Prop 8 Gay Marriage Trial Begins Its Exclusive Engagement at San Fran Circuit Court Today!

PROP 8: It’s Manic Monday in San Francisco as the city gears up for the Prop 8 trial. It begins at 8:30 am in San Francisco and is being televised in various federal courthouses in Brooklyn, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco & Pasadena. WHO’S GOING?

You can find the full complaint here. One of the most interesting elements of the trial are the controversial rulings of Judge Walker, who is allowing things like Yes-on 8’s TV advertisements, press releases and campaign workers’ statements as relevant evidence of what the voters intended. Furthermore the Prop 8 Sponsors are subject to investigation on their personal beliefs regarding marriage & sexuality & the trial will be on YouTube.

Live telecast: The trial is to be shown at the federal courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave., S.F., in the 19th-floor ceremonial courtroom, and at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh and Mission, in the first-floor library conference room.

On video: It also is to be shown on a delayed basis on YouTube. UPDATE: “The Supreme Court temporarily halts streaming of Prop 8 trial on YouTube” (thanks, Nate!)

Already one man down on the other team

One of the five defendants in the Proposition 8 trial that begins in California on Monday wants out, according to the New York Times. Here’s a quote from Hak-Shing William Tam, who says he has to drop out ’cause his shit is gonna get vandalized if he does it: “One by one, other states would fall into Satan’s hands. Every child, when growing up, would fantasize marrying someone of the same sex. More children would become homosexual.” (@dallasvoice)

Ted Olsen and David Boies, two ideological foes, have united to overturn prop 8:

The last time David Boies and Theodore B. Olson battled in a courtroom, the presidency hung in the balance as they represented opposite sides arguing the fate of the 2000 election. So Mr. Boies, who worked for Al Gore in the 2000 case, says he has some perspective on their latest fight. It finds him and Mr. Olson, one of the Nation’s most prominent conservative litigators, working together in an attempt to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure that outlawed same-sex marriage. (@nytimes)

Actually Theodore B. Olson himself wrote an excellent essay for Newsweek: Why Same-Sex Marriage is an American Value.

The simple fact is that there is no good reason why we should deny marriage to same-sex partners. On the other hand, there are many reasons why we should formally recognize these relationships and embrace the rights of gays and lesbians to marry and become full and equal members of our society. (@newsweek)

This is a rundown of the case, sort of:

First, is this trial, in fact, a strategic error? Second, what are the main issues involved? And third, what will the legal defenders of Proposition 8 have to offer in the way of arguments? (@huffpo)

This trial is an all-star, high stake affair:

The trial has a star witness list with the potential to ignite all kinds of important conversations about marriage and discrimination. And yet if this case ultimately comes out the wrong way, it could do serious damage to the gay rights cause. Perry v. Schwarzenegger is a thrill; it’s also terrifying. (@slate)

Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8:

According to the plaintiffs, there is just no rational basis for government to privilege marriage between a man and a woman. Thus, in their minds, Proposition 8, which was supported by more than seven million California voters, could have been adopted only as a result of “animus,” as the complaint puts it, toward gays and lesbians. (@nytimes)

Equality California needs you to sign their petition urging Obama to file a brief stating that the constitution prohibits the majority from taking away the rights of any minority:

President Jimmy Carter, Governor Jerry Brown and former Governor Ronald Reagan spoke up and stood with us when we fought the Briggs initiative in 1978. Now, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown are speaking out and standing with us by telling the Court that Prop. 8 cannot be defended under the United States Constitution.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Emily Choo started as an intern with Autostraddle when she was 18 years old. She's now 10 years older and lives in Toronto with her partner and cat. The defining moment of her career was when Riese said this about her: " I think Emily Choo is a very bright, 'poetically inclined' girl who pays attention to everything and knows almost everything (the point of stuff, how to read, how beautiful things feel, how scary things feel, etc.) but doesn't believe/accept/realize yet that she knows almost everything." She still doesn't believe she knows anything, so, thank you, Riese, for that.

Emily has written 100 articles for us.


  1. Is the following link for the delayed trial video?

    Entering the above URL in a web browser returns the message (at the top left of the youtube page), “This channel is not available”.

    • it seems they haven’t yet decided to broadcast on youtube yet:

      “Walker decided to show the trial on a delayed basis on and to broadcast it live, when time zones permit, at federal courts in San Francisco, Pasadena, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Brooklyn, N.Y.

      But Proposition 8’s sponsors, contending the broadcast might intimidate witnesses and incite retaliation, appealed his decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. A decision by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was expected today.”

      From this mornings LA Times,0,203514.story

  2. Do we know what a ruling would mean nationally? If the California courts rule in favor of gay marriage, would anything happen nationally? Or if the courts rule against it, is there a way that this case could make it to the Supreme Court?

  3. Come the hell on, California. I WANT TO BELIEVE. I have lived here all of my life, show a girl some love.

  4. Good luck to attorneys Boies and Olson!

    Onward, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA.

    Looking forward to watching the trial once the stay is lifted!

  5. Pingback: Lez-BeHonest Press » Lesbian Link List

  6. It’s all about maintaining secrecy and not exposing their arguments to the harsh light of public scrutiny.

    No wonder the anti-gays genuinely seem to think gays should be happy hiding in the closet. They sure are.

  7. I am breaking my lurkerly silence just to say that when I read this:

    “Ted Olsen and David Boies, two ideological foes, have united to overturn prop 8.”

    I thought it said this:

    “Ted Olsen and DAVID BOWIE, two ideological foes, have united to overturn prop 8.”

    Anyway, Bowie is clearly what this fight needs to win. Oh, and keep up the good work, AS — you make my day at work pretty much all the time.

Comments are closed.