Day 5 of the Prop 8 Trial: For the Love of Children and Family

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This has been an incredibly long week, but today was no less intense. Dr. Michael Lamb was on the stand most of the day, defending not only the children of same-sex couples, but also science itself and basic research methods. Here were a few of my favorite quotes in this regard:

Science is a cumulative process in which studies grow and develop.

You have done a great job of refreshing my memory of very old documents. I hope you have in some of these other tabs my more up-to-date research.

You don’t have a random sample when you sample the entire population. Most of us would consider this to be better.

Check out my post on how Protect Marriage spun today’s testimony to get a full taste of it all.

The day ended with moving testimony from Helen Zia who spoke to how different her life has been as a result of being married to her significant other. This was a breath of fresh air after Dr. Lamb’s cross-exam, and like those who were liveblogging, her words brought a tear to my eye. I think this quote in particular will stick with us for some time:

We experienced a feeling of what equality is. Instead of having to go to the fountain just for gay and lesbian families, we went to the fountain that said heterosexuals only.

The parallels of injustice are palpable.

Here is your roundup of liveblogging, posts, recaps, and other links!

P8TT: Complete Transcript Summary, ProtectMarriage.com issues Cease and Desist for Prop 8 Trial Tracker logo depicting family of two mothers with two kids (THIS IS TOO FUNNY!), Prop 8 Monkey Trial: Will Court Accept Evolution of Science?, Let the Parenting Tests Commence, Irony Defined

Firedoglake: Morning 1, Morning 2, Afternoon 1, Afternoon 2, Afternoon 3, Thompson: “So, Was Science Wrong?!”

Shannon Minter (NCLR): Day 5 Recap

Washington Post: High court’s broadcast ruling under microscope

Huffington Post: The Ultimate Act of Cowardice in the Prop 8 Case, Proposition 8 Trial: Witness Testifies Kids Do Fine With Gay Parents, Lt. Dan Choi: Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere

FOXNews: Margaret Hoover: Why I’m Joining the Fight for Marriage Equality (SERIOUSLY)

San Jose Mercury: Prop. 8 trial Day 5: Live coverage from the courtroom, First week of Proposition 8 trial ends with defense challenging witnesses

LGBT POV: Davina Kotulski on Prop 8 trial morning testimony about gay and lesbian parents, Mark Hefflinger: The Prop 8 Trial as Catharsis for America

Keen News Service: Mid-day report: Friday morning Prop 8 trial, Prop 8 – Day 5: The defense stalls and pleads fear factor

The Big Money (Slate.com): Is Twitter Blocking an Anti Gay Marriage Account from #Prop8?

Many people were tweeting this site today to mock the unbridled freedom heterosexuals enjoy to have kids: Why The F*** Do You Have A Kid? (NSFW!)

Shannon Minter does a nice job of explaining the importance of Dr. Lamb’s testimony and what he had to endure during the cross-examination (emphasis added):

Dr. Lamb strongly refuted the Prop 8 proponents’ claim that it is necessary for children to have a male biological parent and a female biological parent in the home, undercutting one of their primary arguments. He testified that there is an “overwhelming consensus” among developmental psychologists today that gender is irrelevant to parenting. Dr. Lamb confirmed that the most significant factors for children’s psychological well-being are the love and support they get from their parents, and the stability of their relationships with both parents. Those factors do not favor different-sex parents over same-sex parents – rather, they suggest the importance of providing all families with the social and legal support needed to ensure that they can provide a stable, loving environment for their children, such as through marriage.

During the aggressive and lengthy cross-examination by attorney David Thompson, which lasted well into the afternoon, Dr. Lamb held firmly to those conclusions. Thompson relied on offensive stereotypes about men, attempting to press Dr. Lamb into agreeing that gender does matter in parenting and that children of LGBT parents are at a disadvantage. But Dr. Lamb calmly, politely, and consistently testified that when it comes to the traits that a good parent needs, gender makes no difference. He refuted every one of the sources that Thompson cited purporting to show that children raised by same-sex parents have more difficulties. For instance, when Thompson mentioned studies allegedly showing that children who grow up without a father in the home have more difficulties, Dr. Lamb patiently explained that those studies actually demonstrate the detriment that the trauma of divorce or the loss of a parental figure have on children’s emotional well-being. It was clear by the end of Dr. Lamb’s testimony that there is simply no credible evidence to suggest that the gender or sexual orientation of a child’s parents makes a bit of difference to mental health outcomes.

In light of today’s discussions of children, the video “Boys Beware” has been circulating tonight. It is epitomic of the demonization gays have experienced as pedophiles over the decades. Take 10 minutes for this important history lesson on the evil of gay men:

We won’t be back in court until Tuesday, but I’ll continue to provide updates, reflections, and Protect Marriage retorts throughout the holiday weekend.

If you wish to catch up on the week’s proceedings, check out my Perry v. Schwarzenegger archive, organized by days of the trial.

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