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Prop 8 Tapes: Why Do Anti-Gay Marriage Lawyers Not Want The Tapes Seen?

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I’ve been working a question over and over again in my head ever since U.S. District Judge James Ware ordered the release of video tapes made during the Proposition 8 trial, and after that same material was promply suppressed again thanks to the histrionic efforts of… well I don’t know who exactly, as that is sort of the point, so let’s just say it was John Lithgow from Footloose.

Anyway, something about this whole thing doesn’t make sense to me. Why would the anti-gay proponents of Prop 8 want these tapes suppressed?

It’s not that they haven’t given a reason. The prop 8 supporters have claimed that witnesses may face some kind of retaliation for their testimony. They also mention that the Supreme Court said the trial couldn’t be broadcast live, and that these tapes were made for Judge Walker’s “Personal Use.” In fact, bigots across the nation seem pretty cheesed off that these recordings exist at all.

Whatever.

Look, I am not a lawyer. In fact, I’ve seen just enough “Law and Order” to sufficiently scramble my brains to the point where if there was something the opposite of a lawyer, I would be that. I don’t know anything about the legal arguments involved in this case, or how strong they are, or what statutory basis exists to support the release or suppression of this material. I honestly don’t care. I feel it should be seen, mostly because I want to see it. Plus I’m pretty sure it makes homophobic people look bad, which is always nice.

My question is one of motivation. Why wouldn’t the hate spewing bile throwers that support this reprehensible amendment to California’s constitution want this information out there? I thought this was supposed to be their best argument for opposing gay marriage, laid out in all its legal splendor. It was their opportunity to once and for all demonstrate in a court of law the dangers of the “gay menace,” and illustrate the validity of their point of view for all to see. Not only could they win a major victory in their quest to pee in the lemonade of LGBT people everywhere, but they could also prove beyond a doubt the righteousness of their position. Wasn’t that the premise around which their entire case was made? Why then would they fight so tirelessly to keep this grand display a secret?

I think it’s because they know their argument sounds weak, and they are too cowardly to put their names on it. No real basis for their bigotry exists, and they know it.

Also, they don’t like a fair fight, because they can’t win one. Their ability to market the “evils of homosexuality” depends entirely on being able to define what being gay means. The basis for their hatred only seems plausible inside the dense atmosphere of misinformation, slander, and suppression that they must create in order to sustain their resistance. They can only exist for as long as they can convince people that gays destroy marriages, corrupt the young, and poison society. Once the pink boogeyman is revealed as simply one more type of person, no more or less dangerous than any other random stranger, the entire structure collapses. Without a full cast of society destroying villains, anti-gay activists are just nosy bigots who should probably mind their own business.

Once they have to make their case juxtaposed against actual non-threatening gay families, they are revealed as the bullies they really are. Every statement from every witness becomes its own little PR nightmare. This is the reason they don’t want these tapes seen.

And let us dispense with the notion that these craven, nasty, and boundlessly vile witnesses who took the stand to support Prop 8 should enjoy any anonymity. They say they want these tapes suppressed to prevent a “chilling effect.” I had to look this up, so please forgive my simplistic explanation, but a chilling effect is basically this: A witness is put in a position where they are forced to speak to their beliefs on a certain matter. The nature of these beliefs are such that expounding them would hurt their reputations, and as a result of the negative consequences prompt the witness to censor themselves. I call this the “I hate gays, I just don’t want them to know about it so I can keep getting their money” rule. Screw you. I have a right to know who hates me, or at least who hates me enough to say so in a court of law.

There is a misunderstanding about free speech that has gotten a little out of hand, and I’d like to clear it up now. As an American citizen, you are free to say anything you want without fear of governmental sanction. This in no way protects you from other people thinking you are an asshole for what you said. It’s a sort of free speech symbiosis. It’s called taking responsibility for what you say, or to put it more plainly, integrity.

Conservatives can’t have it both ways. They can’t both attempt to dehumanize the LGBT community, and then strut around like they are fully inclusive people with a few differences of opinion. They can’t both say bigoted things, and then claim not to be bigots. It doesn’t work like that.

Mostly I’m confused about the logic involved. These people are aware enough of themselves to know that suppressing these tapes is a good idea for them. They know how they will come off. They know that the picture they have painted of gay people is a lie, which is why they are scrambling to cover it up.

Yet, if their argument is based on nothing, why make that argument in the first place? Where is this hate coming from? Nowhere? Is it because they think gay sex is icky? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a sort of impenetrable homophobic paradox.

And nobody say anything to me about religion. We need to stop pretending that religion has anything to do with it. The Bible says all kinds of crazy things about all manner of subjects. Nobody seems to have any problem with divorce for example, and that is covered at much greater length and far more exacting detail. The religion thing is just an excuse. It is a difficult to refute, faith-based dodge masking simple unrefined hate. I’m looking for the true source. The spark that caused all this hate. I honestly have no idea what it is.

But maybe if I can see those tapes I might be able to get a little closer to finding out, though if John Lithgow1 gets his way, I’ll never get that chance.

1. Apologies to Mr. Lithgow, who by all accounts gave a brilliant performance as Ted Olson in the Dustin Lance Black penned Broadway adaptation of the Prop 8 trial. He is probably a really cool guy. He is clearly talented, and anyone who can convincingly play Reverend Shaw Moore, and Roberta Muldoon, and that creepy guy from Dexter deserves a mantle crushing number of gold statues. Also, to be fair, Reverend Moore sort of turns it around at the end of that movie. It’s those book burners we need to be worried about. I wonder where they would come down on Prop 8? Do those people look familiar to any of you “Protect Marriage” ditto heads? Do you really want to count yourselves among the book burners? There is still time to have the “I’ve been such a fool” moment. It’s not too late.

(Image: via reenactment video, not an actual Prop 8 tape image.)

 

Benjamin Phillips is a Humor Writer, Web Developer, Civics Nerd, and all around crank that spends entirely too much time shouting with deep exasperation at the television, especially whenever cable news is on. He lives in St. Louis, MO and spends most of his time staring at various LCD screens, occasionally taking walks in the park whenever his boyfriend becomes sufficiently convinced that Benjamin is becoming a reclusive hermit person. He is available for children’s parties, provided that those children are entertained by hearing a complete windbag talk for two hours about the importance of science education, or worse yet, poorly researched anecdotes PROVING that James Buchanan was totally gay. If civilization were to collapse due to zombie hoards or nuclear holocaust, Benjamin would be among the first to die as he has no useful skills of any kind. The post-apocalyptic hellscape has no real need for homosexual computer programmers who can name all the presidents in order, as well as the actors who have played all eleven incarnations of Doctor Who.

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‘These Kinds of Folks’: Jim Jordan Wants to Block Fani Willis and Alvin Bragg

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Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, increasing his efforts to use the tools of his office to support, protect, and promote Donald Trump, has been speaking with Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan about defunding federal prosecutions of the now-criminally convicted ex-president, according to a report by Politico Playbook.

Thursday morning Donald Trump is meeting with House Republicans, barely blocks away from the violent and deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol he incited, at the restaurant where one of the pipe bombs was discovered outside on January 6, 2021. Republicans, according to Punchbowl News’ Max Cohen, are singing the indicted ex-president “Happy Birthday,” and have presented him with the bat and ball from the congressional baseball game, which the GOP won Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, asked if Trump has committed to respect the peaceful transfer of power, an irritated and frustrated Speaker Johnson told reporters, “Of course he respects that. And we all do and we’ve all talked about it ad nauseam.”

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Trump has been urging Speaker Johnson to pass legislation that would allow an ex-president to move any state-level prosecutions against them to the federal courts. It’s an idea that has been met with skepticism among Republicans, but “there’s an education effort underway inside the House GOP,” Politico reports, citing remarks by the bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Russell Fry (R-SC).

Chairman Jordan wants to take those efforts to defund those federal prosecutions, specifically defunding Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Office, and extend them to state prosecutors who have brought cases against the ex-president. State and local law enforcement agencies, including district attorneys offices, are eligible for federal grants.

“That country certainly sees what’s going on, and they don’t want Fani Willis and Alvin Bragg and these kinds of folks to be able to continue to use grant dollars for targeting people in a political lawfare type of way,” Chairman Jordan told Politico Playbook.

READ MORE: ‘Birth Control and Dental Dams and Food’: Fox News Host’s Rant Goes Viral

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GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

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Republicans will ban in-vitro fertilization (IVF) if Donald Trump is elected after the Southern Baptist Convention voted on Wednesday to condemn the practice, a political scientist is predicting. IVF involves manual fertilization of eggs, some of which are destroyed if not implanted, which is murder according to those who believe life begins at conception.

“The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with over 50,000 churches and over 14 million faithful, and has become a political force in recent decades,” Reuters reports. “The resolution called on ‘Southern Baptists to reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage, and to only utilize reproductive technologies consistent with that affirmation.’

Largely white and Republican, the Southern Baptist Convention is the second-largest Christian denomination in the U.S. after Catholics.

“The move may signal the beginning of a broad turn on the right against IVF, an issue that many evangelicals, anti-abortion advocates and other social conservatives see as the ‘pro-life’ movement’s next frontier — one they hope will eventually lead to restrictions, or outright bans, on IVF at the state and federal levels,” Politico reports Wednesday.

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“Southern Baptists are the base of the Republican Party,” writes professor of political science David Darmofal. “Parties are responsive to their bases. The Southern Baptist Convention just voted to oppose IVF. Republicans will ban IVF if Trump wins.”

According to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) over 86,000 babies, about 2.3%, were born via IVF in 2021, largely due to infertility.

America already has a declining fertility rate, meaning that more people are dying than are being born, according to the CDC.

“The general fertility rate in the United States decreased by 3% from 2022, reaching a historic low,” CDC reports. “This marks the second consecutive year of decline, following a brief 1% increase from 2020 to 2021. From 2014 to 2020, the rate consistently decreased by 2% annually.”

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The U.S. Senate on Thursday will vote on legislation to protect IVF.

Other critics are sounding the alarm as well.

“When Sen. Katie Britt and Sen. Ted Cruz say IVF is safe and Dems are fear-mongering, she’s lying, and today the SBC told on her,” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kyle Whitmire wrote.

“I could care less if Southern Baptists oppose the science of IVF that has helped so many people to have families that they otherwise would not have,” noted neuroscientist Bryan William Jones. “You be you. What I do care about is that Southern Baptists are working politically to PREVENT families from having access to IVF.”

The Biden campaign Wednesday afternoon posted video of Donald Trump praising the SBC and vowing, “I’ll be with you side by side.”

Watch below or at this link.

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‘Birth Control and Dental Dams and Food’: Fox News Host’s Rant Goes Viral

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A daytime Fox News host’s rant claiming Democrats are pandering to young voters by offering free beer and birth control at events has gone viral after equating the giveaways with what he says is a slogan from the ’50s and ’60s.

“I got to tell you, if they become the majority,” Fox News’ Harris Faulkner warned Wednesday, referring to younger voters, “we’re in trouble.”

“I mean, do you want people whose motto is – and they took this right out of the ’50s and ’60s – ‘battle by day, love at night’ – which means birth control and dental dams and food.”

The 18-second clip has been viewed 240,000 times in just three hours.

Faulkner appears to have been referring to a Tuesday Washington Post report by Michael Scherer, “Democratic efforts to lure young voters include beer and birth control.”

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“The donor-funded experiments target younger voters in major metropolitan areas of a few key states who, if they do vote, tend to favor Democrats,” Scherer wrote.

“They want to make politics look different in the seven or so states that will decide the presidency — like a dance party, a comedy show or a place to chill out. Sometimes there will be free beer, manicures, boot shines, a rent check sweepstakes, a handout of contraceptive pills or cooling towels. All you have to do is show up, like it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and belong to something bigger. Oh, and someone might mention voting at some point.”

These events are not Biden campaign events, nor does the Post article suggest the Biden campaign is in any way involved, but Fox News included b-roll footage of President Biden as Faulkner presented her commentary. The articles also does not mention “dental dams,” or condoms for that matter.

As for Faulkner’s “battle by day, love at night” slogan, NCRM could find no specific reference to that.

Also during that Fox News segment, Faulkner suggested the Democrats using Hollywood and “manipulating these young people through their addictions.”

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The Post’s report mentions several Democratic groups and donors behind the party favors.

“No one throws more simultaneous parties than we do,” Dmitri Mehlhorn told The Post. The paper described him as “a donor adviser to billionaire Democrats like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.”

“There are 2.2 million humans in those states under 45 who are just nonvoters, but they do all kinds of other civic stuff,” Mehlhorn added.

Kevin Mack, the lead strategist for the Voter Project, which The Post reports “has been throwing parties this spring across Pennsylvania,” said, young voters “will take actions automatically. It is not a big push.”

This is far from a new idea.

“It is very 19th century in a way,” Columbia University political scientist Donald Green told The P0st. “Before the so-called progressive era reforms of 1880s, you would have a marching band, you would have entertainment, you would have free whiskey for a male-only electorate.”

Watch a clip from the segment below or at this link.

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