Friday, January 8, 2010

Prop8 defendant wants out

From the AP:
SAN FRANCISCO – An outspoken gay marriage opponent serving as an official litigant defending the state's ban on same-sex weddings on Friday asked a judge to remove him from the lawsuit because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.
This is their new thing, claiming that bands of tastefully dressed homos are going to assault them in public. Please. There's no evidence for that, at all. The only people arrested at the protests *I'VE* been to have been the other side. But there's more:
Hak-Shing William Tam was one of five people who formally intervened to defend the state from a federal lawsuit filed against California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have declined to mount a defense on behalf of the state......

"In the past I have received threats on my life, had my property vandalized and am recognized on the streets due to my association with Proposition 8," Tam said in a court filing. "Now that the subject lawsuit is going to trial, I fear I will get more publicity, be more recognizable and that the risk of harm to me and my family will increase."

In the months leading up the trial, lawyers for two unmarried same-sex couples on whose behalf the case was brought complained that Proposition 8's sponsors were withholding evidence to which the plaintiffs were entitled by citing a letter they had uncovered written by Tam to members of his church during the campaign.

In the letter, Tam outlined what he described as the disastrous consequences for allowing gays to marry in California.
"One by one, other states would fall into Satan's hands," he wrote. "Every child, when growing up, would fantasize marrying someone of the same sex. More children would become homosexuals."

The contents could come up in the trial because one of the issues is whether the measure's backers were motivated by anti-gay bias.
Interesting. First, I'd like to know the formal evidence for these attacks he claims he has been subject to. Of course it's interesting that he was okay with this, until the judge decided to allow a delayed Youtube video. It's not like his name is hidden or anything. Second, that letter certainly suggests a mind somewhat ....unhinged, on the subject of GLBT people. I wonder if letting him out takes that letter out of play. Might be a liability.

Tam has a right to believe as he will. He also needs to realize that his actions contributed to enormous harm to others: far more harm than a few mean words. Perhaps the judge could let him wear a hood. I understand such things have a history with those who deny civil rights to their compatriots.

You know, I was yelled at, spat at, and my car was vandalized during the run up to Prop8. All I did was display a sign that said "No on Prop 8". If that's evidence of backlash, it goes both ways.

And meanwhile, Mean Maggie Gallagher and NOM are saying,
We do not expect to win at the trial level, but with God’s help, at least five members of the current Supreme Court will have the courage to defend our Constitution from this grave attack.
Don't believe a word of it, and don't let down your guard.

Update More from LGBTPOV:
[Tam] doesn’t “like the burden of complying with discovery requests. I do not like people questioning me on my private personal beliefs.” He doesn’t want to be questioned? But he publicly stated those opinions as the reason why people should vote in favor of Prop 8.
Whole filing here.

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