Welcome back to Judgment Daze, your favorite alternately hi-larious and v. upsetting coverage of the ongoing Proposition 8 trial! Have you missed us? We’ve missed you. Even though the court wasn’t in session for the last few days, a lot of stuff has gone down, and we don’t just mean sleeping in to celebrate MLK day!
+ Did you know that besides us and Prop 8 Trial Tracker and every other news source, there is also a live radio commentary happening each day on KQED Public Radio? It’s true! They also have a blog, and you can read their archives of stories related to Prop 8 here.
+ Remember when the Supreme Court indefinitely stayed video, and then permanently stayed video, and you were sad but you thought that was over? That is maybe not true. In a weird and alarming move, they have decided to intervene in the dispute over whether the names on the anti-gay petitions over Ref. 71 can be made public. This is concerning because it makes us wonder if maybe they are taking the h8er’s talk about being menaced by an angry mob of queers wielding pitchforks seriously? “With the first decision, it might have looked like it was mostly driven by justices who are just adamantly opposed to cameras in the courtroom,” said Jenny Pizer, head of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund’s National Marriage Project. “But with the second decision, it goes from being worrisome to alarming. Both decisions are based on quite absurd arguments” that the anti-gay activists are being “terribly persecuted by an angry mob, and that’s just ridiculous.” YES. Tell it like it is, girl.We’ll keep you updated!
+ Hey did you see the part in the daily fix this weekend where our homegirl Maureen Dowd talked to the Prop 8 trial lawyers on our side! Sorry if this is a spoiler, but it’s pretty inspiring! “These people are people you would want your child to grow up and marry. You can be a child molester and get married. You can be a wife beater and get married. You can be a child-support scofflaw and get married. The importance of that emotional relationship is so vital to the pursuit of happiness that even prison felons, who aren’t really procreating, have a right to get married.”
Okay then! Onward and upward!
Oh but first, last time on Judgment Daze: [FYI I’m listening to Bon Jovi‘s “Livin’ on a Prayer” right now, and even though I’m super into the separation of church & state, I kinda just wanna put the lyrics to this song in this empty space I am presently writing words on top of -ok now it’s playing the Letters to Cleo version of ‘I Want You to Want Me’ from the classic teen film 10 Things I Hate About You which also just seems. so. APPROPRIATE! Ruh-roh. Hotel California. Let’s move on.] Michael Lamb told everyone that gays don’t kill kids, guns kill people. Then the other side got all Scopes Monkey Trial Style and tried to jock Lamb’s groove by asking him questions about how kids need Moms & Dads, otherwise who’s gonna make me a pie? You know? The H8er tried to prove that Lamb’s studies weren’t good enough, but he failed, obviously, because he was Wrong. Then Helen Zia, poetess and lesbian love-warrior princess, came out and told us about her grandfather respecting her relationship only after they tied the knot. She said domestic partnership wasn’t the same. Also she’s a writer, we Love Writers!
Welcome to the Hotel California, here’s our lovely mayor
Ok, not a great start, they are talking about “legal things” and I don’t know what any of it means. Obvs our legal eagle will be clearing this up for you this week. “Proponents filed a motion to expand the core groups for discovery so that it would now reach to Massachusetts. We have opposed. Proponents are withholding documents until the group is expanded. We object. We also want to open depo with Prentice (ED Protect Marriage) since we got 20,000 pages. We would like to reopen depo. Some of documents cast doubt on his prior claims that he had no connections to various groups. We’d like to have Magistrate Judge Spiro open depo.” LALALA, um, I think they decided that the judge would think about it overnight, maybe when it comes up again tomorrow they will use words that I know.
Oh, a witness! This is better. They’re swearing in San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, he’s a Republican but I hope he’s like Harvey Milk. Remember Harvey Milk, he had a movie.
Hey, he has a lesbian daughter! She called him and Mrs. Sanders up during her sophomore year in college, and told them “she was a lesbian, and in a lesbian relationship.” See guys this is why you all need to come out, one day your dad could be the Mayor, or a Baker, or a Candlestick maker. And then he’ll start rumors! (The good kind! xoxo gossip girl)
His response: “I felt overwhelming love. I understood how difficult it was for her. I told her that we loved her more than ever. I would support her. I told her that it was very tough on gay people in society.” That’s how it’s done, ladies and gentlemen! He loves her even more now. He talks about how his super awesome fatherly love translated into concern for her, which I think is an experience a lot of us/our parents have had:
“I was concerned because I seen what had happened to people who were openly gay. I saw a sergeant who came out in the 1970s who was driven out of the police department. I have seen violence against the gay community simply because they were gay. We had a series of gay bashings in San Diego. I had heard the slurs and the comments that people made.”
Although he originally took the political position that domestic partnerships were “a fair alternative,” he has since changed his mind and supports marriage equality! I bet his daughter appreciates that. Our side submits this video as evidence:
Sanders’ thoughts on the video: “Now that we established that I cry in public… I was emotional, [because] I felt that I almost made a mistake. I had been prejudiced, and I was showing that prejudice by almost vetoing the resolution. I was saying that the marriages were less important.”
Sanders is by far the dreamiest white male Republican mayor I have ever seen, omg you guys.
“I struggled for a long time since I took the position. But the night before that video, I invited some LGBT friends over to tell them I was going to veto. I was shocked at the hurt that they showed when I told them. One friend said that we interact with you as a family. They felt that their children deserved married parents. I could see the harm that I would do with the veto. This was a night not about politics, but about the depth of their emotions… I realized how much it hurt for them.”
Um, THANK YOU. I am honestly getting a little embarrassed by how vindicated/validated this is making me feel.
Um, anyways! Sanders’ daughter and her gf got “domestic partnered” in July, and he confirms Helen Zia’s statement that it’s a pretty underwhelming life experience: there was no ceremony or party, he just got a text from his daughter saying the forms had been taken care of. And after that they actually did get married! In Vermont, the other side of the freaking country. Surrounded by strangers without their family or friends there because they can’t get married in their home state. Good Lord being gay is fun, isn’t it? It’s all rainbow bracelets and discotheques, WHEEEEE!
And then, just because apparently no matter how many times we say it it’s not enough:
Our People: “Has [your daughter’s] marriage harmed your marriage?”
Our People: “Did you see any Prop 8 signs about protecting the children?”
Mayor: “Yes… I couldn’t imagine why anybody would think that children would be harmed by marriage. I couldn’t imagine why anybody would need to be protected from my daughter Lisa.”
You know what, Mayor Sanders? Me neither. Unless Lisa is like a vampire, I just saw Twilight last night, it was weird. But Lisa’s not a vampire, she’s a super-nice lesbian. So she should be okay with her wife case closed JUST KIDDING.
Cross-examination time! I can’t tell if I’m getting worse at recapping or if the opposition is slowly losing the ability to cross-examine, like they’ve got goldfish brains but only for asking questions, because lately all the cross-examinations just seem dumb and pointless to me. h8er of the day spends like twenty minutes making Sanders name every gay politician in California, whether the district attorney is a lesbian, and whether Sanders has any gay friends. I’m sorry, is there a point to this that I’m missing? Ok, now he’s asking about Sanders’ one-time support of civil unions. He’s probably going to point out that he also has a lot of gay friends, just like Sarah Palin.
h8er: You supported civil unions.
Sanders: Yes, I did. I thought it was a reasonable alternative. I didn’t think I felt hatred. In retrospect, it was clouded with prejudice. I thought civil unions were a fair alternative.
h8er: DO you believe that some people can support civil unions over same-sex marriage without prejudice and animus?
Sanders: Well, I think that people can lack hatred, but it is probably grounded in prejudice. I’m saying that the opinion is probably grounded in prejudice.
“The point of this argument isn’t to let anyone off any hooks, but to hold people responsible for the fact that even if they aren’t out spray painting DYKE on our cars they’re still hurting us.”
Ok ok, I think I get where he’s going with this now, this is like that thing where NOM says they don’t hate gay people, they just happen to want us all to join the Dick Appreciation Society and cry ourselves to sleep, or how Glenn Beck doesn’t think he’s racist because he’s never personally lynched anybody. The point Sanders is making here is really important, and I hate that it’s probably going to go right over this lawyer’s head – namely, that you can hold prejudiced attitudes and make other people’s lives difficult with them just because you happen to be in the majority and still not be a bad person, and that voting yes on 8 or no on 1 or for Scott Brown in Massachusetts (hey-o!) is not literally the same thing as tying someone to a fence and then beating them to death in Wyoming. The point of this argument isn’t to let anyone off any hooks, but to hold people responsible for the fact that even if they aren’t out spray painting DYKE on our cars they’re still hurting us. There are people out there who don’t think they’re “anti-gay” because they don’t wake up every morning thinking about how much they hate gay people, but they need to understand that things like voting yes on 8 are still pretty f*cking homophobic, no matter what they like to think about themselves. So let’s just let Mayor Sanders talk about this one!
h8er: A big part of your base favored civil unions over same-sex marriage.
h8er: Sometimes based on religion?
Sanders: Yes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t based upon prejudice. They don’t mean hatred.
h8er: Would you believe that some people voted for the reasons of history?
Sanders: Yes, but that would be grounded in prejudice.
h8er: Some people would vote for Prop 8 because marriage should be tied to procreation?
Sanders: Yes, but that would be grounded in prejudice.
h8er: Many people voted for or against Prop 8 for many different reasons.
Sanders: Yes. I believe that these were grounded in prejudice.
Niiiiice! Chest bump!!!!! Or No-on-8 Celebration Dance?
The h8er makes a lot of really snarky comments about how Sanders attended pride parades and No on 8 rallies and voted in favor of hate crimes legislation, and then is all “Oh hey, a lot of queers voted for you in the primaries, hey?” Is he trying to say that he did all that just to court votes? Whatever, man, no one would vote for you to be mayor. You couldn’t pay us with lollipops or get us out of detention or anything, mister.
He also shows a ProtectMarriage ad about how some queers beat them up on the playground and made them cry or something, and this happens and am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious:
h8er: You would advise the No on 8 campaign not to destroy our campaign signs. You would tell them not to engage in the use of violence. You don’t think those are effective political strategists.
Sanders: I personally don’t believe stealing signs is effective, but I’m not a political consultant.
Ok, now the redirect! Our lawyer confirms that Sanders has supported us for a long time in opposition to the GOP’s wishes, and he did not “make decisions out of political fear from the LGBT community.” Seriously? I just need to know, who out there is actually afraid of us? I can’t even open jars by myself. What am I going to do, give you whole milk instead of nonfat in your latte? THIS IS SO RIDICULOUS.
We are only scary sometimes.
H8er: How large was the Log Cabin Republicans in San Diego? How influential?
Sanders: There were 4 members. Not very influential.
Also, we have confirmed that Sanders enjoys watching both the Chargers and the Padres. I think we’re done here.
In Which There Are Many Pro-Gay Bullet Points And Made Up Numbers, But Words Can’t Bring Me Down Today
Oh look another economist! I hope there are less numbers in this part than the last one, but am not optimistic. Lee Badgett is a research director, and has a PhD in economics. She’s written “a number” of articles about same-sex marriage, and two books, one called When Gay People Get Married. The sequel has Godzilla in it but I forget the name. So yeah, I would say that’s relevant. She’s being offered to the court as an expert on the fiscal impact to California’s budget of allowing homos to marry. Her basic points are as follows:
1) Prop 8 inflicts substantial economic harm on same-sex couples residing in CA and their children.
2) Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not adversely affect different-sex couples, children, or the institution of marriage.
3) Same-sex couples are similar to different-sex couples in most economic and demographic respects4)
4) Prop 8 imposes substantial economic losses on California and its counties and municipalities.
Apparently they’re doing this in slide form, which is great, maybe they’ll also put them online and I can just study all of them right before the final! Next we do a slide of all the ways in which same-sex couples are economically harmed by not being able to marry. It is, unsurprisingly, super long, but maybe I will just copy it here anyway, along with Courage Campaign’s commentary in parens:
+ Greater specialization of labor (families than can do that better are better off economically)
+ Reduced transaction costs (wills and other agreements)
+ Additional health and other insurance benefits
+ Greater economies of scale (Living together decreases costs)
+ Stronger statement of commitment ( People understand what marriage means. That is what makes other economic benefits available)
+ Greater validation and social acceptance of relationship (marriage is not just a commitment b/w individuals, but benefits come from outside recognition)
+ More positive workplace outcomes from reduced discrimination (Research shows that gay and lesbians who believe they are feeling discrimination, get different work experiences. In the case of same-sex couples who aren’t allowed to marry, they may feel they are being discriminated. That feeling might hurt their work performance, decrease odds of promotions…)
+ Some of these costs may not be quantifiable, but they are substantial, and are imposed on virtually all california same-sex couples who would marry if they could. (The costs are well-known, but they are tough to get a number on. But, they might be quite large. Domestic partnerships just aren’t the same thing. People who have DPs would still suffer costs b/c they couldn’t marry.)
Does this sound like you? Yeah, I thought so. If not, thank you for supporting those of us that it sounds like, by reading this.
Badgett also confirms that there are def people out there who haven’t gotten domestic partnerships but would marry if they could, and says that the economic damages to this group are “likely to be in the thousands of dollars per year, for thousands of couples.” Why might gay couples not want a domestic partnership, you ask? LEE BADGETT WILL TELL YOU:
“They might see DPs as second-class citizens. They see less value of DP. The data suggests that people prefer marriage. The difference in the value is that marriage is an institution that is recognized by lots of people. Marriage has much more meaning.“
Also, guess what? Not only is gay marriage Safe For Kids, but not having it actively harms them. It turns out it’s not good for kids when you don’t have the money to f*cking feed them! Maybe all the conservatives who don’t want us to get married or get spousal benefits should have to put up with a week of a fifth-grader asking why you won’t buy them Lunchables to take to school, or telling you that water in your cereal is just as good as milk. ONLY PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES FOR YOU, LITTLE SALLY. WITH THE CHEAP PEANUT BUTTER. Also, “93 percent of those raising children agreed that their children were happier and better off as a result of their marriage.” Straight up. Apparently the American Medical Association agrees! Queer marriage is good for kids, esp. w/r/t health insurance.
What Happens in Netherlands
Now it’s my favorite part, the “debunking crazy conservative stuff about gays.” In response to the information that same-sex marriage in the Netherlands has slowly decreased since allowing gay marriage, Badgett points out that at the same time same-sex marriage was legalized divorce was made easier and partnerships were made more like marriages. When looking at the date from Massachusetts, Badgett confirms that there has been no observable effect on hetero marriage. But it’s cool, because how could we expect a conservative lawmaker to know any of that? It’s SCIENCE, you would have to READ a STUDY or something. Also, I think she just said that California is losing $40 million per year that it could be making on same-sex marriages, I bet the students at UCLA could think of some ways to use that money!
Cross-examination begins! The h8er tries to establish Badgett as a “gay rights advocate” (gross!), and points out that she was given an award by the Advocate once. Whatever, Katy Perry was on the cover of OUT magazine and she has a Jesus fish tattoo, I wouldn’t get excited over it. Her boyfriend don’t mind it.
Now we’ve moved back onto that thing where they ask about “defining sexual orientation” — they’re all “Self-identification isn’t always in concordance with sexual attraction?” A) What does that even mean and B) what is the point of this? Are they trying to prove we’re not real? Like unicorns? Because most of us would rather be unicorns so if that’s the deal, game on.
The judge apparently just blurted out “What is indogeneity?” and it looks like no one is answering him, we’re just moving right along. I have no idea what is going on. He asks a few more questions, I honestly don’t know what they mean, you can read them here if you want. LUNCH BREAK!
What did you have? I had Lunchables.
Numbers Make Me Tired
Back now, and we’re going over the numbers of gay marriages in 2008 vs. 2006, numbers make me tired. Apparently there’s been a slight decrease, which Badgett explains by saying that it depends what color socks you were wearing when you checked the census off that day, I’m not really sure, it’s super confusing: “When a same sex couple says that one of the parties is a husband or wife of the other person, the concern here is that some of these might be different sex couples who marked the wrong box. Census tried to reduce the number of inadvertent marks to the same sex box. So they changed the form, instead of complex, so streamlined it. Each individual in the household is marked in reference to another.”
Maybe this is like Harry Potter and we’re trying to Confuddle the other side or something. Also um, wouldn’t everyone get married right away because they were just able to; like how everyone goes to New Moon the night it comes out? But that doesn’t mean it’s not still making money and won’t make money on DVD, you know?
“I think he’s trying to say that people are only getting married in MA because they don’t have the option to get domestic-partnered? I’m sorry, but that’s dumb.”
Now we’re back to doing the thing where we argue about whether or not it’s accurate to compare MA to CA – “but more people wear Crocs in MA, and also there are fewer one-way streets!” – and also bringing up the fact that as of right now MA has only marriage and not domestic partnerships, whereas most places that have marriage have both. I think he’s trying to say that people are only getting married in MA because they don’t have the option to get domestic-partnered? I’m sorry, but that’s dumb.
He also says that after AB 205 was enacted in California, which made the rights of a domestic partnership closer to that of marriage, fewer people registered for them, which is supposed to prove that gay people in fact hate permanence, reliability, and legally sanctioned families, and are in fact just in it for the hookers and blow. Badgett says that the decrease is in fact for tax reasons, because there was a lot of confusion on that issue in the law and you can say a lot of things about gay people but “great at figuring out taxes” is not necessarily one of them.
Ok, we quibble about percentages who may or may not qualify for employee health coverage, I don’t know what that means, and now he’s picking at typos in her study and asking whether she deducted the numbers of couples who are in surrounding states (NC, Arizona, NV, Oregon, NM) and might have come to CA to marry but have in fact already gone to MA or Vermont! I’m sorry, but the woman is not a psychic. Let it go. You know what, I’m just going to fast forward to Rick Jacobs’ own commentary on this part, because he is smarter than this dumbass lawyer:
Judge Walker looks somewhat bored. The point Cooper is making over and over again is the same point that Badgett is making: lots of factors created lots of changes. It’s actually the same argument that I heard the President of the Chamber of Commerce make this morning about the economy: if business does not have a clear understanding of government policy and union activity, it will not do well. So it’s okay for businesses to say they need stability in the law, but apparently it’s irrelevant for people in love who want to marry to have some stability. This seems like water torture. If we can marry, this problem is gone and nothing bad will happen. The rest, as the rabbis say, is commentary.
Does anyone else feel like when they’re tired, the cross-examining attorneys just get mean?
h8er: Do you support same sex marriage?
Badgett: Yes, I do think it’s good for some people and won’t hurt anyone.
h8er: Do you know of anyone who would change their opinion on same-sex marriage because it would save the state money?
Badgett: I don’t know.
h8er: Shows voter guide that shows fiscal effect of Prop. 8 is negligible. Is that accurate?
h8er: Do you think voters were entitled to rely on this?
I mean, I’m not a lawyer, but couldn’t you say that about anything? “It’s true that we put up billboards outside the polling stations that said DEMON HOMOSEXUALS WERE SENT BY SATAN FOR YOUR CHILDREN, but do you think voters were entitled to rely on this?” Isn’t that kind of the point of this entire trial?
This is the longest cross-examination in the history of mankind. The h8er is showing her a million charts and essentially asking her to look at them like a Magic Eye picture and tell us whether she sees homosexuals burning in hell. Badgett is clearly getting tired of this.
“This is same chart you showed before, although 1994 makes sense to start it out if that is earliest date of numbers. But if you look at that chart, no one in this room would be able to tell you when same-sex marriage passed… 5.6% in 1994 and 6.4% in 2008 and [calling] that a 150% increase does not make any sense to me.”
Get it, Lee! Get it, girl! You know what they actually need though?
We’re Good At It Too
OHMIGOD FINALLY THE REDIRECT I THOUGHT I MIGHT DIE. We’re doing Powerpoint slides again! [Riese sidenote: Did anyone else think An Inconvenient Truth was kinda boring? I mean, i know it has a serious message and stuff, but why can’t we admit that it wasn’t exactly Speed 2: Cruise Control.] The attorney puts up a slide showing a very clear downward trend in marriage rates starting in 1960, that was like 10 years before even Stonewall, and effectively shuts down the last 40 minutes of cross in 30 seconds. THANK YOU JESUS.
Also apparently all these slides are going to go up on the internet, this could be the next “a series of tubes,” I’m so excited. Here they are, I think! Does anyone know what “bivariate fit” means!
We continue the Same-Sex Smackdown of 2010, with our boy Boies proving that divorce rates have in fact decreased in MA and that while hetero marriage has been declining steadily for decades, marriage in general saw an increase the year that gay marriage was legalized. Oh hey, don’t mind us, we’re just bolstering all the social institutions you people have been f*cking up with your high-profile affairs and expensive sex scandals.No big, no need to thank us! “In the first year [domestic partnership] was allowed, 5% of ss couples chose it. In first year marriage allowed in US, 21% chose marriage.” WE LOVE GETTING MARRIED. END OF STORY.
[And we wouldn’t mind having the right to not be good at getting married too. Like to get to the point of our lives where dysfunction isn’t the end of the world or evidence for a court case, but rather an actual testimony to our actual hearts & feelings]
And to finish up:
Boies: Did any of Mr. Cooper’s questions go to whether gay and lesbian couples can be substantially hurt by being denied marriage?
Badgett: No. I have not changed my opinion.
Boies: Did he show you anything that children of gay and lesbian couples would be hurt by parents being allowed to marry?
Badgett: No. He never mentioned it. I’ve seen no evidence that would suggest there is any harm.
And that’s all, folks! We are done for the day! A quick recap of the recap:
- + Even Republicans can still love gay people, you will not melt/die
- + Voting for Prop 8 did in fact make you a homophobe, even if you totally have a neighbor with a lisp and once you collected his mail for him while he was on vacation!
- + Numbers don’t lie, and they say that children are happier when queers can marry
- + Not being able to get married is expensive, and we are already broke
- + Gay marriage does not hurt heterosexual marriage, in fact we are doing a pretty f*cking great job with it
- + Even being a self-righteous lawyer does not mean you can make up numbers and have them be true.
Good night, feathered friends! Join us tomorrow for more belly laughs at the expense of the h8ers!