Tag: Ted Olson

Prop. 8 Trial – Part One: Background

There’s no possible way to fit all of this in one post. I’ll start here and write a series summarizing the trial and what I predict will happen. I’ll start with some background for the trial.

First let me make clear, I’m not a lawyer. I’m just an interested gay person who thinks this trial will affect all our lives. I don’t even live in California. I’m pretty inquisitive and if I say something, I’ve researched it quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean I’m not wrong. I’m not completely confident that I’ll get all the legal aspects right and if anyone wants to comment to correct errors, please feel free.

Two gay couples in California, one male couple and one female couple, attempted to get married in California, but were denied a marriage license since Prop. 8 had passed, limiting marriages in California to one man and one woman. They decided to combine their cases and sue the Governor and the Attorney General, along with a few others in federal court. Kristin Perry is the name on the case, so it is called Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Wherein we witness the destruction of anti-gay arguments

It’s awkward times for bigots these days. With Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal Prop. 8 trial, it’s clear that the way gay issues are discussed is changing for the better. Homophobia is on trial.

Even the words we are using are different. There’s a well-known gay marriage campaign called “No H8.” No hate. The name itself implies that opposing gay marriage is hateful. This is where we are now in this country. Homophobes are required to define their positions and then defend them through facts, logic and empirical arguments.

This is not working out so well, to say the least.

Finally, when forced to confront their beliefs, witnesses have either dropped out, relied on dated stereotypes not based on facts, or converted mid-cross-examination.

Witness this exchange from a few minutes ago (Please excuse the length of this, it’s needed to explain the questioning:)

Here, “Boise” is Boies. The livebloggers are typing so quickly so forgive their typos. DB is Dr. David Blankenhorn, defense witness.)

Boise. Are you aware of any study that shows that children of gays and lesbians have different worse outcomes than straight?

B: No. May I add?

Boise: It is not okay for you to volunteer any information. You can give speeches when your counsel has you.

Boise: Have you given a lot of thought to DPs?

B: Yes.

Boise: I asked you whether it was your view if DPs contribute to deinstitutionalize marriage? Yes, No. I don’t know.

B: Yes, they could.

Boise: Let’s try to get your view regardless of what you said before.

B: I believe it’s possible they could do so.

Boise: You say it’s possible. Anything is possible. Do you say it’s likely that they do so?

B: I believe

J: Counsel is entitled to an answer to his question. There’s a question and then an answer. That’s the way the process works.

Boise: Do you believe that DPs that are open to opposite sex couples are likely to speed deinstitutionalize of marriage.

B: Yes.

Boise: How about only open to ss?

B: Significantly less likely to do so.

Boise: Opposite sex couples over 62?

B: Significantly less likely.

Boise. You know that ss couples are raising children?

B: Of course!

Boise: Hundreds of thousands?

B: I don’t know.

Boise: Did you attempt to find out how many?

BLB: Yes.

Boise: Approximately how many?

B: I don’t know.

B: I believe that adoption of ss marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children.

They Must Know We’re Here

Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe. But there’s good news from the Democrats, today, on a few different fronts.

First, and a hit tip to Granny Doc, the Associated Press is reporting:

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner intends to run for the Senate next year, Democratic officials said Wednesday, assuring his party a competitive race for a seat long in Republican hands.

Warner scheduled an e-mail announcement of his plans for Thursday. The seat is currently held by Republican Sen. John Warner, who recently said he will retire at the end of his current term after 30 years in office.

This should be as close to a gimme as the Democrats will get, next year. Only Jeanne Shaheen, if she runs against Sununu in New Hampshire, should be as easy a pick-up. This would also mean two Democratic senators from formerly deep red Virginia.

But the news gets even better.

From Reuters:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid vowed on Wednesday to block former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson from becoming attorney general if President George W. Bush nominates him to replace Alberto Gonzales.

Congressional and administration officials have described Olson as a leading contender for the job as chief U.S. law enforcement officer, but Reid declared, “Ted Olson will not be confirmed” by the Senate.

“He’s a partisan, and the last thing we need as an attorney general is a partisan,” Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told Reuters in a brief hallway interview on Capitol Hill.

Olson is very smart, and very connected, and his wife was murdered by the 9/11 terrorists, for which he deserves great sympathy, but he’s also a very sleazy man. Read a book about the actual right wing conspiracy that actually did hound the Clintons, and you’ll read about Ted Olson. He wouldn’t be the complete lapdog attorney general that Abu Gonzales was, but he might actually be worse. Because he can think for himself. And there is no reason to think he would be any more an honorable or professional attorney general than was Abu. Kudos to Senator Reid!

And then, there’s the sudden tough talk about Iraq…