Resuming now: David Boies with his first witness, Jeffrey James Zerrillo.
B: Tell the court about yourself. How old are you
Z: 34, raised in New Jersey, have one brother. He’s been married 14 years, my parents have been married for 41 years.
Z: AMC entertainment, worked there forever, now general manager of operations from ticket taker.
B: Are you gay?
B: How long?
B: How long have you been openly gay?
Z: In stages, last stage when I was thirty.
B: What took you so long?
Z: Coming out is a personal and internal process. You have to get comfortable with who you are (chokes up, takes a moment). The things you see, the things you hear about being gay, the process changes you. Ultimately youget to the point where you’re comfortable. Once you realize it's not about what anyone else thinks, it’s about me — about the stereotypes and the hate.
B: tell about the stereotypes what you read and heard?
Z: Can’t we all remember the peer pressure in high school and college? Many of my friends identified as straight and were dating women. That was tough for me, I wanted to go out for the football team, but I was afraid of being in the locker room with men.
B; What were some of the things you saw and read?
OBJECTION;overruled, goes to witness’s state of mind.
Z: After school special about a kid who came out to his parents, kicked out of his home, told by his parents not to come home. Remember Ryan Phillipe playing a gay kid on One Life to Live, kicked out by his father.
B: Today, you are in a committed relationship, you love another gay man. tell me about that man.
Z: He is the love of my life, I love him more than myself, in sickness in health, until death parts us. I would do anything for him.
B: How long?
Z: Nine years
B: Why do you want to marry him?
Z: Marriage has a special meaning, that’s why we’re here today, to share the joy and happiness my parents felt, my brother felt, my friends and neighbors felt when they married.
B: Would being married change your relationship?
Z: Absolutely, one’s capacity to grow continues through marriage.
B: Would marrying affect your relationships with family, community?
Z: Yes, at work and family functions, I would participate as a married person, together with other married family members, I would feel pride as they do.
B: Would it affect others who don’t know you?
Z: Sure! when someone is married, when meeting a stranger, when someone notices my ring, it says to them, these individuals are serious, they are committed to one another, they are in a relationship that one hopes lasts the rest of their lives.
B: Do you have children?
B: Do you want children?
B: why don’t you have them?
Z: Paul and I believe we and our child deserves the protection marriage provides. So that nothing could eradicate that nuclear family.
B: You are aware you can be a domestic partner in CA, right?
Z: Yes, but a domestic partnership would mean we are second- or third-class citizens. That is not enough, just part of the pie and not the whole thing.
Z: We would be saying we are satisfied with being second class. Only marriage can give us first class citizenship for our relationship.
B: Do you have friends who are domestic partnerships?
Z: Probably, not talked about.
B: Do those people celebrate anniversaries?
B: How are you discriminated against by not being married?
Z: Discrimination is pervasive, other states have acted to restrict marriage. Discrimination is everywhere, daily reminders of what I can’t have.
B: Personally encountered embarrassing or awkward situations because of being unmarried?
Z: When we travel, it’s always awkward at the front desk. the desk clerk looks at us, perplexed, you ordered a king side bed, is that really what you want? It’s very awkward. I’ve opened a bank account, saying my partner and i want to bank together, they want to know what kind of business partner you are. It would be crystal clear if i could say, My husband and I want a room, or my husband and I want a bank account.
B; Tell about how people react to you?
Z: I proudly wear my ring, people ask how long I’ve been married or what my wife does, then I have to say my partner is a man. If I could just say My husband, wouldn’t that be clearer?
B: Might you marry someone of the opposite sex if California continues to prohibit same sex marriage?
B: Wouldn’t you tend to have a stable loving relationship with some one of the opposite sex?
Z: Again, no.
Created: Jan 14, 2010Document Media