Prop 8 Trial 2010-02-02
- Sorry. We're a bit behind.
First, this item from the Bay Area Reporter via EDGE
Defense witnesses agree Prop 8 discriminates against gays
by Matthew S. Bajko
Bay Area Reporter
Sunday Jan 31, 2010
Professor Kenneth Miller
Professor Kenneth Miller (Source:Bill Wilson)
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The only witnesses called by the backers of California's same-sex marriage
ban in the federal court case examining whether the measure is
unconstitutional both testified this week that the anti-gay law, known as
Proposition 8, discriminates against gays and lesbians.
One of the experts went so far as to say that some voters supported the
measure due to anti-gay bias, while another admitted under oath that he
wrote in a book that legalizing same-sex marriage would, in effect,
The testimony from the two men could be crucial for the plaintiffs in the
case, known as Perry vs. Schwarzenegger , as they try to convince federal
judges that Prop 8 was based on animus toward gays and lesbians, and
therefore, violates the U.S. Constitution.
The trial wrapped up Wednesday afternoon (January 27) as the backers of Prop
8 presented their last witness. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who
is hearing the case without a jury, has delayed closing arguments in the
trial until after both sides present their evidentiary briefs. Closing
arguments are not expected until March at the earliest. Although Walker is
not under any deadline to issue his ruling in the case, he is expected to
render his decision rather quickly as he has prioritized speeding along the
proceedings knowing the case is likely to land before the U.S. Supreme
The rest of the article is here: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?101665
Second, this item comes from Religion Dispatches
When Mormons Mobilize: Anti-Gay Marriage Prop. 8 Effort 'Outed'?
By Joanna Brooks
January 31, 2010
New documents introduced in the challenge to Prop. 8 reveal that the LDS
Church sought to create "plausible deniability" in its role in supporting
the Yes on 8 campaign. Why would the LDS hierarchy want to deny Mormon
Try not to look like missionaries...
On Wednesday, January 20, in a federal courthouse in San Francisco,
plaintiffs in the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger trial challenging the legality of
California's Proposition 8 introduced two documents (over strenuous
objections from the defense) indicating close but cautious coordination
between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Yes on 8
The documents, according to plaintiffs' witness Gary Segura, a professor of
political science at Stanford University, indicated a desire on the part of
the Church to create "plausible deniability or respectable distance between
the church organization per se and the actual campaign."
Segura's words soon rippled across the gay blogosphere, as trial watchers
from The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan to Julia Rosen of the California-based
Courage Campaign latched onto the phrase "plausible deniability" as an
"explosive" indictment of the Mormon Church's allegedly behind-the-scenes
relationship to the Proposition 8 campaign.
But to Mormons in California (both those who supported the Yes on 8 campaign
and those who opposed it), the relationship between the church and the
Proposition 8 campaign has always been undeniable.
The rest of the article is here:
Third, this item from the AP via Washington Post
Hawaii nixes same-sex civil unions bill
By MARK NIESSE
The Associated Press
Friday, January 29, 2010; 11:27 PM
HONOLULU -- Hawaii lawmakers declined to vote Friday on a bill that would
have allowed same-sex civil unions, effectively doing away with the measure.
State House leaders said a narrow majority of representatives would have
voted for civil unions, but they decided to indefinitely postpone a decision
on whether to grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the
state provides to married couples.
Civil union supporters in the crowded House gallery on Friday shouted,
"Shame on you!" while opponents cheered.
"It's an election year, and they're more concerned about keeping their seats
than doing what's right," said Stephen Nagle of Kaaawa, wearing a rainbow
lei in support of civil unions.
The rest of the article is here:
Fouth, this item from EDGE
New Hampshire Towns Rejecting Reconsideration of Marriage Equality
by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Feb 2, 2010
Though anti-gay activists have started to pursue an attempt to overturn
marriage equality in New Hampshire, towns in that state seem to be rejecting
the anti-marriage push.
Manchester, New Hampshire, news station WMUR Channel 9 reported in a Feb. 1
article that anti-gay activists around the state have brought the issue
before city governments at town meetings since marriage equality became law
on Jan. 1. However, petitions to rescind marriage rights from the state's
gay and lesbian families have so far gained little traction; the town of
Deerfield rejected a petition to the city's government to send a letter to
state lawmakers urging that a Proposition 8-style ballot initiative be
placed before voters that would write anti-gay discrimination into the New
On Feb. 1, the town of Londonderry also rejected such a petition through a
unanimous vote from the town council. The petition was brought to the town
council by state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who now has the option of gathering more
signatures in order to put the question to a vote by town residents.
Baldasaro was quoted in a Jan. 20 WMUR article as saying, "My main intent is
to repeal gay marriage and come up with a constitutional amendment and let
New Hampshire vote." State lawmakers in Concord heard from anti-gay
activists as well as equality advocates that day; gay state lawmaker Robert
Thompson addressed his colleagues at the hearing, introducing his spouse
with the words, "This is my husband, Michael Jacobson. We were married Jan.
2, 2010. Now, I'm here to address having rights granted a year ago taken
Even if Baldasaro chooses not to gather the additional signatures, anti-gay
activist Martin Bove has already started gathering the required number of
signatures to force a town vote in March, the article said.
The rest of the article is here: http://www.edgeonthenet.com/?101838
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