Perry v. Schwarzenegger: day eight summary
Thanks to Courage Campaign and FireDogLake
Cross-examination of Professor Gary Segura continued.
The result was evidence that many politicians opposed Proposition 8; that some churches supported marriage equality but that they were in the minority. Established a very strong correlation between those who believe in Biblical literalism and those who supported Proposition 8.
Thompson provided evidence that many gay groups supported domestic partnerships and hailed their passage. Segura agreed but pointed out that this was not in contrast to marriage but rather in contrast to nothing at all.
(The Prop 8 side seems to be encouraging testimony that shows that religion was the reason many voted for the proposition. I’m not sure where they are going with this other than perhaps arguing that religion, as a suspect class, is entitled to discriminate? Or that religion is by definition not animus?)
Thompson brought up the “violent” reaction after Prop 8 passed. (For the record, there was very little violence, “vandalism” seemed to be limited to spray paint, and “intimidation” seemed to consist mostly of boycotts of those who funded Prop 8 but sought gay or gay supportive customers for their business ventures.)
Judge Walker asked an interesting question. He asked whether there were times in which violence did not result in reduced support but rather in increased support. Segura said that happened when it was perceived as acts of desperation by an otherwise powerless group. However, he hesitated to make that leap.
Then Thompson brought up everyone’s favorite Mormon boycott victim, Marji of El Coyote. He referred to Steve Lopez’ column which claimed that police in riot gear were there. (For the record, that is not true. I was there, police were there, Steve Lopez was not. But they were NOT in riot gear and the ONLY interaction they had with the crowd – other than friendly chatting – was to direct people out of the street if they got too far.) Thompson is seeking to argue that the public rejected marriage equality because they heard media reports (or anti-gay exaggerations) about gays behaving badly after the vote. He tried to suggest that any lack of political power that gay people may have was due to a handful of incidences of bad behavior.
In redirect, Theodore Boutrous showed how boycotting is a tool that is employed by the otherwise powerless. He showed how it has a long history in our country and was used by colonialists and by African Americans in the South during civil rights efforts. Segura noted that bad acts were not limited to the gay side but that vandalism and theft of signs also occurred on the pro-8 side. Such behavior, while counterproductive, does not influence many voters.
Because Thompson had brought up after-the-vote events, video, and articles, this opened the door for the ookie-spookie “Gathering Storm” video created by National Organization for Marriage. While it is preposterous and ridiculous, it is a good example of the effort by anti-gays to demonize gay people and portray them as a threat. Segura says that this reinforces disparity in power.
Segura finished by saying that any individual vote or political gain by gay people can be held up as an indication that gays have political power, he has to look at the broader scope of all bills and conclude that gays are indeed unable lacking in influence. To do otherwise would be malpractice.
Next up to the stand is Hak-Shing William “Bill” Tam, as a hostile witness. He is one of the five proponents of Proposition 8 who tried to drop out of the case.
After having previously petitioned the court as a deeply involved party, Mr. Tam now tried to downplay his connection to ProtectMarriage.com. (Frankly, his reluctance to answer honestly – even when the answer is obvious – does not credit his position.) Boies was able to show that Tam was involved with the Proposition 8 campaign since 2007 and before the proposition itself was written.
Tam testified that he believes that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia and that gays are 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals and that gays want to legalize sex with children. Boies had to drag every admission from him. It was nasty.
Tam testified that he said that homosexuality is mutable based on what he had read at about Dr. Francis Collins on the NARTH website that “homosexuality is not hardwired” and has no genetic basis. (I hope that the plaintiffs have read Dr. Throckmorton’s website where he confirms that Dr. Collins said no such thing.) Tam said he never tried to find out what the APA says because NARTH is a better source.
Tam seemed to have consistently undermined his own integrity. In one example, Boies asked him about a rally and Tam tried to downplay his involvement. Then Boies showed documents proving that Tam was the one who brought in Ron Prentise as a speaker and was one of the two press contacts for the rally.
Boies also cleverly got Tam to show that his objection to gay marriage was really an objection to anything gay, supporting Prop 8 would oppose social moral decay including polygamy and incest. He testified that after the Netherlands legalized same sex marriage they legalized polygamy and incest. He testified that after Sweden passed Civil Unions, they allowed siblings to marry.
Boies showed that Tam was ready to believe and repeat anything negative about gay people, no matter how bizarre or heinous. Also, Tam says that he supports domestic partnerships, but it’s pretty clear that this is just a talking point and that he really opposes anything positive for gay people.
Tam testified that his statements were not representative of the campaign and that “Mr. White” called and asked him not to make them. (Based on Tam’s earlier, umm, mistaken testimony which had to be corrected by documents which proved him to have, umm, misspoken, I doubt the veracity of that claim).
Boies pretty much illustrated that everything that was coming out of Tam’s mouth was contrary to evidence. Tam claimed that the campaign was unaware of his OneManOneWoman website in an effort to separate the outrageous claims on the website from the motivations of the campaign.
Boies: Let’s do more than infer, let’s look at that August 22, 2008 memo from Mr Schubert’s firm. What did Schubert’s firm do again?
Tam: He ran the campaign.
Boies: Now look at the last page? Third bullet? Read that please?
Tam: “A website is up, OneManOneWoman.com”
In redirect, Moss tried to show that Tam was insignificant, a rogue, someone who did not clear his messaging with anyone or have his fliers approved.
(There was moment when Tam said he didn’t recognize the voices on the conference calls because English isn’t his first language and they all sound the same. Yikes.)
In redirect, Boies showed that contrary to his claim about being involved only in the “petition phase” and not the “campaign phase”, Tam could be proven to be involved a few days before the election.
Boies concluded the day by reminding Tam of the time in which Asian Americans could not marry the person they loved. He asked if Tam would have felt aggrieved. Yes, Tam said that he would have. Sad.
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