Liveblogging Prop 8 Trial: Day Three, Thursday Afternoon Two (Seventeen)

Cross examination by defendant-intervenors’ counsel of plaintiffs’ expert witness Dr Ilan Meyer, continuing from Emptywheel’s direct examination liveblog here.

Boies: We believe we are on pace to finish by Wednesday of next week, even if we only do this witness today, and not Miss Zia.

Walker: Is that a suggestion we not go past four today?

No, yr honor, just to let you know that if this cross goes long, we don’t need to fit MIss Zia in.

Walker: Okay. Cross?

Wilson for D-Intervenors: You have a witness binder, as does the court.

Walker: Very well

Wilson: Good afternoon Dr Meyer

M Good afternoon

W: Prof Meye, pplease turn to tab 1, PX 934

M: Article published in 1954 by Prof wooker (?)

W: In his report, Dr Herrick said that this study was a classic study one of the first methodological studeis of homosexuality. Agree?

M: Yes

W: (reading description of psychological adjustment of men in studies, not differing by sexual orientation) Is there a conflict here with your findings about psychological health of gay men and lesbians?

M: No, none

Walker, moving exhibit?

Wilson: Yes

Wilson: Tab three, please PX 1003. Moved into evidence, please.

Wilson: Please look at p673. I’m going to read (Teddy’s going to gist) Despite long interst in pathologoy of gay men and lesbians, many social shifts mean studies over time are hard to compare. AS a classified disorder, G&L were not seen as more liokely to display other psychosocial disorders. DId you write that?

M: Yes

W: Read again. DId you write that?

M: I wrote the ewtnire articel (laughter, includes Walker)

W: (reads again) "often stated and widely accepted view of homos as…." you believe that is incorrect, right?

M: Need to explain context

W: No thanks, just yes or no, is this past view incorrect?

M: We are talking about different genearations of studies. Do I think these studies were incorrect? No I thought they were thought to be correct at teh time.

W: Do you beleive homos do not have an abnormally elevated psychological abnormality (disorders) compared to heteros?

M: Yes, it was once widely accepted and I disagree with it.

W: (reads) More recently, ther has been a shift to understanding that psychosocial differences lead to

w: You are a gay affirmative advocate, yes

m: I advocate for the improvement of gay and lesbian people, yes

w; You are a gay affirmative advoate?

m: yes

w: You contriburted to No On 8, right>

m: yes

w; twice?

m: yes

W; off the SFGate website, here is a list of contributions showing two from you. Is that incorrect?

m: I don’t recall

w; Are minority stress and social stresses the same?

m: one (minority) is amodel used to measure the other

Are the minority stress and social stress model synonuyms?

w; no, one a part of the other

w; so minority stress is a subset of social stress theory

m; yes

w; minority/social stress model theorizes that members of disadvantaged groups recieve more stress than other members.

m; yes

w; leading to worse mental health outcomes, yes

m; theoretically, that could apply to other members of other disadv groups, yes?

m; we probe our theories to see how they work, there may be commonality, we try to analyse to see if theoretical models apply to other ggroups

w; turn to tab 8 DIX 2519

m; interview of me by this person, transcription of the interview.

w; in that interview you discuss your theories

m; yes

w; move 2519 into evidence

w; alright

w; third page of exhibit, please — or sorry, look at second to last graf "Some findings when we look at stress exposure. Sometimes stressors are assumed and not tested. Sometimes our theory presumes that disadvantaged groups are stressed more than others" this doesn’t distinguish G&L right?

W; right

w; "245 men and women, bi and het, black and latino vs white, we looked at those three disadv statuses, what kinds of stressors leads to disorders?

m; worse mental health outcomes for those groups, yes

w; you believe in part that GLBs have lower levels of well being and higher incidence of suicide and more physological problems than with heterosexual individs, right
M: yes (to all)

W; when one suffers from stress, the partner suffers from stress too
w; true of all partners, not unique to lgbs
w; but yes?
m; assume it would affect the other person.
w; if one member suffers from minority stress, the other member of the relationship would too, right
w; yes, i particularly studied internalized homophobia in this rehgard

w; you’ve identified minority stress as a contributor —
Walker: Point your answers, point your questions, see if you can meet in the middle
W: Some of these stresses would be as a result of stresses other than minority stressors, yes
w; yes
w; and those are not unique to members of disadv groups
m; yes
w; women experience more minority stress than men
m; yes
w; but in your work you found that homosexual men and women did not have different levels of stress. so this expectation was not met by yours and other stress
m; yes
w; you found that AAs and Latinos had more stress than whites but not more disorders than whites, yes
m; yes, and other studies, too
w; page four, first full paragraf of interview
(reads) "howeer regarding blacks and latinos, they have more stress but it’s bewildering they don’t have more disorders. how come they don’t show more disorders if more stress?" You said that, right?
m: it’s here in the interview, so i guess I did.
w; so your study, AAs and Latinos gay men and lesbians — the general pattern is true of nonlgb individuals — AA vs white, men vs women, they would have different stresses, so shouldn’t they in the lgb community?
m; that was our hypothsis
w; you tested that hypothesis, yes?
w; well it’s more complicated. in science, you test one side of a hypo. one would hypothsize they have more, becuase of dual stressors. or another theory: special coping abilities as AAs would allow them to deal better with being gay?
m; is that a parsimonious explanation
w; in what way
w; the way you use it in asocial context
w; not in this way, what way
m; simple?
w; i understand it means simple
m; in sciencem social science, you look for the simplest the pithiest the most elegant; other theories, think parsimony oversimplifies. So it’s debatable. Certainly we are interested in those questions of parsimony. We want to ask that; does it apply across populations?

Look at Tab 9; DIX 1253, identify
M: Aritlce in American Journal of Public health I published,
w: Admit?
Walker: alriught
W; Look at the first page, the middle column. You stated a minute ago that you were not inclined to agree with my statement about prevalence of disorders based on stressors.
m; no, what did i agree with?
w; reads: we hypothesized that AA G&Ls had more stress because of their race than white G&Ls.
M: Yes
W But you found this was not true? AA & LAtino G&Ls did NOT have a higher incidence of stress disorders than white. You actually found AAs had significantly feweer?
M: In some of the findings, yes.
W Third page: "Contrary to our hypo, AA and Latino G&L did not have a higher stres disorders than white G&L. AA had fewer; Latino was similar, correct?

M: Yes, with the exception of serious suicide attempts, yes.
W: But not of these three disorders?
M: COrrect
W So your findings were inconsistent with social stress theory?
M: W’in context of this study, yes, but not what I testified to. Wwe were looking at comparision within the groups not compared to non-lgb

w; you found the race differences were similar to non-lgbs?
m; yes, but they were elevated compared to non-lgbs
w; so more research necessary
m; yes that is what we do

w; social stress model would predict well being would follow the stress disorder expectation, yes
m; yes, again two hypothesis: some might expect minority races would be better able to cope because of tools they acquired as racial minorities, so would o better than white lgbs
w; study of yours, PX 999, you wrote?
m; yes i wrote this

w; another study of yours?
m; no, same study, different analysis
w; so new study?
m; no, same data same sample, different approach to it.
w; and here again your finding was contradictory to your theory that AAs and Latino LGBs would have higher stress than white LGBs?
m; yes
w; and that is comparable to studies of non-lgbs?
m; yes, but is was HIGHER than non-lgbs
w; yes well i’m exploring your theory generally.

w; some studies show AAs have higher self esteem and satisfaction than whites, yes
m; yes, non-lgbs
w; "our results show an inconsistent result with the stress model. we were particularly struck that black/white differences were not hight, and that it parallelled non-lgb results of white/black comparisons. this was your conclusion?

m. yes one of them

w; ‘our study shows the minority stress model has not the parsimony expected, that we need to examine the differences between the commonalities…."

m; you said it meant the theory cannot be applied uniformly, yes

w; yes, more research is needed

w; tab 11, PX 1002, Article in journal of health & social behavior, 1995.

Walker: alright, PX 1002

Wilson: OKAY, this is a study you conducted

M: this is a calculation that came out of my doctoral dissertation

w; you write: "IT’S been predicted that if minority groups have higher stress, the minority stress model would be proved; but others have shown as many as nine gay/straight differences…." So the model is not valid here?

m: no, the studies in the 1990s started to use more sophisticated modeling and analysis to support the minority strss model.

w; but these studies HERE did not confirm such predictions?

m; those OLDER studies did not show that

w; those studies were not aligned with yours then


w; "i suggest we must re- examine our reliance ion intergroup models, because of bias in different generations.

m; huge difference, old articles are not a good indicator for validating the model, they had different dagnostic criteria and lacked measures to assess all disorders. so these \studies did not talk to prevalence, so they weren’t reliable as an estimate of prevalence.

w; but you said "we must examine our rliance on intergroup studeis…

w; and that is why you did not conduct an intergroup study?

m; this is not unique. there was a time people thought cancers were caused by genetic factors. now we know there are external factors for some cancers. the diagnostics have improved, and so some of the older studies must be revisited.

w; but your findings contrasted with the older studies, it was inconsistent.

m; well, it wasn’t intergroup. and some of the studies were not up to par.

w; well, were your studies inconsistent with older studies

m; no, i would say the older studies were inconsistent with my new findings.

w; (reads) "this issue of race on disorder and stress nust be re-examined. the issue is one of findings that race has no effect on stress or disorder; we must re-examine the challenge this presents to the minority stress model." You wrote that, yes?

m; what i was trying to explain, yes

w; now, your 2003 article where you did intergroup comps?

w; turn to page 684, 2nd sentence 1st graf. "In drawing the conclusion that lgb people have higher disorders, one should be cautios. Some studies show higher disorders, while others do not.

m; i wanted to distinguish between this study and the older studies.

w; page 685: 2nd graf: "two studeis asses the risk of completed suicides. no overrep of gay or bisexual men. studies of completed suicides are in conflict with studies of ideation and completion among g/b men."

m: this is a comparison of studies between assesment of successful suicides, where you can’t interview the person because they are dead, and can’t find out what part being gay played in their suicides.

w; "the greater potential for bias, harder to draw conclusions."

m; yes, speifically about COMPLETED suicides, and this was a META-study examining the aggregate of other studies. that way you get a better handle on the estimates.

w; you relied on 2 types of stuideies, tright?

M; I looked at all of the studies, bnuit in my meta, i lookedf at community studies that were very large that involved population samples, because we can project into the larger pop.

w; so your meta analysis was based only on the ….


w; the population based suffer from some deficiciencies?

w; but the population based studeies don’t give good results for homo/hetero, right? because they were behabior based?

m; study would choose one measure, and not have a complex measure, not sure they would use the exact same measure of homo/heterosexuality

w; i’m gonna read you something: "This is because none of these studies were desgined a priori to measure mental health. The studies could have resulted in selection bias.

m; yes, this is true about these studees. there have been studies of this nature that use other, or several selected measures. i can’t confirm that all the ones here used the exact same measure. the main point is that they use one and not several measures.

w; all these had a small lgb sample, yes

m; that’s the point of meta; you get a better sample.

w; look at page 688; reads: meta-analytic somewhat overomes small sample problem, but cannot oversome all problems in individual studies."

M; SPECIFICALLY overcomes sample size and smapling error problems, removes biases from one sample, error would get lost. but it doesn’t overcome issue of measurement, because they all would have used their own measurement.

w; but woulrdn’t overcome a lack of precision on lgbs?

m; no, wouldn’t overcome measurement error, but would help overcome sampling error, because you are aggregating together. a large pattern emerges and errors get subsumed.

w; meta analyiss cannot overcome problems with samples its based on, correct?

m: yes, of course not.

w; conclusion inconsistent with other studies that show AAs and other minorities suffer form higher rate of disorders?

m: yes

w; "cultural differences cause response bias, if homos report mental health problems?"

m; yes, that is one potential explanation. this is one of the things i considered

w; to the sense that sexual response bias exists, would …..

(going too fast at the end of the day, as attorney reads very fast from the study, then asks if he agrees with the Herrick report.)

m; yes i agree with the footnote at the bottom of page ten

W: your honor, i have a great deal more, shall i continue

Walker: Fine, keep going

W: DIX 1249, id that p[lease?

M: a journal article in the journal of counseling psychology.

w; technical problem, correct PDFs that all exhibit stamps displayed on each page

walker; moved into evidence

W; look at page 23 "but here lies the first problem for lgb researchers: the population definition is elusive." Is defining the LgB population a potential problem for comparinbg lgb to non-lgb pychological outcomes?

M; not sure what kind of problem. in this article, defining the pop is the first step. any study must define who you are sampling. defining the pop happens to all studies, this is part of what we do.

w; does that raise a POTENTIAL problem

m; i could come up with scenarios, but not in a generic form. not probelm IN PRINCIPLE, but that fact doesn’t create a generic problem.

w; in older studies you said pops weren’t well defined

m; no that’s not what i said, and journal reviewers didn’t think it was a problme. your suggesting it’s a big problem and it’s not.

w; i’d like to explore that then

m; this is basic survey methodology; it’s not a PROBLEM, it’s a normal thing. you have to define your terms, and sampling methodologies confront that first; define your GEN POP and then your SAMPLE POP.

w; the general sample: is there a correct definition for the lgb population>

M is there ONE CORRCET DEFINITION? No, just as there is no correct definiation of LATINO. The question isn’t ARE YOU RIGHT. the question is have you defined your population. a variety of ways to measure LGB: behvior could be the only thihg, and that might be correct for your purpose.

w; two yes or no if possible

w; there is no one correct definition of LGB?

m; yes, definitions vary

w; there is no way to correctly identify sexual populations, correct>

M: well, it’s not there is no way.

W: Okay, behavior, identity, and attraction only overlap 23%. So there;’s not much overlap.

m; well, in this study

w; well lgb identities vary across generations, races, cultures, etc

m; yes

w; some point who answer truthfully as not lgb are later lgb?

m; yes that’s is what the coming out process is, depending on when you ask someone.

w; and some who engage in some behaviors odn’t identify as sexual identity? And at different times? Same-sex bahvior might not ID as LGB?

M: YES (to all)

w; Plus people won’t answer honestly.

M: Obviously that’s possible some people won’t given an honest answer.

w; now let’s turn to sexual behavior; they vary, right?

m; what do you mean? time periods?

w; same-sex in adolescence is higher, so EVER is greater than NOW? Unlike AA, which is ALWAYS AA?

m; well, that’s very interesting. people who say they are AA might not say they were when they first came here: AA, Negro, colored, identities change in response to the social context change.

w: For LGB people, the variance in the time period can lead to a significant difference

m; we alwatys look at lifetime versus last year, though.

w; focus on attraction? Sixze might differ on how attraction is defined, yes?

M Yes to both

W PIX 1248, ID this please? Article you wrote about lgb health?

M YEs that is a report I wrote about LGBT health

W; page 135, "recent studies that indicate behavior, attraction, and identity: 21% report attraction ever in adulthood, versus 1-4% identity. Therefore population can be defined as between 1% and 21%.

m; well yes

w; isn;’t 1-21 very large

w; well attraction is very fluid. Woman might say another woman is attractive, but that doesn’t make her a lesbian. for example, if you want to measure race by skin tone, you’ll have a different resule than by identity. that’s why i don’t use attraction, but sometimes use identity. when you’re measuring hiv risk, you need to ask about behavior to assess exposure.

Plaintiffs counsel: clarifies, needs DIX 1235 admitted into evidence.

WalkerL Alreight, moved.

Wilson: Your opinion that limiting marriage to opposite couples causes higher stress and mental disorders and mood anxiety disorders to same sex couples?


All L&G or just couples who want to marry?

You might think only couples, but actually the rejection and anticipation would apply to all in the social environmnet get the message of demeaning and inferiority.

Not just those wishing to marry?

Has the potential to affect all.

Did you know SSM legal in MA since 2004?


Do CA lgbs have lower mental health than MA lgbs?

M: MA gays probably feel more welcome

w; but you don’t know

m; i don’t have daya

w; what about lower order mental health disorders?

m; the study i did wasn’t mA vs CA, but a study did show that L&G populations fared better in states where they had more protections. but i don’t know about a study comparing CA & MA

W: Netherlans SSM since 2001?

M: Okay….

W: Lower prevalence of mental health disorders in Netherlands than CA?

M: Can’t say. My studeies were national studies, can’t sort by state.

W: You aware SS couples can register in CA as DP

M Yes

W: You depo’d that domestic partnership is worhtless?

M: Yes

W And that if both were available, L&Gs wouldn’t choose DP

M I would think so, but I don’t know

w: CA Statute governing DP. Read you part of it: Section A says DPs shall have the same rights responsibilities under common law as spouses. Were you aware of that treatment was the same?

M: Yes, but I’m not talking about legal rights and benefits, I was talking about the social meaning and message of marriage.

w: So your opinions wouldn’t change?

M: No, my focus is on the social costs, not the legal

W: Do you believe DP stigmatize L&Gs/

M Yes

w dIX 1067, letter from Assmemblymember Jackie Goldberg re AB205, rights and responsbilities that are new under DP. 205 enacted into law, turn to the last page. "This bill is sponsored by EQCA. Other orgs are Lambda Legal, the ACLU, NCLR [others]

W: Are you familiar?

M: Yes

W: Would EQCA sponsor legislation intended to stigmatize L&Gs?

M: Their intention was to benefit L&Gs I am sure, but I find it is stigmatizing.

W: Other orgs your answer would be the same

M: Yes

W: DIX 1020, ID this please?

M: I have not seen it before

W: then nevermind

W: REmember we talked about 205, would you say that CA L&Gs suffer from worse mental health outcomes than other jurisdictions that permit SSM?

M: Can’t say that no

W: When you says DPs aren’t societally approved, you don’t need to read your depo aloud, did you give that testimony at your depo?

M: Don’t have an independent recollection, but I read it here, and I presume i said it.

W: But here you said in your depo that DPs were societally approved.

M: well my answer is what I believe, without context, I can’t agree that it is contradictory.

PLAINTIFFS COUNSEL: reads other part of depo, comparing DP to SSM, DP is offered as a secondary to marriage.

Walker: Very well shall we move on then?

W: Laws reinforce social stigma, right?

M I believe that I wrote that, yes

W: Did you know thart CA law prevents discrimination in housing on Sexual orientation, business provision of services, emplyoment

M; not independently aware, but i believe you

W; Leaving aside marriage, are you aware of any state with less structural stigma than CA’s?

M: I can’t answer

W: So you don’t know

M: No, I can’t answer, I don’t have than information

No further questions, redirect

D: Opposing counsel talked a lot about racial minorities in the social stress theory, recall that?

M: Yes

D: You show that stress doesn’t show the same health effects

M: Not I who found it, many studies found it.

D: Dr Meyer, why do AA and L&G communities have different responses to different stressors?

M: Well that’s why we look at data, to improve our analysis to improve our models. REgarding AA findings, we are interested in studying the theory that AAs are exposed to racism, in their socialization they are exposed to better coping mechanisms since they grow up in AA communities. Being socialize by your family, educated about rcism in black communities and black churchs for centuries, combatting the messages of racism for CENTURIES. AA person being raised amidst this benefits from it, while L&G people don’t have that access to supportive services and benefits.

M: Until they come out, they don’t have that benefit.

D: (Summarizes, talks about siblings, grandparents, pastors, aunts and uncles, while L&G don’t have that —

M: I would say they definitely don’t have that, it’s the opposite sometimes, with shunning and violence within families.

WAlker: Are you talking about L&G AAs or all AAs?

M: defines studies better, the AA community has better socialization and support. Two different comparisons, joined only by the theoretical construct of minority/social stress.

Walker: AA L&Gs?

M: No, a comparison is asked: AAs non-gay vs white non-gay as opposed to AA L&G vs white L&G. You would expect the first and second to show the same differences.

D: Recall discussion about the model not working?

M: Yes, it’s not the model’s probelem, it’s that comparisons between AAs and L&Gs fail on the community access and support when you look at that while being raised as opposed to widespread homophobia.

D: Are minority stress and social stress the same thing?

M: The are similar in that both look at racism as stress. But in my studies were are looking at homophobia as stress.

But when you use the term minority stress are you talking about all minorities?

M: No it’s used in the literature to refer to sexual minorities?

D: are the processes we spent time on earlier, are these specific to the L&G community?

M: Yes of course.

D: well about concealment, how does that work owith regard to race?

M: well, it used to happen but not so much now.

D: About the role of law, are AAs dealt with differently than L&Gs?

M: Well, since 1964 there are no LEGAL types of racsim. Ther is no state ENDORSEMENT of racism as there once was. Of course there is still racism, but it doesn’t have theimprimatur of the state.

D: Has anyting undermined your view that minority stress operates in the lives of L&Gs?

M: No, findings are never perfect, but the many studies i have looked at, none have caused me to doubt what i testified to. The situation of AAs as well as gender, I am very intersted in seeing how it plays into the causal change. It is INTERESTING but it doesn’t cause me to doubt my owrk.

D: When Nelson asked you about INCONSISTENT, isn’t that the purpose of studying a hypothese?

M: Yes, that is the purpose of any study.

D: assume there’s no right to marry and no D/P. Are L&Gs stigmatized?>

M: Yes, it has the power of the state but it’s not the only stigma.

D: If people can’t marry or DP, is that stigma.

M: Yes, what it means that you can’t have either, the message is even more severe. If a state doesn’t offer marriage, it’s great stigma, but if a state offers DP it’s almost like saying go to theback of the bus.

D: No more questions

Walker: Go to Ms Zia tomorrow?

Boutrous: Yes, although we might start with Dr Lam rather than Ms Zia. Also want to talk abuot the documents produced under seal.

walkerL are these the docs I asked for a response today?

Boutrous, yes and we’re ready to argue that when your honor is ready.

Beer- and vodka-thirty, over and out, 5:35 late day, sorry about typoes.

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