Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Articles by Shannon Minter, Esq.

January 25, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 10

Today was another exciting day as the Prop 8 trial heads into the home stretch. The plaintiffs finished their case today, and defendants got started with their first witness, Professor Kenneth Miller. The plaintiffs’ attorneys closed their case by playing excerpts from two simulcasts that were broadcast to gatherings of evangelical voters during the Prop…

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January 22, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 9

After two weeks of powerful and often emotional evidence, the plaintiffs presented their last live witness today. On Monday, after playing some videos of deposition testimony, the plaintiffs will rest their case, and then the defendants will have their turn. Typically, at the end of all witness testimony, the attorneys present closing arguments. This morning…

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January 21, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 8

Today was another blockbuster day in the Perry trial, with more razor sharp testimony from Professor Gary Segura, followed by disturbing testimony by one of the official proponents of Prop 8, Dr. Hak-Shing William (“Bill”) Tam. Yesterday closed with expert testimony from Professor Segura, an authority on political representation. The plaintiffs called Professor Segura to…

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January 20, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 7

It was a phenomenal day in the courtroom, in particular testimony from Ryan Kendall about forced conversion therapy that moved many to tears. We also heard surprising revelations from experts who were supposed to support Prop 8 but whose opinions instead clearly shored up our side. After today, I wish more than ever that the…

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January 19, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 6

This morning we heard first from Jerry Sanders, the Republican Mayor of San Diego. I remember Mayor Sanders well from the 2008 election — he made a heartfelt and courageous statement about his lesbian daughter and why he opposed Proposition 8 that, to me, was one of the most profound moments of the campaign. Mayor…

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January 15, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 5

Today, in the final day of the first week of trial, we got to see more riveting, detailed testimony from the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, who have truly proven to be “experts” in the fullest sense of the word. We also heard the moving personal story of a woman who has seen firsthand the incredible transformative power…

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January 14, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 4

The morning opened with Judge Walker’s announcement that he is withdrawing the Perry case from the pilot broadcasting program.  Judge Walker’s decision followed the Supreme Court’s order preventing any broadcast of the Perry trial even to other federal courtrooms, which has been roundly and rightly criticized as an unwarranted intrusion on lower courts.  Video will…

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January 13, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 3

As other bloggers and news outlets have reported, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a final order today preventing the trial from being broadcast. The 5-4 opinion was unsigned, meaning that its authorship was not attributed to any one justice.  The court largely ducked the substantive issue of whether federal trials should be more accessible to a broader…

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January 12, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 2

The Perry plaintiffs had another great day in court. Professor Nancy Cott wrapped up her powerful testimony, which made three crucial points. First, Professor Cott provided a detailed historical account of how marriage restrictions based on race, ethnicity, and immigration status have been used “punitively” – to stigmatize and demean disfavored groups – in the…

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January 11, 2010

NCLR’s Legal Director Shannon Minter on Perry v Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 1

From the first moment to the closing bell, Judge Walker moved the proceedings forward at a rapid clip. It was a great day for our side, spiced with some intriguing hints from Judge Walker about how he may be viewing some of the key legal issues in the case. Ted Olson and San Francisco Deputy…

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