Hak-Shing William Tam, who intervened in Perry to defend Prop 8, believes that gay people are twelve times more likely to molest children. He said so Thursday on the stand, endorsing a statistic posted on the internet by a group of Chinese pastors. He is the group’s secretary.
Plaintiffs’ attorney David Boies questioned Tam on this and other public expressions of his views. The point seemed to be that Tam is prejudiced, and that he wielded this prejudice on behalf of the Prop 8 campaign. The legal question is whether this amounts to impermissible moral disapproval or animus, a constitutionally forbidden form of ill will.
Boies asked Tam about a San Jose Mercury News article quoting him as saying that “the gay lifestyle … comes with all kinds of disease.” Boies focused on a letter Tam wrote during the Prop 8 campaign warning that San Francisco is already “under the rule of homosexuals,” and that the “gay agenda” involves legalizing prostitution and having sex with children. Tam said he referred to prostitution because of Proposition K, a failed San Francisco ballot measure seeking to decriminalize sex work. By “having sex with children,” Tam meant lowering the age of consent to thirteen or fourteen. He fears the “liberal trend” in Canada and some European countries, where he believes same-sex marriage has given way to incest and polygamy.
“Where did you hear that? Who told you that?” Boies asked, raising his voice, incredulous.
“It’s on the internet,” Tam said. He sounded reasonable, matter of fact. Like an expert relying on a peer-reviewed study.
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