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
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
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."