BY BILL WILSON
Bill Wilson © 2010
You truly have to wonder what alternative reality some of these right wing lawyers live in. The first questions asked to Dr. Michael Lamb, an expert witness for the plaintiffs, during cross examination by the Prop 8 attorney were, “Have you contributed to the American Civil Liberties Union? The National Organization for Women? The NAACP?, Amnesty International?, Nature Conservancy?, PBS? (which got a laugh from the audience). Doesn’t this make you committed liberal?
David Thompson, defense attorney
who cross examined Dr. Michael Lamb.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010
Did they really want to bring up the specter of the communist witch-hunts of the 1950’s? You would think they would prefer their cozy “Leave It To Beaver” world where “Father (still) Knows Best” The insidious part of this strategy is that it sets them up perfectly no matter what the outcome. Time and time again Andrew Pugno, the spokesman from ProtectMarriage.com, has said that the debate over marriage definition should be part of the political debate, not the legal debate; that the only proper place to change the definition of marriage is the political arena not the Courts. For them, if the science doesn’t agree with you it is because the scientists are politically biased, if the courts don’t rule in your favor it because the judge was an “activist.”
Andrew Pugno spokesman ProtectMarriage.com.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010
If I were preparing a legal case, I would submit the a January 15, 2010 letter from Brian Brown, director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) as exhibit one to show why the public would have benefited from the broadcast of the trial. If I hadn’t seen the interaction and heard parts of the case with my own ears, I might not understand how offensive Mr. Brown’s characterization of Ted Olsen and David Boies as arrogant really is. The truth is just the opposite. Of all the people who passed by me as I stood in front of the Turk Street, of all the people I photographed entering the Courthouse, the only person who made no acknowledgment of me was Charles J. Cooper the attorney who made the opening statement for the defense of Prop 8.
My definition of arrogance is when Brian Brown writes, “You get a sense of how intellectually incoherent these advocates’ view are in watching Ted Olsen respond….”, knowing full well that having prevented the trial from being broadcast keeps anyone from watching it and making their own judgment. They have fought to prevent this trial from being aired because they know that intellectually incoherent doesn’t even begin to describe Dr. Tam, proponent of Prop 8. He wrote that legalizing gay marriage would lead to the legalization of prostitution, which would lead to men having sex with children because that was part of the Gay agenda. When asked during his deposition what the Gay agenda was he replied, “It’s on the internet.” When pressed he says, “There was a meeting in 1972, it on the Internet.”
It is difficult to sit in the courtroom and listen to the experts answer questions and explain their views and then go to the media center during the noon recess or after the session is over and hear Andrew Pugno condense it all into a sentence. But even Andrew is having a hard time. On Friday during the noon recess he just dismissed the testimony as irrelevant and said the two sides were just talking past each other. Fotunately, in a bnch trial it is just the judge who has to be convinced.
See Related: MARRIAGE EQUALITY
See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON ARCHIVE
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at email@example.com.
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