| Note: I'm the Public Policy Director for the Courage Campaign
UPDATE: Judge Karlton denied the TRO request and makes it sound like he is not likely to rule against us on the lawsuit either.
Original post begins here:
Since we launched last Monday, the Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker has become a leading source for information about the trial in Judge Vaughn Walker's courtroom, since ProtectMarriage.com got the Supreme Court to block plans to televise the trial. We've had over 800,000 views and over 6,400 comments since we launched, a sign of how popular our liveblogging has become.
But there's one group out there that isn't a fan, and that's ProtectMarriage.com. Last Friday they sent Courage Campaign a cease and desist letter regarding our parody of the "Yes on 8" logo that we use on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. Late yesterday, we learned that ProtectMarriage.com filed suit in US district court seeking a temporary restraining order asking a federal judge to order us to take our logo down.
Our lawyers' response: no way. As our lawyer said, our logo is a "sassy" parody of their logo.
We continue to be entertained by the Prop 8 attorneys simultaneously admitting that the two images of gay parents and straight parents are "substantially indistinguishable," and yet failing to grasp that that the difference between the logos illuminates the core difference between their views and ours.
My colleague Julia Rosen posted the complaint and our response over at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. We don't know yet whether Judge Lawrence K. Karlton will grant, deny, or ask for a hearing on the TRO.
Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, had this to say in our press release:
The Courage Campaign Institute will continue to focus our energy on this historic trial and the rights and protections at stake for loving, committed same-sex couples. ProtectMarriage.com can continue to expend time, energy and resources on a logo. Frankly, I think that says a lot about our respective priorities.
We thought that our response laying out the tremendous legal precedent in cases like this would be the end of this silliness. But we are more than happy to defend our case if Prop 8 supporters continue to argue that the difference between their logo and ours is "substantially indistinguishable," given that their logo features a father and mother and our logo features two mothers.
This is yet another attempt by Prop 8 supporters to distract from the facts being brought forth at this trial that are demonstrating quite clearly both the discrimination same-sex couples face and the need and benefit to society of equal treatment under the law.
We're confident that the law and precedent are on our side. Our logo is an obvious parody of the ProtectMarriage.com logo. More importantly, ProtectMarriage.com is essentially claiming that there isn't a difference between a family headed by a man and a woman and a family headed by two women. Wouldn't it be nice if they argued that in Judge Walker's courtroom? As one of the commenters on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker argued:
I just really want to hear [Rachel Maddow] say "Protectmarriage.com is suing Courage Campaign, saying a lesbian couple is indistinguishable from a heterosexual one. In other news, protectmarriage.com continues to argue that homosexuals are too different from heterosexuals to deserve equal protection under the law."
You can see the logos for yourself:
We'll be sure to keep you updated as to how this turns out. We're not going to let the opponents of equality silence us.