should be all over the country, not just Chicago. We don't need to publicly fund stations that ignore people who are legally on the ballot. WE decide who is viable not the government.

    Meister was the first to come out with a comprehensive plan for sustainable jobs and the economy. The stuffed suits get up there and repeat what they are told. They have no understanding about what they say. Meister KNOWS it because he's done it as an attorney for 20 years.

    Work now or work REALLY HARD later. The IL primary is Feb. 2. Offensive is so much easier than the defensive. PEASE SHUTDOWN HOFFMAN!

    Posted by: blane | Jan 19, 2010 2:09:05 AM

  15. hmm, thanks for sharing

    Posted by: sassy | Jan 19, 2010 7:23:24 AM

  16. It is sickening to see supporters of Prop 8 claim to be victims and discriminated against (fear silencing their right to free speech). Are opponents of Prop 8 angry? Yes. Would the vast majority of them violently attack them? I doubt it. Every group has its fringe that would channel the anger and harm people. But as the religous right says when they spew hate, the violent acts are not related to what they say.

    Posted by: Michael R` | Jan 19, 2010 1:04:47 PM

  17. @Michael R`: All I know is that there is an EXTENSIVE record of gays, publicly avowed and not, being harassed, threatened, caused bodily harmed and killed by people who align themselves with "Yes on 8"-types.

    I fail to find any evidence that remotely suggests the same level of animus exists when roles are reversed.

    And if sign stealing and picketing is the best they can come up with as a reason to live in fear, maybe we'd be doing them a service by showing them what being hated *really* feels like.

    (Just for note: The Yes on 8 supporters are using the discrimination defense not to protect their witnesses, but to allow them a reason to appeal to SCOTUS when they appeal. They will claim they didn't get a fair trial because their peeps couldn't testify. Mark my words.)


    As for this trial: Make no mistake, this trial will go to SCOTUS. That's the whole reason it's happening now. Walker won't be the final decision, Washington will.

    I have strong feeling we will win this current case. And we will revel in its precedent. But what should scare ALL of you is that once it reaches SCOTUS, the decision that comes out of them will be FINAL. And it will be final for a long, long time. If it overturns our win at this level, we are royally fucked. I don't think many of you appreciate just how royally fucked we would be. It's like, game over. Game over for all of you people in MA, VT and everywhere else that enjoy the freedom to marry whomever you please. The only gay marriages that will exist will be the ones protected by the grandfather clause. And they'll slowly dissolve through death or divorce. And then we'll be left exactly where we were more than a decade ago - except with no hope for a brighter future.

    And that should scare you. Because SCOTUS possess a 5-4 conservative tilt that has to be overcome. Our best hope will be one of two scenarios happening. I couldn't even tell you which one is better...

    1) SCOTUS refuses to take up the appeal. This allows the lower court ruling to stand. It's essentially a "no contest" vote, in that the court says they see nothing wrong in how the verdict was reached. It's a clean way for the Justices to recognize equality without having to have their names recorded as votes.

    2) SCOTUS has a conservative member or two side with the liberals on an individual freedoms line. This justice would have to phrase the argument not being one about gay equality (they'll never vote on that reason), but about recognizing that denying a contract to a party on discriminatory grounds infringes upon personal freedoms. Conservatives are big into that stuff. A similar justification was used in the Texas sodomy case a couple years back.


    Either way... I'm getting my passport ready and looking into residency requirements abroad. This isn't some sort of symbolic thing, mind you, it's realizing that if we lose the SCOTUS appeal, it will be way later in my lifetime (if at all) before the issue is revisited... and I'd rather just live my life in a country that counts me as an equal.

    Posted by: TommyOC | Jan 19, 2010 1:59:07 PM

  18. David Hoffman is a champion for gay rights. He is PRO gay marriage..he is for ending Don't Ask Don;t Tell. I've heard him speak..It comes from his heart.
    He is the only Democrat who can hold this seat for the Democrats in the fall. The comments listed above are mean and wrong. All the liberal icons in Illinois have endorsed Hoffman, including Abner Mikva. He also has the endorsements of all the state's newspapers, including the Tribune and the Sun Times

    Posted by: gayguy in chicago | Jan 22, 2010 8:11:39 AM

  19. Where is this story of Fire Island pines/Three Men behind purchase of Fire Island Pines Resort ????

    Posted by: David Leigh | Jan 23, 2010 11:22:54 AM

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