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Tuesday
Jan262010

Have Their Cake and Eat it Too

A new week and a new look!  Over the weekend we launched the new version of Whatisyourgay.com including our new logo designed by Jeff.  We would like to thank Jeff for his generosity and time.  We hope that you all enjoy the new brighter color scheme and encourage you to let us know what you think!

Today marked the beginning of the third week in the Prop. 8 trial.  I have to say that while the Courage Campaign live blogging is wonderful, it sure makes for a lot of reading.  Being unemployed at the moment I have plenty of spare time and have done the reading, but so that you don’t have to, here are my views of the case thus far. (Note: I don’t have a law degree so some of the court history is lost on me, but I do my best).  If you don’t wish to read the long version, jump down to the fourth paragraph for the quick version.

Today the defense (protectmarriage.com) kicked off the festivities by trying to have their cake and eat it too.  Throughout the trial the defense attorneys have been fighting tooth and nail to keep campaign documents and advertisements from being presented in court.  Again today they were seemingly unsuccessful in keeping all but a select few out of the court.  Much of the documentation that was entered today was showing that religious groups from many faiths and from all over the country came together to give Protectmarriage.com money and other recourses to help pass Proposition 8.  It was interesting to see that in many of the email excerpts presented, the religious groups did not want to be identified in the campaign and instead wanted Protectmarriage.com to take the credit.

After the evidence was admitted the defense called their first witness of the trial (thus ended two weeks worth of plaintiff (the guys who want gay marriage) witnesses testimony).  The witness was professor Kenneth Miller.  The defense set him up as an expert on Gay and Lesbian political issues in California specifically and on a national level more broadly.  Miller is being used to show that the LGBT community has significant power in the political system and is therefore not a vulnerable group.  My understanding is that historically the courts have protected vulnerable groups.  Miller says that because there are so many corporations, celebrities and groups such as labor unions supporting the LGBT community that the LGBT community is not a vulnerable group.  This is the opposite of what the plaintiffs were demonstrating in the past two weeks.

Once the defense was done with their questions it was attorney David Boies’ turn from some cross-examination.   In short Boies tore Miller apart and made him look a fool.  I don’t think that view is in any way impacted by the fact that I am an ardent supporter of gay marriage.  Boies simply did a great job proving that Miller was in fact not the expert that the defense had touted him to be.  Miller who was supposedly an expert on Gay and Lesbian political matters did not know even basic information (what the Mattachine Society was for example) about the LGBT movement and was proved a fool many times over.  Boies at one point even got Miller to admit that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) are official, legalized discrimination.

To summarize, the plaintiffs says that the LGBT community is a vulnerable group and needs the protection of the courts from public opinion.  The defense is making the argument that the LGBT community has considerable political power and therefore is not a vulnerable group.  In today’s cross-examination David Boies pretty much shut down the legitimacy of the testimony provided by the defense’s expert witness professor Kenneth Miller.

My analysis thus far is that the odds of Judge Walker upholding Proposition 8 are pretty slim based on the arguments put forth by the defense up to this point.  Some in the blogosphere are saying that Protectmarriage.com is looking to lose this one so that they can claim the courts are activists and play the victim.  Others seem to fear that if /when Proposition 8 is struck down that members of the LGBT community will be targeted for hate crimes in larger numbers.  One thing remains; either way this case is going to be appealed to the Supreme Court, and if they do take it I am not sure how the LGBT community will fair.  Thus far the Supreme Court has denied broadcasting of the Prop. 8 hearings in a 5 to 4 ruling right down party lines, and last week (again down party lines) the justices decided to allow corporations unfettered access to political campaigns.  If this trend continues I fear that gay marriage may be defeated, but you never know until you try.

Stay tuned for more info about this case in the coming days, an update on the “Kill the Gay’s” bill in Uganda, and more from Andrew’s interview with Marty.

Wednesday
Jan202010

The Marty Interview Parts 1&2

Andrew from whatisyourgay.com hit the road last week to bring us this interview.  Marty a professor of politics shares his story of growing up in New York City, his perspective on the Stonewall Riots, HIV/AIDS and Harvey Milk.  Marty has been openly gay for over 30 years and has some great information to share.  The continuation of this interview will be posted in the near future.

 

Part 1: Marty talks about growing up in NYC & the Stonewall Riots

 

Part 2: Marty talks about HIV/AIDS and the assassination of Harvey Milk

Tuesday
Jan192010

A busy week and its only Tuesday!

What a week it has been and it is only Tuesday!  Here is a brief recap of some of the things that we here at whatisyourgay.com are keeping track of.

The people of Haiti continue to pull bodies from collapsed buildings as international aid groups doubled the estimated number of casualties to 200,000.  The United States has also come under fire for its management of the single runway airport in Port-au-Prince even as the United States Navy works to deliver some 200,000 gallons of water a day into the crippled city.  I am the first to admit that the United States is not a perfect country, but I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I hear critics slamming the US government for a poor response.  For all of the faults of the United States they have done an admirable job responding to this disaster.  I-as many have-would call for the international community to stop bickering and focus on the work that needs to be done.  Additionally I would like to remind everyone that this recovery will be years in the making and while your money is valuable now, your time and money will most likely be needed in the future. I highly encourage you to keep your eye on organizations like Habitat for Humanity if you wish to volunteer.

Changing gears to some news for the LGBT community, last week the Courage Campaign that has been running the Prop 8 trial tracker was served with a cease and desist order from the lawyers of Protectmarriage.com (the defendants in the Prop 8 trial).  The letter stated that the Courage Campaign logo for the Prop 8 tracker was infringing on Protectmarriage.com’s trademarked logo.  This is perhaps the best part of the letter from the lawyers from protectmarriage.com “…In evidence of that, Courage
Campaign has altered the logo above, changing the male figure on the left to that of a female,
wearing a dress.  Such alteration is not readily viewed by the casual observer.”  If you want to read into this, what the lawyer for Protectmarriage.com and the Courage Campaign staff themselves point out is that you can’t distinguish between a happy family with heterosexual parents and a happy family with homosexual parents.  For more about this particular story or to read the cease and desist order in its entirety and the Courage Campaign response click here.

Today is a very important day in Massachusetts and National politics.  Voters took to the polls in Massachusetts to vote in a special election on who will fill Ted Kennedy’s seat.  With a final vote on healthcare due very soon, a loss for the Democrats would be a bitter pill to swallow.  The seat held by Ted Kennedy for 46 years is in a state that has perhaps one of the most progressive health care policies in the nation.  Living in neighboring New Hampshire I have gotten to see all of the lovely campaign commercials, and campaign coverage for both the Democratic and Republican candidates, and I have to say neither of them have swept me off my feet.  However, the Democrats and President Obama have a lot riding on this election, and from all of us here at whatisyourgay.com we wish the best to Martha Coakley as she tries to defeat her Republican rival Scott Brown.  For those interested John Stewart did a great job summing up this unusual campaign and what a loss for the Democrats could mean for President Obama (see the clip below).

Finally, yesterday the nation celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  For some people that meant a day off and for many others it meant a day of volunteering.  What did you do to mark MLK day?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis



Thursday
Jan142010

Tragedy in Haiti and Prop. 8 Update

As many of you know on January 12th there was a serious earthquake that hit Haiti measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale.  There is a lot going on and aid has begun to pour in though it has been hard to distribute some of it.  We here at whatisyourgay.com would like to do our part by passing along a few links as well as to offer our condolences to those affected by this tragedy.  If you are in a position to donate money to aid in the relief efforts you can do so in a number of different ways.  Below are some links that you can click on to donate, or if you prefer you can text YELE to 501501 to support Yele Haiti.  Sending your text will donate 5 dollars on your behalf that will be charged to you by your mobile phone company.

Oxfam

Doctors Without Boarders

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court ruled that the hearings of Proposition 8 will not be broadcast on television or YouTube.  While this is a disappointing outcome there are many organizations covering the trial in the best way that they can.  The Courage Campaign has setup a live blogging feed where those interested may read along as the trial unfolds.  They also compile all of the blog entries at the end of the day so that you can read them all at once in chronological order.  Click on the Prop. 8 trial tracker icon to check it out.

Stay tuned for an interview coming next week as Whatisyourgay.com hits the road.  It promises to be an interesting perspective on LGBT life over the past 30 years.

 



Monday
Jan112010

Follow Prop. 8 on Twitter

The powers that be have decided that the Proposition 8 hearings should be held in private and not broadcast on TV or YouTube.  But, you can follow all the happenings through the magic of Twitter.  The Advocate and Equality Texas both have bodies on the ground, in the court twittering away (among other organizations).  Follow the hearings play by play by clicking one of the links below.

The Advocate

Equality Texas

**Upadate**

There is a liveblog of the trial.  It is much more detailed than the Twitter links I have posted previously.  Check it out here.

Thanks to ZackFordBlogs for the tip.

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