Friday, January 15, 2010

Prop 8 Trial-- Part 1: supporters win the broadcast debate but the trial isn’t over!

Five days of consistent proceedings and debates regarding same sex marriage the Perry v. Schwarzenegger (aka The Prop 8 federal trial) has come to a close for the weekend. As the battle rages on behind closed doors the nation must stop and realize that the trial has been stripped away the right to use this case for educational purposes. Filing an appeal that would prohibit any video broadcasting of the Prop 8 case, the supporters of the Gay Marriage ban have once again silenced the outcry of a minority.

Losing the battle to a 5-4 verdict, it has been concluded that the court, which currently supports more conservative values, favored the defendants because allowing video coverage would jeopardize the lives of the people on the stand who support banning same sex marriage. To this I must ask, “What about the lives of people in America who are at risk on a daily basis for being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender?”

For those that are currently following the case online I offer this link as a guide to updated information about the current trial: The Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Created by the Courage Campaign this trial tracker helps specify word for word the effort of Proposition 8 opponents to repeal the gay marriage ban in California. Clearly favoring the defendants in the case the Protect Marriage website offers its viewers bias commentary.

Excited about the recent decision by the court to deny any video broadcasting of the trial the Protect Marriage blog states that, “Basing their decision in part on the well-established record of death threats, hostile phone calls and e-mail messages, lost jobs, Internet blacklists, boycotts, vandalism and physical violence that supporters have faced from anti-Prop 8 extremists, the high court recognized the harm that could come to our witnesses and supporters of traditional marriage as a result of broadcasting their testimony about their political and religious beliefs.”

Without mentioning the other side to the story this blogger has failed to mention that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people have faced almost as much if not more violence since the passage of Proposition 8 and have endured homophobia for years. While neither side can claim purity and innocence it should be noted that each side has received multiple levels of discrimination since the initiatives proposal.

In a recent post to the Courage Campaign website Richard Jacobs, chair of the Courage Campaign, publicly displays a letter sent to him regarding the website logo for the Prop 8 tracker. In the letter John M. Skeriotis, “intellectual property council for,” states that the usage of the logo is copyright infringement and “demands” that the Courage Campaign “immediately cease and desist the use of the ProtectMarriage Mark.” With all the discussion about harassment via emails and phone calls one would think that Anti Marriage Equality extremists would lay low since they won the appeal to hide what happens in the courtroom but I guess this isn’t so. The logo is unimportant to the proceedings but still it causes disruption between the Same Sex Marriage supporters and the Protect Marriage group. While this letter may read as an educated form of discrimination and hatred it is still a small reminder that homophobia still exists.

Check back for more of my updates on the Prop 8 trial.

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