If You Work Against Us, We Don’t Care If You Like Us

As we await the decision, I thought I’d write a little piece about David Blankenhorn. You might remember him as the “star” witness in the Prop 8 trial supporting Prop 8.

Blankenhorn is a cry-baby-sissy-pants. He claims this week that he’s been unfairly targeted for his anti-gay views:

“I’m losing friends, being told I’m on the wrong side of history, I’m like Bull Connor,” he said, referring to the top Birmingham, Alabama law enforcement official who in the 1960s used police dogs and fire hoses to attack pro-integration protesters. Blankenhorn has been mocked in the gay blogosphere.

“This is the single worst experience I have had in my public life,” he said of joining the debate over same-sex marriage. “I dreaded getting into it… I tried to avoid it for a long time. I feel like the issue hunted me down.”

If you can recognize that you are comparable to Bull Connor for your actions, where do you get off asking for sympathy? I didn’t hear any apology.

The aspect I found most galling about Blankenhorn’s remarks is this attempt to reach a hand out in pseudo-friendship with passive-aggressive umbrage:

“I just think you’ve got to be careful when you seek to deduce a person’s, when you seek to deduce homophobia or anti-gay views from a person’s policy position,” he said. “It can be a real act of hubris.”

This is what Blankenhorn must “wrestle with,” he said, to distinguish between himself and those who dislike homosexuals. When he has spoken to groups made up of such people, he tells them he does not share their anti-gay views.

Oh, so you like us?

Honestly, why should that matter?

Here’s the thing… you either understand the whole “being gay” thing or you don’t. If you understand, then you support gay rights. If you don’t understand, then you oppose gay rights. That might seem a bit boilerplate, but it’s the truth. It doesn’t matter if you like us. It only matters if your head is screwed on tight.

If you like us, great! Then you shouldn’t be working against us. If you’re working against us, that means you don’t understand us (or you refuse to). If you claim to like us, then you should work harder to understand us. You should take time to listen. You should respect the plethora of research from mainstream social science organizations (APA, etc.). You should care more about the lives we lead than the artificially constructed values you “put before the horse.”

David Blankenhorn wants to be right and to be liked. He’s currently neither. Distinguishing himself from Maggie Gallagher or James Dobson doesn’t make a difference. He’s still wrong about our lives and he is still working against our equality. The distinctions he makes in a plea for sympathy are moot and a bit pathetic.

Honestly, he and Tony Hayward should hang out. Maybe they can help each other get their lives back.



The Big Day: Judge Walker’s Prop 8 Ruling Just Hours Away

Hey everyone, the day is here. Later this afternoon, we will know the fate of Prop 8… for now.

Of course, I will be providing a thorough reading with excerpts for those who want to see some of the language of the decision without scouring through the (what is sure to be a) monstrosity of a document. You can expect that up later tonight.

It should come as no surprise that the blogosphere is humming with anticipation. There is a lot of content out there. If you’re prone to seizures, you might just want to stay away from the #prop8 Twitter hashtag entirely.

Here are a few basics you need for today:

» List of today’s rallies. Kudos to Rex Wockner for keeping this updated all day.

» Decision Day FAQ. If you’ve been living in a cave, Chris Geidner is here to make sure you know why today’s a big day.

» Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Eden James has a nice summary to catch us up to today.

There is a LOT of other content out there, but the most important thing is that you understand what is happening today and its significance. This was the first time LGBT issues and our community’s history were aired in a public forum, and Judge Walker’s decision will be an indication of the progress we’ve made given the discrimination we’ve endured.

Sure, given appeals, the war is not over. Still, today could still be a game-changing victory, because if we win, people will ask why. It’s an important opportunity to take a big step forward in raising awareness and creating visibility. And as we move forward, we have reason and love on our sides.

If you want a good laugh, take a look at the argument made by the defense to try to stay today’s ruling?

» Prop. 8 proponents file hilariously awkward motion

As always, you can revisit the archive of Prop 8 coverage here on ZFb to get day-by-day accounts of what took place in the trial.

And while we wait, you should pray. Don’t just pray because it’s the most productive thing you can do, pray because some blonde from ADF told you to:

On the other hand, you could just look forward to the feeling of not being less than:



Closing Arguments of the Prop 8 Trial: Pas de Deux Before The Finale

I don’t know that there’s much to say! Olson had good arguments; Cooper had no evidence. Literally.

Between the answers to the questions offered by Judge Walker and the closing arguments, there doesn’t seem like there’s much of a leg for Prop 8’s proponents to stand on. They have the same old nonsense: children (subtext: gays are pedophiles), tradition (subtext: gays are less than), and “deinstitutionalization” (subtext: “we’ve got nothing”).

It was a big day as arguments wrapped up in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, but in a way the final dance between the lawyers seemed anticlimactic. Given that only one person clapped for Cooper’s defense of Prop 8, it didn’t seem like many were thrilled with his performance. He didn’t have much substance to share. And while there were not many surprises, the day wonderfully summarized the extensive testimonies we heard five months ago. Lots of media outlets have been covering the day, but here are some of the highlights.

Official court transcript of the day’s proceedings (PDF).

Liveblogging by Teddy Partridge and Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake and Rick Jacobs at Prop 8 Trial Tracker.

Christopher Stoll (NCLR): Closing Arguments Recap

Keen News Service: Prop 8 proponents lose pre-closing skirmish, Mid-day report: Prop 8 trial closing arguments, Prop 8 closing: Fear v. Equality

The Advocate: It’s in the Judge’s Hands Now

Huffington Post: Prop 8 Challengers To Deliver Closing Arguments Today

Edge: Closing Arguments in Prop. 8 Trial: the Recap

Bilerico: Family Values: Who is it Trying to “Destroy Marriage” Again?

Good As You: A variety of coverage, including responses to various conservative news sites.

Examiner: An eyewitness perspective on the day’s proceedings

AP Video: Closing Arguments Made in Prop 8 Court Fight

New York Times: Closing Arguments in Marriage Trial

San Jose Mercury: Prop. 8 trial closing arguments: Live coverage from the courtroom, Prop. 8 trial: Judge troubled by lack of evidence from defense

The vicious National Organization for Marriage decided to start doing their own coverage. Good for them. Maggie even admitted that Prop 8 is probably going to be overturned.

Kate Kendell from NCLR is optimistic:

And now we wait for the grand finale when Judge Walker makes his decision. Soon, we might celebrate an apotheosis of equality.



Frank Rich, Prop 8, David Blankenhorn, George Rekers, and Glee

Frank Rich has written a piece in today’s New York Times that’s getting a lot of attention. He reminds us that the closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzengger are this week, that David Blankenhorn’s testimony is crap, and that we’re lucky to have Glee. Rich also makes some connections to Elton John performing at Rush Limbaugh’s (fourth) wedding as well as Al and Tipper Gore’s divorce.

At face value, Rich’s piece is great. The case against Proposition 8 needs all the attention it can possibly get by the media. The questions Judge Walker has raised in preparation for the closing arguments suggest that this will be a defining point in the historic march toward marriage equality. And yes, we do care about people’s marriages and divorces and yes, Limbaugh is a great example of conservative social hypocrisy, and these examples probably help readers find relevance to the trial.

But Rich does not do much to mention same-sex couples, even though it’s the point of his piece. He doesn’t even mention the plaintiffs’ names, just that their children have sat in the courtroom. Otherwise, he lets Boies speak for him. His piece seems overly concerned with the politics of the trial and not as much the lives it affects. In fact, his concern actually seems to be for heterosexual people and the “shadow” on their marriages because of inequality. I suppose it might be an effective way to paint things for some people, but is heterosexual guilt a good reason for same-sex marriage? I don’t think it carries a lot of weight with most of us truly affected by the issue.

We’re reminded about how clandestine the trial seems without much media access, but again, Rich approaches this from a political angle. His concern isn’t all that we could learn from the experiences of the plaintiffs or the expertise of the plaintiffs’ experts; he just wanted the foolish defendants’ experts to be embarrassed.

This brings us to David Blankenhorn. Rich has been slamming Blankenhorn a lot lately for having read some of George Rekers‘ research in preparation for his testimony. Blankenhorn is feeling beat up about it. As far as that point goes, I’m willing to let Blankenhorn off the hook. Attempting to reduce all of his testimony to one article he read by a hypocrite doesn’t exactly seem fair. Here are a few things Blankenhorn has said in trying to separate himself from George Rekers (from 6/2/10 and 6/5/10):

For example, I told the court that I believe that we are all born equal in rights and dignity.  I told the court that I believe in the equal dignity of homosexual love.

I have publicly stated my support for gay adoption.

The fact that I did not recall even having read Mr. Rekers’ report reinforces my main point, which is that there is no substantive link between Mr. Rekers’ views and anything that I either wrote in my expert report to the court or discussed in two days of testimony on the stand.

The problem here is that despite all this lovely verbiage coming from Mr. Blankenhorn is that he still maintains that it is “possible to be for gay rights and against gay marriage.” No, it’s not. And whether Blankenhorn has a connection to Rekers or not, Rich is perfectly fair in comparing the two. I think this piece on Slate‘s Double X blog makes the point most concisely (kudos to Mr. Blankenhorn for linking us to posts against him):

Because no matter how elegant and defensible your arguments against discrimination may be, when you make them, you lay down with others who make a less appealing case.

And at the heart of both arguments is some form of the exact same anti-gay stereotyping. Any “compromise” that Blankenhorn comes up with to defend his oxymoronic position is still going to privilege heterosexual couples! It’s still going to perpetuate the very untruths that all the plaintiffs’ experts debunked in their testimony. He won’t truly be supporting gay rights, as he claims, until he stops making concessions for heterosexuals, which anything short of marriage equality does.

And so while I credit Rich this point, I’m incredibly disappointed by the final point he makes about Glee. While offering a somewhat poignant aside about Jane Lynch’s new wife’s troubles with adoptive visitation, he makes the bigger point that Glee, in the way its characters’ families are set up, offers a realistic portrayal of America’s families. More importantly, he suggests “we’re lucky that the era when they could banish a show like “Glee” from network television seems to have passed.”

This, to me, sounds much like the people who suggest that we’ve made progress because of shows like Will & Grace and movies like Brokeback Mountain. This is exactly what the defense explicitly tried to do during their cross-examination of Professor Letitia Peplau on the third day of the trial. To suggest that a single piece of media is itself an example or guide post of progress is misguided. Certainly, we have made progress in the way issues of same-sex orientations are able to permeate the mainstream, but legally, we have made almost no progress. And given the fact that Proposition 8 passed (which was only six months before the pilot of Glee premiered), we certainly have a long way to go in terms of educating the public.

All in all, I’m glad Frank Rich is taking the time to write about these issues in a venue where they will get a lot of attention. I just wish he could get to the heart of it instead of playing politics and taking cheap shots. Discrimination persists.



When Do We Get to be Proud of Freedom?

June is Pride Month. I think a lot of people don’t understand the point of “pride.” It’s not arrogance. Pride in the sense of gay pride is simply the opposite of shame.

I’m not ashamed of who I am; I’m proud of who I am.

And even though this month we celebrate not being ashamed, we must remember that we are still, nonetheless shamed. Freedom to Marry reminds us of the struggles we still face.

Click here to sign their pledge.

And amongst all our partying during these summer months, our historic struggle toward freedom will progress.

Next week, Judge Walker will hear the closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case of Proposition 8. In preparation for these arguments, Walker issued questions to the lawyers to guide their arguments. (Read more about these questions here and here.)

Truly, these questions and closing arguments bring the discussion of marriage equality to a new forefront of public discourse. Questions of tradition. Questions of discrimination. Questions of equality. Next week, we take a stand for our rights as people and as citizens.

While we must celebrate our individuality and self-respect, we must also continue to work against those who still wish to shame us and indignify us.

Stay tuned to these important proceedings. Share them with your friends. Remember that pride isn’t just about parades; it’s about the march toward true freedom.

(Click below to visit my archive of posts related to the trial to catch up on what you may have missed.)



You Needed $100K For Awkward Unrehearsed Celebrity Reenactments?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post criticizing the Courage Campaign for asking for $100,000 for their new campaign, Testimony: Equality on Trial. They gave no details of what the campaign would entail and simply expected supporters of marriage equality to fork over the cash.

This week, we see what this campaign is all about. There are now several videos of well-known celebrity actors dryly reading from the Perry v. Schwarzenegger transcripts in public places. It’s awkward and boring as hell. Here’s a video of Michael Urie and Cheyenne Jackson. See if you can endure the full 14 minutes:

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to encourage people to submit their own readings and reenactments of select scenes from the trial.

Now, I have been incredibly impassioned about bringing the Prop 8 Trial to the public forefront. Without a doubt, the testimony that was shared is valuable and deserves to be part of widespread knowledge, particularly the testimony of the plaintiffs and the research dispensed by the expert witnesses.

But I don’t think this campaign is effective at delivering on that widespread attention. At least not yet. I love that so many celebrities are showing their support, but these videos could not be more boring. The celebrities certainly aren’t displaying their acting chops. And if the idea is to create a guerrilla theatre impact, there needs to be both real theatre (something deserving attention), and an audience (people around to be distracted by it).

Is the idea novel? Sure. And I can’t complain that the Wall Street Journal and Variety Magazine were willing to write articles about it. But is it captivating? I really don’t think so.

The bigger question is: if this is all there is, why did Courage Campaign need $100,000? Did they have to pay the celebrities to get their support? That’s insincere. Did they pay web designers incredible sums to design a simple webpage for simply viewing videos? I sure hope not. Did they pay off the WSJ to get coverage for their campaign? Well, I doubt it; that would be illegal.

So what gives? Are we really supposed to be super excited that this is what they came up with? Deadpan readings in empty parks by celebrities?

I am not impressed.

Now, apparently, this is just Phase 1. And apparently the lifeless script-reading without production was an intentional decision. In Marisa Tomei’s letter of support, she wrote:

But Phase 1 of “Testimony” — reenactments of key scenes from Perry v. Schwarzenegger — is not about professional actors and producers making a film. It’s about people like you grabbing a video camera, a couple of friends and bringing this trial to life in your own town square, living room or park.

So while Partricia Clarkson, Alan Cumming, Ellen Greene, Cheyenne Jackson, Josh Lucas and Michael Urie all made videos, there was no script memorizing, no crew, not even a director.

I can only hope that if people out there attempt these guerrilla readings, they try to bring them a bit more to life than the professional actors have. Even with the intrigue of a public performance, I can’t imagine cold readings really holding people’s attention. Maybe I’m wrong.

And maybe the other phases will be more compelling.

After the huge ask of cash and the piddly results so far, I’m not holding my breath.

(And for those of you who are eager to support every pro-gay campaign that comes down the track, that’s fine. I’ve decided to take an approach of scrutiny and accountability.)



Really Courage Campaign? I Thought You Were Better Than That.

The Prop 8 Trial (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) is a big deal. It’s important that it gets as much visibility as possible; the testimony that was shared throughout was incredibly important to our movement. I was really proud to see and be a part of the stepped-up efforts to raise awareness during the trial, particularly those who were liveblogging so we could all see what was happening. I’ve written so much about it myself because I understand its importance.

That’s why I was incredibly disappointed by the email I got today from the Courage Campaign. In this “URGENT” message from Rick Jacobs, we got news of their new campaign, called “Testimony: Equality on Trial.”  And what are the vague goals of this “new” campaign?

In the days before and after Judge Walker’s historic ruling — and the media firestorm that will surround the case as it eventually makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court — “Testimony: Equality on Trial” will:

  • Bring the Prop 8 trial to life, as Americans actually hear the evidence for the first time.
  • Expose the lies and manipulation that Frank Schubert, Andrew Pugno and the rest of the right-wing campaign cabal used to pass Prop 8.
  • Help pave the way to full and equal protection under the law for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

Throughout our nation’s history — from Plessy v. Ferguson to Perry vs. Schwarzenegger — equality has been on trial. And now, with your help, “Testimony” will change how Americans think and feel about marriage equality and full equality.

Yawn. I’ve heard it all before. Isn’t this what your campaign is supposed to be doing already? You know… raising awareness, correcting lies, moving us toward equality? So what’s different?

Well, they’re asking for $100,000. By tomorrow. To “start this new campaign.” A campaign that does the same thing they’ve always done, but with a new logo.

I’m sorry, but that’s just distasteful. I chastised HRC for asking for $150,000 for their “new campaign” on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I chastise Protect Marriage for asking for money in almost every single one of their posts. And now I must chastise the Courage Campaign.

We know from experience that successful activism does not work this way. You don’t just give lots of money to a small group of people. It has to be a large group of people being invited to participate actively. Donations are passive and free the donors of any real responsibility to the cause. A system based on raising money also gives those working for the cause the incentive to live off the activism in luxurious ways, like Joe Solmonese in his Dolce & Gabbana suits.

Further, there is no accountability. We know absolutely no details about what makes this campaign interesting or different. We have no understanding of why there is suddenly an urgent need for a very large sum of money. We are just expected to fork it over, because they—the Courage Campaign—are who we are hiring out to do our activism for us?

That is patronizing and disrespectful. We should no more be pawns to groups like HRC and the Courage Campaign than our opponents are pawns to Protect Marriage or the Alliance Defense Fund.

It’s time we, as the Netroots, start holding our advocacy groups more accountable. We should be looking for ways to participate, not ways to just give.

Courage Campaign, your Prop 8 Trial Tracker was fantastic. I thought you were better than these shallow corporate tactics. I guess not.



Checking In With The “Protectors of Marriage” (aka The “Purveyors of Hateful BS”)

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with our old pals Andy Pugno and Ron Prentice from Protect Marriage. (I blame Netvibes for the problems they’ve been having with their feeds.) Let’s see what kind of self-victimizing drivel they’ve been churning out in regards to the Proposition 8 case. (If you just want to see a complete list of the baseless arguments found in these posts, jump to the bottom.)

Back on March 30th, Andy Pugno wrote “What Goes Around, Comes Around. Maybe.” This was another whiny post about why he thinks the No on 8 side should have to turn over all their internal documents. Not much to be missed from this post:

Not surprisingly, Equality California and the ACLU have appealed Judge Walker’s order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And Judge Walker has already issued a ‘stay’ of his own order for document disclosure for a week, while our opponents ask the Ninth Circuit to intervene. This means that even now – months after our side was forced to disclose internal campaign records to our opponents – we continue to wait while our opponents refuse to disclose the same kind of evidence.

As always, we appreciate your support and will keep you posted as the process continues.

They are really petulant, spoiled children. They complain about every little thing they can think of to complain about and then expect to get more donations so they can continue whining.

On April 2, Ron Prentice chimed in with a vomit-inducing posts I’ve ever read on ProtectMarriage.com, which is saying something. And I’m not using “vomit-inducing” in a sophomoric way; the gushiness of this post, called “Spring is in the Air,” truly made me nauseous. After pandering to Christians (for Easter) and Jews (for Passover), Ron starts waxing poetic:

Regardless of one’s religious views, though, this is also the time when spring is in the air! Nature all around us is beginning to come alive — wildflowers bloom, the grasses are lush with greenery, a new generation of animals are born to the flock, and the air is filled with the sounds of birds chirping and nature awakening.

Some truths are simply enduring. Spring follows winter. Rivers flow to the sea. The sun rises at dawn and sets at dusk. It takes the fruit of a man and the womb of woman to make a baby.

Blech. Essentialism makes my brain hurt.

Last week, Andy Pugno sent out an “Update on Perry v Schwarzenegger Case” with a snapshot of their closing arguments and evidence. When you read it, it sounds like they’d like to undo feminism entirely.

And while it is true that the traditional model of marriage between a man and a woman has been disputed of late in the United States, a set of universal functions of marriage remains:

  • Complementing nature with culture to ensure the reproductive cycle;
  • Providing children with both a mother and a father whenever possible;
  • Providing children with their biological parents whenever possible;
  • Bringing men and women together for both practical and symbolic purposes; and,
  • Providing men with a stake in family and society.

In addition, there are corresponding universal features of the institution of marriage, which include the following:

  • High social and legal authority and attractive incentives supporting the institution;
  • Maleness and femaleness;
  • A definition of eligible partners;
  • A public dimension;
  • Encouragement of procreation under specific conditions;
  • Mutual support between men and women and duties toward children; and
  • An emphasis on complementary parental roles and relationships.

Here’s my interpretation:

  • We need babies EVERYWHERE!
  • Orphans, foster kids, potential adoptees, and actual adoptees can SUCK IT!
  • Single parents, divorcees, elderly couples, and heterosexual couples who can’t naturally procreate can SUCK IT!
  • Men should get to own their wives—and everything in the marriage—just like in the old days!
  • Women, you better have the house clean and the dinner ready or you aren’t doing your God-mandated job!
  • Anybody who doesn’t like our ideas of reinforcing hypermasculinity and the oppression of women can SUCK IT! We’re throwing everybody, including all women, under the bus just to stick it to the gays!

And of course, they ask for more financial support for their “epic battle” to reset cultural norms back at least 60 years.

And in the latest post that just went up yesterday, Ron Prentice wants to tell us about “The Impact on Children.” In his first big paragraph, he makes this vacuous claim:

Further, experts around the globe agree that the ideal family structure for a child is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.

He goes on to say:

The contention that there is no discernable difference in the impact on the cognitive, emotional and social well-being of a child between opposite-sex married couples and homosexual couples just isn’t borne out by social science.

Apparently, he has doesn’t know how to google the American Psychological Association:

In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.

Yet, Prentice just keeps on spreading the lies. His post is chock full of them. It’s disgusting. I don’t even feel like quoting any more of it. As someone who never has and never will meet my biological parents, I just can’t explain how angry it makes me to be scapegoated by idiots like Prentice specifically to serve his oppression of me. It’s slimy.

And if it weren’t bad enough that he’s disseminating misinformation, he’s using it as a scare tactic to purloin more money from his mindless followers. I feel bad for these people. They are brainwashed enough to believe this shit (without citations) and scared enough by it to keep forking over the dough.

I can’t wait for Protect Marriage to lose and equality to win. I like the idea of a “social experiment” called justice.

In case you’re interested, these four posts included the following memes:

» “Wait” (It’s a “social experiment.” We don’t know the long term effects!)

» “Reverse Discrimination” (It’s not fair they didn’t have to release their documents. This hurts the institution of marriage!)

» “Special Rights” (Why should we risk our children to suit the “political agenda and desire of adults“?)

» “Traditional” (There are historic universal truths about the nature of marriage.)

» “Essentialist” (Simple biology explains how and why we should recognize relationships.)

» “Children” (It doesn’t matter how untrue our lies are, our children are still at risk, so be scared and give us more money!)

» “Victim” (Thousands of Californians voted for Proposition 8 and their votes need to be respected!)

» “One Man & One Woman” (We subscribe to gender norms and we intend to force everybody to do the same. Male power!)

That’s a whole lot of BS.



ProtectMarriage’s Anti-Science Selective Plagiarism and Self-Victimization

I realized after I wrote the headline that it could probably apply to just about anything ProtectMarriage might ever put out, but it seemed the most apt description of the latest blog post from Ron Prentice.

Normally, when a PM blog post goes up, I quote the entire thing verbatim and analyze it. I’m not going to do that this week, because most of the post is quoted itself directly from a different source. Apparently, Mr. Prentice was never versed on the blockquote tag, which is why his post reads like plagiarism. What’s most interesting about this phenomenon is the way the quoting happens. It’s not all surprising that a group with narrow-minded motives would be selective in what they quote, but what is interesting is that Prentice selectively quoted an already-conservative news site.

I’ll let Mr. Prentice set up the issue at hand. (Note my expert use of the blockquote tag to distinguish his writing from my own.)

Behind-the-Scenes Tactics of Homosexual Activists

A cornerstone of the plaintiffs’ legal strategy in the Perry v Schwarzenegger case is the political powerlessness of homosexuals. On cross-examination, our legal team was able to tear giant holes in this bogus assertion, noting that the homosexual lobby has reliable and active allies in the White House, our State House and in cities and counties across California.

Now comes news of strong-arming another influential association into submission, underscoring the political success of those who want society to accept gay “marriage” as normal.

LifeSiteNews.com reported an alarming behind-the-scenes look at how same-sex marriage advocates bullied the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) into flip-flopping its long-held position on traditional marriage.

I can’t help but think of “homosexual lobby” as a lobby that has been diagnosed as having unnatural attractions to lobbies of the same sex.

At any rate, therapists were “bullied” into supporting marriage equality. When I think of bullies, I think of physical threats in order to take something away; I think of holding up a fist to try to take lunch money. I don’t think of holding up decades of scientific DATA confirming the mental health benefits of encouraging individuals to develop stable same-sex relationships to encourage an organization to adjust its views to fit the standards of their profession as “bullying.”

Obviously, Ron Prentice reaches for nonsense wherever he can get it. And his motives are not at all surprising.

I’m not going to quote all the nonsense about the evil “tactics” of how members of CAMFT rallied their own organization from within to take a stand on marriage equality. It’s not all that interesting, and it’s kind of a bummer to see a positive change written about in such a negative way. Here, though, is a very important paragraph from LifeSiteNews that Ron Prentice neglected (intentionally, I’m sure) to include in his plagiarizing blog post:

East Bay CAMFT asserted that “homosexuality is not a condition needing treatment or cure,” and described “scientific facts” it considered the basis for “affirmative therapeutic approaches,” including the notion that “same-sex sexual behavior, attractions and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality.”  The group now condemns change-oriented therapy as having no “enduring benefit” and only causing “harm,” and blames the prevalence of mental illness among homosexuals on “stress as a result of social prejudice against homosexuality.”

Now, just ignore the mocking quotes around scientific facts and you’ll see what’s really happening here. It’s been over 30 years since the APA stopped diagnosing homosexuality as a mental illness, but CAMFT is still willing to treat it as such. That’s just bad practice. Plus, it maintains the stigma cycle… gays are condemned, gays seek therapy, gays are condemned… you get the picture.

And of course Ron ignored that paragraph because it conflicts with his true motive for (re)writing this drivel on PM’s blog:

A celebratory announcement on CTME’s website credits “countless hours and the efforts of hundreds” who pressured CAMFT for the shift in viewpoint. So much for the homosexual lobby being powerless. And so much for CAMFT holding to an objective, research-based platform.

We depend on your generous support to continue to fight against the homosexual marriage activists whose relentless bullying is paying off, little by little. Their strategy is to chip away at groups, one by one, until marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is commonplace and marriage between a man and a woman is a relic. Please help us fight this ongoing battle.

Actually, Ron, CAMFT’s position change REFLECTS a research-based platform. It’s just not research you like. It’s modern, relevant, and valid.

You just want money. You want people to be afraid their marriages will be ruined, you want people to be afraid of gay people for being “bullies,” you want people to continue to be ignorant about what the research really says, and you want people to keep paying you to help keep them ignorantly paying you. It’s a sham, a Ponzi scheme. You are milking Prop 8 for as much as you can.

Sorry, Ron, but I just have to keep calling you out on your nonsense. You use people to hurt people and you hurt people to use people. How do you sleep at night? Probably quite comfortably with all the money you’ve purloined.



Protect Marriage: Whah, We Have To Work Sooooo Hard!

Andy Pugno is back! And he’s ready to waste our time again about the Prop 8 case. Today, though, he’s actually talking about something that no one else is really reporting on, so I’ll give my best analysis based on what I know. My hunch is that he’s making a big deal out of it just because he can, not because it really deserves being made a big deal of. Let’s wade through the new post.

A Promising Development

Last week, we finally received some good news about our efforts to level the playing field in the Perry v Schwarzenegger case. As you may recall, when the live testimony phase of the trial concluded in late January, our opponents “rested their case,” but our outstanding team of attorneys defending Prop 8 did not. The reason? Even at that late hour we were still waiting for Chief Judge Vaughn Walker to rule upon our significant pending motion, by which we asked the Court to direct the leaders of the No on 8 Campaign to release to us the same types of internal campaign memos, strategies, and communications that we at ProtectMarriage.com had long before already been forced to hand over to them to use as evidence during the trial.

I get when they use the mocking quotes to belittle our identities and such, but I still don’t get it when they use them for legitimate legal terms.

The thrust of this post is this idea that No on 8 should have to pour out all of their own documents. I’m not sure of the relevance of this, but I’ll let Andy blab for another paragraph before I explain why.

Under normal circumstances, judges ensure that the discovery and disclosure of potentially relevant evidence occur well before trial, and certainly no later than during the evidentiary portion of the trial. That is exactly what Judge Walker had ordered ProtectMarriage.com and the proponents to do. However, even as the trial was drawing to a  close, Judge Walker still had not taken up our “motion to compel discovery” which would have ordered the opponents of Prop 8 to also disclose any of their internal documents of the same kind we had been compelled to disclose. Of course we disagreed from the outset with the idea that any of these internal campaign records should have to be produced— by either side.  But once the ground rules had been laid to force us to disclose our confidential records, it was shocking and upsetting to see those rules not applied equally to our opponents.

Here’s the thing: Perry v. Schwarzenegger is about whether Prop 8 is constitutional. It’s not about whether Prop 8 is not constitutional. The Yes on 8/ProtectMarriage.com documents reveal the tactics and language that were used to promote the proposition, so they are directly relevant to the intentions behind the proposition. As we saw during the trial, the Yes on 8 Campaign clearly used intricate alliances among religious organizations to spread demonizing messages about gays and lesbians.

What relevance does the No on 8 Campaign’s materials have on a case on the constitutionality of Prop 8? Arguably, NONE. The No on 8 Campaign had nothing to do with the promotion of Proposition 8, which should be painfully obvious. The relevance is not the same.

So after the live testimony in the case had concluded, Chief Judge Walker referred our request for equal treatment to U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero.  Despite being outnumbered in the courtroom by 10-to-1, our attorneys clashed once again in the San Francisco Courtroom, arguing forcefully that the “No” campaign should be held to the same legal standards that the “Yes” campaign has had to endure in this case.  Last week, Magistrate Spero ordered the No on 8 groups (Equality California, Californians Against Eliminating Basic Rights, an ACLU campaign committee, and the No on Prop 8 umbrella campaign) to produce to our attorneys copies of all their internal documents “that contain, refer or relate to arguments for or against Proposition 8.”

They have until March 31 to produce these documents to us.

Damn; they never miss an opportunity to portray themselves as underdogs.

I disagree with Magistrate Spero’s decision. Arguments against Proposition 8 do not speak in any way to its constitutionality.

This is clearly about vengeance. Protect Marriage wants an eye for an eye. They had to go to all the trouble to reveal their internal documents, so they want their opponents to have to do the same thing. You know, just because.

So Andy, when you get all the documents on March 31, what are you going to do with them?

While this is good news for us, it clearly requires more work on our end to comb through potentially thousands of pages of memos, notes and emails in order to analyze and extract their impact on the case.  Even though the Perry case has been out of the headlines, the work for our legal team has not slowed. This is why we ask for your continued financial support as they work tirelessly on your behalf.

Ah, the true motive revealed. This is just to drain more money from gullible bigots. I can just see the thoughts of the average narrow-minded Yes on 8 Californian: “This gay marriage shit is messing up my life. I’m sick of it. Why’s this all still in question, anyways? Isn’t anyone working out there to make it all go away once and for all? Oh, Protect Marriage needs more money to go through a whole lot of irrelevant documents? Here’s a donation!

I’m going to offer here and now that the documents will have a negligible “impact” on their case. The only difference they’ll make is allowing Pugno, Prentice, and team to live off the case longer. It’s pathetic, selfish, manipulative, and mean-spirited. Then again, so is everything about Protect Marriage.

Notably, when we sought to protect some of our internal documents as being confidential and privileged, our opponents cried foul.  Yet the executive director of California’s most influential homosexual activist organization is trying to make the case that records of communications from and to his group should be out of bounds.

Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors argues that, because EQCA “is a nonparty and because it worked to oppose Proposition 8, its internal campaign communications are not relevant and production would be unduly burdensome.” The ACLU is trying to sing the same song, arguing that the documents we seek are “irrelevant and privileged.”  Of course, prior to being mandated to turn over thousands of our own documents, we made almost exactly the same arguments to the court and yet were denied relief!

It’s not fair!! We had to turn over our documents. Make them do it with theirs too!

Magistrate Spero noted in his ruling that “as was the case with the proponents, the documents and communications at issue may shed light on the meaning and impact of the messages that were sent to the voters. Thus, the subpoenaed documents are relevant and must be produced to the extent the documents…contain, refer or relate to arguments for or against Proposition 8.”

As I wrote above, there is little compelling explanation for the relevance of arguments against Proposition 8 as they were submitted to voters. If this were a debate, I could see it. But it’s not a debate. This is a case in the federal court system about the constitutionality of a law. The motives of the people who pushed for it are what matters.

But the legal shenanigans of our moneyed opponents continue: EQCA has appealed Magistrate Spero’s ruling to Chief Judge Walker, who has granted a hearing on Kors’ motion.  The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16.

Remember, if you want Protect Marriage to properly “protect your marriage” (whatever the hell that means), they need money! Their opponents have it! And they’re involved in shenanigans! So PM needs more money too! To keep up with the shenanigans!

Did Pugno use “shenanigans” just because it’s St. Patty’s Day this week?

Perhaps we will hear something today about the outcome of the appellate hearing. In the meantime, how about you send us out with an inspirational message, Andy?

We will continue to keep you informed about the progress of this issue and how it may affect the scheduling of a date for closing arguments.  In the meantime, please continue to pray for our attorneys and their staff and all who are involved in this epic battle to preserve traditional marriage.

Yes, because they are so insecure they need to feel that they are doing the work of God. They can only do that if you waste your time spiritually stroking their egos!

What bollocks.