Prop 8 Trial Today: Is Walker Too Gay to Judge?

This will be brief because I’m on my lunch break, but today in California they are deciding whether Judge Walker’s decision on Prop 8 should be thrown out because he’s gay and therefore can’t be a judge on gay rights as well as determining whether the tapes of the trial should be locked up from view or allowed to be released.

The gay rights crowd is arguing that of course you don’t throw out a decision because a judge has human traits — wouldn’t a straight man be biased for straight people?  It would never end.  They are also arguing that there is no possible harm in releasing the tapes and keeping them under lock and key is absurd and retarded.  They probably won’t say it precisely like that.

The anti-gays crowd, who KNEW THAT WALKER WAS GAY BEFORE THE TRIAL AND NEVER ASKED HIM TO RECUSE HIMSELF, are arguing that the gays can’t make legal decisions if they’re in a relationship and releasing the tapes would make their side look like complete idiots the proponent’s witnesses uncomfortable.

Prop 8 Trial Tracker has got you covered with live updates, AFER with Tweets.

I’ll write a shorthand version of whatever happens today later this evening.

Releasing the Prop 8 Videos

 

People in an open society do not demand infallibility in their institutions, but it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing - Chief Justice Berger

Former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the Prop 8 trial, recently used some of the video that was taken during the case as part of a lecture.  The Proponents, aka supporters of Prop 8/opposers of gay marriage, immediately took great offense and sent what was essentially a cease and desist order that demanded the return of all the copies of the tapes, Walker's and anyone else who had them.

 
In response, Ted Olson and David Boies, the legal tour de force trying to lift the gay marriage ban, filed a request that the tapes be unsealed and released to the public.  After all, the trial is a matter of public record and the transcripts are freely available.
 
Originally, the trial was going to be broadcast live, but the Proponents felt like this might scare some of their witnesses away, and so they demanded that it not be broadcast.  Judge Walker taped it, but didn't release the tapes, to the great disappointment of the men and women across the country who wanted to see the greatest trial of the greatest civil rights battle of our time.

No one can really blame the Proponents for not wanting to have video footage of just how appallingly awful their defense of Prop 8 was.  They want to continue to play the victim here — they want to sell the idea that gay marriage is somehow a violation of religious liberty, rather than being completely the other way round.  The video of their disastrous performance would only reveal that they are driven solely by religion and bigotry — and that they aren't even capable of hiding that fact.

Some things that they don't want you to see on television, things that their own anti-equality witnesses did: a witness saying that DADT and DOMA were "Official Discrimination"; that same witness then saying Prop 8 was also discriminatory; Mr. Blankenhorn, their chief witness saying, "I believe that adoption of same sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children"; Blankenhorn also saying, "We would be more American on the day we legalized gay marriage than the day before".

Well, I mean, no wonder, right?  But that's exactly why these things need to be released.  People need the opportunity to see how feeble the defense was and to really understand how motivated by religion the campaign against equality was.  Not everyone is as nerdy as me and reads trial transcripts because they find them so compelling — video is the medium of our lives, and well do the religious know that since it is the medium through which they sold their hate.

The vast majority of the money and on-the-ground support for the Prop 8 campaign came from the Mormon church, supplemented by the Catholic church.  This isn't even money from California, and it's certainly money that ought to take away their tax exempt status.  People need to be shown the kind of lies they were telling to get people to vote against marriage equality, the emotional manipulation about children and families, things so blatantly false they might be defended with the disclaimer: "not intended to be a factual statement."

Gay marriage doesn't destroy families, it doesn't destroy children, it really doesn't do much except make some people very happy and give them access to rights that the rest of us take for granted.  The trial provided an overwhelming amount of evidence that refusing marriage rights not only hurt gay people, but also hurt the thousands of children of LGBT parents.  It hurts these children irreparably, immeasurably, forever.  This wasn't in question, gay marriage opponents agreed.

These tapes shouldn't just be released, they should be broadcast on every news channel for weeks to expose just how rotten the argument is against gay marriage.  If you've ever questioned why church-state separation is so important, this is why.  If conservative Christians (and I include the LDS) hadn't funded the gay marriage ban, it wouldn't be in place, and even they couldn't create enough money to make credible witnesses or a real argument against gay marriage.  The monstrous unfairness of the church taking over, infiltrating, and outright buying the political process only to then lie to the public to get their way has got to stop.  Not only is it immoral, it is un-American.

Proponents motion for return of videos http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-338
Vaughn Walker's response: http://www.scribd.com/doc/53041973/CA9Doc-339-Letter-from-Vaughn-R-Walker
Olson and Boies request for unsealing of videos: http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-340
San Francisco's feisty response: http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-341

 

Prop 8 Question

Am I correct in understanding that if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with Judge Walker’s decision same-sex marriage will necessarily be legal in the entire jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?  Pictured Below.

Cautiously Optimistic on Prop 8

On really big decisions, especially ones that involve a lot of media coverage, the court will give the lead counsel the verdict ahead of time so that they can prepare for media and immediate appeals.

Vaughn Walker has a history of doing this and last night at 6PM the DIs (villains) filed a motion for Stay Pending Appeal, exactly what they would do if they knew they were going to lose.

This does a much better job of explaining it than I do.

Mild Whining and Jeopardy

Next Monday I start my new gig as the Lead Assistant Editor on a reality show.  One that my mother loves and my boyfriend hates… so I guess that’s fair.  I will be making more money (yay!) but working 10 more hours a week (boo!).  That’s like more than an additional day of hours.  And because the reality TV industry isn’t about the whole having unions things, my contract stipulates that OT doesn’t begin til after 50 hours.

Need to set aside time to write.  Time in which I’m not allowed to, say, go online at all.  This week would be good, since I’m losing 10 hours a week starting next week.  The rough thing about 10 hour days is that that’s 2 meals you’ve got to do at work, which is difficult to do.  At least on film sets, food is provided.  10 hours, plus an hour to get ready in the morning, an hour of commute, an hour of errands or cooking, 8 hours of sleep, leaves… 4 hours.  No more 1 vs 100 on Xbox live for me.

Also, the online test to qualify for Jeopardy is happening this week:
East Coast: January 26th at 8pm ET
Central/Mountain: January 27th at 8pm CT/7pm MT
Pacific Coast: January 28th at 8pm PT

Also wik, Judge Vaughn Walker of the Prop 8 trial might be the funniest human being of all time.

Also also wik, I am debating posting the Opening Scene from my old Maleficent script. I would essentially just have to type it up, but I’m not sure there’s any interest and it’s fairly ridiculous. And no one seemed to be NEARLY EXCITED ENOUGH about the fact that Tim Burton wants to make a MALEFICENT movie. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS.

Wi not trei a holiday in Sweeden this yer? See the loveli lakes. The wonderful telephone system. And mani interesting furry animals. Including the majestic moose. A moose once bit my sister… No realli! She was Karving her initials on the moose with the sharpened end of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: “The Hot Hands of an Oslo Dentist”, “Fillings of Passion”, “The Huge Molars of Horst Nordfink”… Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti…