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This is a Witness for the Defense?

Trial analysis Uncategorized

by Brian Leubitz

Well, it looks like testimony has been all wrapped up. But David Boies’ demolition of David Blankenhorn — the defense’s second, and final, “expert” witness — will continue to reverberate through the record as this case proceeds forward. Was Blankenhorn an actual expert, well, let’s let him answer that:

DB: “I’m simply repeating things that they say.”
DB: “These are not my own conclusions.”
DB: “I’m a transmitter here of findings of these eminent scholars.”

And even those conclusions don’t actually support what the defense was going for with this witness. I’m pretty certain they weren’t looking for these choice nuggets:

“Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably reduce the proportion of homosexuals who marry persons of the opposite sex, and thus would likely reduce instances of marital unhappiness and divorce.”

“Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion. It would likely decrease the number of those in society who tend to be viewed warily as ‘other’ and increase the number who are accepted as part of ‘us.’ In that respect, gay marriage would be a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.”

“Because marriage is a wealth-creating institution, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably increase wealth accumulation and lead to higher living standards for these couples as well as help reduce welfare costs (by promoting family economic self-sufficiency) and decrease economic inequality.”

Keep in mind, these were the words of the defense expert. Honestly, I can’t wait to see how Andy Pugno tries to tie together the mess that was the defense’s two expert witnesses. Honestly, I figured that after Boies got through with Prof. Miller, that he couldn’t top that performance. I was wrong. Blankenhorn was an absolute disaster for the defense. He had no credibility with the Judge, and his continued failure to answer questions won’t look good on a written record either.

Also, if you missed this link in the comments, one of our amazing Trial Trackers spotted this video of a gay marriage debate between Evan Wolfson, of Freedom to Marry, and Mr. Blankenhorn. If you’d like to see what Rick was talking about with Blankenhorn’s demeanor, check it out. But keep in mind, Wolfson wasn’t cross examining him, and Boies was nowhere in site.

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111 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Alyssa Ri  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:24 am

    “Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably reduce the proportion of homosexuals who marry persons of the opposite sex, and thus would likely reduce instances of marital unhappiness and divorce.”
    “Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion. It would likely decrease the number of those in society who tend to be viewed warily as ‘other’ and increase the number who are accepted as part of ‘us.’ In that respect, gay marriage would be a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.”
    “Because marriage is a wealth-creating institution, extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would probably increase wealth accumulation and lead to higher living standards for these couples as well as help reduce welfare costs (by promoting family economic self-sufficiency) and decrease economic inequality.”

    WHAT???????? IS THIS GUY EFFIN SERIOUS????

  • 2. Kim  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:30 am

    And they want to bring this to the supreme court? I think their best guess is to let it stand for CA, and hope that there won't be that many other challenges soon in other states.

  • 3. Patrick Regan  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Haha thanks for bringing out the highlights of this guys testimony. It was a fun ride to be on.

  • 4. Darth  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Now that the trial's over, I have a request/suggestion…

    I think it would be awesome to have a single post on the blog that collects key quotes and exchanges from across the trial – like the ones above – into one single, coherent argument for gay marriage. When sending links to other people to try to win them over, it's far more helpful to have a single, concise page of evidence than tens of liveblog posts.

    The liveblog was awesome while the trial was going, but we need something more concise to point our on-the-fence friends to.

  • 5. whabbear  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:35 am

    OK, I'll pose a hypothetical answer to my own question. Scalia and his henchmen dust off the gist of Scalia's dissenting opinion in Lawrence vs Texas and apply it to a SS marriage decision. Anybody know whether that's possible?

  • 6. Mr. HCI  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Possible? I'd say probable.

  • 7. w11USA  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:38 am

    you know, we may be sh*t at fighting ballot propositions, but we can sure litigate!

  • 8. Sarah  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Nice idea

  • 9. John  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Our lawyers and witnesses actually know what they're doing. We must be politically powerful!

  • 10. Jeanne  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Now what do we do while waiting for the verdict? I'd like to somehow stay involved in fighting the good fight.

  • 11. Jeff jones  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Can we somehow get that video link on YouTube or iPhone compatible?

  • 12. w11USA  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:42 am

    well, he'll want to take this little nugget out of his dissent:

    "State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding."

  • 13. michael  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:44 am

    If you want to witness a parallel universe, you have a few options:

    Go to the Protect Marriage website, http://www.protectmarriage.com/blog/

    Or if you are interested in the turf of James Dobson (soon to be booted out of Focus on the Family, but not before he starts ANOTHER hate group, James Dobson on the Family) Ted Haggard and other anti-gay, anti-everything organizations, just pop on over to the Gazette, the Colorado Springs newspaper, http://www.gazette.com and check out these headlines:

    "Witness says marriage threatened if gays can wed" and the ever popular, "Gays in California have substantial power, political scientist testifies".

    Spin is alive and well in the right wing universe.

  • 14. Callie  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I third that idea!

  • 15. Canadian_observer  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:47 am

    My own impression of Blankenhorn — especially after watching that video — is that he's smart enough to know there's no rational basis for opposing SS marriage, but he's ideologically/religiously driven to argue against it anyway, while trying desperately to come across as reasonable and not motivated by prejudice. Hence his palpable nervousness and extreme defensiveness.

  • 16. Alan E.  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:47 am

    We need to do this ahead of time so it is easier to find these particular exchanges in the http://www.marriagetrial.com videos.

  • 17. Jasper  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Makes them easy to quote too, and quotes can spread fast on things like twitter/tumblr.

  • 18. Alan E.  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Unfortunately Jeff, it's built into their site.

  • 19. Jasper  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:49 am

    QFT.

  • 20. Joe  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:51 am

    One of my major gripes is that the 1% rules says that if there's any risk of anything bad happening to straight people, that justifies 100% of the most draconian of actions against gay people. And yet the defense argued (actually, completely walked into is a better description) that allowed gay marriages would save opposite sex couples the risk of divorcing because a gay man or lesbian felt it necessary to enter into a "traditional" marriage. See! There's a justification for SSM for traditional marriage too!

  • 21. Jeremy  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:53 am

    If we win and they choose not to appeal, I guarantee there will be challenges in other states. We now have a template for winning marriage equality in a federal court. That template will be copied in every other state with discriminatory laws.

  • 22. Desert Verdin 1 of 1  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Brian:

    and Boies was nowhere in site.

    I think you mean "sight" here. :)

  • 23. Mandy  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I think the Plaintiff's did an awesome job litigating and presenting this case. My concern is that the SCOTUS is going to do whatever they want to do and if they want to uphold the ban on gay marriage then they will use whatever they want, even these "experts" to support that.

    However I have to say this trial and this blog renewed my hopes that gay marriage will one day be legal everywhere. And it gave me some great talking points and/or rebuttals to the anti gay marriage groups (if they would even listen).

    Thank you for all your hard work!

  • 24. Alyson  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I am left with a few questions:

    1. Did our side address the 'morality argument' – scalia used this in his decent in ROMER to suggest we are not a suspect class and that the majority has the right to determine morality ..or something like that. Has our side addressed that morality has never been a criteria for marriage? Even if they think we are immoral – people who beat their wives, molest their children, comit adultery ..etc…do not lose their right to marry.

    Also – is there anything considered immoral that is NOT illegal? I guess lying in certain contexts isn't actually illegal…?

    2. Any way to get the word out to encourage yes on 8ers to read the origial transcipts and NOT just their sides spin? Any indication as to whether any of them would switch sides as a result?

    3. Did the D-I lawyers even look nervous during Blankenblanks testimony? They certainly didn't object much compared to before?

    4. What happened to Ken Starr?

    5. All of us should think about giving some money – even $10 if that's all you can afford to courage campain for doing this – it is sooo essential.

    6. Some of the info that came out in the comments section this week seemed really important – wonder if our team knows about all that – like the mormon leadership blackmail letter and the website where they were discussing how much money they were asked to give in order to receive divine blessings of some sort – how some of them said they were fine with ss marriage but gave anyway as a result.

    ugh – they have no case but that doesn't mean they won't win anyway.

  • 25. Mr. HCI  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Man, that's beautiful! It's about damn time we started locking up kids for masturbating.

  • 26. Mr. HCI  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:02 am

    And masturbators below the age of consent should be convicted of child molestation, of course.

  • 27. Alyssa Ri  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:03 am

    yeah, kim, that's what i thought too. are you sure they're not going to do this with the next trial? are you sure they won't put a better fight when we reach the ninth circuit?? i hope not ;(

  • 28. Dieter M.  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:06 am

    HEADS up for everyone regarding the marriagetrial youtube re-enactments. the very first FULL episode is going up Thursday at midnight!!!!!
    each day in court will be upoloaded in succession…so now you will have something to do in th interim..LOL

    enjoy!!

  • 29. Callie  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:08 am

    And it gave me some great talking points and/or rebuttals to the anti gay marriage groups (if they would even listen).

    And that's the problem…getting people to listen. I'm not even talking about the anti-gay group. I'm talking about the good meaning friends and family who say "be patient, it'll happen" or "dude, that sucks, but hey, I think of you two as married so that's good, huh?" or "this isn't my fight. i'm sure it'll all sort itself out one day" or the best one "the old bigoted farts will die one day" (all the while ignore that those old bigoted farts have raised younger bigoted farts to carry on for them).

    Yeah, I feel like I'm always talking and no one's listening.

  • 30. Scottie  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Ya know, this is off topic but I just saw a picture of Chad Griffin, the guy who made this whole trial happen, and I have to say he's kinda hot, man.

  • 31. Bob  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:10 am

    can someone post the link to the site hosting the transcripts again please?

  • 32. Mr. HCI  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:11 am

    @2: I can almost guarantee they would not. They would likely claim the transcripts are biased, based on conversations I've had with anti-gay zealots in the past.

  • 33. Callie  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Yep! I can hear the conspiracy theories starting already.

  • 34. crisw  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:12 am

    "Also – is there anything considered immoral that is NOT illegal?"

    Sure, lots of things. For example, I think it's highly immoral to dump your dog at the pound because you just renovated your house and he tracks mud onto your carpet. But it's perfectly legal (sigh.)

    "2. Any way to get the word out to encourage yes on 8ers to read the origial transcipts and NOT just their sides spin? Any indication as to whether any of them would switch sides as a result?"

    Good luck with that…those with their heads in holes prefer to remain in the dark…heaven forbid that their precious little religious bliefs get challenged in any way…nothing frightens them more.

    BTW- saw a few picketers with a huge rainbow flag out in front of Skyline Church (homophobic pastor Jim Garlow's San Diego outfit) on my way to work this morning; anyone know what's up with that?

  • 35. John  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Fortunately, the young bigoted farts seem to be much rarer. Not that that's going to stop them from doing everything then can to deny equality, of course.

  • 36. Bill  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Scalia is really a bigot at heart.

    He does not even try to hide his biases.

    He has corrupted himself with power.

    If this goes to the Supremes, it does not look like a win for us. It looks like a 5-4 against us.

    The Supreme Court write their opinions now NOT always solely considering the facts of the case, but more usually right down party lines. Dem or Repub.

  • 37. Jane  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:19 am

    After watching http://fora.tv/2007/03/14/Gay_Marriage_Debate (specifically part 12 Q4) I am almost convinced that "George", who commented quite a bit on earlier posts was/is actually David Blankenhorn.

  • 38. fiona64  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Thing is, there are some people with whom you are just going to have to cut bait early. They can't be reached, and they are distracting you from talking to the people who *can* be reached. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, and I am not always successful at sticking with my own goal.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 39. Prup (aka Jim Benton  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:20 am

    As Patrick says below, appeals are heard on the evidence originally presented, and are not retried — unless they are sent back because the judge made a fatal error — very unlikely even in general. They are stuck with this and can't put up a better fight — except by writing better briefs — in appeals.

    They won't appeal and risk making things work. Spin, Puggie, spin, you can't make gold from hair from a rat's behind.

  • 40. rf  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Well I would suggest, wherever you can, mention the case, post the link to the afer site and the pm site identify them as the plaintiff and defendant and mention that the transcripts are available on afer but not pm. Offer to let them check it out for themselves.

  • 41. Jeremy  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:31 am

    What kind of fight could they put up on appeal? The record is now in stone, they can not admit more evidence. I don't see how they salvage this. I can only gather that if they appeal, they believe that they automatically have 5 justices who will ignore the testimony and evidence and just go "nu-uh, can't hear you!!!"

  • 42. rf  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

    http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/

    click on learn more in the blue box in the middle of the screen

  • 43. JefferyK  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Transcripts:
    http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/per

  • 44. Jeremy  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I disagree, I predict now we win 6 to 3, with Kennedy and Roberts siding with us. K and R are not stone cold ideologues. I think they will look at the evidence objectively and rule in our favor.

  • 45. Frijondi  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:36 am

    In answer to the immoral but not illegal question — there are no laws barring heterosexuals from getting married, and then not practicing monogamy. Or structuring their entire relationship around the fantasy that one of them is a priest, and the other a naughty Catholic schoolgirl who needs to be taught a lesson. And some of these people have kids! Why aren't Blankenhorn and Gallagher studying them instead of boring old mainstream gay couples?

  • 46. fiona64  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I could believe that except for one thing: "George" was posting during Blankenhorn's testimony.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 47. Judy  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Things that some people consider immoral that is not illegal…

    Some cultures consider killing cows immoral. But still we have McDonalds…

    We cut our hair

    We allow menstrating women outside and they sit on things, all the time!

    We touch people of the opposite gender we aren't married to

    We engage in extra-marital sex

    We eat pigs

    We eat meat

    We wear fur

    and so on, and so on.

  • 48. Erica  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:48 am

    "Witness Assails Gay Marriages" – Wall Street Journal

    "Gay marriage could lead to fewer heterosexual marriages, witness says" – LA Times

    Who cares what the witness says if he has no credibility?

  • 49. John  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:50 am

    They forgot to mention the part where he has never actually studied gay marriage, by his own admission. Or that he has no evidence to back up his assertions. Or that he clearly has no idea what he's talking about in general.

  • 50. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 6:57 am

    i swear every time i see George i want to throw my keyboard and mouse across the room and I can because they are both bluetooth. and now theres this Go_proton77 person……..UGGGGG!!!!

    I mean obviously there are very little ha8ters on here so they are easy to spot and SQUASH them like Boies on witness who didn't do their homework!

    "Where you got in the shower?"

  • 51. Darth  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:04 am

    So there's anti-gay zealots, and then there's the CA majority that got lied to by the Prop8 ads. I really doubt 54% of the voting population of CA are anti-gay zealots; at worst I'd guess most of are merely dogmatic in their adherence to the viewpoints of their clergy.

    But I think there's a significant subset of that 54% that voted Yes because they believed the things they were being told (in the absence of any significant counterarguments from the No side), and that they might actually be receptive to hearing alternative views on the matter.

  • 52. M. N.  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

    The problem is that the courts' decisions, unfortunately, aren't always rational. But I agree with your overall reaction :)

  • 53. frank  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:08 am

    so, I watched that video from c-span and it really shows what an idiot Blankenhorny is…

    love,
    frank

  • 54. Dieter M.  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:13 am

    It could be said that we have NO political power – as it took us two STRAIGHT attorneys to get this done.

  • 55. Dieter M.  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:15 am

    you can view the trailer for the youtube re-enactment right now. The first full web re-enactment is going up at midnight. go to youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQRi2Tp8OjA
    tell em Dieter sent ya!!!

  • 56. Dieter M.  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:18 am

    FULL re-enactments starting at midnight on yutube:

    for now you can see the trailer…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQRi2Tp8OjA

  • 57. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

    This was just posted on nj.com…..good press for us…i think?

    Defense lawyers rest case at gay marriage trial

    1/27/2010, 3:11 p.m. EST
    LISA LEFF
    The Associated Press
    (AP) — SAN FRANCISCO – Testimony ended Wednesday in a federal case challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage.

    Lawyers for the sponsors of Proposition 8 tentatively rested their case after introducing materials from the 2008 election campaign.

    The trial is exploring whether states that deny gays and lesbians the right to wed are violating the U.S. Constitution.

    Defense lawyers asked Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker to reserve their option to present more documents based on subpoenas they have issued to gay rights groups that opposed the measure.

    The defense called just two expert witnesses. More than a dozen witnesses appeared for the plaintiffs.

    Walker has said he wants to take several weeks to review all the evidence before hearing closing arguments, probably sometime in March.

    Earlier in the day, the founder of a family values think-tank testified that the rights of same-sex couples should come second to preserving the cherished social institution of marriage.

    David Blankenhorn, president of the New York-based Institute for American Values, said under cross-examination there are many valid reasons for allowing gays to wed, but the considerations are outweighed by the likely damage it would cause the already weakened state of heterosexual unions.

    He acknowledged, however, that allowing gays to wed would have positive consequences for same-sex couples and society, such as scoring "a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion," reducing anti-gay prejudice and hate crimes, and creating a higher standard of living for same-sex couples.

    "I do believe it is almost certainly true that gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit from having gay marriage," he said.

    Blankenhorn's testimony was almost certain to be cited by lawyers for the two gay couples suing to overturn the ban prompted by Proposition 8 in California.

    They have contended that limiting marriage to a man and a woman hurts gay couples-a key point in their argument against Proposition 8.

  • 58. BobC562  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:25 am

    @ 59/Frank, Just watched a snippet of the c-span video. He is a genuine tool and incapable of making a coherent, logical, let alone legally grounded, argument on his behalf. If he were one of my witnesses (and Lord knows, I've had a few that I thought would be good but then crumpled at game time), I'd have that plastic nothing is wrong smile on my face and but would be crapping (figuratively, of course) in my pants.

  • 59. Kyle  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:28 am

    So I was in court today and went to the press conference afterwards. Pugno's summary is that the burden of proof is on the side who support marriage equality. He said that many aspects of the argument presented by the plaintiffs (and further supported by his own DEFENSE witnesses, i.e. exclusion of marriage rights is harmful to gays and lesbians and their children, and all the ways LG & C would benefit from inclusion in marriage) are all beside the point and irrelevant to the case. He said the bottom line is that the entirety of the defense's case is predicated on the idea that the optimal environment in which to raise children is in a home that includes both their mother and their father. He said that if they proved that, then they won the case. He also said that there is only so much fighting that can be done over the definition of the word marriage and that it ultimately comes down to who gets to choose- the people (including a proven biased majority) or the courts (i.e. activist judges).

    My favorite part was when he conceded that the plaintiffs did a great job at getting his own witnesses to support the other side's arguments……(irrelevant as those arguments were. HA!)

    Great job, again to Courage Campaign for your amazing coverage of this. Hats off!

  • 60. frank  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Having seen that, I can't imagine why the DI put them on it's witness list!

    But I did like the lawyer analogy that the other guy made (was it Wolfson?)

  • 61. Brad  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Could someone explain what this paragraph (from Associated Press story this afternoon) means? How likely is it that marriage-discrimination advocates will a) present more documents and b) present more witnesses related to those documents?

    "Lawyers for the sponsors of Proposition 8. the state's voter-approved ballot measure, have asked Walker to reserve their option to present more documents based on subpoenas they have issued to gay rights groups that opposed the measure."

  • 62. Elizabeth  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:42 am

    From a little old pro bono attorney in tennis shoes from WY:

    Of course D's plan on success of appeal to SCOTUS. Their only hope was to obfuscate and attempt to elicit for the record contradictory testimony from P's witnesses. Instead they unerringly and repeatedly shot themselves in, at the very least, the cortex.. In the long run, despite the inadequacy of the D’s positions and their mediocre (being charitable in the evaluation) legal team this all going to initially hinge upon how well written and supported by the evidence is Judge Walker’s original opinion. P’s briefs should make that an easy task. 9th CCA will uphold if it is. No error.

    Clarence (natural lawman) and Nino will then turn over every rock possible to remand on minor issues, as it currently appears very, very unlikely to find clearly reversible error. So D’s unwittingly creating a voluminous record may well have been a good strategy. Scalia at least will have bright clerks and Alito and Roberts will probably allow many amicus briefs (likely funded by KofC and LDS). I respectfully disagree with a previous poster who thinks Roberts might be reasonable – Kennedy, perhaps, he is not a fool (after last week a Stevens dissent could be legendary and worth staying on for) but CJ is too young and full of himself to think of legacy for posterity)

    After remand by SCOTUS (assuming they even take it – not doing so now would be wise) case will probably fade away. Then CA (pop culture), VT and IA (Heartland) lead the way, life goes on, lightning does not strike and in ten years natural aging process will put this all to rest absent coup by GB and the tea-baggers. Prop 8 remand does not scare me but the latter event surely does. E.g., Brown, Bunning, DeMint, Coburn, Bauer and Palin are all very, very popular in the Heartland" where hearts are very hard to change based on reason, equality and fairness as opposed to "faith". Google or Bing “scripture rifle scopes” or “South Carolina lieutenant governor – now that is scary.

    Meanwhile, Pugno and Gallagher are financially set for life.

    Lux et Veritas

  • 63. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:47 am

    The defense has no evidentiary support and all the evidence points to prejudice, bigotry, hate. This is a trial is it not?

    So to say that evidence is irrelevant is so beyond ignorant that he makes him look like an infant!

    The judge was appointed by a politician that was elected by the will of the people so the outcome is the will of the people regardless of how it came to be.

    This PUG-NO guy is a fool!

  • 64. Elizabeth  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Andrew Pugno – the gift that keeps on giving. It is a blessing from the Goddesses that he is the lead on this and not Bennett or Starr!!!

  • 65. Kyle  |  January 27, 2010 at 7:58 am

    It was truly awesome, in the literal sense of the word to watch him spew this crap. Someone in the room asked him if the trial had changed his own view of SS marriage to which he replied, "No."

    It's like an alternate universe, I swear! Regardless of what the facts are, their ultimate stance is nothing more than this: Marriage can only be between one man and one woman, BECAUSE WE SAY SO!

  • 66. azurelunatic  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I missed the very beginning today, but they laid out some of the benefits in a document and found the ones that Blankenhorn agreed with, and had him testify that he agreed with them.

    After that he got recalcitrant and wasted the better part of the following two and a half hours misunderstanding questions, needing questions rephrased, quibbling over things that were mere phrasing differences and not semantic traps, and looking like he was about to burst out into tears. Walker facepalmed, literally facepalmed, at one point.

  • 67. fiona64  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Ronnie, I went back to find Goproton_77's statement (and also looked up the handle on the 'net). This guy is a radical Xtian stay-at-home dad (not that there's anything wrong with the latter).

    He obviously is unaware that gay folk and straight folk do all of the same things in the bedroom, and I suspect that foreplay at his house consists of "brace yourself, Ethel."

    He's a sad, strange little man.

  • 68. Mike  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Can anyone offer what Blankenhorn's poor performance would mean on appeal? Either way this one turns out….

  • 69. Dieter M.  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

    That is good to hear that they are so financially well off since the bible clearly says that :
    "it shall be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle, than for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven."

  • 70. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

    INAAL….but i believe the same it does now……support our arguments despite being their witness

  • 71. 415kathleenk  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

    First thanks for the great trial blogging. I followed you the whole time. I am now watching the debate you linked and it is revelatory. In this milieu, Mr. BLankenhorn is able to wander offf on his ambiguous pronouncements unsupported by any visible facts. I can just see him under cross exam. He just doesnt understand why people don't believe him because he is so concerned. Evan Wolfson rocks.

  • 72. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Even funny is that they don't pay taxes and yet are entitled to rights under the law…… and to use their money to support laws that are enforced on the people….

    It really should be illegal!

  • 73. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

    not only that Kyle….today their witness said that Bigamy….which is illegal in this country…..is ok because all marriages are separate and are each 1 man 1 woman….

    GOLLY!

  • 74. Linda  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

    My question is, if the optimal situation is for a child to be raised in two-parent bio home, why did we ever allow divorce, adoption, remarriage, single-parenting, etc. etc.? Why is it all of a sudden imperative that this 'optimal' environment be protected, but only by not allowing ss marriage? If the concern were truly for the well-being of the children, wouldn't they have opposed all the other 'contributors'?

    Also, how is it that ss marriage will contribute to the deinstitutionalizing of marriage; but cu's and dp's won't have any effect. Huh?

    And…how can they lie and claim that cu's and dp's are exactly the same as marriage, except for the word 'marriage'? They absolutely are NOT the same; not by a long shot.

    I propose billboards with quotes from their witnesses that support ss marriage.

  • 75. frank  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I've been watching the video. It seems like Blankenhorny has taken up the wrong cause. He really needs to start a drive to outlaw adoption if he believes that the best parents are the natural ones. He makes a point about Canada changing the definition from natural parents to legal parent. Adopotive parents are never the natural parents….so that was a logical change despite being propelled by the same-sex marriage issue. But I do love how frustrated he gets when people have a differing opinion…

  • 76. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:42 am

    So True So True!!

    And repetitive too….My biggest pet peeve is having to repeat myself… I mean I don't mind doing it for different people but he keeps replying to me so I have repeat…UGGGG!!!!

    I'm starting to think that he has some repressed gay tendencies and has become obsessed with me…eww!

  • 77. MikeLT  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I just finished watching the video… Blankenmind comes across as stubbern, confused, conflicted and easily frustrated. It was very frustrating to watch him grasp for his thoughts, which in the end, make little sense! No wonder Boise was able to rip into him!

  • 78. MikeLT  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

    As horrible as the passing of Prop 8 was… I'm beginning to wonder if it wasn't a blessing in disguise; it's allowing all this to be aired in a court of law. Not to get overly confident, but there is no way this judge can side with the defense.

  • 79. Rod  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

    My exact feelings, MikeLT. If we don't win this trial (which seems incomprehensible) or do and lose on appeal, I feel the facts of what happened in the courtroom can only work to open more and more hearts and minds. The challenge is getting the story out to the world.

  • 80. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

    OK I found him……. Go_proton77 on yahoo! finance MB

    He says…..

    "Re: 0bama Brown shirts 27-Mar-09 05:39 pm
    Good point. The liberals on this board will do anything to suppress free speech.!!!!" – Go_proton77

    Which is hilarious because his fellow prop ha8ters are doing the same via no comments on theirs and PUG-NO's "blog" as well not airing this trial so they can hide the truth of their lies……….

    HYP – O – CRITES!!!!!!!!!!

  • 81. Kim  |  January 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

    At the appeals court, it is about the interpretation of the case, no new stuff. If they loose there, it changes more states namely all that are under their jurisdiction.

    They got a serious beating during the trial, and it really depends on the exact ruling of there is even some space for them to contest? Are there reputable scholars who actually can punch a hole in the arguments of the plaintiffs? If so, waiting for a second case is just a more viable strategy because if they want to win, they need a more positive case in favour of their side. And the ONLY way to get that is by waiting for a second case.

    If the ruling of Judge Walker is very strong and well reasoned, they run the risk that they alienate their allies if they push forward because they did such a shoddy job. Because they did such a shoddy job, they, to a degree, effectively are giving the cause away while other groups might feel that there is more to be done with it, with a better set of expert witnesses. So, by not appealing, they actually might be able to help their cause more……

  • 82. majii  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

    The defense is trying to blow smoke up the judge's bum. SS marriage does not impact the health of "traditional" marriages. Neither do I believe it impacts the emotional health of a child. My "traditional" marriage broken up because my ex was a lying, cheating son of a gun. It had nothing to do with SS marriage. I have friends in unofficial SS marriages who raised very well-adjusted children. All I can say about the opponents of SS marriage is that they live in a constant state of fear and cannot accept that the world is changing at a rapid pace. They never bother to conduct any substantive research into the impact that SS marriages have had on "traditional" marriages in countries/states/locations where they are currently in place, and if they find this type of research, they create reasons to reject the results. These folk are very dangerous because they are fearful, rigid in their attitudes, have access to corporate money, can influence judicial appointments and elections at local, state, and national levels, are very fond of lying , have great influence over what is covered by the MSM, and some of them are willing to kill or hurt anyone who opposes them. The saddest thing about the opposition is that they never consider anyone who does not think the way they do as having feelings or being worthy of being treated as their fellowman.

  • 83. Richard  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

    On again, my noble family at Courage Campaign has hit the nail right on the head. You young men and women make me proud, and give me hope for our younger generation. And te title for this post is spot on! I have been asking myself the same thing ever since Miller began testifying–"What?! This is a witness for the Prop 8 supporters?" Because neither of them toed the "party line," and both of them were of more value for our side than the side tey were retained as "experts" to testify for. At the same time, however, I am now wondering what the Prop 8 "team" has up their radical sleeves.

  • 84. Scott  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I encourage everyone to watch the video. Blankenhorn's logic is flawed and makes absolutely no sense. Just in his opening statement Wolfson easily destroys the crux of the argument made to deny LGBT individuals the right to marry. It is so fundamentally clear that the entire anti-LGBT marriage agenda is based solely on ignorance and hate.

  • 85. Alyssa Ri  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

    okay, but when the case reaches the Supreme Court, are they going to present another trial like this one, or it just going to the same interpretation of the case?

  • 86. Richard  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Nobody said that th cureent lineup of SCOTUS is rational. Especially where ssm is concerned.

  • 87. Alyssa Ri  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:06 am

    ugh i hope what i said made sense….

  • 88. Scott  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Frank, absolutely spot on about adoptive v. natural parents. I wonder how Blankenhorn would respond?

  • 89. Kim  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    At the supreme court, they can just make their case as far as I know, with only limited new info. But I do not know enough of that.

  • 90. Karen  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

    You can go to signforequality.com and help gather signatures for the November 2010 election to repeal prop 8. Just in case.

  • 91. Glenn I  |  January 27, 2010 at 10:45 am

    And it's a paying gig!

  • 92. Ronnie  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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

  • 93. whabbear  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    … and THIS (and ONLY THIS) is the testimony that the SCOTUS will be forced to consider if they end up hearing this case? How could any rational body anywhere rule for the defense? How?

  • 94. Ed-M  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    If only we were able to attain equal marriage rights back when gay and lesbian couples started suijng for them, back in the early 1970s. I've been together with my partner for almost nineteen years now and I have been bringing home the income whilst my partner stayed at home creating a body of work as an artist / amateur architect and we're still living in a cramped apartment because the income was enough to pay for bills.

  • 95. Ed-M  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    "With only limited new info."

    Although I live in New Orleans, I will see if I can find an attorney to file an amicus brief WRT the Sept 10 2009 Atlanta Police raid on the Atlanta Eagle for no reason and my own experience with the US and LA tax code.

  • 96. Kim  |  January 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Not necessarily, because they could actually learn from this and put up a better fight the next time. That could result in a few more favourable rulings and if it goes to the supreme court then, they will have a much better chance of winning…….

  • 97. Ed-M  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I know they did before. Roberts helped write Romer v. Evans. If either of them decide to vote with Scalia, Thomas and Alito, I'd like to see the Plaintiffs' Attorneys cite the Romer and Lawrence decisions and make him squirm!

  • 98. The burning question: Who&hellip  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    [...] thought that he had the question of the day “This is a Witness for the Defense?”, but that was a little too [...]

  • 99. The burning question: Who&hellip  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    [...] thought that he had the question of the day “This is a Witness for the Defense?”, but that was a little too [...]

  • 100. G. Rod  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Why is it that I’m again reminding myself that over reliance on religious conviction is a flawed substitute for personal critical thought? My and other churches’ “knows best” behavior in Maine and California demonstrates the wisdom of separation of church and state, and the actual harm when majorities, overly influenced by religious leaders, determine political outcomes. But how long will it be before gullible me again acquiesces? It is the leaders of tax exempt religious denominations who should be required to wear the outcome of this remarkable court challenge.

  • 101. Len Silvey  |  January 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    This debate (http://fora.tv/2007/03/14/Gay_Marriage_Debate)
    is just great. Thanks for putting us onto it Brian. Wolfson would have been a great witness for the plaintiffs.

  • 102. Prop 8 Update: January 27&hellip  |  January 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    [...] Prop 8 Update: January 27 2010 January 27 tags: California, Gay Rights, Marriage Equality, News, Prop 8 by nseaver Defenders of Prop 8 today called their second and final “expert” witness. ¬†Here are a few key passages caught by Brian Leubitz at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker: [...]

  • 103. ricky  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    there is a fatal flaw in the reasoning of scalia in lawrence v. bowers. it is one he also used in a speech he gave. he used laws against masturbation. although there might be a law on the books somewhere, all i could find were cases involving prison inmates and one upholding a ban on "toys", any such law would be unenforceable and if the accused was in the privacy of their own home the case would be tossed and the law found unconstitutional.

    scalia used catholic church teachings against it instead of actual law. his dissent was bogus.

    if it gets to the supreme court and he is still there this can be used against him.

  • 104. ricky  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    that would be lawrence v texas.

  • 105. Lymis  |  January 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    As a minimum, write to your elected officials and demand their support for LGBT issues at each level of government, or if you are one of the rare lucky citizens to already have a great one, praise and thank them and insist they keep it up.

    If you are gay and can safely do so, come out if you aren't out.

    If you are straight, make sure to explicitly mention your support for gay people or your disgust with anti-gay laws whenever you can appropriately do so.

    And stay tuned for the next round of this trial!

  • 106. LoriH  |  January 28, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV even, but even to me it looks like their case ended in such a shambles that it looks like they took a dive deliberately. Given that on appeal to SCOTUS they can't introduce any new witnesses. Could they be depending on using amicus briefs to argue their case. Whatever is argued in them wouldn't be as public as trial testimony and it would feed into their proclivity for wanting to keep their batshit nastiness secret. Could any legal peeps out enlighten me?

  • 107. ricky  |  January 28, 2010 at 6:22 am

    methinks they are going to try to get the case tossed on ineffective council.

  • 108. Lawyers Wrap Up Prop 8 Tr&hellip  |  January 28, 2010 at 7:01 am

    [...] Plaintiff's attorney David Boies conducted a vigorous cross examination of the defenses' expert witnesses, who admitted that banning gay marriage is harmful to gay couples and their children. Yesterday concluded with the cross-examination and rebuttal for Dr. David Blankenhorn.  The Courage Campaign's Brian Leubitz summarized a number of stunning admissions. [...]

  • 109. Ed-M  |  January 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    What about writing Kennedy, Roberts and Alito? That might change SCOTUS from 5-4 against ssm to 7-2 for.

  • 110. Ed-M  |  January 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Or get up to SCOTUS, fail, then scream for a Federal Marriage Amendment.

  • 111. Colonic&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Colon Cleanse Review Site…

    [...]while the sites we link to below are completely unrelated to ours, we think they are worth a read, so have a look[...]…

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