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Is It Worth Watching Today’s Prop 8 Hearing?

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Perhaps you’ve heard, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal will today hear oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, that little Prop 8 case everyone is betting on to decide same-sex marriage in this country once and for all? Spectators are tres excited!

Mostly because it means Ted Olson and David Boies get to say more wonderful things about homosexuals, and more derogatory things about bigoted heterosexuals. And while you’re invited to tune into the hearings live on C-SPAN (10am PST, 1pm EST), you’re being advised not to expect a whole lot of newness here. Because while the Ninth Circuit will handle things a bit differently than Judge Vaughn Walker’s courtroom — this three-panel judge is mostly concerned with determining whether ProtectMarriage.com has the “standing” to bring the case, and will determine whether the case can move forward, or whether Walker’s decision should stand, or even none of the above! — today’s hearings are mostly procedural, and attorneys for both sides are going to repeat the positions they had during their time in front of Walker. Which doesn’t mean you should ignore today’s live feed entirely! It’ll be fun to look back on that time liberal activists judges Stephen Reinhardt and Michael Daly Hawkins grilled Andrew Pugno while N. Randy Smith, a former Idaho Republican Party chief, talks about the “special rights” to same-sex marriage the plaintiffs are seeking.

You can watch the hearings live here.

UPDATE: And now that today’s hearings have wrapped, has the climate changed? Not so much: things are looking good for us. I liked the part where Reinhardt, addressing the issue of standing, asked whether there was any precedent in which supporters of a ballot measure, and not the governor or attorney general, was allowed to take a side in court. Protect Marriage’s Charles Cooper said he didn’t know of any — but this could be the case! Good luck finding Supreme Court precedent, bud. David Boies also fielded that question, relays the LAT.

“My problem is, in fact, the governor’s and the attorney general’s actions have essentially nullified the considerable efforts that were made on behalf of the initiative,” said Judge N. Randy Smith, the most conservative judge on the panel. He and other judges noted that neither Schwarzenegger nor Brown had the power to veto the proposition when voters approved it. But by declining to appeal the legal judgement, were they not effectively vetoing it? Judge Reinhardt raised the possibility of asking the California Supreme Court to answer this question of state law. (A federal court of appeals can do this by “certifying” the question to the California Supreme Court.)

And it was definitely Reinhart whom stole the show: After Cooper argued that “when a relationship between a man and a woman becomes a sexual one, society has a vital interest,” the judge responded, “That sounds like a good argument for prohibiting divorce. But how does it relate to having two males or two females marry each other and have children as they have in California? I don’t understand how that argument says we ought to prohibit that?”


  • 16 Comments
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      I just wonder if Tony Perkins and pals will watch or spend the day in bed wondering about the end of it all.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andreas Lights
      Andreas Lights

      In reality, aren’t opposite-sex couples entitled to “special rights” that have been denied their same-sex couple counterparts? Isn’t it time to go on the offensive?

      Dec 6, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tricky
      Tricky

      I used to be the first to come to Queerty’s defense when people would bitch and moan about the grammar and spelling errors, after all we are all human and make mistakes. I have probably made some mistakes in this paragraph. But today it occurred to me. I have probably just not been paying attention. It appears that more and more the headlines, if they are spelled correctly, do not make sense, at least not to me. This is a great site, now get it together! And what happened to the up and down votes?

      Dec 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FYI
      FYI

      @Tricky: I’m very glad “Queerty” removed that silly-ass UP and Down voting gimmick. It just encouraged bullying and ersatz popularity contests amongst comment contributors. One’s personal opinion should not be subjected to a public referendum by some anonymous thumbs up or thumps down — as if you were a winning or losing gladiator in some Colosseum of public opinion without regard to the validity of one’s argument, but rather subject to the whims of the mob.

      Didn’t we have enough of that with Prop 8?

      I’m glad Queerty had the decency to get rid of it. It was being abused — not to mention exploited by homophobes who just stopped by to be obnoxious.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teluride
      Teluride

      After watching gay to fake-straight Exodus CEO Alan Chambers perform his nightly (couldn’t-get-it-up-for-my-wife-for-9-months-when-we-got-married-but-I’m-straight) ho house stunt, I am glad we have a new label given by the astute and infamous Ted Olsen that may capture that hypnotized monkey’s attention. Per this Prop 8 case, Ted stated our sexuality is now classified in his mind as an “immutable statistic”. Show me the T-Shirt.

      Nailed it.

      Love it.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Otis Walker
      Otis Walker

      I have noticed an alarming propensity on behalf of Queerty and many other gay sites to ignore the struggles of Black gays.When samples are provided of desirable men I never see any Black men displayed.I thought homophobia,especially black homophobia, was exclusively the province of the Christian Right but as a frequent visitor to this site as well as other GLBT sites I am seeing very little focus on the plight of Black gays.A white friend told me quite candidly after imbibing generous amounts of alcohol that that black gays are in a category all their own and are not thought of as suitable partners.I hope this is not true and can be proven otherwise.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Teluride
      Teluride

      There are many mixed race gay couples so I think your drinking partner is uninformed. Black gays share the struggle w all of us, I don’t think there is any separation. We may be different colors but the inner struggles for self/pier acceptance are the same. Sorry if you feel shorted but I don’t believe it is intentional. Maybe you could start a black voice by bringing more black voices together.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 2:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Otis Walker:

      Wow, What a ridiculous post. This is a post that is discussion a racial neutral law, that, if struck down could have far reaching ramifications nationwide for all gays and lesbians, and you’ve chosen this post to make a vague nebulous charge that Queerty isn’t supporting the black gay community, yet with no specifics?

      I would actually think you were a right winger cominging in to try to get this dicussion off topic if I blieved they were that well organized.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJSmith
      PJSmith

      Our side did phenomenal! I was beaming with pride hearing our camp shine with confidence and make valid, rational, well thought out arguments and express them with strength while the haters were literally tripping over their words, failing to address the questions posed at them without skirting around and presenting pre reahrsed talking points to deflect from the follow up questions. I felt more reassured than ever before after this very positive and promising stretch that took place yesterday.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJSmith
      PJSmith

      @Otis Walker: TROLL. I am black and gay and can sniff a troll who is trying to pin our community against each other like this character very easily. Please don’t engage someone like this who is trying to hijack this topic. Prop 8 effects ALL of us. This person is clearly not comfortable with that and is trying to deflect this very promising day for us to shed gays in a bad light. Let’s focus our energy on promoting marriage equality, not getting into a verbal exchange with a drama seeker.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveAtlanta
      SteveAtlanta

      @Otis Walker: so how much you getting paid to start crap here from the Yes on 8 folks? as a minority gay, I actually find it offensive you’d think we’d be dumb enough to take your bait. you not gonna rally up your hate troops here fool.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 11:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Tricky – another thing about up/down votes a very small ratio of “down” votes would hide your comments. I made the case often that WHY are you on a blog if you don’t want to read all the comments? That is the purpose of a blog – a liberal (not in the political sense)exchange of ideas! I’m glad they’re gone. Thanks Queerty.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • southpaugh
      southpaugh

      @Otis Walker: There are those among the Christian Right who, contrary to Article VI of the Constitution of the United States, insist presumption as arbiters among rivals regarding their status as being the right kind of Christian, authentic Christian, or just simply Christian enough. Are you really suggesting that any among your community, in supporting the repeal of Proposition 8, make any distinction regarding who within our ranks are the right kind of queer, or authentic gay, or simply homosexual enough by some immutable characteristic of their person? This issue effects us all without exception and without filter of any type, including straight people, because rights denied one are rights threatened universally. Not only is your objection a straw man argument, but it’s a non sequitor to the issue at hand. I am not white, but I don’t see evidence of what you describe. I am lead to wonder what your agenda is; divide and conquor?

      Dec 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ron
      ron

      Who cares. It’s all headed to the conservative Supreme Court of the United States who will give gay marriage a death blow. Don’t kid yourself.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JasonYeb
      JasonYeb

      @ron: Ron, keeping dream troll. You homophobes must be real structured in your campaigns if they center around being camped out on OUR blogs 24/7
      If it does elevate to the supreme court, those judges legacy is what they each worked for and desire above all else and you better believe those hard working judges want to be on the right side of history with their ruling.

      Dec 8, 2010 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • declanto
      declanto

      @JasonYeb: Could these be the same hard-working judges that literally legalized bribery by allowing corporations to contribute to political campaigns with billions??? Get real. There are serious hurdles ahead for the Prop8 appeal.
      We can cross our fingers and wish it weren’t true, but this is still a conservative court.

      Dec 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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