January 21, 2010
by Brian Leubitz
Yesterday, we saw the direct of Prof. Gary Segura go fairly smoothly. Dr. Segura testified about the relative political power of gays and lesbians as a class of citizens, and their level of political vulnerability. And then we hit cross-examination. As your friendly live-blogger, I thought my fingers were going to start bleeding at any moment. David Thompson, the attorney for the defendant-intervenors, rapid-fired questions, and Dr. Segura rapid fired them back.
Basically, Thompson went through every possible event, election, legislation, or judicial decision that could possibly be construed as a victory for the LGBT community and asked Dr. Segura whether he felt that represented political power for the community. Dr. Segura pointed out, time after time, that you have to view each victory in context, each election in context. For example, Annise Parker, the newly elected Mayor of Houston, is an out lesbian. However, she does not get benefits for her partner, and says that she will not take the lead on them. Furthermore, Parker lives in a state with no protections for LGBT employees, and little, if any, protections whatsoever for the community.
In Dr. Segura’s words, Parker lives not only in Houston, but also in Harris County, also in Texas, and also in the United States of America. And this pattern of going back over each fact looks set to continue for the fist 90 minutes or so of today’s testimony.
The real fun gets started after Dr. Segura steps down, as the now infamous William Tam takes the stand. Tam was originally one of the Defendant-Intervenors, until he decided he didn’t like people paying attention to the stench of crazy emanating from his person. That’s Dr. Tam to the right, and since he seems to not love the media attention as much as he did about 18 months ago, we had to rustle up a picture from back then.
Take this following series of greatest hits from Mr. Tam:
Question: “And it is your understanding that part of the gay agenda is legalizing underage sex?”
Answer: “Right.” (Page 43 of deposition)
“They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children.” (Pro-Prop. 8 email by Tam, page 78 of deposition)
“We hope to convince Asian-Americans that gay marriage will encourage more children to experiment with the gay lifestyle and that the lifestyle comes with all kinds of disease.” (Pro-Prop. 8 media interview by Tam, page 77 of deposition)
Dr. Tam’s testimony should be a thriller of the depths of the right-wing. They’ve been trying to hide this guy, and this sect of their campaign. But, they can’t hide him forever, and the country should be in for a bit of an awakening.
Finally, if health and time permit, Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis, will testify today. He will testify about the nature of sexual orientation, how mainstream mental health professionals and behavioral scientists regard homosexuality, benefits conferred by marriage, stereotypes relating to lesbians and gay men, stigma and prejudice directed at lesbians and gay men, the harm to lesbians and gay men and their families as a consequence of being denied the right to marry, and how the institution of domestic partnerships differs from that of marriage and is linked with antigay stigma.
Stay tuned right here for all the action…