Protect Marriage, Day 3: We Think Our Scapegoating Is Working!

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Day 3 of proceedings in Perry v. Schwarzenegger have come to a close. As expected, Professor Chauncey continued to draw connections between the Prop 8 language and demonization of the past. This afternoon, Dr. Letitia Peplau, a social psychologist, spoke to us on the mental health benefits of marriage. The defendants spent as much time as they could reiterating tired stereotypes about gay people. They even tried to say that Will & Grace and Brokeback Mountain are evidence that gays and lesbians are no longer discriminated against. Paul Hogarth, who was filling in today for Rick Jacobs at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, summed up the day like this:

It’s 4:09 p.m., and the Court has adjourned for the day.  What did we learn this afternoon?  That when faced with overwhelming evidence on the value of marriage, the stability that married couples bring, that same-sex couples are just as capable of loving each other — that the opposition will sink to start scapegoating gay men, bringing out all the worst stereotypes that we’re promiscuous and spread diseases. It doesn’t matter that they cherry-pick studies that are 25 years old, when practically no one was talking about domestic partnerships — let alone gay marriage.  If there was more proof that the motivation behind Prop 8 is animus, the defense proved that once again during their cross-examination.

This animus is certainly confirmed by the mid-day update we got from Protect Marriage’s Andy Pugno, who again craftily spins every aspect of the proceedings that he’s willing to share into supporting the defense’s case. (As always, the Protect Marriage blog does not allow for any comments or pingbacks; they wouldn’t want their brainwashed readers to be exposed to any other coverage of the trial.) Let’s take a look at what he had to say today:

This morning, Prof. Chauncy gave back a lot of ground by admitting that the historical incidents of discrimination and harassment that occurred against gays and lesbians to which he had earlier testified, and upon which the plaintiffs are calling him as an expert, are long in the past.  He testified that society in general and California in particular passed those days decades ago.  In fact, he recalled just one incident in the past 10 years where gays and lesbians were harassed by law enforcement in a bar, noting that the facts of that case are disputed.

When discussing the history of bar raids, Professor Chauncey (which he spelled wrong) identified last year’s Ft. Worth bar raid as the only example that immediately comes to mind of such bar raids in the past 10 years. This does not mean it was the only one. It did get a lot of attention for taking place on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, but a similar raid took place just three months later in Atlanta. Aside from the fact that Pugno is wrong in implying only one took place, he also doesn’t even seem to care that one took place!

In his own words, he said “there has been a significant shift in public opinion in acceptance of and support for gays and lesbians.” It was also interesting that Chauncey agreed with President Obama that one can be against same-sex marriage without that position reflecting any moral disapproval of homosexuals.

Yes. Some people do it for purely political reasons because of all the other people who have such positions that are only motivated by such moral disapproval. That’s not a very compelling point at all.

After viewing a video featuring a husband and wife in Massachusetts who objected to the subject of gay marriage being forced upon their second grade son without their permission, Chauncey said he believed the teaching about homosexual marriage was, in fact, an appropriate subject for young children to be taught, even if it is over the objection of their parents.

How about that! It’s appropriate for children to learn about same-sex couples. Of course, Pugno surely expects all his readers to infer that this means learning about anal penetration and dental dams, because homosexuality is only about sodomy. I’ll take this opportunity to encourage everyone to check out the documentary It’s Elementary (1996) and its follow-up, It’s Still Elementary (2007) which actually show us just how awful it is when kids learn about same-sex relationships. How awful, you ask? Not awful. (By the way, It’s Elementary was required viewing for my curriculum to be a teacher—thank goodness.)

Finally this morning, Chauncey tried to recharacterize Prop 8 to make it about issues it simply is not.  It is not about homosexuality, the adoption of kids by same-sex couples, or a continued iteration of former campaigns to prevent gay rights. In fact, Prop 8 is solely and exclusively about the definition of marriage.  This case is about the right of 7 million California voters who reasonably concluded that marriage should be between a man and a woman, plain and simple.

Ah, so the spelling error before was just a typo. This is probably the funniest comment ever. What’s sad is that Pugno and Protect Marriage’s followers might actually believe this! Of course, all of Prop 8’s materials, as we continue to see in court despite the defense’s objections, indicate that Prop 8 had everything to do with demonizing gays and lesbians.

We also just got great news from the US Supreme Court: they granted a stay to prevent televising the Prop 8 trial!  We have argued from the start that there is no precedent for Judge Walker’s decision to allow the proceedings to be televised and posted on YouTube, that it impedes a fair and impartial trial and that it subjects Prop 8 supporters – by way of having their images streamed worldwide – to harassment for their views.  We are gratified by the high court’s decision.

I wrote about the SCOTUS decision in my earlier post today. Keep in mind that their opposition is all about their eagerness to control limit the exposure of their views and their case (as evidenced by these comment-free posts). It’s just the Victim meme, put into overdrive.

Check back tonight for a full recap of the day’s proceedings, and likely at some point Pugno will have another spin post up about Dr. Peplak’s testimony.

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