Trial of the Century: Gay Marriage or no?
I was disheartened to learn this afternoon that the Prop 8 trial would not be broadcast on Utube, at least not until the court looked at the matter later in the week.
I want to see what is being said, and who says it, and consider it an irony the the very people requesting that the proceedings be withheld from view are the very same folks who want you and I to shut up and go to the back of the bus. They act as though their civil rights will be trampled on. Hello! Here's the deal: if you really aren't homophobic, and don't want to be accused of being homophobic, then don't do homophobic stuff like hide your animus to gay people behind the closed doors.
It's just not kosher anymore.
A complete roundup of the trial can be read here.
I know it, after I told all my friends that it was on utube, I read it was not on until wednesday. Pisses me off. I want people to account to me directly why they can control my rights.
The opening statement..
And I hope we are able to see what is being said after Wednesday, that is, if it is approved.
I have had my feelers out to my friends over here. I found some great Pride groups for the Grand Rapids area, now that they are a college town, things are happening! So, I mamnged to hook up with some people whom are more on top of this. I will let you know if I find anything out.:)
text of opening statement in Prop 8 trial
TEXT OF TED OLSON'S OPENING STATEMENT
IN PROP. 8 TRIAL (AS PREPARED)
[Posted by American Foundation for Equal Rights,
January 11, 2010, http://tinyurl.com/yhgneq5
The federal trial over the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8 began today with an opening statement by attorney Theodore Olson, who with David Boies is leading the legal team assembled by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to litigate the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Opening statements will be followed by testimony from Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, who comprise two couples who wish to be married but who were denied marriage licenses because of Proposition 8. After the opening statement, David Boies led direct examination of Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami.
This case is about marriage and equality. Plaintiffs are being denied both the right to marry, and the right to equality under the law.
The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly described the right to marriage as "one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men;" a "basic civil right;" a component of the constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, association, and intimate choice; an expression of emotional support and public commitment; the exercise of spiritual unity; and a fulfillment of one's self.
In short, in the words of the highest court in the land, marriage is "the most important relation in life," and "of fundamental importance for all individuals."
As the witnesses in this case will elaborate, marriage is central to life in America. It promotes mental, physical and emotional health and the economic strength and stability of those who enter into a marital union. It is the building block of family, neighborhood and community. The California Supreme Court has declared that the right to marry is of "central importance to an individual's opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society."
Proposition 8 ended the dream of marriage, the most important relation in life, for the plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of Californians.
In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court concluded that under this State's Constitution, the right to marry a person of one's choice extended to all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, and was available equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples. In November of 2008, the voters of California responded to that decision with Proposition 8, amending the State's Constitution and, on the basis of sexual orientation and sex, slammed the door to marriage to gay and lesbian citizens.
The plaintiffs are two loving couples, American citizens, entitled to equality and due process under our Constitution. They are in deeply committed, intimate, and longstanding relationships. They want to marry the person they love; to enter into that "most important relation in life"; to share their dreams with their partners; and to confer the many benefits of marriage on their families. But Proposition 8 singled out gay men and lesbians as a class, swept away their right to marry, pronounced them unequal, and declared their relationships inferior and less-deserving of respect and dignity.
In the words of the California Supreme Court, eliminating the right of individuals to marry a same-sex partner relegated those individuals to "second class" citizenship, and told them, their families and their neighbors that their love and desire for a sanctioned marital partnership was not worthy of recognition.
During this trial, Plaintiffs and leading experts in the fields of history, psychology, economics and political science will prove three fundamental points:
First - Marriage is vitally important in American society.
Second - By denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Proposition 8 works a grievous harm on the plaintiffs and other gay men and lesbians throughout California, and adds yet another chapter to the long history of discrimination they have suffered.
Third - Proposition 8 perpetrates this irreparable, immeasurable, discriminatory harm for no good reason.
I. MARRIAGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RELATION IN LIFE
Plaintiffs will present evidence from leading experts, representing some of the finest academic institutions in this country and the world, who will reinforce what the highest courts of California and the United States have already repeatedly said about the importance of marriage in society and the significant benefits that marriage confers on couples, their families, and the community. Proponents cannot dispute these basic facts.
While marriage has been a revered and important institution throughout the history of this country and this State, it has also evolved to shed irrational, unwarranted, and discriminatory restrictions and limitations that reflected the biases, prejudices or stereotypes of the past. Marriage laws that disadvantaged women or people of disfavored race or ethnicity have been eliminated. These changes have come from legislatures and the courts. Far from harming the institution of marriage, the elimination of discriminatory restrictions on marriage has strengthened the institution, its vitality, and its importance in American society today.
II. PROPOSITION 8 HARMS GAY AND LESBIAN INDIVIDUALS, THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR COMMUNITIES
Proposition 8 had a simple, straightforward, and devastating purpose: to withdraw from gay and lesbian people like the Plaintiffs their previously recognized constitutional right to marry. The official title of the ballot measure said it all: "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry."
Proponents of Proposition 8 have insisted that the persons they would foreclose from the institution of marriage have suffered no harm because they have been given the opportunity to form something called a "domestic partnership." That is a cruel fiction. Plaintiffs will describe the harm that they suffer every day because they are prevented from marrying. And they will describe how demeaning and insulting it can be to be told that they remain free to marry -- as long, that is, that they marry someone of the opposite sex instead of the person they love, the companion of their choice.
And the evidence will demonstrate that relegating gay men and lesbians to "domestic partnerships" is to inflict upon them badges of inferiority that forever stigmatize their loving relationships as different, separate, unequal, and less worthy -- something akin to a commercial venture, not a loving union. Indeed, the proponents of Proposition 8 acknowledge that domestic partnerships are not the same as traditional marriage. Proponents proudly proclaim that, under Proposition 8, the "unique and highly favorable imprimatur" of marriage is reserved to "opposite-sex unions."
This government-sponsored societal stigmatization causes grave psychological and physical harms to gay men and lesbians and their families. It increases the likelihood that they will experience discrimination and harassment; it causes immeasurable harm.
Sadly, Proposition 8 is only the most recent chapter in our nation's long and painful history of discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals. They have been classified as degenerates, targeted by police, harassed in the workplace, censored, demonized, fired from government jobs, excluded from our armed forces, arrested for their private sexual conduct, and repeatedly stripped of their fundamental rights by popular vote. Although progress has occurred, the roots of discrimination run deep and its impacts spread wide.
III. PROPOSITION 8 HARMS GAY AND LESBIAN INDIVIDUALS FOR NO GOOD REASON
Proposition 8 singles out gay and lesbian individuals alone for exclusion from the institution of marriage. In California, even convicted murderers and child abusers enjoy the freedom to marry. As the evidence clearly establishes, this discrimination has been placed in California's Constitution even though its victims are, and always have been, fully contributing members of our society. And it excludes gay men and lesbians from the institution of marriage even though the characteristic for which they are targeted -- their sexual orientation -- like race, sex, and ethnicity, is a fundamental aspect of their identity that they did not choose for themselves and, as the California Supreme Court has found, is highly resistant to change.
The State of California has offered no justification for its decision to eliminate the fundamental right to marry for a segment of its citizens. And its chief legal officer, the Attorney General, admits that none exists. And the evidence will show that each of the rationalizations for Proposition 8 invented by its Proponents is wholly without merit.
"Procreation" cannot be a justification inasmuch as Proposition 8 permits marriage by persons who are unable or have no intention of producing children. Indeed, the institution of civil marriage in this country has never been tied to the procreative capacity of those seeking to marry.
Proposition 8 has no rational relation to the parenting of children because same-sex couples and opposite sex couples are equally permitted to have and raise children in California. The evidence in this case will demonstrate that gay and lesbian individuals are every bit as capable of being loving, caring and effective parents as heterosexuals. The quality of a parent is not measured by gender but the content of the heart.
And, as for protecting "traditional marriage," our opponents "don't know" how permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry would harm the marriages of opposite-sex couples. Needless to say, guesswork and speculation is not an adequate justification for discrimination. In fact, the evidence will demonstrate affirmatively that permitting loving, deeply committed, couples like the plaintiffs to marry has no impact whatsoever upon the marital relationships of others.
When voters in California were urged to enact Proposition 8, they were encouraged to believe that unless Proposition 8 were enacted, anti-gay religious institutions would be closed, gay activists would overwhelm the will of the heterosexual majority, and that children would be taught that it was "acceptable" for gay men and lesbians to marry. Parents were urged to "protect our children" from that presumably pernicious viewpoint.
At the end of the day, whatever the motives of its Proponents, Proposition 8 enacted an utterly irrational regime to govern entitlement to the fundamental right to marry, consisting now of at least four separate and distinct classes of citizens: (1) heterosexuals, including convicted criminals, substance abusers and sex offenders, who are permitted to marry; (2) 18,000 same-sex couples married between June and November of 2008, who are allowed to remain married but may not remarry if they divorce or are widowed; (3) thousands of same-sex couples who were married in certain other states prior to November of 2008, whose marriages are now valid and recognized in California; and, finally (4) all other same-sex couples in California who, like the Plaintiffs, are prohibited from marrying by Proposition 8.
There is no rational justification for this unique pattern of discrimination. Proposition 8, and the irrational pattern of California's regulation of marriage which it promulgates, advances no legitimate state interest. All it does is label gay and lesbian persons as different, inferior, unequal, and disfavored. And it brands their relationships as not the same, and less-approved than those enjoyed by opposite sex couples. It stigmatizes gays and lesbians, classifies them as outcasts, and causes needless pain, isolation and humiliation.
It is unconstitutional.
I read Olson's statement at Towlerioad, and have yet to find the other side's statement.
What a great opening statement
Which I re-read this morning.
I really like Olson's deconstruction of Prop 8 and it's affect on gay and lesbian marriages. And the opposition admitting that it does not know how gay marriage would affect opposite sex marriage simply reveals Prop 8 for what it is: an exercise in irrationality and fear-mongering.
I'm afraid that we have a lot more to lose than to gain from this trial. I see this going to the supreme court, and I just can't fathom that the current supreme court would ever decide in favor of gay rights. I don't see an improvement in the situation any time soon. The right-wind conservative judges are generally the younger ones who possibly could be on the court for a long time. If we lose, then there is supreme court precedence to battle in the future.
If by some miracle, fairness wins out, however, it would be a great achievement.
We will win in the end and no laws or court rulings can stop us. Equality is inevitable.
Message from Geoff Kors:
Millions of dollars are being wasted on anti-LGBT ballot campaigns across the country and millions of lives damaged, and it is time for our leaders to stand with us.
The people who ran the hateful campaigns in Maine and California will continue to spread their lies to take away every right we’ve gained.
Urge your friends and family members to join us in signing this petition at http://www.eqca.org/obama.
I think the trial is a great thing. I do, however, find myself of two minds about the televising/streaming of the trial. I know that pretty much the Supreme Court does not televise/stream its proceeedings. However, I think that since this is not a Supreme Court trial--yet, I think they should be televised/streamed in the interests of transparency.
The arguments of the Prop H8 proponents basically say that they don't want the proceedings to televised/streamed because they will supposedly suffer "irreperable harm" (read: the big bad gays will harass us), but I think they know how mean-spirited they are when viewed and not just read. They know this will turn many from their bigoted views.
I find it ironic that those who want to drive us back into the closet cannot themselves bear the light of scrutiny.
Lies are of the darkness and truth is of the light. That is why the defendants of Prop 8 are fighting to hard to keep the trial from being broadcast to the public. The basis of their arguments appear to be the same lies that were used to convince people to vote for Prop 8 and Question 1. And the lies always prefer the 'dark'.
Ref. BishopIoan: "I find it ironic that those who want to drive us back into the closet cannot themselves bear the light of scrutiny."
Damn good point! This makes me think of a line in a political commentary book that I read some years back. The writer, Allan Fotheringham, was commenting on how TV cameras can be very cruel, and can amplify phoniness and meaness. Fotheringhim said that one reason for the fall of Joe McCarthy is that the televising of the Communist witch-hunt hearings allowed everyone to see what a thug ol' Joe was.
I'm also thinking of Adm. Mullen's presentation to the Senate, where he said that he, personally, thinks DADT should be repealed. I saw clips of that on the news, and the Admiral came across so well - sincere, reasonable, and measured. Those Republican Senators who opposed the Admiral's position came across as intolerant jerks, trying to come up with reasonable-sounding excuses for their fear and bigotry. One of those Senators even had the nerve to accuse Adm. Mullen of trying to use "undue influence". Seriously?!
I'm a straight woman who supports same-sex marriage because I don't want my friends to be discriminated against. I've had a membership at a gay club for about six years, and the people there have been really good to me. Queer people are nice! I'm not going to tell my drinking buddies that they shouldn't be allowed to marry.
With friends like you...
Yes- it's a great point that those who want us to back into the shadows can't stand the light themselves.
And you make a great point yourself: camera's really are unforgiving. They show everything. And I think that is a good thing. Bring it all out into the open!
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