Proposition 8 found himself on trial Thursday inside the boundaries of
the historic federal court trial here to decide the legality of the
state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
During an afternoon of scathing inquiry from prominent plaintiffs’ attorney
a controversial figure in the Proposition 8 movement, was confronted
repeatedly on views depicted as hostile to the rights of gays and
lesbians. Tam acknowledged he likened same-sex marriage to pedophilia,
polygamy and legalizing sex with children, and that
Proposition 8 proponent, called as part of the case to overturn the
state’s gay marriage ban, explained that he primarily opposed same-sex
marriage because it would encourage children to “marry John or Jane” of
the same sex when they “grow up.”
“I believe if the term marriage can be used beyond
one man, one woman, then any two persons of any age, of any
relationship, can use that same argument to ask for the term marriage,”
Tam testified. “That would lead to incest. That would lead to polygamy.
If this is a civil right, what would prevent other groups from asking
for the same right?”
With the plaintiffs nearing the end of their witnesses, Tam was called to the witness stand as part of the legal challenge to
Plaintiffs’ lawyers consider Tam’s harsh outlook
toward gay marriage important to proving that Proposition 8 was fueled
by hostility and animus toward gays and lesbians, providing reason to
give them greater protection under the U.S. Constitution.
Proposition 8 supporters insist they oppose gay
marriage to preserve the traditional definition of heterosexual
marriage, not to discriminate against the rights of gays and lesbians.
Proposition 8 lawyer
questions, tried to distance the campaign from Tam’s statements,
depicting him as going rogue with his statements about gays and
lesbians without the consent of Proposition 8 campaign officials.
“I was acting independently,” Tam said of statements
he made that were not approved by ProtectMarriage.com and Proposition
Boies, however, portrayed Tam as inextricably linked
to the campaign, showing e-mails in which he regularly communicated
with ProtectMarriage.com officials and evidence Tam mobilized the Asian
community and organized rallies against same-sex marriage.
The plaintiffs are expected to finish their case Friday with the testimony of another expert,
on the stand. He was grilled by Proposition 8 lawyers on his position
that gays and lesbians are “powerless” in the political arena.
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