Prop 8 Trial Update: Gary Segura, William Tam, Day 9
Today at the Prop 8 trial, via AFER:
Taking the stand ... will be Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis. He will testify about the nature of sexual orientation; how mainstream mental health professionals and behavioral scientists regard homosexuality; the benefits conferred by marriage; stereotypes relating to lesbians and gay men; stigma and prejudice directed at lesbians and gay men; the harm to lesbians and gay men and their families as a consequence of being denied the right to marry; and how the institution of domestic partnerships differs from that of marriage and is linked with antigay stigma.
Shannon Minter has a great wrap-up of yesterday's trial activities at Pam's House Blend, first on the continuing testimony of Professor Gary Segura:
Despite repeated promptings from Judge Walker to move things along, Thompson presented Professor Segura with repetitive examples of celebrities, prominent politicians, religious organizations, and businesses that have expressed support for LGBT people. On redirect (brilliantly conducted by Ted Boutrous of Gibson Dunn), Professor Segura demolished Thompson's attempt to paint a false picture of LGBT people as politically powerful. In a few short strokes, Professor Segura explained that it is meaningless to compare only the number of groups on each side, without looking at their size, influence, and ability to mobilize voters. For example, while hundreds of churches opposed Prop 8, literally thousands supported it. By any reasonable measure, Professor Segura explained, the Prop 8 proponents were able to garner a magnitude of support that dwarfed that given to the other side.
And then on the "hostile witness" William Hak-Shing Tam:
Dr. Tam testified that he is the Secretary of an organization, 1man1woman.net, whose website states that "studies show that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia," and that "homosexuals are 12 times more likely to abuse children." Dr. Tam testified that, to this day, he believes those statements are true. Dr. Tam acknowledged that another document he authored in support of Prop. 8 claimed that after winning marriage equality, LGBT people intended to "legalize having sex with children." Dr. Tam also acknowledged saying, as reported in the San Jose Mercury News, "We hope to convince Asian-Americans that gay marriage will cause more children to experiment with the gay lifestyle, and that lifestyle comes with all kinds of disease."
Boies wrapped up Dr. Tam's testimony by establishing that the Yes on 8 campaign had a tightly coordinated public messaging policy, that the campaign coalition was well aware of Dr. Tam's 1man1woman.net website, and that the campaign never asked him to take down any of the material on his website linking homosexuality with pedophilia.
It was clear by the end of Boies's questioning that no matter how hard the official Prop 8 campaign might try to distance itself from Dr. Tam's shocking anti-gay rhetoric and lies, Dr. Tam spoke as an official proponent who was also a day-to-day leader with real influence in the campaign.
The Mercury News reports:
"Earlier in the trial, a Cambridge University professor testified that there is no evidence to suggest that gays are more likely to molest children than heterosexuals. During a news conference outside court, lawyer Andy Pugno, who represents Proposition 8 backers, said Tam had 'next to nothing' to do with the campaign, even though he was one of the measure's official proponents. Tam said he spent a lot of time working on the campaign and frequently communicated with its leaders but modestly added he did not consider himself a major player."