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About

 

Equality on Trial (formerly Prop 8 Trial Tracker) is a project of the Courage Campaign Institute, which is a part of the Courage Campaign’s online organizing network of more than 850,000 supporters in California and across the country.

Throughout the Perry v. Brown trial, Prop 8 Trial Tracker covered the trial live from the courthouse, collected all of the latest motions and court rulings on one site, and documented and responded to right-wing attacks on the process. Prop 8 Trial Tracker has attracted coverage from the New Yorker, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Atlantic Online‘s Andrew Sullivan, and dozens of various other media outlets and blogs. The site is now the #1 Google search result for “Prop 8 Trial.”

Re-branded as Equality on Trial, the site shifted gears to cover legal issues pertaining to the LGBT community, including state and federal marriage equality cases, challenges to the so-called federal Defense of Marriage Act, and more.

Jacob Combs and Scottie Thomaston serve as Equality On Trial’s Editors, helping lead our coverage of Prop 8 and the Prop 8 case, DOMA and the DOMA trials as well as other equality-related issues and court cases around the country. Courage Campaign Institute’s Founder Rick Jacobs also contributes content and led the blogging during the January 2010 trial portion of the Prop 8 case. California-based bloggers Brian LeubitzBrian Devine and Paul Hogarth contribute legal analysis and other content to Equality on Trial. Bloggers Jeremy Hooper, Karen Ocamb and Matt Baume also frequently cross-post content on EOT.

As Prop 8 Trial Tracker, the site’s NOM Tour Tracker arm also documented and responded to National Organization for Marriage’s “One Man, One Woman” 19-state, 23-stop Summer Tour 2010 with blogging, photos and video from the road from our staff, generating coverage from news outlets around the country. Our response led to the decision of “One Man, One Woman” tour organizer and NOM strategist Louis Marinelli announcing in April 2011 that he had a change of heart on same-sex marriage equality as a result of the work Courage Campaign, its members, and NOM Tour Tracker readers did on the tour. This led to feature pieces by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and in Newsweek. When National Organization for Marriage launched the “Vota Tus Valores” Tour in the fall of 2010 to support US Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, NOM Tour Tracker went back on the road, documenting how fewer than a dozen people showed up at nearly every single tour stop and refuting the lies of NOM’s spokespeople. Prop 8 Trial Tracker also covers other news relating to marriage equality, such as the various lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as state-based cases regarding the right of same-sex couples to marry.

For inquiries related to Courage Campaign Institute, which sponsors and funds EqualityOnTrial.com, please e-mail Eddie Kurtz, Equality On Trial site manager, via eddie AT couragecampaign DOT org. For inquiries related to the content here, please e-mail Jacob Combs via Jacob AT couragecampaign DOT org or Scottie Thomaston via Scottie AT couragecampaign DOT org. You can also follow us on Twitter and tweet at us via @equalityontrial as well as on Facebook via Testimony: Equality on Trial. Having technical problems? E-mail equalityontrial [AT] couragecampaign [DOT] org for assistance!

LIKE WHAT WE’RE DOING?: With the U.S. Supreme Court blocking video of the trial from being released, it’s even more important that we continue to get the truth out to people across the country. To support our work live-blogging the trial and holding the right-wing accountable, please make a donation of any amount now. We can’t do this without you. Click here to contribute!

You can also sign up for our e-mail list, and check out our other work around equality and other issues, at www.couragecampaign.org.

EqualityonTrial.com community guidelines

Your participation in online communications occurs in real time and is not initially edited, censored, or otherwise controlled by EqualityOnTrial.com moderators. However, EqualityOnTrial.com moderators reserve the right to monitor content on EqualityOnTrial.com and to remove content which EqualityOnTrial.com moderators, at their discretion, determine to be harmful, offensive, or otherwise in violation of these Community Guidelines. EqualityOnTrial.com moderators reserve the right to terminate the account (ban or delete) of a user of the service for any reason at any time

The term “Moderator” in this section refers to EqualityOnTrial.com moderators. The moderator makes decisions to warn, suspend, or ban any user regarding adherence to Community Guidelines.

The term “Reporter” in this section refers to users of the service that use EOT’s online complaint reporting system to alert Moderators of a Terms of Service violation.

In order to maintain an informative and valuable service that meets the needs of the users of EqualityOnTrial.com and avoids the harm that can result from disseminating statements that are false, malicious, violate the rights of others, or otherwise harmful, it is necessary to establish the following Community Guidelines to protect against abuse:

1. While using your real name is encouraged, pseudonyms are allowed at EqualityOnTrial.com. However, using this site to deceive with a false identity under a false name including (but not limited to): sockpuppetingmeatpuppeting, and astroturfing, are prohibited. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with these terms using the provided links

Moderator Action: A single public warning in the comment thread is considered fair notice prior to a suspension or ban. The offending comment may also be immediately deleted upon discovery by a moderator without any notice.

3. You may not post or transmit any message, data, image or program that would violate the property rights of others, including unauthorized copyrighted text, images or programs, trade secrets or other confidential proprietary information, and trademarks or service marks used in an infringing fashion.

Moderator Action: A single public warning in the comment thread is considered fair notice prior to a suspension or ban. The offending comment may also be immediately deleted upon discovery by a moderator without any notice.

4. You may not interfere with other users’ use of EqualityOnTrial.com. This includes any harassment outside of the service as a result of activity on EOT.

Moderator Action: A user will be banned for harassing another registered user via the service, private email communications or another service if the complainant confirms (with evidence) that it is related to commentary shared on EqualityOnTrial.com.

5. You may not use any robot, spider, or other automatic device or process to monitor or copy our web pages or any portion of the content contained herein without our express written permission.

Moderator Action: Immediate ban with or without notice.

6. You may not post or transmit any file which contains viruses, worms, “Trojan horses” or any other contaminating or destructive features.

Moderator Action: Immediate ban with or without notice.

7. You may not post or transmit any message which is harmful, threatening, abusive, hateful, or defamatory (defamatory anti-lesbian, anti-gay, anti-bisexual, and anti-transgender language will include, but not be limited to, the language identified as defamatory within the current online version of the GLAAD Media Guide). Excessive use of profanity is discouraged and epithets directed at community members are grounds for suspension or deactivation (banning) at any time. These rules go for both sides of a discussion and apply fairly to each side whether or not you agree with the views espoused by fellow commenters, EqualityOnTrial.com moderators or the views of the Courage Campaign Institute. In other words, just because most people in the comments agrees with you doesn’t give you the right to call a fellow commenter names, tell him/her to go to hell, etc. This further inflames flame wars and is not acceptable.

Moderator Action: A single public warning in the comment thread is considered fair notice prior to a suspension or ban. The offending comment(s) may also be left intact as proof of the violation, or deleted at the moderator’s discretion.

8. Activities such as (but not limited to) flaming and comment-spamming are prohibited. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with these terms using the provided links

It is not the Service’s intent to discourage you from taking controversial positions or expressing vigorously what may be unpopular views. These include views on the topics of (but not limited to): same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, the Proposition 8 trial (Perry v. Brown) and the Defense of Marriage Act. EqualityOnTrial.com moderators encourage dialogue that may lead one to change his or her views on a topic regarding LGBT equality. Simple opposition to someone espousing views opposing LGBT equality while responding to a blog post or while engaged in a reasonable dialogue with moderators or other commenters is not sufficient cause for suspension or a ban. In short, just because you disagree with someone’s view doesn’t mean he or she isn’t welcome to comment here, so long as reasonable commenters are striving to have reasonable dialogue that does not violate Community Guideline #7. However, EqualityOnTrial.com moderators reserve the right to take such action as it deems appropriate in cases where EqualityOnTrial.com is used to disseminate statements which are deeply and widely offensive and/or harmful.

Moderator Action: A single public warning in the comment thread is considered fair notice prior to a suspension or ban. The offending comment(s) may also be left intact as proof of the violation, or deleted at the moderator’s discretion. Commenters are encouraged to use the Report tool shown on every comment when you feel there is sufficient evidence to warrant Moderator Action.

10. a) You may not post or transmit requests for donations or charity without initial approval.

Moderator Action: Requests for fundraising or petition comments/posts must be submitted to adam at couragecampaign dot org for review before being submitted as a live diary or comment by a community member.

b) Chain letters or letters relating to pyramid schemes are prohibited.

Moderator Action: Immediate ban, with or without notice, banned content will be deleted.

11. You may not use the facilities and capabilities of the Service to conduct any activity or solicit the performance of any illegal activity or other activity which infringes the rights of others.

Moderator Action: Immediate ban, with or without notice, banned content will be deleted, law enforcement authorities will be notified.

12. Users of the service are expected take an active role in maintaining civility between commenters in diaries, both in your own behavior and by encouraging and informing fellow commenters. You should report violations of the TOS you encounter via the service’s online form (“Report” button on comment threads)There is no guarantee that pointing out TOS violations in the comments will be seen and acted upon by moderators. Moderators are not responsible for full-time review and action on any comment threads, so Reporters will provide first notification in the cases where a moderator is not be available to review a thread.

Moderator Action: Reports received will be addressed by a moderator within 48 hours. Filing a report is not a guarantee that an action will be taken by a moderator of the service. Reporters are discouraged from over-using the Report button simply to report views you do not agree with, call someone a “troll,” etc. Reports that are disputed by the poster alleged to have violated the TOS of EqualityOnTrial.com will be reviewed by the moderators to reach a decision.