Day 8 of the Prop 8 Trial: Religion Doesn’t Excuse Prejudice

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It was an interesting afternoon with William Tam’s testimony. You may recall he was going to be among the  defendants, but requested to be withdrawn for fear of safety. Many have speculated that the real reason for his withdrawal was the content of his beliefs and messages used to support the Prop 8 campaign (as evidenced by this letter). This speculation was supported by the fact the plaintiffs called upon Tam to testify.

Most of the examinations focused on connecting or disconnecting Tam to the Prop 8 campaign, but we also learned some revealing things about Tam’s beliefs. He believes gays are 12 times more likely to molest children (no, that’s not paraphrased). He also believes same-sex marriage will lead to sex with children, incest, and prostitution. I’m not sure a lot of his facts about Europe were accurate, but he had concerns about the age of consent being lowered as well. (The map at right shows that the United States is awfully conservative when it comes to ages of consent compared to a lot of the world.) Brian Leubitz (P8TT) points out that the age of consent in Canada was raised from 14 to 16 AFTER same-sex marriage had been legalized, so Tam definitely was speaking falsehoods.

One of the things that struck me the most was that Tam testified he got a lot of his information about homosexuality (including that it’s a choice) from NARTH. He admitted that he trusts NARTH, but that he’s never looked at the American Psychological Association (which, as a reminder, renounces all of NARTH’s “science”). This kind of narrow thinking is what religion thrives on: Trust the source you agree with and ignore everything else. NARTH is not respected by any legitimate psychologists, but I doubt Tam cares.

Here is today’s roundup of links:

ZFb: Some Day 8 Mid-Day Updates and Mainstream Coverage (More links and coverage can be found here from earlier today.)

P8TT: Complete Transcript Summary, William Tam: He’s like that Cute Ignorant Uncle That Everybody Cringes At, How Today’s Supreme Court Decision Affects The Marriage Equality Movement

Firedoglake: Morning 1, Morning 2, Afternoon 1, Afternoon 2

Shannon Minter (NCLR): Day 8 Recap

San Jose Mercury: Prop. 8 trial Day 8: Live coverage from the courtroom, Controversial Proposition 8 proponent grilled about views on homosexuality

Washington Post: Prop. 8 backer stands by views on pedophilia

New York Times: Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 8: Power and Prejudice

The New Yorker: Power Points

Huffington Post: P8TT’s Rick Jacobs: Prop 8 on trial: Justice and equality in the age of the Internet, Proposition 8 Backer, Hak-Shing William Tam, Testifies That Gays Are Linked To Pedophilia, Professor Says Gays Are Politically Unpopular

Keen News Service: Mid-day report: Day 8 Prop 8 trial, Prop 8 team distances itself from an old friend

Good As You: Maggie’s Cross

Wall Street Journal: Gay-Marriage Backers See Hostile Intent in Ban

Law Dork: Justice Thomas on ‘Proposition 8-related retaliation’ (In a decision not about Prop 8, Justice Thomas spoke at length about Prop 8 campaign donations… an interesting read!)

On a day when we were reminded of the hateful ignorance that motivates discrimination in this country, I want to include some uplifting content in this post as well. Below are more tweets from Protect Mawwiage, as well as a new HIV Prevention Ad from France that is very well done (NSFW). Enjoy!

Protect Mawwiage: (Note: “Thompson” is defense’s counsel)

Thompson now producing eye chart, asking Segura to read letters 2nd row from the bottom #Prop8 #protectmarriage

AntiHeteros dare 2 question infallible peace-loving religions. Hope they forgot about Crusades, Inquisition, Jihads! #protectmarriage #prop8

Why must antiheteros tarnish religion? KKK was Christian but just misunderstood, lil rowdy, like 2 play dressup. #prop8 #protectmarriage

Pro #Prop8 attorneys make awesome point: gays not stoned in most states, so they already have equal rights, happiness. #protectmarriage

Can’t find HETEROS ONLY water fountains or bathrooms at #prop8 trial. Very odd. SF=total hippy den. #protectmarriage

Glad Dr. Tam is prohetero hero but hope he doesn’t marry white chick. That was once, and still should be, illegal! #prop8 #protectmarriage

Hope #prop8 progay lawyers don’t find Tam’s website or lengthy list of articles #protectmarriage

Dr. Tam criticized for getting all his info from internet, including 2 Girls 1 Cup ice cream recipe. Not sure what’s wrong with that! #prop8

Working on time machine with @ADFMedia @protectmarriage to go back in time, prevent Dr. Tam’s birth/testimony. #prop8 #hellfrozenover

And, from France:

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