Really. The anti-gay group Focus on the Family says so.
You remember that in the Prop8 case, only two witnesses testified for the Prop8 supporters, one of whom basically agreed with OUR side. In fact, the judge was visibly annoyed that they didn't actually mount a defense, but just made unsupported statements.
Still, it was the claim that anti-Chrisitan violence would erupt if the proceedings were broadcast that led to the US Supreme Court preventing said broadcast, last year.
Now, the victorious plaintiffs in the Prop8 case want the tapes released. The Prop8 defendants do not.
Because the case wasn't held in a vacuum. The trial was public, if you could make it to the federal court building in San Francisco. The transcripts are public. The Courage Campaign and its supporters staged the trial from the transcripts, and put the tapes on YouTube. And a staged reading of a play called "8" by Dustin Lance Black , based on the testimony, will be performed in New York. I don't know any gay person who doesn't already know exactly what was said in the trial last year and who said it.
So it's completely illogical to claim that releasing the tapes will exacerbate anything or expose anyone---except for exposing the poor defense for Prop8, the evisceration of their evidence, and the obvious animus that motivated them. As Chad Griffin of AFER says,
There is a difference between fact and fiction and we all need to focus on that difference as we all enter into Monday’s hearing. Throughout the trial and since, the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8 have consistently argued that the two witnesses and those that did not come to trial feared intimidation. …And of course, it's deeply offensive to keep screaming about violence when there's very little evidence of any, and certainly no more actions against them than against us. Moreover, as we know, the Revenge of the Gays has more to do with flashmobs and glitter than violence.
These are witnesses who are incredibly outspoken public figures: they teach college classes, they get paid to speak, they have done debates around the world on these issues, they have sought incredible publicity as they have published their books, their articles, their newsletters, and have done a whole host of media appearances, television, print, radio….
What’s clear is that these are individuals who have sought their entire careers, publicity. The one difference in this trial was that the witnesses were going to be under oath and penalty of perjury and they were to be cross-examined. And that was what was unique in this trial…. So it’s very clear why the anti-marriage proponents of Prop 8 don’t want these tapes released.”
And last, but not least, many gays are actually CHRISTIANS, albeit of a more sensible sort than those from Focus on the Family, which makes their bleating "Christian victim" card particularly mendacious. One of the biggest groups marching in San Diego's gay pride parade is the Episcopal Cathedral. Eat that, phony FOTF "Christians."
The irony? The Judge** in today's hearing wanted to tape it, but the Prop8 supporters said "no".
More coverage by Karen Ocamb and also the great folks from the Courage Campaign's Prop8 Trial tracker
Also great background from AFER on What Are the Prop8 Proponents trying to Hide? (PDF)
*Because Schwarzeneggar is no longer governor of CA, the case is renamed.
**Judge Walker retired; the case is now under Judge Ware.