Notes From the First Plaintiff in Tyler v. The State of CA

Mar 18, 2010 | Updated May 25, 2011

The author is a petitioner in the CA Supreme Court case to overturn Prop 8. (Tyler v. State of California), the first plaintiff in the case which brought marriage equality to California, if only for a brief time.

I was at the Pasadena Federal Courthouse early this morning when the press told me that the Olson/Boies Federal trial to overturn Proposition 8 in California would not be broadcast today.
The Federal Supreme Court ordered a two-day postponement of any broadcast of this trial outside of the San Francisco Courthouse. The 'Yes on 8' people maintain that it might affect their ability to be open in the courthouse, backed up by the excuse that they are afraid that our community might commit violence against them.

Excuse me?

This is akin to someone stepping on our head and then telling us their foot hurts and it's our fault.

In the past few years, The 'Yes on 8' people have appeared all over television, including but not limited to news shows, talk shows, CNN, and so forth. We know who they are. So, why don't they want to be filmed in the courtroom? Because they don't want the cameras on them when they are 'under oath,' because under oath, and cross-examined by great attorneys, they may have to tell the truth. These bigots don't want the cameras on them when they are questioned about the lies and misinformation they put out about same-sex marriage. The 'Yes on 8' campaign was one of the most viscous, vitriolic, untruthful campaigns in US history. Their ads were false, and misleading. They lied and smeared our community in their advertisements, and in every interview they did. And 52% of the California voters believed them. For the first time in US history, a minority was taken out of a constitution. The six CA Supreme Court justices who ruled against us and to uphold Prop 8 ruled on one word only: Reelection. And now, two of the greatest attorneys in the United States, a conservative and a liberal, neither of whom is gay, have filed in Federal Court to overturn that unconstitutional decision.

The bigots and liars who led the 'Yes on 8' campaign want to hide behind their religious beliefs in order to justify discrimination against our community, just as they did in 1948 when they unsuccessfully tried to prevent interracial marriage. "It will ruin marriage." "It is against God's plan," and so forth.

So, now these 'Yes on 8' people are painting our community as the villains, and themselves as the victims.

They say we marched to the huge, gated, Mormon Church in Los Angeles and left a paint stain on their fence. Yes, tens of thousands of us marched all summer in a number of places. A paint stain on a fence? Well, the 'Yes on 8' people left a stain on the Constitution of California. They say we boycotted business who supported Prop 8. Yes, we did. Why would we support a business who does not support equal rights for us?

No, the Prop 8 people don't want their testimony to be broadcast. After all, they may not be able to lie under oath, or justify the total immoral, unethical smear campaign that they ran for Yes on 8.

We've seen this before in civil rights movements. That's why the Ku Klux Klan wore hoods.
They were cowards who hid behind their disgusting, bigoted philosophy, and caused so much physical and mental harm, all the while feeling safe because in anonymity.

The LGBT community did not hurt anyone in our demonstrations. We were rightfully angry beyond belief. And now, the perpetrators are hiding behind their hoods.

Hopefully, in two days the Federal Supreme Court will do the right thing and reverse its decision and let the public see and know what happened in the Yes on 8 campaign.

It is a disservice to the entire national community, gay and straight, to not be able to see the footage -- and therefore, the truth of these proceedings. For without truth, there can be no justice, and justice should not mean 'just us.'