Yes on 8 Campaign: Liars

Timothy Kincaid

December 22nd, 2008

At Box Turtle Bulletin we do try not to overuse inflammatory words or apply accusatory labels. “Calling names” seldom leads to any productive conversation
But sometimes such descriptions are entirely appropriate.

On November 6, 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the following about the status of the 18,000 marriages that occured prior to the passage of Proposition 8:

Campaign manager Frank Schubert said Wednesday, however, that his organization has no plans to challenge any of those marriages in court. The question will have to be decided by “the court that created that problem” by refusing to suspend its ruling until after the election, he said, without describing how it might reach the court.

OK, got that so far? Schubert, speaking on behalf of the Yes on 8 Campaign, said that the campaign had no plans to challenge the marriages.

And the Yes on 8 Campaign successfully lobbied (pdf) the court to limit intervention on behalf of the measure to themselves.

“We represent the people who got things done, who got Prop. 8 passed,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. “An important part of defending Prop. 8 is eliminating arguments not helpful to our concerns.”

So the campaign wants total control of the message, and the message includes no plans to challenge any of the 18,000 marriage in court. Fast forward to the day that the briefs were due in the Supreme Court.

Proposition 8 supporters acknowledge those marriages were legal before Election Day, and say they are not trying to “nullify” them now. They argue that the plain language of Proposition 8 — “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” — means those marriages can no longer be recognized in California, although they would still be valid in other states where same-sex marriage is legal or recognized.

“Proposition 8 is in effect, and only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized,” said Andrew Pugno, general counsel for the Proposition 8 Legal Defense Fund. “It doesn’t say only a man and woman can get married. It says that only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized. It means what it says.”

The group’s brief says Proposition 8 “encompasses both pre-existing and later-created same-sex (and polygamous) marriages, whether performed in California or elsewhere. With crystal clarity, it declares that they are not valid or recognized in California.”

Ah, say the contrarians, they didn’t lie.

1. They didn’t challenge any of those specific marriages in court.

2. They didn’t argue that they weren’t marriages, just that they can’t be recognized.

But let’s not forget that “liars” are not just those that tell blatant lies. Liars also weave a skillful net of words so at to leave the listener with an understanding that is not true. And it is in the omissions that I find the campaign’s dishonesty.

Looking back on Schubert’s language it becomes clear that it was phrased in a way so as to leave open just such an attack on the marriages of those couples. His wording says that the campaign was not going to sue specific individuals in court and leaves the impression that the Yes on 8 Campaign would be hands-off. It waited until the final day to submit briefs to demonstrate that it would not be hands-off.

But Schubert’s (and Pugno’s) intentions were obviously pre-crafted. It is unquestionably clear – due to the word selection – that on November 6, 2008 it was the intention of the Yes on 8 Campaign to argue before the California State Supreme Court for the non-recognition of those same-sex couples who married prior to the passage of Proposition 8. And it is unquestionably clear that the Campaign chose at that time to use language that was deceptive and dishonest.

Therefore, I can state with absolute certainty that Frank Schubert, Andrew Pugno, and the other leaders of the Yes on 8 Campaign – including those representing both the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church – are boldfaced liars. Their word has no value. Their credibility and integrity are suspect and they are men towards whom one’s first instinct should be distrust.


December 22nd, 2008

It warms my heart to see a writer at this blog getting his back up.



December 22nd, 2008

Their pants are so on fire.


December 22nd, 2008

They’re trying to forcibly divorce me and my wife, along with some 18,000 other couples. I had no qualms about calling them names, though I did maintain my policy of not using profanity on my blog (barely).


December 23rd, 2008

Mr. Kincaid says:

Liars also weave a skillful net of word[s] so at to leave the listener with an understanding that is not true.

Of late, the defenders of the Mormons statements of equality for gays are now saying that they are not going to promote equality for gays but that they are just not going to oppose it. See the nuance…the skilled use of words they use?

Not surprising they have a bevy of lawyers mapping out the strategies they will use in the next couple of months when the Utah Legislature is in session. Some of their best lawyers are those that meet in the super-secret meetings in their sacred Temple.

Truthiness at its best.

Oh…and the delivery of the 27,000 HRC letters to the LDS HQ went about as expected. The smiling official Church representative took the boxes of letters at the door and then probably straight to the recycling bins in the basement.

Can you feel the love in the air? Is this that warm friendly feeling of the season? Or is this just the snarkiness rubbing off everyone on both sides: the HRC and the LDS.

David Weintraub

December 23rd, 2008

Identifying a lie as a lie is not name-calling. Remember: It’s all about the behavior. :)

“Liars also weave a skillful net of word[s] so at to leave the listener with an understanding that is not true” – this perfectly describes the latest emanation from the laughingstock of Loudoun, Eugene Delgaudio. His little attorney friend is even defending him with the claim that he has woven a skillful net of words. Must see to appreciate.

I am ordinarily respectful of opponents, but I draw the line at these clowns. There comes a time.

Tom in Lazybrook

December 23rd, 2008

Off topic..Apparently the Lithuanian Government has approved legislation banning all freedom of expression, petition, assembly, association for LGBT Lithuanians. This law has been cheered in a press release by the world Congress of Families.

The World Congress of Families consists of the Family Research Council, Mormon leader Mary Ellen Smoot, and the Beverly LaHaye Crowd. It also appears to be tied to the violence promoting (and participating) Watchmen on the Walls.

They apparently go around the world advocating/celebrating extreme levels of persecutions of Gay people such as encouraging the retention of laws designed to throw all Gay people in prison, celebrating denial of freedom of speech, assembly, petition, and association for LGBT persons worldwide.


December 23rd, 2008

Actually, those words were the same words used when Prop 22 passed –

It would be hard to say the Prop 8 campaign “crafted” these words. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court posed these questions for the petioners to answer (, which forced them to addresss the validity of the 18,000 marriages. The Prop. 8 campaign could have chosen to argue that those marriages are legal – but they did not and that was the lie.

Ken R

December 23rd, 2008

Tom in Lazybrook, thank you for your post. This does not surprise me a bit tho. They would do the same thing here in the States to the GLBT community if they were allowed free rein to do so. They want to regulate and control people’s lives all through their biblical worldview.

I wonder if the Roman Catholic Church is part of that World Congress of Families?

Timothy Kincaid

December 23rd, 2008


As I understand it, the Lithuanian legislation is proposed and may well pass, but we don’t yet know the final version.


December 23rd, 2008

Uggh. I am embarrassed to be of Lithuanian descent right now. Luckily the part of Lithuania my great-grandparents are from is now in Belarus.


December 23rd, 2008

Ken R: I wonder if the Roman Catholic Church is part of that World Congress of Families?

Yes. More the point, it’s also Opus Dei etc up to its eyeballs. Even a cursory glance through their site reveals constant high level representation, dating back to it’s founding.

The focus et al is completely compatible with official RC viewpoints, along with those of all the other usual suspects (many of whom are not RC). The emphasis on the so-called “Natural Family” is a dead give-away.

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