Thursday, January 14, 2010

Word From The Trial: Day Three Recap

Day Three of testimony in a lawsuit seeking to overthrow Prop H8 highlighted a central dispute in the case: whether Prop. 8 was rooted in prejudice against a historically persecuted group.
The plaintiffs--two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco--say the ballot measure, promoted as a method of restoring traditional marriage, was no more than a thinly veiled appeal to anti-gay hatred, discrimination and bias. If successful that argument, would make it easier to prove that Prop. 8 violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

Which it does, let us not forget.

Sponsors of Prop H8 contend that gays and lesbians face no official discrimination in California, which recognizes domestic partnerships, and were not deprived of any fundamental rights when voters excluded them from marriage.

Before Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, Prop H8 attorney David Thompson recounted numerous examples of societal progress; he noted that medical organizations stopped classifying homosexuality as a disorder 35 years ago, and that federal agencies and most large companies ban job discrimination against gays and lesbians.

He even made mention that once-hostile media images of the LGBT community have been replaced by sympathetic portrayals in such productions as the movie "Brokeback Mountain" and the TV show "Will & Grace." Thompson said that labor unions, a "growing number of churches" and many political leaders also support gay rights.

Supporting LGBT rights is one thing, making discrimination against the LGBT community part of the state Constitution is another.

One witness, Yale history Professor George Chauncey, replied that gays and lesbians have gained greater acceptance but "continue to encounter tremendous hostility."

And, to that end, Prop H8 opponents sought to illustrate that "tremendous hostility" with their pretrial deposition of William Tam, a San Francisco chemical engineer and activist who was one of the Prop H8's official proponents.

Tam organized rallies and raised money for the measure, and sent a letter to Prop H8 supporters during the campaign warning that if same-sex marriage remained legal, "other states would fall into Satan's hand." he continued by saying that San Francisco's government, already "under the rule of homosexuals," would move next to legalize sex with children and prostitution. In his deposition, Tam said he was also concerned that "every child can grow up thinking whether he would marry John or Jane."

And that's wrong because......?

Thompson argued that Tam had been speaking only for himself, even though he actively campaigned for Hate, rallied for Hate, and wrote letters to spread the Hate. Thompson also noted that Tam has asked Judge Walker to remove him as an official proponent of Prop H8 because he now lives in fear as to what the LGBT community will do to him.

When you plant Hate, how can you be surprised that Hate grows?

Judge Walker has not ruled on Tam's request.

1 comment:

Wonder Man said...

great recap, I wish we could watch this