Tag: Proposition 8

The Week in Editorial Cartoons, Part I – BP’s Soup Recipe

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

John Sherffius

John Sherffius, Comics.com (Boulder Daily Camera)

Note: Due to a deluge of editorial cartoons over the past week or so, I’m going to, time permitting, post Part II of this weekly diary in the next few days.  In addition to some of the issues covered in this edition, I’ll include more cartoons on the floods in Pakistan, the withdrawal of combat U.S. forces in Iraq, and Rupert Murdoch’s $1 million contribution to the GOP.

Friday Philosophy: Animus

I’ve been watching the Prop 8 trial…except not really, since SCOTUS disallowed us folks who couldn’t be in the courtroom to watch what may be the most important court case ever for GLBT people.  So I watched the transcripts instead, as they were posted by the people at the Courage Campaign Institute and FiredogLake.  

One of the assertions made time and again by the defense was that Proposition 8 was not based in animus.

What?  No strong dislike of GLBT people?  No enmity?  Are we seriously expected to believe that there was no hostile attitude?

I’d like to think that one could discount those assertions as being false on there face.  But this was a court of law.  I am no lawyer, but as a writer and a mathematician, I know words and logic.

Having followed the trial closely, I have to ask the following.

When you deliberately choose not to learn about people who you wish to discriminate against, what is that if not animus?

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.

Proposition 8: Marriage Equality Day 2 (Up Dated)

The second day of testimony challenging Proposition 8 will begin at around Noon EST. The first day seemed to go well for the plaintiffs who are saying that Prop 8 violates their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

There is live blogging from Rick Jacobs at Courage Campaign’s Prop 8 Trial Tracker and by Teddy Partridge and David Dayen at FDL

Here are some highlights and observations from yesterday’s opening statements and testimony.

Judge Vaughn Walker questions defense attorney Charles Cooper’s contradictions

   Walker: If the Prez’s parents had been in Virginia when he was born, their marriage would have been unlawful. Doesn’t that show a TREMENDOUS change in the institution of marriage? doesn’t that show evolution? Isn’t that correct?

   Cooper: Racial restrictions were never a feature of the institution of marriage. (laughter in our courtrtoomm)

   Cooper: These restrictions were loathesome, and a detail. “Man and woman” has been universal, across time and all societies.

   walker: Is the evidence going to show these racial restrictions are different than the restrictions imposed by Prop 8?

   (like a bug pinned to a piece of wood)

   Cooper: Naturally procreative instincts….

   Walker: Only purpose?

   Cooper: Basis of marriage is procreation. It is a pro-child societal institution.

   Walker: Many things attend marriage, will your evidence show that those are all secondary to procreation?

   Cooper: This is about deinstitutionalizing marriage…

   Walker: Yes, you say that. But will your evidence show that?

Up Date From FDL h/t to Dayen

Gay Rights Groups Praise First Day Of Testimony, Call On Obama DoJ To Submit Amicus Brief

Geoff Kors, the Executive Director of Equality California, which led the opposition to Prop. 8 in November 2008. He was excited about the first day of testimony, particularly the words of the four same-sex partners who took the stand, the first time in a federal trial that same-sex couples have testified. “Their testimony was really moving. You heard them say that marriage is not just about rights and benefits but about love and commitment.”

Kors also singled out Ted Olson’s opening statement as the conservative case for marriage equality. Olson said that allowing certain couples a separate status despite similar rights and benefits creates a stigma without a compelling rational basis for doing so. “To have a conservative legal scholar take that position is very powerful.”

Before the trial began, Kors released a statement calling on the Obama Administration’s Justice Department to issue an amicus brief in favor of their position in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

   “The time has come for elected leaders to empower all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Once again, we call on the Obama administration to join Equality California and others in urging the federal courts to strike down this grossly unjust law. In doing so, we will bring our nation one step closer to realizing its promise of equality for all. Our country’s bedrock principles of democracy and freedom are at stake.”

Kors elaborated on that after the first day of testimony. “This is the civil rights trial of the decade,” he said. “We’re asking the Justice Department to weigh in on a basic principle. This doesn’t only apply to the LGBT community, but all minorities. And to be silent is unacceptable.”

(emphasis mine)

I’m certain Kors isn’t holding his breath

Proposition 8: Marriage Equality

Today was the opening salvo in the arguments to overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that denied legal marriage to same sex couples. You can follow the live blogging of the trial at FDL: The Seminal and Firedoglake Covers the Prop 8 Trial

The Courage Campaign is also following with Prop8 Trial Tracker

H/T to Robyn for the link

Sharp Words Open California Same-Sex Marriage Case

SAN FRANCISCO – In the opening volleys in the federal trial over the fate of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers for both sides were sharply questioned by the judge overseeing the trial, in a case that is being closely watched by gay-rights groups and supporters of traditional marriage nationwide.


Judge Walker set a questioning tone early, repeatedly interrupting an opening statement by Theodore B. Olson, a lead counsel for the plaintiffs – two gay couples who filed their suit in the spring after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8. The judge asked Mr. Olson why domestic partnerships, which are allowed in California, were not sufficient for gay couples and wondered what kind of evidence would be introduced to show harm to same-sex couples who are not allowed to marry.

Mr. Olson, a prominent conservative litigator whose co-counsel is David Boies, his foe from the 2000 battle over the presidential election, countered that marriage “was a building block of family, neighborhoods and community” in America, and that to deny gays that right was to effectively make them second-class citizens. Proposition 8, he said, “isolated gay men and lesbian individuals and said, ‘You’re different.’ ”


Advocates for Proposition 8, who assert that Californians were well within their rights to establish a definition of marriage, were also pointedly queried by Judge Walker.

Charles J. Cooper, the lead counsel for the defense, opened his case by arguing that limitation of marriage to men and women was a tradition “across history, across cultures and across societies” meant to “channel natural procreative activities between men and women” into stable relationships.

But Judge Walker interrupted Mr. Cooper to ask about other marital benefits like companionship and support, and he noted that there were no restrictions on marriage for heterosexual couples who could not or did not want to have children. The judge also questioned the assertion by Mr. Cooper that same-sex marriage would “radically alter” traditional marriage and could decrease marriage rates for heterosexuals.

Friday: Schubert Flint & Prop 8 Money Goes to Maine

(This started out as a reply comment in a recommended diary over at GOS by Bill in Portland, Maine, to somebody who said the Veto 1 sure looked like Prop 8, and it sort of took on a life of its own as I started putting in the links.)

The PR on “Yes on People’s Veto # 1” in Maine- It’s being run by Schubert Flint,  http://www.schubertpa.com/who_…  the exact same Sacramento- based Republican PR firm that ran the Prop 8 campaign here in CA last year, to drag Republicans across the finish line, with laundered tax free donation money.

This is just another job for people like this, altho they won’t put it up on their Schubert Flint website under the “past successes” category.

There is still LOTS of out of state money going east towards Maine-  as I have said in several other comments, it’s just not going to be obvious unless one knows where to look.

Let’s take a peek:

Obama and the New Terrain of Battle, Part 1: Green Light

This is the first part of an ungodly long piece I posted during the actual inauguration over at Fire on the Mountain. I have decided to trim it a little and post it in three parts, today, tomorrow and Friday, in the hopes that more folks will read it. I may even put it up at Daily Kos, though I can’t imagine that it will be well received there.

With Barack Hussein Obama making history and a wave of optimism engulfing the country, it is a good time to review what faces us ahead. I want to flag three features of the road we are heading down over the coming months.

   * First, there is a green light for struggle to advance on many fronts.

   * Second, the anti-war movement, by contrast, faces a huge roadblock to moving forward.

   * Third, as far as the economy goes, the bridge is collapsing and we are on it.

A Green Light for Struggle

Since November 4, there has been a dramatic uptick in popular struggle in this country. The election of Barack Obama, and the massive mobilization of people from all parts of the US and all sectors of society that made it possible, have created a vastly different terrain of battle than that of the last 8 years. Last month, I heard “Si Se Puede” and even “Yes We Can” chants rising from within a crowd of hundreds of SDSers and other serious young militants mobilized to defend college students who were carrying out an occupation (overall successful) of the New School in NYC.

The emotional highlight of the last few months has been the victory won by another occupation. Union workers at the about-to-close Republic Windows & Doors plant in Chicago seized control of their factory and won nationwide sympathy, including a statement by President-elect Obama affirming the righteousness of their cause and ignoring the illegality of their tactics. When they won their demands, the UE members left the plant chanting, yep, “Si Se Puede” and “Yes We Can.”

Now a wave of protest against the police murder of a young Black man, erupting at times into outright rebellion, has shaken Oakland, CA. Police departments across the country are reviewing their “deadly force” policies and training–and updating their riot preparedness plans.

Any one of these can be dismissed by the cynical as an isolated particular. Let me instead suggest a look at the broadest protest movement which has broken out since the election–the battle which followed the passage of California’s anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8. This ballot initiative, a little gem of rancid bigotry, not only denied same-sex couples the right to wed, but even officially “un-married” tens of thousands of lesbian and gay Californians. It was hands-down the biggest bummer of Election Night, 2008.

But look at what has ensued!

First, there were a couple of weeks of near-spontaneous demonstrations, pulled together by email, instant message and Twitter. Often thousands strong, they reached all 50 states. Many protesters quickly–and correctly–identified and focused on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) as the main target. Rallies took place in front of Mormon temples not only across California and in other modern-day Sodoms like NYC but even at LDS Central in Salt Lake City.

The effect has been profound. The demonstrations gave rise to an incredible cultural flowering in defense of gay marriage, from the movie-star-laden YouTube micro-musical “Prop 8: The Musical” (starring Jack Black as Jesus) to the tongue-in-cheek petition drive launched in Princeton, NJ for an initiative forbidding Princeton freshmen to walk on town and campus sidewalks.

Major media outlets and think tanks undertook investigations which showed that, just as protesters charged, LDS money and machinations were at the center of the Prop 8 campaign. Boycotts of tourism in Utah and of Mormon firms, as well as other businesses run by Prop 8 backers, are underway. Members have quit the church or spoken out publicly against its embrace of bias.

On the political front, Obama has felt the heat, especially after his inaugural invitation to Prop 8 supporter Rev. Rick Warren triggered a spasm of revulsion even among his loyalists. One response to the pressure has been his unexpected and unequivocal pledge to move rapidly to end the Armed Force’s homophobic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

To grasp the new mood of struggle, try and imagine the scene if Proposition 8 had passed during the grim 2000 or 2004 elections. The anger would have been swamped in the overall angst and depression. The flowering of protest and culture would never have taken place. Most important, we would not have the current mood, the overwhelming optimism that the passage of Prop 8 is just a bump in the road which will soon be behind us.

Let’s Fight Hate

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


In the continuing post Prop 8 fall out, the Mormon Church is ramping up its attacks on gay people, slurring gay people and even accusing them of domestic terrorism. The campaign of hate continues to rage, just as it simultaneously continues to claim that it is a victim of attacks.  Let’s fight back.

I know.  The Mormon Church denies that this was ever a campaign of hate.  There I pointed that out.  In a wonderful circumlocution, the Church even denies that its work on Prop 8 is anti-gay.  No, it’s about being “pro- marriage,” they say.

Jump with me across the broom.

Hypocrisy and the difference between rights and privileges

Originally posted at dKos, where a lot of people just don’t get it.

Imagine how different our world would be if Thomas Jefferson penned these words:

We hold these truths to be somewhat apparent, that some men are created more or less equal, that they are endowed by their leaders with certain alienable Privileges, that among these are Life, Malaise and the pursuit of Melancholy.

Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? Certainly not the kind of rousing rhetoric with which to declare the founding of our country. Fortunately, Jefferson wrote this instead:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Friday Philosophy: No Hate

Perhaps as penance for something I did in a past life, I am prone to perusing the back pages of Daily Kos.  Like Diogenes looking for a human being among his fellow Greeks, I search for those who might learn that hatred starts small and begins with the words we use.

I seek to teach.  Mostly I discover people who are unwilling to learn.  I find people who are so invested in their juvenile attempt at humor that they can’t stop to learn why it is juvenile, why it is demeaning, not to its supposed targets, but to those whom it actually hits, and as the conversation progresses (I refuse to give up the hope that everyone can learn not to hate), I get to learn how deep and varied their hatred actually is.

I find pseudo-intellectual  analysis of why only the so-called normal people deserve equality in this society.  Upon challenging their reasoning, I often find the same people have a very low opinion of education.  I ask questions that don’t get answered.  Apparently, those questions do have an effect, however.  You’d be amazed at the number of times people assume that the questions I ask must be asked in anger and respond in kind…and never answer the question.

And I find hatred, both the small and the large of it.



The term “miscegenation” has been used since the nineteenth century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sex, and more generally to the global process of racial admixture that has taken place since the Age of Discoveries, particularly through the European colonization of the Americas and the Atlantic slave trade.

Historically the term has been used in the context of laws banning interracial marriage and sex, so-called anti-miscegenation laws.

It is therefore a loaded word and is considered offensive by many.

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