Friday, January 22, 2010

Perry vs. Governator Day 9......Plaintiffs Wrap Up

Day nine of thr trial and it has been raining great buckets here for almost as many days. While yesterday saw Tam's testimony in spite of heavy resistance by defendants. Today will see the last of the Plaintiffs witnesses take the stand. Up today is Gregory M. Herek Ph.D. A professor of Psychology at the University of California Davis. His testimony will cover the nature of sexuality and the effects of stereotypes and stigmas against gays and lesbians....should be good...if not too surprising stuff.

The Usual Suspects:

Good As You Twitter Feed

Pam's House Blend Twitter Feed

The Advocates Twitter Feed

Courage Campaign Liveblog (The Trial Tracker)

Firedog Lake Liveblog


  1. I am reading each day little by little and still playing catch up. Do you know who their witnesses are? Will they have any pseudo-doctors coming to the stand, or any "reformed" gay?

    Outside of this obviously being legal discrimination, reading through all our witnesses, all of it makes sense, in a court-like way.

    It seems impossible to lose, but, that is what I thought, twice, with prop 8. Third time is a charm. The other side has to have something up their sleeve. Even their own questions, such as insinuating that HIV is the gay man's disease, are soaked in bigotry and hate.

  2. I’ve recently read about California Proposition 22 (2000) which is basically the same thing as California Proposition 8 (2008). So, Prop 22 also outlawed same-sex marriage, but then, in May 2008, the California State Supreme Court decided it was contrary to the state constitution. Several months later, another vote on the same issue was allowed, then passed, and then upheld by the same Supreme Court! WTF? How come? Why it was even allowed in the first place if there was a Supreme Court decision in effect that precisely said — “it is unconstitutional”? Moreover, why it was upheld later by the same court, in contrast to their own decision made a year earlier? Talk about consistency in law!

    If we win, next November we’ll see yet another ballot initiative! This vicious cycle must end somewhere!

  3. @ K!r!lleXXI

    The prop H8-ers found a loophole. When they originally voted to ban same-sex marriage, somehow it was much quieter than prop 8, and the ban passed.

    The supreme court overruled it because it was unconstitutional.

    As one of the court transcripts said, the attorney general adds things to the ballot. It is not their responsibility to determine if it is unconstitutional or not.

    The haters ended up rewording it, redefining traditional marriage, so as to take constitutionality out of the equation.

  4. It does seem it should be impossible to loose. Especially in a system that has separation of church and state and a constitution that protect the rights of minorities on the surface.

    However I am profoundly sceptical at this point. America is sometimes known in the rest of the world, especially Europe, for being very good at the rhetoric of freedom and shit at actual freedom.

    The perceived hypocrisy is one of the reasons the USA has become such an unpopular country abroad.

    I don't want to America bash but that is a feeling a lot of people have. If this trial goes the right way it will fix some of this, but I think maybe all the negative press we get over here all the time about the American justice system has given me no confidence in it :(

  5. @ ladybugmagic

    I don’t know what could they possibly reword if the text was absolutely the same:
    Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
    The only difference is that first time they added this phrase to Family Code, second time — to the Constitution itself. I don’t know, for me it still looks like nonsense. I understand when you admit some initiative that was never considered before, but if you receive an initiative that is clearly similar to one that was struck down by the State Supreme Court as unconstitutional, there must be some kind of committee to discuss it. Otherwise, let’s submit an initiative to return to slavery! And if majority of people votes for slavery, what will Court do? Accept it? That’s insane!

    @ Craig (orangegoblin82)

    Absolutely agreed! USA is very hypocritical in calling itself the most democratic and free country in the whole world, and then doing the opposite on the ground. And this mentality is the main reason all these prejudices and bigotry are allowed and upheld. Double standards like this one is a standard of life in the USA. I understand that there are lots of American people who do not support it, who understand it, who oppose it, but they are the minority, and we all know what it’s like to be a minority in the USA.

  6. @ orangegoblin82 -

    I am beginning to hate my own country. I am highly considering the move across borders.

    All the testimony makes sense, but, some of the supreme court justices have very strong opposition to same-sex marriage, so much so, they will go temporary blind to logic and sensibility and justice when making their verdict. They will consider the facts "hogwash".

    I am scared shitless of this outcome. Haven't slept well for the last few days.

    @ K!r!lleXXI -

    I have no idea how it got on the ballot, even though the supreme court overturned it. From what I understood, is that the difference in wording made it a different initiative or something like that.

    It's almost a scam. But, you yourself said, that, if we take this victory, they will likely appeal it, or come up with yet another reworded ballot initiative.

    I posted on someone else's blog something that George Carlin had said (not an exact quote), "The professional christians (religious people) need something to do with their time, such as finding the gay teletubby, or finding which Harry Potter character is gay."

    Aren't the religious people supposed to be helping those who are targeted by such an attack? And, they need to do something productive with their lives. I am surprised that Jerry Falwell has not yet blamed Haiti's earthquakes on the gays and abortion clinics.

    I can't generalize, we did receive some great religious support, but a lot of their side's funding was from religious fundamentalists.

  7. And here is my post script, in all my utopic naivety, I really believe that the supreme court will overrule prop 8 and legalize same-sex marriage, either country-wide, or all other states will take California's cue and follow suit in legalizing it.

    And then, seeing how great equality is, we will start insuring everyone, so no one dies out of want of medical care.

    And then, seeing how great equality is, we will start helping third world countries become self-sufficient, instead of patenting their rain water, usurping their crops or oil reserves, and stop employing them for a penny a month.

    And then, seeing how great equality is, we will start helping livestock.

    And then ....

    It's pathetic how much stock I have placed in this one verdict.

    ladybugmagic -

  8. I don't want anyone to hate the USA. There have been some wonderful things happen in the USA since it's inception.

    I think what occasionally grates so much with people in other countries is that the USA constantly promotes itself as the freest and most just country on Earth.

    In truth in many ways its isn't. It has deep racial divisions, a history of slavery, terrible regional poverty, and very powerful religious institutions.

    The USA tries is best on freedom and justice like the rest of the west. I think the public attitude that it is already the best at freedom in the world makes people think they are acting in a democratic way even when they aren't. People believe their own press and stop trying.

    But don't hate the USA, not all of it :D

  9. Sorry all...I was out of commision today. Regular blogmongering will begin again tommorow. Hopefully with a thought out post and not some slapdash copy paste anyrate, to answer the questions above..

    From the courage campaign liveblog this morning:

    "the Prop 8 legal team has publicly said that they think the trial court’s decision is meaningless. And that may well be. Even if Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8, the order would probably be stayed pending appellate review. The trial is just the first step. It sets up the record going forward, and allows appellate judges to get a feeling for the credibility of the witnesses."

    As for defense witnesses...I hear that they are not being very forthcoming about who they are...but they may begin next week with more cross examination of Herek.


  10. memory serves...the California state supreme court(a televised trial BTW) went to some serious mental gymnastics to come to its conclusion and then justify it. Justice Canard made every attempt to downplay our "suspect class" status and to argue that the only difference between marriage and civil partnerships was the lable...there for we ended up looking like petty children argueing over a lable in her eyes.

    However the biggest argument they used to justify their decision was that it was not their pervue to overide the will of a majority vote. hogwash.

  11. @ orangegoblin82

    It's not just prop 8 that is getting me angry at the USA. It's also the universal healthcare debate (we let 40,000 people die each year), and the corporate greed and worldwide expansion, the way we treat our veterans and invade other countries, etc.

    @ GayFamilyValues

    So, this one trial, Perry vs the Governator, if we win, is just one step of many to get same-sex marriage legalized? It won't get it done right away? (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

    Again, I will show my idiocy here and now, can't Obama do something that ratifies it and fuck all this systematic step-by-step court stuff?

    Each step we make in the right direction will be pushed two steps back by our opposition, their money, their lies and propaganda, and their appeals.

    Can't the president just say, "This is how it is going to be. Handle it."

  12. @ K!r!lleXXI

    OMG, OMG! Is that good or bad? Is it genuine, like he actually wants to learn, or is it for show?

    OMG, we should know by March. My stomach is going in circles. I hate the waiting period.

  13. @ lagybugmagic

    I sincerely hope he really wants to study the documents. I think, he already made up his mind (in our favor), so he needs to make a good statement explaining his position (denial of suit would be easier), study cases from the past, look for loopholes and brilliant precedents — all to make sure SCOTUS gets the message loud and clear, to make their job a helluva lot harder to rule against same-sex marriage.

    Also, maybe by that time SCOTUS will rule on televising, so maybe we'll get to see the closing statements from plaintiffs and defendants (which is the best part of any trial).

  14. yes lasybug its matter which way the gavel most likely will still go to the next level of appeals and we will get to do this all over again.../facepalm

    I'mnot sure what power the president would have if any to do so. All I have to go on is Bush who pretty much ignored Supreme Court rulings if they didn't go his way...but Obama has not shown himself to be the type of person to do that...and neither is he our ally.

    My crisis about this whole thing is if/when it DOES get to the Federal Supreme Court(SCOTUS) and they decide that they don't want to hear it for some reason ...then I hope that the last court it was heard in returned a favorable ruling.

    plus I am asking myself how I can ask the supreme court to be the final word on gay marriage when I soooo want to throw out their decision to sell our government to corporate interests....WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!!!...oh thats right they werent thinking..they were too busy massaging the check they got from their corporate benefactors....argg!!!

  15. Sorry..that was meant for ladybug...dam typos

  16. @ GayFamilyValues (I believe you are Bryan) -

    Taking a misspelling of your typo, I have been lazy all week. I took my vacay and have been helping my bf out a lot, and been uber lazy the rest of the time.

    And I stumbled onto your blog. And I just watched more of your family's videos.

    The emotions are beginning to eat me alive. It's easier for me to be angry about the inequality, because it gets me moving, and out there, and productive. But, lately, with our second loss at the calif supreme court, I have just become reclusive and almost apathetic about it.

    Which I am sure is what they want.

    I turned blue having a seizure once, and they couldn't wake me for 20 minutes. And my boyfriends impending death. Both of those things taught me that I want to enjoy the most out of life.

    I have that fairytale dream, cuddling by the fireplace, doing our own family traditions (in our case, going to the Magic Castle), and, I just don't understand what kind of loathesome character would want to take that pleasure from anybody who is not doing anything bad to anyone.

    In another thread here, I am learning more about polygamy, because I admittedly had some thought about it, without knowledge. But, I saw the power of dialogue, and someone explained that I was just hearing some of the similar "scary" stories about homosexuality.

    All I had to do was ask a question, but, people who already have their mind made up won't ask. I saw some haters go onto your videos, but I don't know why they don't take the time to learn from watching them.

    What is the mental block there?

    And yet, another dumb lazybug question, does Arnold have any veto power in any of this? Can't he just fix this?

  17. If he could, I don't believe he would as he always threatened to veto any marriage equality bills that came across his desk before.

    When It comes to our videos..I think some people see what they want to see. If they come expecting two perverts..thats what they will see no matter what because anything else would be too threatening to their worldview.

  18. @Bryan

    Are you talking about the recent decision to allow corporations in the USA to make unlimited donations to candidates?

    I wouldn't beleive it. There was a section on the british "Today Show" morning news program called "the end of democracy in the USA?". How much news coverage is it getting over there?

    I have to say that the thing seems insane. It will almost certainly just lead to a generation of politicians who care more for the interests of their giant corporate donors.

    I would be really pissed off with my employer if they gave money to any political candidate.

  19. At one time I didn't really feel there was a major difference between civil unions and marriages (besides the title which by itself is significant in terms of segregation not being equal). And I'm still not exactly sure what civil unions entail exactly. So I definitely feel a lot more public education needs to be made so people realize that we're not just being petty about the "name". I can imagine most people who care even less about gay marriage or gay people/rights are just as much or more in the dark as I was/am.

    The not wanting to override the will of the majority vote justification just pisses me off. Re: Nazi Germany. Yes let's just oppress a bunch of people because everybody else is doing it. *eyeroll*. We can't dare take a moral stand against that. Even though that's kind of the job of a justice. To you know--promote justice. It's bad enough the politicans do the "majority will" and masses ass-kissing shit.

  20. "I think some people see what they want to see. If they come expecting two perverts..thats what they will see no matter what because anything else would be too threatening to their worldview."

    I totally agree. Probably 1 of the biggest life lessons I learned is the power of bias/prejudgment. Every single person in the world has a bias. There is nobody who is capable of being 100% objective. Most people don't realize this, and actually believe their subjective opinions constitute actual fact.

    The most insidious aspect of "bias" is that much of it is unconscious yet is the primary driver of action, motivation, opinion, etc. Our worldviews are entirely constructed around invisible forces like our history, our experiences, our internal physical desires, the social programming we've had all our lives like religion or education, etc.

    Generally speaking, most of us our emotional decision-makers. People think of themselves as logical, but all logic is premised on an "assumption" of some kind by definition. And the assumption you take on is ultimately arbitrary and faith-based. That's why you need "faith" for religion. And you also need faith to believe in non-religion, although most atheists don't even realize this. The problem is that most people are deluded by just how logical and open-minded they are. They don't realize that their whole worldviews may be premised on fragile assumptions that could be totally false, or that all of us are brainwashed in some fashion. Everything to the language we speak, the culture we inhabit, the truths we learn, etc. each and every day brainwash us.

    In my experience, most people tend to default on their base motivations and emotional reactions to make decisions and guide their actions. You can take almost any action and reduce it to a couple of basic drivers like a desire for intimacy/connection, fear, shelter, food, sex, etc.

    That's why at the end of the day most times debates are pointless. No matter how logical or correct one may be, you cannot change the mind of somebody who refuses to be open to new ideas, or somebody who is literally incapable of it because they are too programmed and brainwashed in a worldview that will no longer be receptive to anything contradictory. Not that it ever stops me from debating lol.

    So yeah it's tough, because on the one hand in many ways people genuinely can't help that they are bigoted, ignorant, hypocritical, or close-minded, because they have been formed in a way (through a mix of biology/environment) where they don't realize they are. Or even if they do realize it, they weren't infused with the values to care that they are.

    So I've kind of learned to value all human life and have compassion for all people (despite what I perceive to be their evilness or jackassness), but at the same time, not compromise my own health and happiness over these individuals who will never care, never try, never change, never have sympathy, etc. I truly don't hate these people, but I also have no illusions that they are fierce enemies who are hurting my self-interest and making my personal world a shittier place.

  21. @ u3q2v

    I remember you stating on YouTube that you’re gay, but you’re planning to marry a woman. I thought it was a bit weird. I couldn’t quite understand why would you do it. Would you lie to some poor woman to make her think you love her enough to marry her? Or she would be just a beard for you (I believe that’s the right term for women who marry gay men to provide cover, sometimes they are lesbian themselves)? Can you comment on that? I’m just curious to understand your thought process on that. If you don’t want to discuss it publicly, send me a private message on YouTube. Though it would be better to discuss it here — maybe someone else who feels same way now will be able to rethink it after reading your story (although I don’t even know if you still hold on to that plan).

  22. @ u3q2v

    You delivered some very powerful and thought-provoking information.

    I want to continue the line of thought about people inherently having a bias in one way or another.

    It's easier for me to use myself as an example, because I can relate to it. My analogies are not the greatest, but will hopefully illustrate the point.

    I used to be a vegetarian, thinking milk/dairy/eggs/honey, etc, was okay, because it did not harm the animals.

    I was dead wrong. I had discussions with some people, did research on the subject matter, learned what goes into dairy and egg farming, and became a vegan.

    I allowed myself to be educated and corrected, even though I had approached the situation with a certain bias.

    On last year's American Idol finale, we had already gotten wind of the "christian vote" going to Kris. I wanted him to suck the night of the finale. I wanted him to screw up horribly. But, he did a fine job, and chose good performances.

    Even though I wanted to see him go down, and approached it with that bias, I had to see reality, and that he did a decent job.

    I have recently evaluated my position on religion and have decided I am an athiest, but when people show me the good that comes from some religion, like donations to third world countries, or food banks for the needy, I have to say those are good things.

    And I harbour an extreme bias toward organized religion, but I can't propel into mad denial and pretend that good has not come from it.

    When I watched a video of the Depfox family, where Daddy Bryan brushes Selena's hair, or Daddy Jay and Daddy Bryan making Easter eggs with their children (though I don't celebrate Easter), I had seen the reality of the video. There is no perversion.

    How can people be so clouded within their bias so as not to see reality?

    If I told you that I firmly believe you were holding a red crayon, and then you showed me it was blue, wouldn't I have to concede, and say, "I was wrong."?

    At the phone banks, I was given a list of rebuttals, the most notable was that with a civil union, a partner can not be let into the hospital room with his/her partner.

    I just did a quick google search and found a brief list of some of the differences between a civil union and a legal marriage. I am not sure how current this is, nor to which state it applies, but it was true at one point:

    I think Ellen articulated it best when speaking with McCain on her tv show.

    "You are no different than I am. Our love is the same. To me, what it feels like, you know, I will speak for myself, it feels when someone says you can have a contract, and you'll have insurance, and you will get all that, it sounds to me like you are saying, 'well, you can sit there (pointing somewhere), you just can't sit there. (pointing elsewhere)'... That's what it sounds like to me. It doesn't feel inclusive. It feels isolated. It feels like we aren't owed the same things, (followed by something a little inaudible, but to do with the same 'wording'.)

  23. @orangegoblin

    "The supreme court decision is getting a fair amount of coverage in certain circles. unfortunately its not getting enough in my opinion. Conservatives love it because they stand to gain the most in the short term...they truly don't realize that they have let the lion out of the cage and they also stand next to us covered in BBQ sauce....

    Kieth Olberman covered it in one of his rather impassioned editorial monalogues:

    I highly recommend reading it.

  24. I feel like that time when Obi-wan Kenobi was talking to luke trying to convince him to go to alderaan with him and he mentions "a more civilized age....before the dark times....before the empire..."

    Welcome to the dawn of corporate empire.

  25. @ GayFamilyValues - I think to Jay
    I just saw your most recent youtube video.

    How are you inside my head like that?

    Have you ever seen the movies: "The Corporation" or Michael Moore's movie about Capitalism?

    I think the inactivity or non-excitement about this is that its already happened behind closed doors. Now its a law and no longer done as shady business deals with back door lobbyism. People are just going to shrug it off because they already feel helpless.

    A general example would be that Exxon/Mobile makes more money than all the car companies combined, which is a reason that so many people have either disappeared or died prematurely when coming up with a greener fuel.

    I think that we are in an oil war, protecting our petrol dollar.

    Another example is industrialized hemp. There are 25,000 uses for the plant. Edible hemp is helping my boyfriend soak up his mucuous from his lung infection. I can qualify for medicinal marijuana for my epilepsy.

    You can make fuel, textiles, housing, paper, etc with hemp. Big plastics companies and lumbering companies started saying that marijuana is the worst imaginable drug and leads to reckless behaviour (a leg of the "protect our children" campaign), because they knew that if industrialized hemp were lawful, they had major competition, and stood to lose major money.

    Have you seen "Zeitgeist", "Esoteric Agenda" or "Kymatica"? They are more on the taboo list, because some people think they are trite, but I think they are real eye-openers.

  26. @Kirille

    I don't mind talking about it, but it'd be long and I don't know know if Bryan wants more of my walls of text about me on his blog lol.


    "How can people be so clouded within their bias so as not to see reality?"

    I think there are 2 main aspects:

    (1) The person may not realize they are biased. So they mistake their perceptions for reality. And if their perceptions are skewed to begin with then they will never see a reality that contradicts their perception

    (2) The person may realize they are biased, but may not care enough to change their worldview. Or stronger motivations make it so that they don't want to give up something they're emotionally invested in.

    In your case, you not only acknowledged your bias, your personality seems to emphasize values such as truth seeking, objectivity, justice, open-mindedness, etc. So in a way, you are programmed to be receptive to change or to other patterns of thought. You were biased in that direction you could say.

    Somebody else may have never have been taught or influenced to care about those same values. So even though you are capable of change, that individual is not. Or it's not that they don't have the potential to change, but they need luck or the right environmental factors to stimulate a dramatic change within them, because they don't have a predisposition to change themselves from within.

    In regards to your crayon example, there would certainly be individuals who'd change their minds about the "red crayon" once they saw the blue crayon. The problem is, there will be individuals who are color blind to begin with. So even after you show "proof," their perceptions don't allow them to see truth otherwise. Or for others, perhaps they had a teacher who taught them that red is "blue", and blue is "red". So the problem there is the terminology. Here, the individual would be correct or seeing the truth--in terms of what they were taught. Correctness here would be relative though based on your stance of whose language constitutes legitimacy.

    Thanks for the website on civil unions vs. marriages. I hear about the hospital thing a lot but I was unclear about whether that was a civil union thing or just a non-marriage thing.

  27. @ladybug
    I have not seen Michael Moores capitalism movie yet but it will next on my watch list...I just finished outrage...which I'm sure you've figured out from todays post.

    I guess big oil and plastics and the like intend to bilk the world out of money and resources until there are no resources left and no one left to lord them over...