Moving Forward Towards Equality

June 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm 55 comments

By Rick Jacobs

California’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist communities expect to return to the ballot in 2012 to overturn Prop. 8. Last time around, both sides spent about $80 million total.

If this Tuesday’s California election is any indicator, there’s little reason to assume the cost for a 2012 fight will be much less. Even in this off year, low turn-out election, we can expect more than $70 million to be spent on the few initiatives that appear, most of it by PG&E and Mercury Insurance. That’s a drop in the bucket compared with spending on November measures. Ballot measures cost a bundle.

Progressives and all fair-minded people in this state abhor Prop. 8 and the lives it has affected along with the divisions it has sewn. We all know that it must be stricken from the constitution. There are only two ways to do that: by ballot box or by federal law suit. It’s worth taking a look at the possible outcomes in each case.

If we go back to the ballot in 2012, we have to expect to spend at least $40 million in addition to whatever is being spent in the run up to the election. The other side will raise and spend whatever they must to hold the line. And they have the advantage of defense, meaning we must get people to vote “yes,” always harder than a “no” campaign. And of course we’ll have to deal with all of the internal politics of who runs the campaign, how it’s run and the other issues that are so important and so difficult. But let’s suppose that we win. The day after the election, we’ll feel great. Interspersed with the presidential and congressional election news about the Obama reelect will be stories about the first victory at the ballot box for marriage equality. It will be a big deal.

And then what? Yes, we will all have the right to marry and the word “marriage” is vital. But even after that, we’ll have the same legal rights that we have today with domestic partnership. We’ll still be second class citizens who cannot avail ourselves of equal protection under the law federally or in most other states.

Within months, the other side will circulate petitions to get a repeal of our repeal on the ballot for 2014. They’ll qualify. And we’ll be at it again. Parental notification for abortion has been on the ballot three times in four years and will be on again this year. The right wing finds the money to qualify and then our side has to spend many times that to defend the status quo. Ballot measures provide the ideal weapon for the right to use against progress. They force us to spend money to keep the status quo.

The other alternative is the federal Prop. 8 trial, the final arguments for which will be heard on 16 June in San Francisco. We’ll have a verdict soon thereafter which could go any which way, from a clean win to a mix to a loss. We’ll have an appeal to the 9th Circuit and then likely an appeal to the Supreme Court. The process could take a few years and the outcome is uncertain.

However, the federal Prop. 8 trial has already altered the fundamentals of this debate. The testimony in the trial devastated completely the thin reeds the other side had for denying equality. We at Courage are working hard to get that story out through our Testimony: Equality on Trial campaign.

If we do win at the Supreme Court, the game is over. Ballot measures in California and likely in the rest of the country will be a thing of the past. No longer will we vote on each other’s rights. States that would not have marriage equality for decades may well join the modern age and rapidly shifting public opinion as a result of one court case.

I do not here advocate for or against going back to the ballot in 2012. Regrettably, we cannot yet rely upon the courts to do the right thing, although this case is the best shot we’ve ever had. So what is to be done?

The answer is pretty straightforward: spend at least $4 million—a tenth or so of the money folks will be asked to shell out for a 2012 California measure—to run a national campaign to change the way people think. The trial gave us the skeleton for such a campaign, debunking the arguments of the right, providing the stories and the impetus for a national effort. Modern communication via television and social media give us the reach. And old fashioned organizing gives us the means.

We need to focus now on engaging America, person by person, friend by friend, family member by family member, to hear the story of the federal Prop. 8 trial testimony and then to tell their own stories. In the process of so doing, we can change the outcome of elections if they must happen, and maybe the outcome of court cases. Judges pay attention to shifts in society’s views. As the New York Times reports, attitudes are already shifting.

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Obama clarifies partner benefits Blankenhorn lied to the NYT about Rekers

55 Comments Add your own

  • 1. truthspew  |  June 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Indeed, the Prop 8 case would set fantastic precedent.

    • 2. Mike  |  June 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

      Excuse me people !

      How much longer do you guys think my Family and I will have to live in exile ?

      Because I, a tax-paying American citizen (despite living abroad), do not have the same rights as other tax-paying Americans…I cannot sponsor my Family to immigrate with me to the USA (My country).

      We have been at this now for over 6 years.
      Torn between the love to my Family, and the love to my Country (and to parents, sisters, brothers, friends, community)

      Doesn’t the Constitution give me the right to “pursuit my happiness” ?

      I can care less if they call it marriage, civil union, crazy-glue bonding, whatever….

      but at least, US Goverment – have some compassion and fairness…..

      And for my fellow gay/Lesbians Brothers and Sisters….when you “talk strategy”….think that your decisions affect a lot us in different ways….

  • 3. GAYGUY  |  June 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I wish the religious right wouild catch on…if they REALLy want to do God’s work…spend those millions on feeding the poor, help fund cures for ALL diseases and multitude of OTHER things that REALLY need to be done instead of focusing on gay marriage!

  • 4. GAYGUY  |  June 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I wish the religious right wouild catch on…if they REALLY want to do God’s work…spend those millions on feeding the poor, help fund cures for ALL diseases and multitude of OTHER things that REALLY need to be done instead of focusing on gay marriage!

    • 5. Ronnie  |  June 7, 2010 at 12:45 am

      the problem is that the religious reich honestly believe that we are responsible for those things…..well at least in this country anyway….they are filled with American arrogance…the world didn’t end when the 8 other countries legalized same-gender marriage but for some reason the religious reich beleive that the world is going to end when America legalizes it…pft…AS IF….American Arrogance

      This American’s face in palms…shakes head

      they believe that making same-gender marriage illegal will solve the poor problem and god will end all disease and end all the other things or country is suffering under….that’s just plain irrational, illogical stupidity

      Keyboard meet face….BOAW!…BOAW!!…BOAW!!!…..<3…Ronnie

      • 6. Sheryl  |  June 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

        Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie. They believe no such thing. They want people to believe that but they don’t really believe it. I mean, how can they? They used the same arguments that were used against interracial marriage and yet many years later it all still exists and interracial marriage is legal. These people want power and they don’t care who they push down to get that power.

      • 7. Ronnie  |  June 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        true…but I think that’s apart of it…this guy on facebook and I’m going tell all of you his name because the guy is seriously a homicidal Hitler in the making….

        his name is James Preece and he’s one of the admins for destroy(I mean protect) marriage:one man, one woman in which he uses NOM symbol….

        He believes that anybody who does not follow the Bible and Christianity exactly like him is un-American. America is a Christian nation and anybody who is not his version of Christian is not American.

        In so many words he insults all non-religious, other religions, and any Christian who supports Equality. Pure unequivocally anti-American hate. and exactly what Hitler would say…. >( ….Ronnie

      • 8. Sheryl  |  June 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

        From the comments i’ve read about James Preece, he wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him in the face. Seems that he changes his story every time he tells it. Of course, those who are opposed to equal rights for ALL, won’t bother to check out his many stories. And that is the problem, people don’t check for themselves.

        I think educating the public on what domestic partnership does not include is an excellent idea. I know that I didn’t realize what it did not include. I, like most people, thought that if you had a domestic partnership then you had all of the same rights as a marriage. That was, until i went online and started reading about what it takes to get one and what it entitles you to (which certainly is not very much when compared to that marriage license). The public needs educated. Hey, and I’m one of the supporters of equal rights for all.

        I know when the story came out about the field trip for the students to see their teacher get married. The story conveniently left out the fact that the field trip was arranged by parents not the teacher. That parents had to sign a permission slip for their child to go (doesn’t matter what the field trip is, that is required), and that they were waiting outside of the courtroom not actually witnessing the wedding. Minor details — NOT. Factual reporting is needed.

        Sorry off on a tangent here.


  • 9. Luke Robuck  |  June 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    So how about we do this national TV ad thing. Let’s make people aware, and let’s do it now. Who is going to do it?? Let’s go. Now. Get up off your seat and do something.

  • 10. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Brian, with your latest post you have said what I have been saying all along–that we need to organize our community, end the internal squabbling, bring our transgender and questioning brothers and sisters back to the table with us, and get out and be heard. WE must make it possible for everyone to follow Harvey Milk’s directive to come out of the closet. And in order to do that, we must get ALL LGBTQQIA organizations on the same page in the same songbook. We cannot rely on the courts alone. We cannot rely on the ballot box, we have NEVER been able to rely on the ballot box. We can only rely on one another as a community, and we need to get up off our rears and take action. We need to get the Equality Rides up and moving. We need to get more bloggers involved. We need to get more testimonies out there, not just the Prop 8 Trial Testimonies, but personal testimonies about how important our husbands and wives are to us. We need to work on the defeat of DADT and DOMA. WE need to work toward a fully inclusive Federal ENDA, not one that leaves our transgender and questioning brothers and sisters under the bus and out in the cold. We need to work on destroying housing discrimination, health discrimination, all forms of discrimination, and we need to get the truth out about separation of church and state.
    Will any of this be easy to do? No, it will not. Will it be worth it? For all of us, and for those who come after us, yes it will.

    • 11. fiona64  |  June 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

      In San Francisco, the transgender community has been asked to *lead* this year’s Gay Pride parade. This is a huge step, from what I am told, toward ending that internal squabbling you mention.

      With that said, folks here on P8TT who reside in the South Bay may wish to visit Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose ( This is a progressive faith community where *all* are welcome: LGBTQIA alike.

      Fiona (one of those A-for-Ally folks …)

      • 12. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

        fiona, thank you for this GREAT news. Now if we can get this type of inclusion to spread nationwide. If you are able to attend that parade, please take pictures and email some to me.

  • 13. Bob  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    family member to family member, friend to friend, this is the most fundamental part of our efforts, and possibly the most difficult.
    we each have the most impact on our immediate sphere of influence, but it means coming out, raising discussions that are unwelcome, unwanted, and hurtful, resulting, personally for me in that wonderful art of shunning, at which the religious right are so good at.
    I conitnue to be the grain of sand in the otherwise seemingly well greased wheels of well practiced outward appearance of harmony. It is a lonely place , but at least my life is more honest and real.
    Interesting enough, rainbow people are born into these families that reject us, we (or at least for sure I ) find more sense of family and comfort every time I see the rainbow flag flying full mast, like in the parades, even Moscow managed to march our flag down the street (with great difficulty) I feel more at home in the jubilation of a pride parade, with thousands of strangers, no matter the country or relligion, than I do at my biological families supper table.

    This realization forced upon me by making waves, does bring comfort, it’s good to have a sense of belonging just a surprise that it’s not in the place I was told it was..

    By standing up we stand out, and often experience brokeness, which I suppose comes before the healing.

    We have not evolved enough to know the reason or value of being created in this way, through families that are taught to hate us, this mystery of a journey to self acceptance and love, has been occuring forever, that is my tradition, I feel obligated to honor that journey, and marvel at how much easieer it is for me than for those who came before.
    Our most, or more specifically my personal greatest obsticle is religion, and more clearly, misguided religion.

    But I have found a small parting of the waves, and differing opinions, and religion is asking itself tough questions.

    Thinking about Westboro Baptist, what defines a religion from a cult. And does a cult enjoy the same priviliidges under the freedom of religion act.

    I am encouraged by the openess of this prop 8 trial, as a learning tool for myself, my family of origin has gotten to the point of deleting any news about it.

    I wait with baited breath for the verdict, that could carry our individual dismal attempts and lift them up on the wings of justice and land us squarely with equality at our rightful place in humanity.

    We have only one obligation and that is to continue forward.

  • 14. cc  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    First off we need to change the perception that in California marriage and domestic partnership is the same. Regrettably I even saw it here in our article, “Yes, we will all have the right to marry… we’ll have the same legal rights that we have today with domestic partnership” Sorry but that is simply not true and we need to change this and do so immediately.

    In California in order to file for a domestic partnership you MUST be cohabiting! This is NOT true to file for marriage. In fact you don’t even have to be cohabiting in order to be married.

    Also I believe (not sure, but it seems to be worded) if you are no longer cohabitating you lose your domestic partnership status. I don’t believe this has been tested or challenged but this very well could be the case. Since you must be cohabitating to file, if for some reason your domestic partner moves out of state or even across the state and resides there your domestic partnership could be terminated because you are not following the terms of your agreement.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone else: “I now pronounce you domestic partners till death or distance do you part.”

    So it is vital that people understand the differences in marriage and domestic partnership even under California state law.

    • 15. Sheryl Carver  |  June 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks, CC, for pointing that out. As has been previously pointed out on this and other sites, there are many rights/responsibilities that come with marriage that do NOT with domestic partnerships. Even if the Federal Gov’t doesn’t recognize SSM. I think many pro-8 voters bought into the argument that there really wasn’t any difference other than the word “marriage” – so they didn’t think they were denying LGBT folks any rights they couldn’t get as domestic partners.

      • 16. GAYGUY  |  June 5, 2010 at 11:48 pm

        The other thing is that the Pro 8 people out and out lied about what the prop was about…becuz thats what Jesus would do!!

  • 17. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Going back to my previous post, two things:
    First, my apologies to Rick Jacobs. I am used to either Brian or Julia writing the posts here. Will you forgive me for that mistake?
    Second, for anyone here who is on Facebook, we have a group that was in large measure spawned from the sense of community I have gotten from this blog and all of the other Prop 8 Trial trackers I have met. This group is called “Let’s All Unite for Equality and Ride to Washington, DC at One Time,” and I would love to see all of you join it. Even if you cannot personally go on the Equality Rides, I still need volunteers from all over the US who are willing to organize the local groups so that we can begin setting dates for everyone to leave their local areas, timing each departure so that each convoy from each section of the US meets up at verious points along the routes with others who are coming into the convoy from their local areas, so that the convoys all grow as we head toward Washington, DC. And the ultimate goal is to have all the convoys meet in Washington DC at the same time or within moments of each other, and all of us converge on the nation’s capital in one fell swoop to let them know that we are here, we are out of the closet, we are in all professions, we come from all socioeconomic levels, we all have families, our families are just as valid as anyone else’s families, and we are not going away until we are made full citizens in this country. And each local area would consist of an area of a 50-mile radius from the town each organizer is in. So, come on, everybody, let’s do this! And you can also get in touch with me through my blog. Just click on my name here. This is our lives we are talking about!

  • 18. cc  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    California Family Code 297:
    (b) A domestic partnership shall be established in California when both persons file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State pursuant to this division, and, at the time of
    filing, all of the following requirements are met:
    (1) Both persons have a common residence.

    • 19. draNgNon  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm

      you stopped. don’t stop.

      (2) Neither person is married to someone else or is a member of another domestic partnership with someone else that has not been terminated, dissolved, or adjudged a nullity.
      (3) The two persons are not related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other in this state.
      (4) Both persons are at least 18 years of age.
      (5) Either of the following:
      (A) Both persons are members of the same sex.
      (B) One or both of the persons meet the eligibility criteria under Title II of the Social Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section 402(a) for old-age insurance benefits or Title XVI of the Social Security Act as defined in 42 U.S.C. Section 1381 for aged individuals. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62.

      oh how I wish a straight couple that wanted to file joint taxes but not be tied up in marriage would challenge this law. IIUC the ruling that made same-sex marriage legal, by its wording, struck the 5th requirement as unconstitutional.

      did prop 8 restore it?

      • 20. cc  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

        Sorry I was just pointing out the cohabitation requirement.

        Also (as you mentioned) it is worthwhile to point out that people under 18 can enter into marriage with parents or guardians consent. For domestic partnership this is not the case.

      • 21. GAYGUY  |  June 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm

        the funny part…I know straight couples that are NOT over 62 that filed for domestic partnership. I never thot that was fair…this was set up for same sex couples that could NOT marry. Even where i work…opposite sex couples take advantage of domestic partner benefits…BULLSHIT…MARRY!!!

      • 22. fiona64  |  June 7, 2010 at 8:27 am

        That “over 62” business must be new. My husband and I had a registered domestic partnership before we were married. It allowed me to place him on my health insurance, among other things.


    • 23. draNgNon  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      to be more clear – on the opposite-sex side of the relationship, the state ALSO has multiple classes of individuals. there is gender AND age discrimination.

  • 24. Kim  |  June 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I think we should start to run a series of very explicit ads, low level, about what 80 million could have done for the state of California, if it would have been used for something else than to codify discrimination onto the state constitution. How many teachers could have been kept in schools? That kind of things. What we have to do is to show how much codifying discrimination costs.

    • 25. GAYGUY  |  June 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm

      I agree 1 billion percent with thos!! People don’t get how much money is being wasted by the religious right to take away the rights of families that don’t fir their mold!!

  • 26. New  |  June 6, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Losing this trial means a big fiasco for our lawyers and a tragedy for us. If you recall the motivation behind Perry x Schwarzenegger was the conviction our lawyers had that the case was already won.

    “The trial gave us the skeleton for such a campaign, debunking the arguments of the right, providing the stories and the impetus for a national effort.”

    If we lose the trial it means we LOST our entire case. It doesn’t matter how good our couter-arguments were in court, they will not be effective anymore to debunk the arguments of the right and in favor of our possible future campaign.

    What are we going to say? “See, we LOST the trial but we debunked your arguments!!”

  • 27. David Kimble  |  June 6, 2010 at 8:47 am

    The battle is not always won at the ballot box or in courts. I agree with those, who have said, “WE NEED TO COME OUT OF CLOSET”, this is probably the best way to make it clear to America, we are not going to back-down on what we want and what we demand. We are only asking for equal opportunities and priveledges, here-to-for only granted to the “straight” community.
    I have been out-of-the-closet for years and the reality is this – you must have the courage to take that first step – No the world does not change it axis of spin, nor does earth tremor in response – one the best things that can happen is to learn who your real friends are in life. There will undoubtedly be some, who will shrink and cower, when you are open with them, but these are not your true friends. <3 David

  • 28. Dpeck  |  June 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Many of us have at least a few people in our lives (family, friends, coworkers) who are already completely supportive of our cause and will help out when asked or even without asking. It’s tempting to think of these people and think that we’ve already done our part to come out and discuss SSM, and then get complacent.

    Many of us have at least a few people in our lives who oppose our cause and will NEVER change their mind on this issue. It’s tempting to think of these people and decide that it’s a waste of time to try to enlighten people about marriage equality.

    BUT – I would bet that almost all of us have many people in our lives who fall in that huge gap in the middle – They may be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of SSM but they aren’t very well informed about the real issues of legal civil marriage rights and they just don’t think about it because it has no direct effect on them. These are the people who will change their position and at least vote for SSM or even actively help the cause IF WE TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT and make it clear to them why this matters so much and why it is so wrong to deny equal marriage rights to same sex families.

    My mom is eighty years old and lives in conservative Orange County, California. Because I got up the nerve several years ago to begin talking to her about my life and how these issues affect me, she has changed from someone who had no strong opinion on the issue to someone who actively fights for my rights. She’s on all the same emailing lists that I’m on and she signs all the same petitions. She even volunteered at the phone banks to fight Prop8!

    …. Sorry, I had to pause there because I was getting all misty eyed and emotional thinking about how all of this has brought the two of us together… Love you, Mom!

    …. OK, so the point is that it only takes a few percentage points to win this at the California polls, and we all need to think about those people in our lives who CAN open their mind, change their mind, and become our allies. Don’t use the other two groups as an excuse for inaction. I encourage you to make a list of the people who you can and should talk to and just step up and do it. You may be amazed at the results.

    • 29. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      Dpeck, I have to add this, because it goes right along with what you were saying in this post. On May 25th, my husband and I had the opportunity to go to Raleigh, NC, our state capital for ENC’s Equality Day of Action. When we received our packets, we found out that one of our two representatives for our county had written a version of DOMA for consideration here in NC. We sat down and talked to him, explaining that we were not trying to infringe on anyone else’s religious beliefs, that we were talking about the civil marriage, the legal recognition, and all the rights and responsibilities that go with that. We also pointed out that by trying to codify into law the beliiefs of one particular religious group that this law would then infringe on the religious freedom of those groups who do recognize SSM in their congregations. And we managed to change his mind on this issue, and on other issues regarding full equality. So yes, I can only reinforce through what we experienced, the truth of what you said above, and what Harvey Milk said so many years ago. It is only by coming out, and by talking to people, that we can change hearts and minds. And we must get out of our comfort zone to do this sometimes. But (Apologies to Martha Stewart) THAT’S A GOOD THING!

  • 30. Bolt  |  June 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I like your conclusion. It’s a compromise between federal court annihilation, and going back to the ballot box. “spend at least $4 million—a tenth or so of the money folks will be asked to shell out for a 2012 California measure”. It’s worth considering; however, I’m holding my breath for just legal retribution against proposition 8. The federal courts should be the last resort for reason in this county. I couldn’t help but feel disgust towards the legal community if we lose in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case.


  • 31. Bob  |  June 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Amen David,, haven’t seen a post from you in a while, thanks for the reminder “you must have the courage to take the first step” out of the closet means just that , for everyone, even for the religious right, they can no longer pretend the problem does not exist, they too are forced to take a position which otherwise they don’t have to face.

    The discussions at family gatherings get rather hostile, when people are forced to face the truth. How many years have I sat in silence while sermons were preached about me and famiily and friends took up the hatred, directing it at some other, at least now I’m recieving the blows,

    Let us be strong enough to learn who our true friends are, and find that part of humanity that shares our common interests, I see from google alerts the story of immigrants marching in Arizona, for equality, part of our struggle is to form alliances,

    @ New, losing a trial, does not end our fight or our lives, that is why we must have hope for the future, continue being true to ourselves, marching forward, in such a way that the trial is of no significance, it cannot and will not stop our movement, it could however have significant impact on moving us forward, (only if we are at a point in history and evolution where justice prevails over religious ignorance) That is what this trial will define for us.

    The Rainbow Tribe has assembled, we welcome all, and exclude none, we come from all corners and stand together demanding justice, prop 8 has been the most visible and open exhibit of our efforts so far in human history, we make our request to the most powerful (single)country on the globe, which attempts to spread democracy, to everyone,, define for us, what is this democracy that they so highly value. does it value our humanity?

  • 32. kf  |  June 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Request for Turkey and Iran and Syria and Kurdistan to make a military/economic commonwealth with Persia leading since they kill their gays. Benefit is Turkey will have peace with the Kurds and Persia can move troops to the Israeli border, Thus the region can slaughter their gays and import their missiles to the Mexican border thru Niguraa to hit Hollywood. War finally comes to the Hollywood gays where it belongs in the first place instead of Arabs being killed because of the Hollywood funny boys.

    • 33. Dpeck  |  June 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      Hi kf,

      Time for you to turn off your mommy’s computer and get started on that homework. Tomorrow is a school day.

      • 34. Joel  |  June 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

        Off topic, but DPeck, did you ever live in Fountain Valley and attend Fountain Valley High School? Do you have three sisters? Your name is just too coincidental!

    • 35. Bob  |  June 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      kf, where are you from? does Persia really slaughter gays?

      • 36. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm

        Actually, Bob, here is what Iran (Persia) does to its gays and lesbians. They are given one of the following options–Enter into a sham “marriage” with someone of the opposite gender and renounce their true sexuality, undergo a forced gender reassignment procedure, leave the country (this option is usually not explicitly allowed, but they leave under cover of night) or be stoned. Those are your options if you are an Iranian who is also gay. That or complete celibacy, usually enforced through injections.

      • 37. Bob  |  June 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

        Thanks Richard, for the explanation, I know about that situation, but I still would like to know who kf is, and where he is writing from.
        Is he a member of Westboro Baptist, or a U.S. citizen who sides with that thinking, or is he a foriegn citizen, making threats.
        Obviously he does not want to engage in further conversation.
        But I would like to thank him for pointing out the plight of those like us in other parts of the world.
        Extreme thinking results in extreme solutions, our demand for equality is seen by some as just as extreme. , imagine those watching from such places of fear, where these threats are a reality.

    • 38. fiona64  |  June 7, 2010 at 8:31 am

      Obvious kiddy-troll is obvious …


  • 39. Misken  |  June 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I thought I’d just like to provide a quick update. Fortunately, the parental notification question has just missed a crucial deadline and WILL NOT be on the ballot this fall. :D

  • 40. Ray in MA  |  June 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    OFF TOPIC, but…

    Elton John taking a $million to perform at Rush Limpig’s wedding!!! WTF?

    I will burn from my memory any loving emotions I’ve had with his music. … and this hurts deeply.

    If he wanted attention, this is over the top. UNFORGIVABLE.

  • 42. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    A good review of the two court challenges to DOMA taking place in Massachusetts appeared in The Boston Phoenix (trendy/alternative weekly). I hadn’t realized that AG Martha Coakley’s challenge and Gill vs. the Office of Personnel Management were different cases. The article calls the cases “the best chance to get rid of DOMA” and states: “It’s likely that Judge Tauro will hand down decisions on both cases on the same day; those in the know believe those decisions will come this summer, but there is no concrete timetable.”

    • 43. Straight Ally #3008  |  June 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      erm…please mentally change to plain text between Phoenix and Gill. Thx.

      • 44. Kathleen  |  June 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

        will do. i’ve done it myself many times. :)

        btw, are you on facebook?

  • 45. Dave P.  |  June 7, 2010 at 8:26 am


    Yes, the name is no coincidence, it’s me, Dave P. How long have you been on this site? Where are you these days? Do you know how to contact me directly? If so, email or call and we’ll catch up.

    (Sorry to clog up the site with personal stuff, but Joel and I were friends when we were kids and have been out of touch with each other for years).

    • 46. Joel  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

      DAVE! OMG! I don’t have your current 411, but it won’t be hard to get. Mark and I are in Vegas now. Let’s do catch up! I’ll be in SoCal hopefully on the 4th and the 18th.
      I’ve been hanging around this site since they started publishing the trial transcripts, but I mostly just lurk.
      My apologies, too, to the site members for the personal stuff. It’s GREAT to re-acquaint. Thanks for indulging us.

      • 47. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:25 am

        @ Dave P & Joel. Actually, you guys are not the only ones who have rediscovered long-lost friends. And if you go through the whole set of comment threads, there is a lot of personal stuff mixed in along with the trial talk. We have all become a community and a family here, so what has just happened between you two is just GREAT!

    • 48. Joel  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

      Here’s a temp account you can reach me at:

  • 49. Jim  |  June 7, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Query: If Prop 8 were overturned at the ballot BEFORE it reached the SCOTUS, would it be dropped? Are there timing issues we need to consider, as this is the best possible case to go before SCOTUS?

    • 50. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  June 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

      Jim: I would think that just because it was overturned via ballot would not be grounds for dropping the suit. Regardless of ballot measures a decision would still be needed to answer the legal questions raised.

      • 51. Kathleen  |  June 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

        If it gets overturned at the ballot, the four plaintiffs in this case would no longer have a cause of action. I would imagine that makes the case moot. Keep in mind that, despite its potentially far reaching implication, this case on its face is just about these two couples who want to get married and can’t under current California law.

  • 52. Kathleen  |  June 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    AP reports: “Lesbian couple weds in Portugal’s 1st gay marriage”

    • 53. Kathleen  |  June 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      A friend’s response to my news that heavily Catholic Portugal has joined the countries with marriage equality: “Once again we are on the cutting edge of 19th Century Social Values”

      • 54. PamC  |  June 7, 2010 at 7:56 pm

        19th c.? That’s too much credit given. I think our social values still hover somewhere between Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the hands of an angry god” and the Salem witch trials.

  • 55. Kathleen  |  June 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Blankenhorn fesses up that he did read something by George Rekers when preparing for his Prop 8 testimony:


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