Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed
×

0 for 2: Blankenhorn Looks Lost

Trial analysis Uncategorized

by Brian Leubitz

The Defendants continued their case today by calling David Blankenhorn. If you were watching the liveblogging today, you will notice that Blankenhorn is at times combative, and as Rick points out, a little “pastorly.” While he was perhaps more comfortable talking to crowds and in the witness stand than Prof. Miller, he also crumbled on cross-examination. How far did he stray from the defendants talking points? This far:

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

But, Blankenhorn started out in a far different place. Unlike Prof. Miller, Blankenhorn doesn’t have a university and a doctorate to shield himself behind. Sure, he does have a master’s degree in a questionably related field, but he did talk to a few people while writing his book. Oh, and he worked on a task force for President Bush the elder. But as for actually looking at the actual data, not so much:

Boies: You are aware that there are jurisdictions that have permitted same sex marriage?
DB: I am so aware.
Boies: Have you attempted to study effects of same sex marriage in any of these jurisdictions?
DB: Yes, but I want to explain my definition of study.
Boies: I’d like to explore this in an orderly way. Which countries?
DB: Tried to pay some attention to effects of same sex marriage in Scandinavia and Massachusetts. But I have not conducted scientific study with data. I have talked to people and read about it. I did not come up with expert findings on those subjects.
Boies: Your honor, I object.

By objecting, Boies was arguing that Blankenhorn was, in fact, not a qualified expert. Judge Walker noted that if it was a jury trial, he might not be admitted, but as their is no jury to prejudice, he allowed it. And, it is probably fortunate that he did. Because for all of Blankenhorn’s geniality, he couldn’t really escape his underlying problem: testifying before a judge isn’t about how friendly you are, or how pleasant you can be, it’s about the facts of the case. And Blankenhorn either didn’t know them, couldn’t remember, or just plain attempted to make them up. Take this exchange, where Judge Walker was getting visibly frustrated:

Judge Walker: Than why don’t share your answer?
Boies asks question again.
DB: I believe that some of the scholars believe that permitting same sex marriage would lead to deinst of marriage. And goes on…
Judge Walker: Shall I take that as a “I don’t know?”
DB: With respect your honor, I do know the answer. I said it and I can repeat it.
Judge Walker: (Quite exasperated) The record is quite clear on what you said.
Boies: What scholars said that same sex marriage will lead to lower marriage rates?
DB: It will take me a few minutes to compose my memory.
Boies: Let’s be sure you know what is being asked. Which scholars that you have named with Cooper assert that deinstitutionalization of marriage will be hastened by same sex marriage and will lead to lower rates of hetero marriage.
DB: Professor Norval Glenn said that. He’s one of the most distinguished family scholars.
DB: Prof. David Popenoe from Rutgers is another one.
DB: Popenoe says that same sex marriage will reduce hetero marriage rates. I can’t sit here right now that I cannot prove in exact word formulation what he said. If he were sitting here, I believe that’s what he would he say.
Boies: I am asking you to tell us what these people have written, not what you think they’d say if they were here, or what you believe they think. Do you understand the difference.
DB: Of course I do.
Boies: Answer my question.
DB: I am trying to the best of my ability. I came all the way from NY to be here to answer your questions to the best of my ability. I believe that Popenoe asserts that deinstitutionalization of marriage will lead to lower marriage rates, but I do not know if he mentioned same sex marriage.
Boies: While we were talking, I was looking at Professor Glenn’s paper. I don’t see that it mentions same sex marriage?
DB: It never occurred to me that everything I would say regarding my views had to be documented. I have studied this for twenty years. Maybe I made a mistake, but it never occurred to me that all of the views that I state had to tie to documents at end of book. If it did, this would have had many more scores of documents listed.

Oh, jeez, you big city lawyer, I didn’t realize that as an “expert” witness I had to base my testimony on documented facts rather than my own opinion or how I would think the real experts would answer.

This last statement is really rather stunning coming from a witness who was put on the stand as an expert. He essentially admitted that he doesn’t know how real academics work, or how a bibliography works, or really the subject matter that he is supposed to be testifying upon.

At the end of the day, Blankenhorn is like a scared 7-year old who hasn’t studied for a history test. I almost expected his last answer to be Yeti or Santa Claus. He was reaching, grasping for anything he could possibly reach. But, even he had to acknowledge that marriage equality would help gay and lesbian families. Blankenhorn is, after all, the guy who wrote a New York Times op-ed with Jonathon Rauch arguing that the federal government should repeal portions of DOMA and allow same-sex couples the rights of married couples, just not the name. Separate but equal. Everything but the name. Just make sure that gay and lesbians are just one step behind.

While Rauch might disagree, it is the hasty compromise of a man who sees the truth for what it is. Marriage would benefit gay and lesbian families. It wouldn’t harm straight families.

The Constitution’s promises of equal protection under the law will eventually win out. Separate but equal is anathema to the Constitution, and Blankenhorn’s career has been a story of a man fighting to keep small minds small. Today, he got called on it.

Tags: ,

148 Comments

  • 1. RAL  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    http://fora.tv/2007/03/14/Gay_Marriage_Debate

    …moving this from the previous thread. You get to see him in action for 2 hours. Its very worthwhile and Wolfson is amazing and persuasive.

  • 2. JerseyJ9  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Awesome coverage!! thank you very much for this!!!!!

  • 3. Barb  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Separate but equal is an anathema to the Constitution, and Blankenhorn’s career has been a story of a man fighting to keep small minds small. Today, he got called on it.

    Firstly, I had to look up the word anathema. I may not be able to use it in a sentence any time soon : )

    The more I learn about Blankenhorn, the more I don't like his style. Can't wait for tomorrow.

    thanks

  • 4. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Well, let's see. These two witnesses were supposed to be EXPERTS, correct? don't EXPERTS normally KNOW how they are supposed to prepare for court? Don't EXPERTS normally know the topic about which they are going into court to testify? Don't EXPERTS normally KNOW THEIR SUBJECT? These two obviously did not, on any of the above, qualify as EXPERTS. Again, I aks, where dd the DI get these two–WalMart (aka WallyWorld) or Big Lots? They definitely did not get them from the real academic world, nor did they get them from the world of real EXPERTS.

  • 5. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    All of our witnesses had impeccable credentials; they came from the best universities in the country — UCLA, Harvard, Columbia, etc. — and reading their arguments, it's no surprise that America still has the best universities in the world. :)

    Regarding the witnesses, maybe this really was the best they could find. But that would really surprise me. In all of America, given all of the states that have banned ss marriage, given all of the MILLIONS of votes that have been cast against ss marriage across all states, that there aren't even 2 qualified, legitimate researchers in any related field who can speak on the record in defense of Prop 8? I mean, I know academics are overwhelmingly progressive and less religious, but not even 2? In all of the USA???

    PS: with the way the defense sought out and managed Miller and Blankenhorn, it sure seemed like Boies had more experience as a lawyer in one finger than their entire team. Were they really unable to find better lawyers?? They looked so amateurish. Does it seem like they destroyed their reputations to anyone else? I sure wouldn't hire them for anything. Someone explained in the other thread that the reason we all thought Boies was snarky or "mean" was that he actually cross-examined their witnesses competently…

  • 6. Richard W. Fitch  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I liked the introduction of the word "anathema" into the discussion.

  • 7. Kokorico  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Maybe they couldn't find any real experts because all of the actual experts with half a brain and an ounce of dignity and common sense are not willing to enlighten the world with random, nonsensical synaptic misfires and place their careers and reputations on the line to be forever engrained in history as an ignorant bigot!

  • 8. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    They spent all their money on those ha8te ads and simulcasts… not to mention I don't think there are many competent lawyers that would touch this case with a ten foot pole unless the have an Achilles complex like Boies and Olsen

  • 9. Holcombe  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    this is submitted PURELY for hilarious distraction on topic: http://devengreen.com/bettybowers.htm

    "Betty Bowers: America's Best Christian" pontificates on marriage among other things

  • 10. Kim  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Tim, the problem is, as we say in science, that facts have a liberal slant. Yes, there are conservative scholars, but they often do research in fields where opinions are prominent, such as law, philosophy etc. Once they start doing fact-finding research, most conservative hypotheses fail miserably.

    And then you have a small number of 'researchers' who setup some studies that are so flawed that nobody oin their field takes them serious and they use that to come to conclusions not supported by anybody else. Those few studies get a LOT of attention from right-wing conservative fundamentalist groups and are accepted by the flock as the truth, but once it gets down to the court, they loose. That is why this trial is so important. The rhetoric, assertions, etc fail suddenly.

    This happened with Behe in Kitzmiller vs Dover School board with intelligent design, and it happens here again. The ID field is still in shock about that ruling, and still try to twist the outcome as something that only happened because it was not appealed and because there was a activist judge.

  • 11. Miller  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    The NYT op-ed talks about church/religious groups worrying about having to treat GLBT people equally in benefits and public services. The case of the Ocean Grove, NJ pavilion comes to mind.

    My question is whether the same type of provisions were put into law when Loving v VA was decided? Did the law then say that religious groups didn't have to include interracial couples if it was against their religious beliefs?

  • 12. Miller  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Exactly! Well put.

  • 13. Lori  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    THIS is the benefit of evidence, people! It's not like this issue hasn't been litigated over and over across the country already. Usually by ADF. It's just usually done summarily on legal arguments, and we don't get to expose just how vacuous their arguments really are….

    But even STILL, I'm a bit surprised at how borderline incompetent the defense presentation has been! These were the best witnesses? In the WHOOOOOOLE country? Really? This is what the forces of ADF/NOM et al. have to bring to the record for the case teed to hit the Supreme Court? wow. If I ever needed more convincing that we're right… (which I didn't ;))

    btw – I'm an attorney for an appellate court and I read trial transcripts all day. It's been fun having you all along for this one! Thanks so much for doing it, CC!

  • 14. Miller  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    here's the one that's right to the point of this case:
    http://www.bettybowers.com/betty4president/?p=151

    i am a christian, but not the type that is against gay people.

  • 15. Joe in Long BeachCA  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    OMG Thank you for all this coverage! Everyday after work I come home glued to my computer…First off I cannot beleive what the mainstream press is missing here…and WOW did the networks miss a GREAT SHOW when the Supremes decided that this trial was not ready for prime time…clearly this would of been a world wide hit on YouTube and made Boies and Judge Walker our Queer Folk Legends ( can't you imagine all video bar mixes!) But in all seriouslness… as Dads with an adopted son my DP and I really have to thank Team Boies-clearly this is heading to the Supreme Court and even with the 5-4 conservative majority there now…I know that this case is in excellent hands whether it becomes our queer Dreed Scott case or our Brown vs Board of Ed this case is history and to all those who said it wasn't the right time for it I say read these 11 days of testmony and you'll see it wasn't only the right time…but it was the right people…GLORY HALLALUAH!

  • 16. Miller  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    If the plantiffs win, what reason will the defense have for an appeal? What specific grounds would they have? Erors of law, fact, or procedure?

  • 17. Barb  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I have never even heard of Betty Bowers. But that was pretty funny.

  • 18. Woody  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Yep, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District makes this seem like really bad deja vu.

  • 19. Charles  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    "reading their arguments, it’s no surprise that America still has the best universities in the world."

    Right…. According to… who? I'm sure Oxbridge (and other elite universities) would be very interested as to know how you know that. Other than "international" rankings made by… you know, American newspapers/magazines…

  • 20. Joe  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I was thinking exactly the same thing! The "marriage is for the children" is a backwards reasoning on why gays shouldn't be allowed to married, and falls apart under the simplest of examination. Likewise, ID is a backwards way of saying, well, if we can't have creationism, let's make up a "science" and teach that. Again, falls apart under the simplest of examination.

  • 21. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Haha, I love that quote.

    Of course I agree with you; I'm just surprised that in all of the USA, Miller and Blankenhorn were the best they could find. LOTS of prominent people, especially conservatives, are anti-ss marriage. One reason that we're all so worried about this case is that it's going to go to SCOTUS and some of those justices seem quite openly anti-gay. I just would've expected that they could find more competent people. Regardless of how the judge rules, I just feel that this has been far too easy for Olson and Boies; I don't think they broke much of a sweat at all so far. Aside from witnesses, even the defense's legal team seemed pretty shoddy. Surely there are better lawyers willing to argue their side??

    As an aside, I went to Berkeley for college. One of the professors, Kevin Padian testified against ID in Kitzmiller and taught an evolution course at Cal. I only sat in on 2 or 3 days of his course, but I remember thinking "wow, this guy really must be an expert, he testified in that trial!" Now Ken Miller is going back to Claremont McKenna to teach his classes… I seriously wonder how he will bear showing his face around his colleagues after being slaughtered like that :D

  • 22. Richard W. Fitch  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    If the plaintiffs win, in a sense, the defense also winsb ecause it means that the decision only applies to CA. Their next tack might be to create a new state amendment that would make some kind of an endpass around the ruling. Not a lawyer, don't know. But there is something fishy going on from the [lack of] performance by ADF.

  • 23. Gery  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Please, please, please tell me that someone from Jon Stewart's or Stephen Colbert's staff is following this with intent.

  • 24. Scott  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    All this is well and good and I'm certainly enjoying seeing the a*holes squirm but I wouldn't doubt for a minute there is a method to their madness.

    Once they knew who the judge would be on this case, they probably knew that they would have a much better chance in front of the five conservative judges on the Supreme Court than with Judge Walker. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they were already looking for more "firepower" to put in front of the Supreme Court and with the decisions coming out of SCOTUS recently (5-4 along ideological lines), I fear celebration may be a bit premature if we win here (which I believe we will).

    I truly wish I could get excited about this and feel like being able to marry my fiance and move him here to California with me was within our grasp. However, I truly think I will either be moving to South Africa to be with him where same-sex marriage is already law or, both of us move to Canada or someplace where we can hopefully live happily ever after.

  • 25. Callie  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This is how Yahoo News sees today's testimony by this guy:

    Witness says marriage threatened if gays can wed
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100127/ap_on_re_us/u

    The head of a family values group testified Tuesday that marriage developed to provide children with clear ties to their biological parents but is in such a weakened state in the United States that extending the institution to same-sex couples could be its death blow.

    All I can say is Thank GOD for this site!!!!

  • 26. Woody  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    OMG, for a moment I read that as Betty Butterfield!

  • 27. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Jiao Tong University (Shanghai) ranking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_Ranking_of_

    And the Times Higher Education (London) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Higher_Educati

    I know, I know, these things are subjective. But I think most people would agree that of the top 100 universities in the world, America holds a good deal of them. I'm not arguing about who's #1 vs. who's #2; I'm just saying that the USA has most of the top universities.

  • 28. Bob in PA  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Like Joe in LB CA, I have hurried home to follow along, being on the east coast, I have to wait to catch up and here I am at 11:00 pm reading the last of today. I have greatly appreciated your work doing this every day. I've gotten lost a few times, but have always picked up things eventually. Thank you for the excelent reporting, it would have made great video!

  • 29. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    (Forgot to add)

    I feel that there are lots of things wrong with America today — anti-intellectualism, xenophobia, mind-blowing ignorance, rampant demagoguery — but I'm truly proudest of our universities! It pains me whenever I hear what I feel are our best assets in the 21st century being disparaged as the seat of "liberal elites" -_-

  • 30. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    The Lies just keep on coming!

    Bigots only hear what they want and see what they want and the rest never happened!

    I can't stand this Fu<ing country anymore….It makes me sick to call myself an American…

    And I hate that!

  • 31. Jane  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    They review eachothers articles = they believe their own crap and believe if they keep saying it , others will believe them too.

  • 32. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I agree with you! Not to make light of your situation, but watching the news and following this site, I've seriously contemplated moving to Canada several times during this last month myself…

  • 33. Frank  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    "Not being able to use this newly found word is anathema to me."

    Shades of high school English vocabulary tests…

  • 34. Rebecca  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    0 for 2? You mean those weren't witnesses for the Plaintiffs? LOL

    That's what they turned out to be. The question about why they became such good witnesses for us really puts a spot light on the Pro on Hate people. It shows that we are not going to come and eat their children if we are suddenly granted equal rights but more importantly it shows the truly loathsome and spiritedness at which Prop H8 was created, supported and portrayed.

    Oh, I would love to be in that courtroom!

  • 35. Linda  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    They've screamed 'BIAS!' from the outset. "liberal judge, liberal location' etc. etc.

    And they might have gotten away with that claim if they'd had a credible witness. Just one expert who could support their position. But there's no one. Why? Because their position isn't based on science, or research; it's based on religion, which is purely opinion. So, no data, no studies, no research, just dogma. Hellfire and brimstone, folks!

  • 36. Kineslaw  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    The one issue is that the DIs can't introduce new evidence after this trial. What happens in this court room is what goes to the appellate court and SCOTUS.

    They can bring in lawyers with more "firepower", but not facts with more "firepower". In terms of expert testimony and exhibits, this is the only chance they have.

    I suspect that the DIs figured they would lose at the trial court and the appellate court (fundraising all the way), but SCOTUS would save them by using the rational basis test. I'm starting to wonder if the DIs haven't really dug themselves into a hole even using the rational basis test.

    Neither Miller or Blankenhorn has introduced any credible evidence that isn't based on religion and/or prejudice. Both experts said SSM would be the fair and just thing to do. Much of the argument is based on children, which doesn't hold up to scrutiny considering all the straight couples that get married and don't have kids.

  • 37. Lori  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    If/when the judge rules that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, they will appeal saying he made an error of law, misconstrued the constitution. I can't see what procedural problems they would raise (though we haven't seen pre-trial). Judge Walker has been thorough and this is Olson and Boies (who, by the way, was absolutely amazing!) So it's all about the law after this point… and no more facts can get in the record. Which is why I'm so surprised their showing was THAT weak)

  • 38. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    This site has been great, however there was a big article in our paper today stating verbatum from the trial all the reasons "gays have political power in California". People are influenced by what they read……….drives me crazy. Too bad they didn't write what was said during the cross-examination.

  • 39. Linda  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    And I want a bumper sticker that reads, "Good God, Man!"

    and t-shirts with the following
    1. Lesbians love Boies
    2. My girlfriend loves Boies
    3. Boys love Boies
    :)

  • 40. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I just found this on nj.com really important stuff…i think!

    Survey Shows Increase in Reported Number of Gays in the Military

    1/26/2010, 8:39 p.m. EST
    Ed O'Keefe
    The Associated Press
    (AP) — c ()-2010, The Washington Post

    An estimated 66,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people are serving in the U.S. military, roughly 2 percent of all military personnel, according to a report released Tuesday by a gay rights policy center.

    The figures suggest a slight increase in the number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the military, and they provide opponents of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy with fresh data as they lobby the Obama administration for its repeal.

    Gays, lesbians and bisexuals account for about 13,000 active duty service members, equal to less than 1 percent of those currently deployed, the report estimated. About 53,000 others serve in the National Guard and reserves, equaling about 3.4 percent.

    The actual number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals serving in uniform is unknown; the military does not track such figures. The research brief was released by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a public policy institute that studies sexual orientation law.

    Its authors used a variety of statistical methods to arrive at the estimate, drawing in part on the Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey and the 2000 Census, in which some people identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual and as serving in the military. A similar 2004 study, widely quoted by gay rights advocates and supportive lawmakers, estimated that roughly 65,000 homosexuals were serving in the military.

    Although President Barack Obama's top domestic policy aides insist that the president is committed to an equality agenda for gays and lesbians, many liberal and gay rights groups are unhappy that the administration has failed to act on Obama's campaign pledge to end "don't ask, don't tell."

    White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the issue has been "a point of discussion" among top White House aides. Gibbs declined to say whether Obama will mention his support for a repeal in his State of the Union address Wednesday.

  • 41. Allred  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Scott, few people realize that South Africa has protection built into their Constitution, my husband, we were legally married in California, if this fails at the Federal level, it is possible the we will be able to apply for asylum S.A. based on human rights abuses.

  • 42. Barb  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    President Obama is supposed to talk about the don't ask don't tell in tomorrows state of the union address http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60O5R520100

  • 43. Jason  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I think DB was either incapable of saying what he wanted to say, or prevented by his side's counsel. Because his entire thesis stems from this:

    1. the best way to raise a child is within a marriage of bio mom and bio dad. This environment is more likely to result in productive citizens joining the world.

    2. It is in the interest of the state that citizens are productive well adjusted members of society, therefore

    3. It is also in the interest of the state that biofamily marriage is promoted as the preferred method for producing good citizens and by extension, a civil society.

    4. By dint of that, the deinstitutionalization of marriage is detrimental to achieving those rational state goals.

    5. And diluting marriage as an institution for societal structure should be resisted.

    However, this entire argument is both weak, as marriage has been declining in standing for decades, making SS marriage non-causal, and pollyanna-ish, as a myriad of other family structures are just as capable of raising good citizens (including Heather's two mommies!).

    Furthermore, the entire line is areligious, making it anathema to the jesusnazis funding the 8 campaign and defendant-intervention.

    Either way, any lawyer worth his salt should be able to maul this guy. As far as I'm concerned, Boies let him off easy.

  • 44. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate of any state. Same-sex marriage has been legal here since 2004. Clearly, this demonstrates that same-sex marriage is detrimental to traditional marriage.

    Oh, forget it, it's not even fun to parody….

  • 45. Scott  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Yes Allred but, and I'm not sure of this, but if SA law is similar to US law regarding asylum…..would that not mean I couldn't return to the US, even to visit my family, for like 15 years?

  • 46. Jasun mark  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Geez, I know… You'd think that the Prop 8 lawyers would have prepped him or something.. it's almost like they want to lose this.

    In fact… I'm a bit worried that they have losing this as an ace up their sleeve somehow.

  • 47. Tom B.  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Remember though, Boies gets Blankenhorn back tomorrow…and he's promised to sharpen his butcher knives…I mean arguments.

  • 48. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    This is my view of what will happen if/when DADT is abolished:

    Since those who serve in army/military/navy/airforce are insta-heros

    We will officially have have openly Gay Heros

    And no matter what when someone risks their life for out country they gain the love of everyone.

    So this how I see this going,,,,,Tommy/Tammy saved our sons and daughters lives….now why shouldn't he/she be allowed to get married….

    Try to spin that MR. PUG-NO!

  • 49. JefferyK  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Bravo!

  • 50. Dieter M.  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Funny thing is…that Mr. PUGNO must think he will lose.. because he keeps calling the judge an activist judge…well does he realize that if he wins, we can simply point out to him that he only won because of this "activist judge"..when we appeal?…LOL

    he can't take those comments back. I printed them out because I know their website has a history of making things disappear..(hey maybe they have Amelia earhart!)

    He will look even more foolish (if possible) winning a case from a judge that he had proclaimed the whole time was an activist one…..

    Oh the irony..if we win…we win…if we lose…we point to his own accusation..we win again…

  • 51. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Oxbridge are two universities in a country of 60 million. There are doubtless other good universities in the world. Nonetheless American universities as a group have much bigger endowments and produce much more research than any other country Most elite students from around the world look to the US system and most international journals are dominated by scholars at American universities (though not Americans). I am no flag waving teabagger (quite the opposite) but The USA's top universities are totally unmatched anywhere in the world. Now if we're discussing secondary or the tertiary education at non-elite universities then the USA doen't compare as well.

  • 52. JefferyK  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I suspect Obama is going to throw a bone to progressives who will be pissed off about the spending freeze — and DADT will be the bone.

  • 53. Barb  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I wonder if Andy knows about the internet wayback machine? It logs the history of websites.

  • 54. Shun  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I felt almost sorry for the "experts" when I read the blogging here today. Then the AP articles these two days that downplayed how idiotic they were came out…and now I'm just feeling blah. I believe that we will win this round, but the public is easily swayed and fooled. Unless they really really really care, most ppl would probably not read here (nor would they know that such a site exists). They would only know what the news articles told them. (sigh)

  • 55. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    well since the health care thing is pretty much at a stand still why not move onto to some of the other promises he made to the LGBT community?

    After all we did help him get elected… I mean I voted for him!

  • 56. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    A church can refuse to marry whoever they want. The Catholic don't marry divorcees and thanks to the 1st amendment cannot be forced to. A Jewish rabbi cannot be compelled to perform a Hindu ceremony, a Mormon temple can refuse to admit anyone they don't want there to property let alone be compelled to perform a marriage ceremony for people they don't like. The 'churches will be forced to marry gays' meme is so ridiculous if you think about it for half a second, but that is infinitely longer than most religionists ever devote to independent and rational thought.

  • 57. Ben  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Lori,

    That's one thing I'm wondering. If/when this gets to SCOTUS (or the 9th circuit, however far it gets), do the justices have to rule merely on what's put before them? Can they make their own inferences, or do that have to go on ONLY what is presented at trial? I guess what I'm asking is how much more from this (borderline incompetent) defense case are they allowed to add? Or can they only take the words that have been spoken at face value?

  • 58. M.E. Graves  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Doesn't Britney Spears already have a song called "Boies"? But that was years ago…

  • 59. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    "How am I gonna explain that to my kid? I don't like explaining things to my kid, I don't like talking to 'em. So you should stop your whole lifestyle. So that I don't have to talk to my kid, you should stop being in love with each other, because…ewww!"

    -Louis C. K.

  • 60. Ben  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I keep wondering if all the bickering about what to admit was aimed at being able to bring up "new" stuff on appeal. Remember when they were trying to enter entire books into evidence? Wouldn't that allow them to use anything in that book at future stages? Seems like they've been trying to get anything and everything admitted so they can give the "firepower" at least something to work with.

  • 61. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Lady GaGa has a song called boys boys….great song…..i wish she had done a video for it.

  • 62. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    To Woody @23: Do you mean "Bitter Betty" the socialite who was just denied parole because she showed no remorse? that is funny!

  • 63. dd  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    First, I love this site and read it intently and regularly. The failing of the expert witnesses from the defense yesterday and today has been particulary telling. However, I'm concerned with how the media is showing the story.

    Specifically, Google News top stories from this link http://tinyurl.com/yeve6xv link to the LATimes, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News, and WSJ summaries of today and seem to show bias towards the defense. Also, none of these 4 mention what I think is the most damning line from today, "I believe that adoption of same sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children."

    Are others noticing this? I understand if NOM and Protectmarriage dot com spin but what about the media?

  • 64. polerin  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Actually, yeah, that's my fear as well, that the right is looking to enshrine the right to discriminate against gay people into the constitution during the backlash over a SCOTUS victory. They've already said they don't expect to win this level, and with the way this trial is going, it's like they aren't even taking the judiciary seriously.

    Worrisome.

  • 65. Barb  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Interesting article today on Judge Walker at law.com

    Judge Walker at Law.com

  • 66. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I'm a South African living in the USA. While it is true that the legal protections for LGBs (though not Ts) are constitutionally protected there I would caution you that the social environment is 1000% times worse than most of the non Bible belt states in the USA. Lesbians are regularly raped to 'set them straight' in the townships. The majority of South Africans see 'homosexuality' as a western depravity that is 'unAfrican'. Many of the rest (the frighteningly still racist, very Christian white minority, the vocal Muslim community and others) are equally unaccepting. In my former job the head of our office (a major financial firm with hundreds of offices worldwide) regularly made unchallenged comments about 'moffies' (the equivalent of f@ggot in US nomenclature) and such comments were frequently made by co-workers (I dared not be out as I have been without fear since day 1 in my job here in the US).

    The President, Jacob Zuma, is a polygamist with 3 wives who was acquitted on rape charge and on corruption charges on technicalities by corrupt judges. In the rape trial when asked if he was concerned about HIV given the fact that he admitted to uprotected sex with his accuser (not one of his 3 wives) he said that he wasn't since he had showered right afterwards. This in a country with the highest rates of HIV infections in the world. Johannesburg is one of the most violent cities in the world and Durban and Cape Town are not far behind. Gay people are not welcome in many parts of society, and even though legally protected, discrimination in fact is widely tolerated. If a prop 8 style referendum were introduced polling indicates it would pass with over 80% of the vote. So you pay your money and make your choice as the saying goes.

    As frustrating as the situation we are experiencing here in the US is, and I think it is deplorable that even a country like SA at least officially recognizes human rights in a more full sense, don't be fooled into thinking the grass is greener. I have many gay friends there who enjoy their lives, but from my vantage point there are at least as many issues to be dealt with. In my experience I have found Canada to be the most gay-affirming place I have visited (esp in BC and QC). Personally I choose to stay and fight the bigots here. We have fact, justice, reason and time on our side, the bigots have fear, lies and superstition.

    It may take longer than we like but we will win in the USA, and we owe it to future generations of queer kids that we continue to fight just as we owe immense gratitude to people like Frank Kamaney, Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Billy Jean King, and countless others who came before us and faced much tougher challenges.

  • 67. truthspew  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I knew the defense would fail miserably. You just cannot defend this by any logical means, you can only defend it through religious argument.

  • 68. Richard  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you, Barb! You have just added to my understanding of this patient man. And in so doing, you have reinforced the respect I felt for you from the first post I read of yours. You are a true hero, young lady!

  • 69. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    That is exactly why they will fight the repeal so hard AND why it is vitally important to our movement. DADT and ENDA are the items that will benefit our community in the largest way as they bring many other issues including marriage/partnership rights into the national, not state level, discussion. Marriage is very important make no mistake, but DADT and ENDA are even more important.

  • 70. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Considering how those same 2 witnesses said that the LGBT community and our supporters have political power through the acceptance of the media and the press…..

    Right!!!!

    They don't seem to be showing that support at this point but in fact are showing more lies to gain support for prop ha8te..

    Political Power my ASS!!!!

  • 71. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    The chronicle story did include that line in its coverage…

  • 72. Scott  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Warren; Thank you for that information. I had suspicion that the tolerance in Cape Town (which is where my fiance lives in the Northern Suburbs) might be a bit overstated. I mentioned trying to get Asylum in the states to him and his reply was he didn't fear for his safety or feel discriminated against in Cape Town, yet his first lover was shot and killed right in front of him at a Cape Town pride event about five years ago. I hate to take him away from his family for such a long time as they have been VERY supportive of us but I'm not sure how comfortable I will feel living there and having to go back into the closet for fear of my own safety. Canada is looking like a much better alternative for both of us.

  • 73. chet  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Yep. Boies barely got to ask a few questions today because of Blankenthorn's ridiculous inability and unwillingness to answer the yes/no questions.

  • 74. Lori  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    hmm… well, the record is the record. They can't pull any new "facts" into the case. The trial judge will judge the witness' credibility, make factual findings, and make legal conclusions. The first two, the appellate courts pretty much have to accept. They could try to get some more "research" in via briefs, but the trial experts are really the show.

    HOWEVER, the appellate courts can completely reject the legal findings. And whether something is a legitimate state interest, whether Prop 8 was rationally related to such an interest, whether gay is a suspect class and therefore strict scrutiny is applied, whether the fundamental right to marriage is implicated… these are all ultimately legal conclusions.

    But the appellate courts will have a much harder time relying upon any of the common bullshit usually used against us since the record pretty much demolishes all that.
    =)

  • 75. Frijondi  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    The Methodist church that owned the Ocean Grove pavilion got a tax break for maintaining the property for public use. It was not part of the church grounds proper, and the two women who wanted to have their wedding their were not asking to the church to marry them. They wanted to rent a public facility. .

  • 76. RebeccaRGB  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    So much for the "liberal media." Seriously, where did they go?

    Love,
    Rebecca

  • 77. sassy  |  January 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    The LA times mentioned it:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/gay

  • 78. Laura Kanter  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I am not sure if anyone else has asked this and since there are like a million comments to look through, I haven't been able to read them all.

    Are there really no other experts that the defense could enlist for their cause? Is this really the best they can do? (I would think, in fact, it may be… because the case against marriage equality is simply based on nonsense and that is exactly what we are seeing). But are they so brainwashed that they think what they are presenting is substantial, reasonable, workable? Is it? I just don't get it. Are they trying to lose so they can play victim and appeal? Is there any benefit to being on a particular side of an appeal?

    I am having a difficult time understanding the massive dichotomy between what Olson and Bpies have presented and what the defense has offered up.

    I would love to be enlightened.

  • 79. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    You're welcome Scott. In 2002/1 homegrown Muslim radicals bombed a popular gay bar in Cape Town (shortly after bombing the Planet Hollywood) killing one person. I don't recall reading of a hate motivated murder at any gay events in CT, but if it was simply criminal activity I wouldn't have; murders have to be particularly vicious to get much attention in the country as they are common events.

    I lived in CT from 1996-2001 and left SA in 2004. From my experience the N Suburbs are not what I would call open minded in general, though as is true anywhere there are always supportive people to be found. Attitudes may have changed in 6 years, but based on my recent knowledge it is still far better to be gay in the USA than in SA not counting other quality of life issues.

    I would like to say that nonetheless SA is a remarkable and always interesting place to live and Cape Town does have a great deal to offer in other lifestyle advantages. They should just be weighed carefully against the disadvantages.

    Since it might be of interest to some people I'll briefly mention how it came to be that sexual orientation was described as a protected class in the constitution of 1995. During the struggle against apartheid many of the whites fighting apartheid were gay. Gay acts were illegal, and rather than try to kick gays out of the conscripted white army the state engaged in forced conversion therapy a la NARTH and the LDS church (including electro shock therapy and the rest). The 1995 constitution's rights section was based off the UN human rights charter and sexual orientation is widely considered in the human rights community to be a class worthy of protection much like gender, cultural affiliation, religion, etc. As such it was included in the list. There were attempts to remove sexual orientation but they were resisted given the historical contributions of gay people and the abuses they had also suffered under the apartheid government. Nelson Mandela was also influential in standing up for gay people and he spoke candidly of how his very anti gay views of years gone by had evolved. I find the parallels to the US experience quite striking especially if you listen to Julian Bond of the NAACP speak about why he supports equal rights in America.

    I know my post was off-topic, so apologies for that.

  • 80. Glenn I  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    What Kim said.

    But I'd add: we have facts & reason on our side. We always did, though for a long time scientists were so blinkered by their society's taken-for-granted hatred of homosexuality that only as reflexive fear & loathing faded before the out-of-the-closet actuality of us were scientists able to begin investigations without foregone conclusions – and those who pioneered the research did not do it without risk to their careers.

    I have been rereading Kurt Vonnegut, a writer who exemplifies a kind of satiric humanism (much like Mark Twain), and found myself brought up short by a line in his second novel, The Sirens of Titan, published in 1959. Vonnegut is talking about a nonhumanoid alien and an earthling. "Salo [the alien] loved Winston [the human]. There was nothing offensive in this love. That is to say, it wasn't homosexual."

    "Homosexual" – the very definition of "offensive love."

    We have not lost a single court case on the facts. There are no facts against us. But prejudice, the deep, natural-seeming, culturally prescribed loathing of homosexuality (& gay people), has ordained our repeated losses in courts across the land. Judges are usually not able to overcome the cultural programming to rule on the facts – and even if there is a stirring there, deep in their hearts, do they not fear for their jobs?

  • 81. Warren S  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    To answer you directly, no provisions of that were included as no provision is permissible under the first amendment. In fact a church could today refuse to marry an interracial couple and be legally entitled to do so.

  • 82. Amicus  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I know that DB is the whipping boy of today; but, for what it is worth, I learned a lot reading his book.

    I disagree with his conclusions and his decision to testify here, strongly.

    However, anyone who considers themselves a serious gay marriage advocate should look at what he has written in that book. It will sharpen your own ideas and give you a great insight into what the opposition thinks.

  • 83. Glenn I  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I would just note that the anti-gays usually win in the courts. The anti-gays haven't needed a strong set of facts because judges have been predisposed to rule against the gays. Even now judges that lay down rulings sympathetic to gay people may reasonably fear for their jobs.

  • 84. James  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I will take a #3 in a Medium, thank you.

  • 85. Jan  |  January 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Let me try to go back to the time when I was someone who use to be evangelical and tried to brainwash myself into believing all the nonsense they do…

    It's clear to us that there is no case against gay marriage here, and that their experts and reasonings against it are bunk. But the brains of these people are weird…

    I think that deep down they know, as they always have, that gay marriage will become law and there is no legal or lawful way to keep it from happening; they have no case. But it's very easy to warp your own mind into thinking you're right, and no matter how many facts are laid out in front of you, they're all wrong. So they probably are that brainwashed.

    Easiest comparison to such brainwashing is to see how evangelicals deny evolution despite the abundance of complete facts in favor of such science. Fossils are put on earth by the devil, scientists are satanists, etcetera.

    The ability of these people to take solid, concrete facts, and turn it into fiction or satan's handywork, is both appalling and amazing.

  • 86. jimig  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I have been posting the site daily and feeding links to my facebook, what is very interesting is the lack of comments over 70 of my friends linked to the family photo support but none of them commented. I am married with two boys and a former pastor so my wifes family is not going to comment nor are my church frinds becasue they are afraid who might read it. How sad, likewise my LGBT friends do get comments from people but very few comment. I truely believe most of my church friends just don't know what to think. They have seen what happens within the church when someone gets dvorced and how they are left out to dry, I think they are afraid to speak out.

    Dear God, I pray we sin and SS become the norm not just for my family but for all those support ss but are afraid to speak out including the media.

  • 87. Jan  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Last week when SCOTUS effed up our nation by disbanding limits on corporate funding, I lost all hope for gay marriage if it were to go to SCOTUS, as it most likely will.

    To me it's so obvious disallowing gay marriage is unconstitutional, and this trial is only strengthening this viewpoint, as well as my view that any opposition to ss marriage is bigotry hidden behind skewed facts and outright lies. I wouldn't be shocked if we lost this case (not because the defendants put out anything more then a laughable case, but because we're so often kicked when down), but I do think we can win.

    I had a bit of an epiphany when reading someone else's comments here, though.

    If/when this makes it to SCOTUS, though I am terrified of the conservative majority, they are moreso conversative fiscally/up corporations arses, then socially conservative. If we bring it to the table, I really think we could win there, too.

  • 88. Jeff jones  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    There is a LOT of fear in the homophobic community about being discriminated against because they ARENT gay if ss marriage is legal. I just think they might be angling for a mistrial because of their witnesses…

  • 89. Steve  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Of course the AP reporter had to condense the story. Column inches are limited in almost all traditional media, and most readers will only read about a dozen paragraphs before losing interest.

    That same article also includes several paragraphs giving some high points of Boies' cross examination. The article seems to be written so that each reader can find something to agree with. I suppose that is how popular journalism for mainstream media has to work, now, to attract paid subscriptions.

  • 90. Michael L  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    OMG, I watched the vid and um yeah I can see how Mr. Blankenhorn had behaved the same way in the Prop 8 trial. Also kudos on that woman who asked Mr. B on whether when considering the well being of children, is he only thinking about Straight children ignoring the gay/lesbian ones wow great Q at 1:08:00.

    I'm gonna pass this on to others, Thanks!!!

  • 91. michael  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Alright folks the Spin Doctor Andy has posted his recap of today at PM.com. You have to read it to believe it.

    But I will highlight that he said that Miller's testimony was a "roadblock" to several main points to our case.

    Also that "50 experts in the field" agree with Blankenhorn….
    Funny he couldn't think of 2 today on the stand…LMAO

  • 92. Jeff jones  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Further information I wish would have been brought into evidence/witness is Abbie Goldberg phd who wrote the book "Lesbian and gay parents and their children: Research on the family life cycle (contemporary perspectives on lesbian gay and bisexual psychology)" in which her research shows that children of lgbt couples actually do BETTER than hetero couples as a whole because there are fewer gender stereotypes… And to prove I'm more competent than certain "expert" witnesses,

    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/the_kids_ar

  • 93. Michelle  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you. The judge is working so hard knowing that any decision will be taken to the next court, but still doing the work. The most recent supreme court decision makes me a bit nervous, but this is brilliant so far.
    Thank you again for all the hard work, I can't stop reading it. (Hearing Renee's voice from NPR the whole time)

  • 94. Joe  |  January 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I was wondering that same thing myself. This was -their- chance to make their case and that's it, right? Wow. Did they ever f— that one up.

  • 95. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    A few overall coments, and one thing nobody's brought up. We are going to win in front of Judge Walker, no question about that, and in the fedderal appeals court. The question is the Supreme Court, and, based on the testimony already given — and assuming the composition of the Court stays pretty much the same, we are going to win there.

    The question is how much we are going to win, even on a 6-3 decision in our favor. The reason I predict 6-3, when before I was predicting 5-4, is that Roberts could, theoretically go our way too — if he sees that Kennedy will. (I can't imagine him being the 5th vote if Kennedy went against us.)

    The rule in the Supreme Court is that, if the Chief is in the majority, he assigns the writing of the opinion of the Court, if he isn't, the senior Judge in the Majority makes the assignment. And if Roberts voteed with us, he could assign the opinion to himself and construe the case very narrowly, confining it to the specific facts in the California case, even ruling that, because they failed to meet the 'rational test' there was no reqason to explore whether we qualified as a suspect class, and saying nothing about other states or other initiatives. (The concurrences would be more in our favor, of course, but wouldn't have the weight of the official decision.)

    This would not be a novel or unethical trick, I believe Taft as Chief did it quite a few times and others have done so.

  • 96. Skemono  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Is this really the best they can do?

    Hard as it may be to believe, they could've done worse.

  • 97. Chris  |  January 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Ummm … take a look at the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities: http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2009.jsp

    Produced each year by (gasp!) a university in Shanghai.

  • 98. Lynn Elwood  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    That sounds like the AP coverage of the trial. Our local news reported that the expert testimony today was that allowing gays to marry would be beneficial for children of such a union, but harmful for the nation in general. Of course my local news is from the Mormon-owned KSL in Salt Lake!
    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=9262801

  • 99. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I can't et over what hhe was saying… I am still speechless at that and have been so for almost 12 hours now…

    DB: Yes, but I want to explain my definition of study
    I have not conducted scientific study with data. I have talked to people and read about it.

    I WANT TO EXPLAIN MY DEFINITION OF STUDY!
    I have TALKED TO PEOPLE AND READ ABOUT IT!

    Damn!

    "I have STUDIED this for twenty years."

    OH
    MY
    GOD
    !!!

  • 100. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I really don't mean any offence, but he lookes really wasted!!
    I wouldn't wanna meet him in the streets…
    those eyes creep me out…

  • 101. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    ok guys, what happened 00:06:17? :D

  • 102. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    is it well referenced?
    I mean has he good reverences to base his statements?
    did he actually do better in his book than in court?
    cause I wouldn't rely on anything I read that is not referenced well. If I learned one thing during my studies it is to be critical and evaluate a work according to it's authenticy and good reverences…

    though if he didn't it would be good to know the book anyway in order to be able to disprove it.

  • 103. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    00:19:40-00:21:18
    He took the words out of my mouth

  • 104. fern  |  January 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I left school when 14 and I'm an expert, Yeti I didn't study so much, but in my opinion he must have had a certain impact on Tibetan society, as for Santa Claus there is ample proof he is a communist he wears a red suit.
    I made a mistake not choosing the pro 8 side, I missed a career opportunity as an expert.
    This could be very funny if it wasn't so hurtful to so many people.

  • 105. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    hmm ever looked how these rankings are created?
    one point is number of publications each year and similar things that would put smaller universities more to the bottom simply cause of it's size. adjusted for size of the university the picture would look slightly different I think.
    while I won't object that the US has some really good universities some of the best even, I wouln't say that "Most elite students from around the world look to the US system"
    In fact as far as people are concerned that I talked to and/or read about including some fellow students that came to the Uni Basel from the USA I observed that most of them looked ub to british universities rather than american.
    So I'd say that in general the USA has very good universities but the amount of research they produce is for one part so big, because of the sheer size of the country.
    but the reputatoin seems to be best for british universities.
    of course this is not an expert opinion (though in the definition of this trial it would be) but I DO know that there are some issues with these university rankings and one of it is size.
    (in fact Basel would be way better in national ranking of switzerland [and surely internationally too] if it weren't so tiny though I'm thrilled to see that nonetheless it made rank 85 in this ranking Chris linked :D)

  • 106. waxr  |  January 26, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Glenn I: ". . . do they not fear for their jobs?"

    In California, Judges do fear for their jobs. Even a Chief Justice (Rose Byrd) was voted off the bench because of her stand on the death penalty.

    Any judge in California who puts justice ahead of their job is in danger of being defeated at the next election.

    Federal judges are appointed. As such they are free of pressure from public opinion. That is how it should be

  • 107. Jane  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    The ABC news story does include the statement:

    “I believe that adoption of same sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children.”

  • 108. fern  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    The ability of these people…
    There is no business like religion business, politics is a very good business too.
    These people are living well and making good money by persuading people, I think Frank Schubert is a likable guy and I would be ready to believe what he is saying if I didn't know any better.
    The brainwashing comes from schooling, a tradition for the Roman Catholics whenever you see the name Loyola it's a school, Loyola was the founder of the Jesuit order.
    So the brainwashing starts at a tender age.
    I'm 61 and became an atheist and I still have some reactions that I thought I overcame.
    So when you're gay you have to face that fact no escape there, but when you're not gay it's too easy to ignore them, to make "funny" comments about them, it's so easy to let someone else do the thinking.
    If you'd ask me point blank my definition of marriage I'd say a man and a woman just because that's the way I was brought up to say but that doesn't mean it has to be a man and a woman only, at least not to me.
    My cynical view of marriage is two people saving together to afford a divorce lawyer

    Prop 8 put shame on
    California.

  • 109. Steffi  |  January 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    http://www.zazzle.de/good_god_man_sticker-2177254
    (though I created it, don't buy it. it's way too expensive!)
    oh and I used the avatar provided from Stormy Llew on the facebook group.

    maybe you could create your own sticker? of someone creates one on a cheaper site?

  • 110. Kim  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I watched part of it, and I can see why he has such a problem with the cross examination. He had to harden his own opinion to make it impenetrable to reality. In the Q&A, you could see this happening when a question was penetrating his arguments. When that happened, he suddenly could not understand the question, and you can see him think about what he has to say so that he can avoid the question. He is doing the same at cross and it does not work because here he has to back up what he says while he can spew complete nonsense in other contexts.

  • 111. Kim  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Yeah, I was reading that and my goodness, they just keep pumping the same sound bites that have thoroughly shredded in court….

  • 112. Tim  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I had never heard of that case! Thanks for posting the link.

    You're right, the anti-gay side there was even more incompetent there (hard to believe).

    "Rekers has written repeatedly that he strives to make his professional conclusions match his belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. In one book, he wrote about the dangers of "non-Christian psychology" because it does not conform to the Biblical view of morality" http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/12/more_o

  • 113. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Are you F-ing kidding me…..is it even legal for him to lie like this…..I mean can't it come back to bite him on the ass….just like everything else has?

    I sad it before and I'll say it again:

    Bigots only hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see…..the rest never happened.

    Much like how the German public ignored that thousands of Jews, Gypsies, and Gays, ect. ect. were being killed.

    Mark my words they will not stop at marriage!

  • 114. fiona64  |  January 26, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    The Ocean Grove case is based on the church's attempt to deny rental of a pavilion (not liturgical services) to a lesbian couple — a pavilion that they offer for rent to the general public. When you offer goods and services to the public, under the law you are not permitted to discriminate.

    Of course, the fundies want to conflate this with "they're making the Ocean Grove church perform a lesbian wedding against their will," when that is not the case at all.

  • 115. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Whatever else may be true of SCOTUS, I seriously doubt that "They made our witnesses look silly" is going to carry a whole lot of weight.

  • 116. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Tim, the biggest problem for them is that there are impeccable witnesses out there, with all the appropriate credentials and methodology, and so on, to support the idea that marriage is great for straight people.

    The problem is that in almost no case does their work say anything whatsoever about gay families, or when it does, it is positive.

    One of the fundamental claims of the Prop 8 side is that somehow, gay marriage damages straight marriage. You can't get expert witnesses on that any more than you can get expert witnesses on the earth being flat.

    The only way they get what "scientific data" they claim to have is to misrepresent the studies. For example, they keep citing the whole "need a mother and father" idea, but the studies were about straight families. A straight family without a father is a single mother. A gay family without a father is a pair of women.
    Almost all the negative consequences for straight families without a father come from the fact that the woman is a single parent, with all the challenges that involves, or else from the fact that the parents divorced or the father died, either of which can be traumatic for kids.
    A pair of loving moms raising a kid in a stable home from birth looks far more like a stable heterosexual family than a single mom household.

    In many cases, the authors of the studies that the Right misuses have gone public, hopping mad about the misuse of their data. They are hardly the ones Prop 8 wants on the stand. Far easier to get people who have "studied" their data then those who produced it and will inconveniently tell the truth about it.

    The problem is, they end up with anti-gay celebrities rather than acknowledged experts in the field.

  • 117. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    On top of that the service wasn't even a civilly recognized wedding, since they weren't (and still aren't) legal in NJ.

    It was a non-legally-binding commitment ceremony. It never had anything whatsoever to do with gay marriage.

    The case would have been functionally identical if the lesbian couple wanted to rent it for a picnic.

  • 118. george  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I'm not even sure that the plaintiffs win at the trial court. Notwithstanding the incompetence of the experts, the facts show that homosexuals are not politically powerless; in fact, they are quite powerful, having managed in 30 short years to take homosexuality from a mental disease (via the political APA) to a status of equal rights in civil unions and domestic partnerships.

    What's left is a rational basis for the voters to have voted for Prop8; not hard to find in the trial record, and nearly impossible to prove otherwise.

    All the talk about research is laughable. If the research shows anything in this trial, it shows how the conclusions of research are a moving target, subject to bias (e.g., Kinsey, Freud), and unreliable as the basis for overturning the will of the voting public.

  • 119. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Oh please, that just means that all the gay people are scaring the straights from getting married in the first place.

    Remember, the sky is falling for both reasons – single straight people will stop getting married, and married straight people will divorce.

    Obviously, Massachusetts is so liberal that part 1 has already been achieved. Of course, it also goes without saying that no children whatsoever are being born there.

    Bad Liberals! Bad!

  • 120. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    It also completely ignores the facts that:

    Most studies count infants adopted by a couple that doesn't split up as the same as the genetic child of the two parents, and

    Lesbian couples frequently give birth to the children they are raising, which also makes them a biofamily.

    This actually did come up in the testimony, where one of the witnesses was forced to admit that all the studies about how great biofamilies are included adopted children.

  • 121. Ronnie  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I saw this last night on Eyewitness News and I just knew that i needed to post it…..LGBT's have political power my ass…….

    Eyewitness News
    SECAUCUS, N.J. (WABC) — The Secaucus town board approved the promotion of Charles Snyder Sr. to Superintendent of Public Works despite protests by gay rights advocates.

    Snyder will take over the department starting Wednesday. He's worked for Public Works since 1974, and has served as assistant Superintendent since 2005.

    Snyder resigned from the Secaucus volunteer fire department in 2008 after a local gay couple won a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the town. The couple claimed they were harassed while living next to the North End firehouse.
    Snyder, his son and a third volunteer firefighter all resigned. They were never criminally charged, but were identified during the civil trial.
    Before the meeting, all three firefighters decided they did not want to be reinstated to the department. The town was looking into the possibility of bringing back the three men, which also drew protests.
    There were over 100 people at the town council meeting on Tuesday, which was held at the Secaucus Government Center on Paterson Plank Road. Garden State Equality held a protest outside the building before the event.

    WTF – he was obviously guilty and lost but can still be elected to office?

  • 122. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Not only that, but Tommy and Tammy often have families at home, spouses and kids.
    They are suddenly going to be in the position of refusing things like family housing, medical care, insurance, etc, to the families of active duty servicemembers.

  • 123. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    My reaction to that is always, "How do you explain Jewish people to your kids?"

    They act as though any age-appropriate discussion is an automatic agreement with the situation.

    I was raised Catholic, and my mother managed to explain all sorts of things to me, like why we couldn't eat meat on certain days and my classmates could, by simply explaining that "this is the way we do it."

    I think it is sad and wrong, but all they have to do is say "Sometimes men marry men, and women marry women, but we think it is wrong because our religion says so. You should still be nice to them."

    Like that's going to happen.

  • 124. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    The point that the plaintiff's team made so brilliantly, though, was that none of the sources that Blankenhorn cited agree with him.

    I doubt that Walker will let them add in more evidence at this point.

    I do expect, though, on redirect, that Blankenhorn may suddenly remember more (if there are any) of his sources that support his views.

  • 125. Lymis  |  January 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Whether or not you feel that the fact show LGBT people as politically powerless, you cannot dispute that the facts show that in all the measures discussed (legal history, laws passed, number of elected representatives, explicit constitutional protections, percentage of the population, and for that matter, even positive portrayals in the media, for whatever that means), African-Americans today score far higher in each and every case than LGBT people do.

    A declaration that gay people are powerful enough to not be a suspect class would have to strike down African-Americans as a suspect class, and that is simply not going to happen.

    There doesn't have to be any discussion of historical issues – no reasonable person claims slavery wasn't horrible, and the time it took for African-Americans to get where they are today was unconscionable – (but then, so was forced electroshock therapy for gays, and so on).

    No reasonable person can look at the facts and find African-Americans a suspect class and gay people not one.

  • 126. Charles  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I'm not denying that Ivy School unis + Stanford + a few others are amongst the best universities in the world.

    But I just hate the "best XXX in the world" type of phrase, because 99.99% of times it's either just plain wrong either so completely subjective that it's wrong.

    The US don't have "the best universities in the world" – they have some of the best universities in the world. See the difference and how suddenly you don't sound like the dumb imperialistic condescending American that the rest of the world hates?

  • 127. george  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:15 am

    It doesn't work that way; you can't compare AAs, whose power now is partially a function of their suspect class over time, and homosexuals, whose current power far exceeds the power AAs had in this country at the time race was made a suspect class.

    Actually, you could make that argument, but you'd have to bring in evidence of AAs power today to support it. Plaintiffs didn't make that claim, probably because they know that any support they had from AAs would disappear at the suggestion that homosexuals are somehow more deserving of protection than AAs.

    (Mind you, efforts to repeal affirmative action seem to be the first step in removing AAs as a suspect class.)

  • 128. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:20 am

    George I am African American so I can say what ever the hell I want….

    LGBT have next to political power and the proof is in the lack of coverage of this trial and the abundance of laws against us!

    Gays Rights are on the same level as African American rights I have the right to say because I am both!

    GROW UP!

  • 129. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I meant next to no political power and second LGBT people had nothing to do with abolishing the gay is a mental disease crap….science and those doctors did that all on their own.

    GOD YOU ARE IGNORANT!

  • 130. becca  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

    We have not lost a single court case on the facts.

    didn't somebody say here that NY was decided on the basis of "marriage is for babies"?

  • 131. Jane  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:28 am

    "Constitution cannot control such prejudices, but neither can it tolerate them"

    Best line I've ever read in a SCOTUS case.
    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/

  • 132. James Sweet  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:33 am

    In fairness to Blankenhorn, it is sometimes difficult to answer questions with "Yes, no, or I don't know." I can identify with that, and I am pretty sure if I were ever a witness I would have trouble with the cross-examination for exactly the same reason. Although, I suppose I could just make notes of the answers where I wanted to elaborate, and ask the friendly attorney to bring it up on redirect?

    But yeah, some "expert". Jeesh. I made a comment yesterday about how the point of an "expert witness" in a case like this is that they have a feeling for the totality of thought in the field to which they are designated. This was the problem with Miller getting information fed from the defense attorneys — there is nothing inherently wrong with an attorney providing factual information to a witness, but the fact that so much of his information was obtained this way undermines the idea that his testimony represents the totality of thought in the field. Rather, it represents a cherry-picking as determined by the defense.

    Blankenhorn seems to be even worse on that front. He heads up an organization who's very existence is dedicated to cherry-picking scholarly works in order to support their advocacy position. He cannot possibly represent the totality of thought in the fields to which he is testifying (just WTF was he designated as an expert in, any way???). So as an "expert witness", he's entirely useless.

  • 133. James Sweet  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:34 am

    I think he was promoted, not elected. But still…

  • 134. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:39 am

    It almost sounds like Dr. BLANK and Mr. Millier(Light) were trying to recite a script than the lawyers for Prop Ha8te wrote for them and they when asked to elaborate they could not……I feel another law suit coming on…yeah?

    GEEZ a scandal like that would loose any credibility that the churches have in this country.

  • 135. Callie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:47 am

    And there are many that won't even read the article and see that. They'll just see a false and sensational headline like that and go, "HAHA! See? I knew it!"

    That burned me up more than anything else.

  • 136. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:50 am

    LOL…yeah I noticed that after I posted it…..and yeah "but still" sums it up…hehehe

  • 137. fiona64  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Someone asked me what I would say if 5-year-old Johnny announced to me that he was going to marry his best friend Timmy, because he loved him.

    My response: "The same thing I'd say if he announced he was going to marry Janie. Marriage is something for grown-ups, so let's not worry about that until you're older."

    Love,
    Fiona (who was "engaged" for the first time in kindergarten …)

  • 138. fiona64  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:41 am

    George spews some stuff about "unreliable as the basis for overturning the will of the voting public."

    Yeah, the will of the public is always so right-on, isn't it? What with there still being segregated schools, military forces, women not having the vote, etc.

    I have no doubt, George, that you would like to see this country returned to "the good old days" when those things were the case.

    Instead, I suggest you get out a high school civics book (instead of your pretend law books) and learn about checks and balances, and how the three branches of government work.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 139. Alena  |  January 27, 2010 at 2:01 am

    "…small minds small."
    That in itself speaks volumes.

  • 140. Kim  |  January 27, 2010 at 2:11 am

    I'm with you, Tim (I'm not the same Kim who commented above). It seems like they could have found witnesses who could have held up better and been more competent and qualified, even though they could never have made a compelling factual case, they might have presented themselves better. It really does feel like they are trying to lose.

    I am a professor, and if I was ever asked to be an expert witness, I would sure as hell take some time to review all of the relevant studies, and look back over my own work to see if there was anything that they might use against me. It's like their witnesses didn't even do that — which really seems to be the bare minimum!

    That said, the other Kim has a great point — the lack of real experts on their side is a result of the fact that the evidence is overwhelmingly on our side. SS marriage is beneficial to society, and does no harm to OS marriages or to children. They have no rational way to argue otherwise.

  • 141. Scott  |  January 27, 2010 at 2:27 am

    Thank you again Warren. I hope people don't feel it is too off topic. I just goes to show how cynical I guess some of us have grown being shunned at every turn in the effort to be truly equal members of society. I certainly do appreciate that, even if we can't marry (yet!) in the US, we do not have to worry about being jailed or publicly murdered by the government or by the religious right for that matter. For all their evil and ignorant, hate based views…..they have at least not resorted to outright murder to try and scare people into submission. Though I supposed you could argue that by their relative silence on hate based violence and their opposition to equality they are not much better than those who do perpetrate violence in the name of their "cause".

    I thank you for the additional insight in to South Africa's history and how SSM came about there. I don't know what we will decide on and who knows, despite my pessimistic outlook on a lasting positive outcome with this decision, I may be overjoyed and surprised at the outcome! I pray and certainly hope so. As the t-shirt I had made to support SSM, the Reuniting Families Act and the Respect for Marriage Act say….."Love will prevail……"

  • 142. Tom B.  |  January 27, 2010 at 2:33 am

    But of course in this case, Walker has no problem with keeping his job since he's a Federal judge :)

  • 143. One Last Day of Testimony&hellip  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

    [...] pretty shabby so far. Unless Blankenhorn’s redirect is simply amazing, he’s also going to be a net loss for their side. But don’t worry, Pugno can tell you how it really is: The afternoon brought [...]

  • 144. Miller  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Exactly, so why do they insist on having special provisions put into law about this? It's so stupid of that side.

  • 145. Miller  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It's so frustrating the lies they tell and most people will never investigate further than the statement of their favorite web site. So sad.

  • 146. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I just made this statement to my mother I felt the need to share it after watching the video together posted by straight ally #3008…….. .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcpMtD3lgjQ

    The people who are against same sex marriage and equality continue to ignore the simple fact that this is about human. EVERYONE!

    It hurts not just LGBT people whose lives are destroyed by these anti-equality laws.

    It hurts our kids, not just teens but babies, infants, toddlers, 5yo's, 10yo's!…… those of who have children…..

    It hurts our heterosexual friends, families, co-workers, neighbors, supporters and their families and kids……

    It hurts us not just those who have been in relationships for years but those of us who are single and do have dreams of finding mr/mrs perfect and be just as committed as others

    We are teens, 20 somethings, Over the hilliers, Baby boomers, Black, white, asian, latino, muslim, straight, gay, transexual, lesbian, bisexual, religious, non-religious, left handed, right handed, brunette, blonde, black haired, red haired, blue haired, HUMAN.

    WE ARE ALIVE AND WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!!!!!!

  • 147. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    He said it!!!!!!!! Obama Said it!!!!!
    The Bigots are DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 148. NVLawMan  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    No, they actually had a lot of money left over after the election.

    They did what any good "family values" team would do: came to Vegas and blew their wad on hookers and blow! ha ha ha ha ha [Allegedly]

Having technical problems? E-mail equalityontrial AT couragecampaign DOT org for assistance!