Tag: Paul Katami
By Rick Jacobs
Time for a fresh thread…
Olson: Plays testimony of Zarillo, Katami Perry.
Perry: If Prop8 undone and kids growing up in Bakersfield like me could know that their life could be whole, would change the entire arc of their lives.
Sandra Steer: tell us how marriage would change your life )O)
Steer: Would feel more secure, more accepted, more pride, less protective of my kids or worry about kids or feel any shame or sense of not belonging. ON a different level, as a parent you are always thinking about that other generation, the world and society that you are in, what you are doing for them. I want that. I want our kids ot have a better life. I do think about that generation, possibility of having grandchildren. It’s okay. They can be protected by their government. That’s what I hope the outcome of this case is in long run. Having legal protections is everything as someone from pocket of conservative part of country. That’s what I hope for. We’re big strong women. We would benefit greatly, but others after us will benefit in a more life changing way
O: (After Kott testimony) There is nothing like marriage except marriage As Dr. Peplau testified, Married couples live longer, are more stable and better off. Dr. Ilan Mayer says DP is stigma. Dr. Meyer now being played on stigma.
(Meyer testimony about stigma damaging gay people because feel bad about rejection, but that it’s valued by constitution to reject people.
O: I was struck by that word that Sandy steer just wanted her children to feel oka, okay to be gay. Proponents in guide told every citizen that we must protect our folks from seeing that gay marriage okay. Meyer shows that stigma with gay and rejects ind. Experts testified that not only bad to reject marriage, but acceptance would strengthen marriage. Even Mr. Blankenhorn, the proponent’s principle witness, agreed.
Four perspectives about marriage
Proponents argue all about procreation and deinstitutionalizing. No credible evidence.
On the other stands the combined weight of fourteenth supreme court decisions about marriage. And testimony of plaintiffs and combined expertise of witnesses. Plaintiffs just want what everyone else wants. Plaintiffs in same position as Mildred Jeeter and Richard Loving in 1967 who did not want to change marriage. Just wanted to marry person of different race whom they love. That’s all plaintiffs want, right to marry just people of same sex.
Supreme Court of US said conduct of marriage is protected institution right. Prop 8 takes away right to marry a fundamental right.
J: Is there a yes or no?
I believe this case could be decided by whatever Mr. Cooper says are leg facts, but tehse people are being singled out based only on their sexual orientation.
O: If I read past decisions when Supreme Court struck down state’s decision to discriminate against Chinese America here in SF, court is trying to determine if it is over inclusive or under. This trial will aid the record. Will aid in the understanding of the American people of what the rights are at stake I did not think we needed the trial you wanted, but I think it was an enormously enriching experience.
J: Supreme Court decide in 1972 Baker not right to weigh in?
O; Much has happened. Romer case. Lawrence v. Tex. Changes in ballot props. CA adopted different than Mich or Minn. This case is very different Supreme Court rejected opportunity to take miscegenation case in 1955, but then took Loving. Turner v. Saply, fundamental right of prisoners…
J: What date?
O: Have close by…
J: One of colleagues will get it.
O: 1987. Talked about fact court had decided not to take that case. Facts were different. We have learned so much. We have learned so much since that case. Also learned a lot from Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Opinion quotes Justice Stevens’ dissenting Bowers v. Complete change of video.
J: Not change by Justice O’Connor
O: No Supreme Court decided to reject a class discrimination on homosexuality.
J: How important was that decision that Romer took away rights as opposed to blanket prohibition of such enactments in the first case?
O: We have had cases like Romer, going back to 1964, where the citizens of California decided to rewrite its constitution to repeal fair housing via constitution. Went to US supreme court. Court said “we can discern that motives taking away rights of individuals based on race. :” Then comes Romer. Voters again did something to change civil rights. Inds protected by state laws from discrimination on basis of sexual orientation. Prop. 8 took away rights. Only redress is to amend constitution. Plaintiffs can only in this case go to voters. In each case, rights are taken away.
J: Let’s see if I can get an answer to this one? Would be different if CA never had marriage?
O: Different, but still problem.
J: Facts here are stronger because period of time during which marriage legal.
O: Yes. Political scientists said that rights are abrogated by initiatives.
O: CA Supreme Court did not invent right to marry; It was in constitution. That has happened again and again. Courts have said that constitution contains rights. Can say the same thing about Texas where Supreme Court said you can’t set up separate law school for AAs. Same as Loving. Same as Plessy. Would be same as litigating in next door state. Citizens of xyz state are selecting out people and putting people with fundamental right to marry and putting in separate category.
Persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy in their relationships as other people. If court had instead said we’ll take away your right to drive on the highway for doing those things, same as marriage. Because you engage in something that is protected by our constitution we’;re going to take away another right in constitution, can’t be constitutional.
J: Should review here be different in due process and equal protection?
O: No. Both strict scrutiny. Supreme Court provides right to engage in marriage. Fundamental right of marriage. Not false right. Can’t be taken away unless state has compelling reason to do so and then must be done with surgical precision. Every one of standards of suspect class here: minority; immutable characteristic (plaintiffs, experts, ninth circuit said); been discriminated against; some debate abgout having political power. There have been improvements. Legislatures have enacted protections against discrimination against women. Court says that proves that there needs to be protection
Prof. Segura form Stanford says weigh all of these things. Indeed these inds are lacking in pol power to get their rights. No further than Romer case: we do not make in this country classification of our citizens. The Supreme Court agreed. You have on basis of discrimination due to sexual orientation. The individuals can choose anyone they want to marry, but state has decided has to be of a certain sex. Their choice foreclosed due to SO.
O: Your Honor said not about SS marriage, about right. Government imposed stigma placed in constitution of CA? What could be stronger signal that it’s okay to discriminate?
J: If 8 is unconstitional, where does that leave DPs?
O: Right where it was. People can engage in partnerships. Maybe some poepel wont’ want to get married because they may not think it’s as wonderful as we do (laughetr). As Dr. Meyer said, no one aspires as child to grow up to be domestic partnership. Do grow up wanting to get married. Supreme Court said in Zablocky right to marry is fundamental right of all individuals. Whether strict scrutiny or heightened scrutiny or rational basis, on all bases, whatever the objective of what the proponents wanted to accomplish for CA not being accomplished because it keeps changing. I would submit that “we’ve always done it that way” is corollary to “because we said so.” Can’t have discrimination against marriage for race because we’ve always done it that way. Constitutional right ot marry is fundamental. Constitutional right to be in relationship with person of same sex is fundamental. Does no good for state to stop people from getting married.
Heteros will not stop having children, getting married because their neighbors may ss marry. There was some evidence they tried to submit about Netherlands, but that disappeared before our eyes. Dr. Kott or Meyer said that four years before and after in Mass showed no change. Argument that marriage declines because of this wrong. 1970-1985 rise in divorce rate had nothing to do with ss marriage . It was due to hetero marriage.
O: Supreme Court rules that taking away right to marry (in case of Chinese) equivalent to slavery. Same here with ss marriage. How can it be wrong under equal protection clause for ss? Principle has been extended from race to nationality to marriage to Romer case for SO.
To wrap up, Prop.l 8 discriminates on basis of sex same way as Loving on race. They could marry whomever they want provided it was of the right race. Same here. Can marry whomever you want provided it’s of the right sex.
J: Can’t voters rely on everyday common experiences as NY Court held in Macon decision even if it does not stand up to scientific scrutiny?
O: Depends on decision. As Mr. Blankenhorn said we’d be closer to ideal if everyone could marry. Yes, citizens can use their common sense, but what was it in this case? I don’t believe it’s because state must protect procreation among heteros. That can’t be it because there is no evidence that any one person won’t marry because “they” can marry. No evidence that through intimate relationships, God forbid, procreation will decrease. There is no reason here to say ss marriage not okay because it means gay people are not okay. We’ve go to inquire to see if enactment of 8 advances the legitimate reason. We don’t know what that reason is. It can’t be post hoc.
J: Do I have to find that it is discriminatory on the part of the voters, private morality?:
J: I think discrimination is constitutional. Has to be unlawful discrimination.
O: Nice people voted for 8 and not nice people voted for 8. WE heard during the trial some awful stuff. Voters voted for 8 because people are uncomfortable with gay people The people did not see and too bad they could not see what psychiatrists said that these are not people engaged in bad conduct. Same as Loving case. People honestly felt wrong to mix the races. But were permitted under constitution to think that, but not permitted to put that into law.
They want to raise their children in the same way their neighbors do. We are imposing great damage on them. WE say they cannot have the happiness, privacy and intimacy that those who can marry have. We have demonstrated that this causes irreparable harm. One of the language on one of supreme court decision is that intimacy is constitutional right. We improved institution of marriage when races could intermarry WE improved when women had equal rights in marriage. We will improve this institution of marriage according to Mr. Blankenhorm when we allow ss marriage. IT will not hurt CA, it will better CA. It is unconstitutional because it stigmatizes classes.
Terry Stewart: Evidence of cost to government are symptomatic of harm that Prop. 8 visits on segment of society. Harms are also visited on society as a whole because society as a whole pays for costs of harm. Case of Philer v. Doe in which court struck down Texas statute that prevented undocumented children from attending school. “Must take into account cost to nation and stigma to children as illiterates for rest of life. Toll on childrens’ well being. Also considered social science data on inculcating fundamental values for society as whole.
TS (conts): Romer teaches us that laws that cannot be explained or understood by any rational thinking cannot be supported. Permanent v. transitory.
J: Evidence in record that city or county of SF would suffer unique, particularized injury for entire state.
TS: For SF particularly, SF is place where people of all SO come for tourist reasons and to enter into marriage. City loses revenue if can’t have ss marriage. That harm is not transitory. Witnesses Badget testified won’t be at spiked level.
J: Because it’s a marriage destination?
TS: City of love (laughter).
TS: Turn to more serious harms. Costs to public health system of stigma. My colleague TO showed Meyer testimony that showed that LG unlike other minorities suffer harm and prejudice at hand of own family. Can’t aspire to marriage, so suicide rates higher among gay and lesbian youth. Testimony about costs that SF undertakes to try to address those systemic harms. Most complelling was Ryan Kendall about harm to him and conversion therapy. Testified when parents found out gay, were horrified. Told him so. Said they wished they had aborted him. Would rather have had child with disability than gay child. Forced him to try to convert.
J: HE testified that he did not try to convert.
TS: He did. He said he could not convert any more than he could change his Latino heritage.
J: If this goes against plaintffs, would SF have standing to appeal?
TS: I never thought we’d have to think of that because plaintiffs would appeal.
J: What if they don’t? Do you have standing from particular harm?
TS: Yes, just as Boulder did.
TS: Testimony that SF spent $350 million on mental health. Kendall testified that abused, so went to Denver juvenile system and became ward of state. Relied on public health system for emergency med care because was 16 or 17 and did not have resources. Thought he’d kill himself without help. Went o school counseling paid for by govt. he did not have money for himself.
TS: Higher costs of law enforcement because of stigma. Mayor Sanders said that when people feel stigma, people are empowered to commit hate crimes.
J: Isn’t problem with that argument that even if Supreme Court strikes down, motives for crimes will persist. They exist because of motives law can’t address.
TS: I’m not so sure. As Sanders said, when you have laws that approve of stigma, have more hate crimes. We saw that hate crimes in CA 2008 highest since 1985. Bullying based on SO occurs year in and year out. Schools lose revenue because of bullying. Approximately 50,000 absences a year attributable. State loses on attendance. Society loses because we have less productive people.
TS: I have little time left. The city is acutely aware that when Chauncy talked about stigma, city of SF also part of that. We once did that with our police. SF wants nothing more than to treat all citizens equally. Prop 8 extends stigma. Evidence at trial shows how hurtful and invidious to send that message. Join in plaintiff’s case to strike it down.
J: Very well. Thank you Ms. Stewart.
Gov waives right to closing argument.
J: Very well, glad you are here! (laughter)
AG: Wave as well.
J: I have questions. Asks Alameda County registrar if you ask for gender with marriage licenses.
Reg: I believe so.
J: We checked SF, Orange and Imperial Counties this morning. SF box for groom, box for bride labeled opitional. OC bullet point for groom, bride and one labeled none. (laughter)
J: In OC if you fill out say groom an then punch next, can put in groom again on line. Does not give error message. What do I make of this? I suppose I could take judicial notice, but maybe not?
Reg: It does not mean registrar will actually perform or recognize the marriage. It may be a way of sorting out applications for marriage that are not currently legal in CA from those that are legal.
J: By that you mean what?
Reg; Alameda County forced to deny marriage to SS applicants, including plaintiffs, after Prop. 8 passed.
J: How was that determined?
Reg: I believe that they are state prescribed. Do they look similar?
J: No. (laughter). They look quite different.
Reg: I know that in one case ss people came in to ask for license. My clerk asked me what to do and we could see they were sss and I said could not marry.
J: You did not issue license?
Reg: Yes. We are sworn to uphold laws of constitutions of US and CA.
J: So determination is simply made on spot?
Reg: I don’t see much alternative. Would we ask for medical certification? IF there is deception, provision in law.
J: If they lie and one says groom and one bride?
Reg: Two possible situations in which clerk would not look to them as different sex, might have discussion. Don’t know if take at word because marriage would be null. Based on misrepresentation.
A I correct in understanding state law, only opposite sex couples can become dp if over 62. What do you do to enforce?
Reg: I imagine it would be like a bar, where you’d ask for ID.
J: We’ve come to lunchtime. Mr. Cooper you are up at 1:00PM. Mr. Cooper, I look forward to seeing you at that time
[NOTE] New thread is up for the afternoon session.
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By Julia Rosen
For those of you who have not been able to read every single liveblog thread, here’s a few of the greatest hits courtesy of the fine folks at AFER.
This is what they did not want to see on TV:
I just want to get married…it’s as simple as that. I love someone. I want to get married. My state is supposed to protect me. It’s not supposed to discriminate against me.” – Plaintiff Paul Katami
Here they are damaging their own case before it even really starts:
Judge Walker: “I’m asking you to tell me how it would harm opposite-sex marriages.”
Pro-Prop. 8 Atty Charles Cooper: “All right.”
Judge Walker: “All right. Let’s play on the same playing field for once.”
Cooper: “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know.” – 10/14/09 pretrial hearing rejecting defendant intervenors’ request for summary judgment
And at the tail-end they are still hurting their own cause with David Blankenhorn, one of their two “expect” witnesses.
Blankenhorn admitted that “Adopting same-sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children,” and would be “a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion” and “a victory for, and another key expansion of, the American idea.” He also testified that it would result in fewer children growing up in state institutions and instead being raised by loving parents and would in fact reduce the divorce rate; reduce promiscuity; improve the stability of couples’ relationships; increase wealth for families and reduce government costs; and a decline in “anti-gay prejudice” and “anti-gay hate crimes.”
Contrast that to our experts.
ILAN H. MEYER, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, testified that Prop. 8 treats gay men and lesbians as if they are “not seen as equal… not respected by my state or by my country, by my fellow citizens.”
“As I described stigma earlier, I would say that law, and certainly a constitutional part of the law, would be a very strong part of, as I described, the social structures that define stigma, that define access. In a very simple way, you can think of it as a block or gate toward a particular institution, toward attaining a particular goal. So, in that sense, it is very much fitting in the definition of structural stigma,” Meyer testified. “[Prop. 8 imposes stigma] by the fact that it denies them access to the institution of marriage. As I said, people in our society have goals that are cherished by all people. Again, that’s part of social convention, that we all grow up raised to think that there are certain things that we want to achieve in life. And, in this case, this Proposition 8, in fact, says that if you are gay or lesbian, you cannot achieve this particular goal.”
LETITIA ANNE PEPLAU, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, testified that she has “great confidence that some of the things that come from marriage, believing that you are part of the first class kind of relationship in this country, that you are — that you are in the status of relationships that this society most values, most esteems, considers the most legitimate and the most appropriate, undoubtedly has benefits that are not part of domestic partnerships.”
I’m a bit of an American history nut and this was one of the most interesting pieces of information from the trial for me.
DR. COTT also testified about the meaning of marriage in the context of slavery. “When slaves were emancipated, they flocked to get married. And this was not trivial to them, by any means. They saw the ability to marry legally, to replace the informal unions in which they had formed families and had children, many of them, to replace those informal unions with legal, valid marriage in which the states in which they lived would presumably protect their vows to each other. In fact, one quote that historians have drawn out from the record … it was said by an ex-slave who had also been a Union soldier, and he declared, ‘The marriage covenant is the foundation of all our rights.’”
“And then in corollary with that,” Dr. Cott continued, “there are other ways in which this position of civil rights, of basic citizenship, is a feature of the ability to marry and to choose the partner you want to choose. … It has to do with a black man, Dred Scott, who tried to say, when he was in a non-slave-holding state, that he was a citizen. And in an infamous decision, the Supreme Court denied him that claim. And why this is relevant here is that Justice Taney spent about three paragraphs of that opinion remarking that the fact that Dred Scott as a black man could not marry a white woman — in other words, that there were marriage laws in the state where he was and many other states, that prevented blacks from marrying whites — was a stigma that marked him as less than a full citizen…. he remarked on it because of the extent to which this limitation on Dred’s ability to marry was a piece of evidence that Justice Taney was remarking upon in his opinion to say this shows he
could not be a full citizen.”
From Dr. Gregory Herek:
He also agreed with the following from the APA: “…the American Psychological Association concludes that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation” and testified that no other major mental health organizations have endorsed therapies to change sexual orientation, and that aside from being ineffective, they can cause harm.
“It’s important to realize that the underlying assumption of these therapies tends to be that there’s something wrong; that homosexuality is a mental illness; that it’s something that needs to be cured or something that needs to be fixed or repaired. And that, of course, is completely inconsistent with the stance of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and other professional organizations in this area,” he testified.
Professor Chauncey testified about the decades of discrimination against LGBTs and how the Prop 8 campaign was just more of the same.
Specifically regarding Prop. 8, Dr. Chauncey testified that “the wave of campaigns that we have seen against gay marriage rights in the last decade are, in effect, the latest stage and cycle of anti-gay rights campaigns of a sort that I have been describing; that they continue with a similar intent and use some of the same imagery.”
After viewing several pro-Prop. 8 television ads and videos, Dr. Chauncey testified that the language and images suggesting the ballot initiative was needed to “protect children” were reminiscent of efforts to “demonize” gay men and lesbians ranging from police raids to efforts to remove gay and lesbian teachers from public schools.
“You have a pretty strong echo of this idea that simple exposure to gay people and their relationships is somehow going to lead a whole generation of young kids to become gay,” Dr. Chauncey testified. “The underlying message here is something about the – the undesirability of homosexuality, that we don’t want our children to become this way.
And yes there was even a George Washington reference during the trial:
DR. COTT challenged statements made by defendant-intervenors’ attorney Charles Cooper during his opening statement that procreation is the “central and … defining purpose of marriage.” She testified that the ability or willingness to procreate has never been a litmus test for marriage.
“There has never been a requirement that a couple produce children in order to have a valid marriage. Of course, people beyond procreative age have always been allowed to marry. And known sterility or barrenness in a woman has never been a reason not to allow a marriage. In fact, it’s a surprise to many people to learn that George Washington, who is often called the father of our country, was sterile,” she testified.
As for death of straight marriage when gays are allowed to tie the knot:
DR. PEPLAU testified that there is no evidence to suggest that marriage equality would harm others.
“It is very hard for me to imagine you would have a happily married couple who would say, ‘Gertrude, we have been married for 30 years, but I think we have to throw in the towel because Adam and Stewart down the block got married,’” Dr. Peplau testified.
Which one do you think did the most to help our case?
By guest poster Laura Kanter, a Deputy Field Organizer for the Courage Campaign
Perhaps it is because I’m Jewish, a Lesbian, married to a Black woman and living in Orange County that I am so highly attuned to the propaganda generated by the proponents of prop 8. Maybe there is something in my historical memory that insists that I be hyper-alert to dangerous rhetoric, given the knowledge that for centuries, propaganda has been used to stigmatize, marginalize, oppress, violate, and annihilate people like my wife and me. Like so many others, I was looking forward to watching the trial broadcast on YouTube because I knew that people would finally get to see for themselves the bigotry and lies that were at the heart of prop 8; they would get to see the testimonies of Kristin Perry & Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami & Jeffrey Zarrillo. Surely this would move many hearts and minds, regardless of the verdict.
When the media started paying attention to the battle over whether or not the trial would be broadcast, I noticed the comments coming from the defense. We know they didn’t want people to hear and see the testimonies; broadcasting the trial would prevent them from spinning the facts and might allow a reasonable public to hear the truth and identify with the very sympathetic plaintiffs. But with their spin, the propaganda began. Once again, they were attempting to control the public perception of gays and lesbians. There they were on the major news networks, talking about risking the safety of their clients and their clients’ families, and about needing to protect “the children.” This is the same propaganda that was used to dehumanize Blacks here in America and abroad, and Jews (and LGBTs), in nazi Germany. The rhetoric makes us into predators who pray on children and angry, out-of-control monsters who will destroy civilization.
I used to think that any reasonable person could see that the assertions made by the proponents of prop 8 were based in fear and hatred and were simply ridiculous. Sadly, however, as day 8 witness William Tam, so acutely demonstrated, people often accept what they are told as long as it fits into their cognitive schema. In many ways, the very extreme Dr. Tam is the quintessential American right wing voter. Or, as Brian Leubitz described him in another Trial Tracker blog post, “… that Cute Ignorant Uncle That Everybody Cringes At.” During his testimony, Tam indicated that he believed that in the Netherlands, the legalization of same sex marriage was followed by the legalization of polygamy and incest. (I commented that Dr. Tam got his data from wikipedophelia.) When asked where he got this information, he replied that someone found it on the internet, showed it to him and he believed it. This is exactly why prop 8 passed and how groups like Tam’s, Protect Marriage, and Alliance Defense Media get away with lie after lie after lie.
The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court not to broadcast the trial was devastating. We were so hopeful that finally the scare quotes and lies generated by the anti-LGBT movement would be brought to light. Sadly, we were again denied the support of our government and left to fend for ourselves. At least this was nothing new.
Fortunately, by 8:31 a.m. on the very first day, a new way to bear witness to the trial emerged on twitter and then through the Courage Campaign Trial Tracker.
When I first started following the tweets, I noticed that the tweet lists that people had created did not include any of the prop 8 proponents. Once I started seeing the tweets, especially those coming from the Alliance Defense Fund (@ADFMedia) and Protect Marriage (@protectmarriage), I added them to my list and made it my personal mission to at least try to bring attention to their lies and hold them accountable for their words. Thus my obsession takes hold.
Using a tweet list , I started “tweet tracking” (say that three times fast) the comments from the prop 8 proponents to see how they aligned with what the other tweeters were saying. I don’t think we have had many opportunities to see spin spun on the spot like this and it was both fascinating and at the same time maddening. Its not like I hadn’t heard all this propaganda before; it was just so blatantly not what was going on in the courtroom. (more…)