by Peter Sprigg
September 19, 2011
This is Part 2 of a 2-part blog post based on the transcript of the Proposition 8 trial—the legal challenge to the state constitutional amendment, adopted by California voters in 2008, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Today (Monday, September 19), Broadway will be the scene of a star-studded staged reading of a new play—one based on the transcript of the trial in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now known as Perry v. Brown). The unprecedented trial, presided over by the (then closeted, now out) homosexual judge Vaughn Walker, resulted in Walkers opinion in August 2010 declaring that the male-female definition of marriage violates the U. S. Constitution. The ruling is currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
Yet the testimony of one of the actual plaintiffs in the case, Sandra Stier, undermines the argument by same-sex marriage advocates that gay people are denied the fundamental right to marry just because of who they are. It also directly contradicts Judge Walkers finding of fact number 51: Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals. In fact, Stiers testimony undermines two of the most fundamental premises of the entire homosexual movement—the claims that people are born gay, and that a persons sexual orientation can never change.
Stier testified that she was married—to a man—for twelve years, and had two biological children with him. Even more startling is her admission that she did not learn that she was a lesbian until she was in her mid-thirties.
Part 1 of this post featured the beginning of attorney Ted Olsons direct examination of Stier, dealing with her marriage to her husband.
This, Part 2, features Stiers testimony about her relationship with her current lesbian partner, Kristin Perry.
Stiers testimony appears in bold; [my editorial comments are in bracket and italics].
Perry v. Schwarzenegger
1/11/2010 9:00:00 AM
Transcript pp. 163-167
Q. When did you meet Ms. Perry?
A. I met Kris around 1996.
Q. And how did your relationship with her develop? And go ahead.
A. Well, when I first met Kris, of course, I hadn’t known her previously. I was teaching a computer class and she was a student in my class. So I just sort of knew of her, but then we started working together on projects at work and ended up being coworkers and became fast friends quite quickly. And we were friends for quite some time and I began to realize that the feelings I had for her were really unique and different from friends, feelings I normally had towards friends. And they were absolutely taking over my thoughts and my — sort of my entire self. And I grew to realize I had a very strong attraction to her and, indeed, I was falling in love with her.
Q. And tell us when you realized finally that you had fallen in love with her?
A. I really — I realized that in 1999, early in the year.
[Other anecdotal accounts of lesbian relationships suggest that this pattern is fairly typicalthey begin as friendships which grow more and more intimate emotionally, and only at the end become sexual. She does not report that she looked at her partner and immediatelyor even quicklyfelt a strong sexual attraction to her. Again, this undermines the claim that all lesbians have an innate orientation which makes them sexually attracted to women in general.]
Q. Did your falling in love with Kris have anything to do with the dissolution of your marriage?
A. My marriage was troubled on many fronts and had been in a very, very difficult state. And the end of my marriage was precipitated by my own extreme unhappiness, my ex-husband’s severe problems with alcohol and his inability to provide the type of support as a husband and a family person that I had to have.
[Since Stier realized in 1999, early in the year that she was in love with Kristin Perry, and her marriage also ended in 1999, it is somewhat difficult to give credence to this denial, whatever difficulties her husband may have had. Advocates of same-sex marriage often ask, What harm could same-sex marriage do to your marriage? In the case of Stiers marriage, it appears that societys growing acceptance of homosexual relationships may have made it easier for her to leave her husband. If same-sex marriage were legalized, and it were possible to go directly from a heterosexual marriage to a homosexual one, the incentive to break up the first marriage might be even greater. Thisthe breakup of some existing opposite-sex marriagesis a potential harm of same-sex marriage which is very real. However, it is impossible to predict in advance who will experience it.]
Q. Did your sexual orientation or your discovery of your sexual orientation have anything to do with the dissolution of that marriage?
A. No, it did not.
[Again, this is a fascinating admission. It would seem more consistent with typical homosexual propaganda for her to say, as noted above, I realized I was living a lie, or I decided it was time to be who I really am.
Judge Walker supported his Finding 51 with testimony from a witness who stated:
Some gay men and lesbians have married members of the opposite sex, but many of those marriages dissolve, and some of them experience considerable problems simply because one of the partners is gay or lesbian. A gay or lesbian person marrying a person of the opposite sex is likely to create a great deal of conflict and tension in the relationship.
Yet Sandra Stiers testimony clearly does not support this theory. She states flatly that her discovery of [her] sexual orientation did not have anything to do with the dissolution of that marriage. The implication seems to be that if her husband had not had severe problems with alcohol and had been able to provide the type of support as a husband and a family person that she needed; and if she had not met and fallen in love with Kristin Perry; she might well have remained married to her husband until his death, never learning that she was gay.]
Q. Your husband is no longer living, is that correct?
A. That’s true.
Q. Then tell us about how your relationship with Ms. Perry developed?
A. Well, my relationship with Kris, the romantic part of the relationship certainly started for me in a — just a very exciting place. I had never experienced falling in love before, and I think
Q. Are you saying that you weren’t in love with your husband?
A. I was not in love with my husband, no.
Q. Did you think that you were at some point?
A. I had a hard time relating to the concept of being in love when I was married to my husband. And while I did love him when I married him, I honestly just couldn’t relate when people said they were in love. I thought they were overstating their feelings and maybe making a really big deal out of something. It didn’t really make sense to me. It seemed dramatic. You know, when you grow up in the midwest and in a farming family — which is a really unique way to grow up, if anybody knows much about that — but there is a pragmatism that is inherent and it’s part of the fabric of life and an understated way of being that is just pervasive in terms of your development. And I remember as a young girl talking to my mom about love and marriage and she would say, “You know, marriage is more than romantic love. It’s more than excitement. It’s an enduring long-term commitment and it’s hard work.” And in my family that seemed very true.
[It saddens me that there was laughter in the courtroom at the statement that [marriage is] an enduring long-term commitment and it’s hard work. Truer words were never spokeneven with couples who were madly in love when they first married, and even with couples who still are.]
So I really thought that was what I was kind of signing up for when I got married; not that it would be bad, but that it would be hard work and I would grow into that love, and that I needed to marry a good, solid person and I would grow into something like my parents had, which was really a lovely marriage and still is.
[I am glad that she says that her mother and fathers marriagepresumably one that modeled that enduring long-term commitment and hard workwas really a lovely marriage and still is. It was also a fruitful onewithout the natural procreation possible only in opposite-sex relationships, Ms. Stiers life would never have begun. It is simply obtuse to deny that this is the central reason why marriage is a public institution, and why it is defined as a male-female union.]
Q. And then you were — I interrupted you. You were in the midst of describing what happened in terms of your own feelings as your relationship with Ms. Perry developed?
A. Well, with Kris my — so we have this wonderfully romantic relationship and — that just really grew and blossomed very beautifully. And not only were we in love, but we wanted we realized fairly soon that we wanted to build a life together. We wanted to join our families and live as a family. That we didn’t want to date. I was 36 or 37 years old, and Kris is a tiny about it younger than me, but we really wanted to build a family together and have that kind of life of commitment and stability that we both really appreciated.
Q. How convinced are you that you are gay? You’ve lived with a husband. You said you loved him. Some people might say, Well, it’s this and then it’s that and it could be this again. Answer that.
A. Well, I’m convinced, because at 47 years old I have fallen in love one time and it’s with Kris. And our love is — it’s a blend of many things. It’s physical attraction. It’s romantic attraction. It’s a strong commitment. It’s intellectual bonding and emotional bonding. For me, it just isn’t love. I really, quite frankly, don’t know what that would be for adults. I don’t know what else to say about it.
[She has fallen in love one time and its with Kris. This seems a rather limited data point on which to base any claim that she has an innate lesbian identityan enduring pattern of sexual attraction toward other women.]
Q. Why are you a plaintiff in this case?
A. Well, I’m a plaintiff in this case because I would like to get married, and I would like to marry the person that I choose and that is Kris Perry. She is a woman. And according to California law right now, we can’t get married, and I want to get married.
[This is a succinct and accurate statement of her situation under the current law. And some peoplepeople who feel there is nothing morally wrong with engaging in homosexual conduct; that the definition of marriage has nothing to do with the procreative potential of opposite-sex relationships; that being raised by both their mother and father provides no advantage to children; and that changing the definition of marriage would have no impact at all on the institution of marriagemay sympathize with it and wish to see Stiers desire to marry Perry be fulfilled.
However, this provides no basis whatsoever for claiming that Californias definition of marriage violates the United States Constitution. Thwarting a persons desires is not at all the same as violating a persons constitutional rights.]