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On William Tam, or Help I’m a Bigot, Somebody Get me Out of Here


by Brian Leubitz

Dr. William Tam is an interesting character. According to his own deposition, he spent most of 2008 working to ensure Prop 8’s passage. He raised a lot of money for the campaign, and was responsible for much of the outreach to the Asian religious community. He was successful, too. His distribution network brought his hate-laden message across the state. For example, Andrew Sullivan found one email that had Dr. Tam explaining how same-sex marriage is really just a ploy to legalize pedophilia.

This November, San Francisco voters will vote on a ballot to “legalize prostitution”. This is put forth by the SF city government, which is under the rule of homosexuals. 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 … We can’t lose this critical battle. If we lose, this will very likely happen…

Last Friday, Dr. Tam decided that he wanted out of the case after all. Apparently, as a defendant-intervenor, he found that people had the audacity to ask questions of his conduct during the Prop 8 campaign. But more than that, the Prop 8 campaign needed him gone. As a visible member of the defense, Tam would serve as a reminder of the animus and irrational reasons really behind Proposition 8. With him off the defense team, Andy Pugno is free to claim that he really wasn’t that important in the first place.

It’s a nice move, if you can play it successfully.  Pugno and the Yes on 8 team get to use Tam and his hate speech during the campaign, and then when the spotlight turns towards their campaign tactics, they throw Tam off the boat.  Pugno is going for the old have your cake and eat it too plan.  But, Plaintiff’s Attorney Ted Bourtros called the Defendants out on this, saying the Prop 8 campaign was trying to have it both ways.

Now what you see is that they are trying to disavow portions of the campaign that were successful. a sort of underground campaign that was meant to spark illegitimate and uninformed reactions to Prop 8.

From a legal perspective, Tam’s exit doesn’t really affect the plaintiff’s task of proving animus as the reason behind Prop 8. The trial is being tried to a judge, so there aren’t the same concerns of appearances that you see when a jury is hearing the case. But, while Tam can beat a retreat, the fact is that the Prop 8 team didn’t make a big stink about his role before last week. Until last week, they were cool with him being on the defense team, to now dismiss him as a “minor player” is insincere at best, and could probably be more accurately described as an outright lie.

Like it or not, Pugno and the Prop 8 team have Tam handcuffed to their record, and they’ll have to overcome the very blatant bigotry that was the focus of Tam’s efforts.


  • 1. michael  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:36 am

    To those that believe allowing video of the trial would change people's minds, I have my doubts.

    All one needs to do is view the blog of the Pro 8 people and it's pretty obvious, they just don't get it.

    Even after the testimony of today (thursday) and what glbt people go through, day to day.

    Though I suppose if 1% of the people that voted for Prop 8 changed their mind after reading the testimony, it's better than 0%.

    But in order for people to understand what we live with, doesn't it take a certain amount of compassion? And I really question whether those on 'the other side' HAVE any compassion. Witness the anti-health reformers.

    It defies logic (in my mind) but there are lots of things in the human psyche I don't understand. Like, why would someone murder another person? Or what is the point of war?

    Anyway, I think it's important to read the Pro-8 liveblog as well so you KNOW where they stand in spite of the testimony that has hit home for so many of us.

  • 2. Mary Lee  |  January 14, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I found it interesting that the Pro H8 blog does not allow comments. Any comments.

    There is one out of them all but I discovered each comment MUST be aproved before its allowed posting.

    These people remind me of the bullies I delt with in school. Do un to others then claim it was done to you, and you want the other person punished for it!

    The real thing is that BOTH sides of the matter believe the trial is going well for them. Or at least it desirable for their people to think so.

    I know I know, I stink. I'm just saying we can't be holding our collective breath right now.

  • 3. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Welcome to the culture wars. It's the same with the Intelligent Design Creationists. I defy you to find a pro-evolution blog that doesn't allow comments (some moderate, but mostly to target spam). And I defy you to find a Creationist blog that doesn't aggressively moderate comments. Hell, it's rare to find one that even allows comments.

    Not wishing to ruffle any feathers, it's also the same in regards to websites that promote dubious medical claims. Comments are heavily policed, and any dissent is quickly dealt with by a ban. On the other hand, sites that attempt to debunk these claims generally give a lot of leeway to the other side, only banning people who consistently and repeatedly make vicious personal attacks.

    Why is this? It's because ID Creationists, quack medicine promoters, and anti-gay marriage activists, despite what they might say publicly, are all highly reliant on limiting information. Any reasonable person presented with the accurate and complete information will quickly see who is right and who is wrong.

    I know I know, I stink. I’m just saying we can’t be holding our collective breath right now.

    No, you're being realistic. While the Good Guys might hope for a positive outcome in this court, and maybe even in the 9th Circuit, it's extremely unlikely that SCOTUS is going to change their mind about LGBT being a suspect class. And there is very little chance of this lawsuit succeeding in any court that refuses to grant a suspect classification to LGBT.

  • 4. Jay Allen  |  January 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    can you give us a link?

  • 5. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

    The people I hoped would be reached by broadcasting the trial are not the types who visit pro-Prop 8 blogs and think Sarah Palin is a goddess. Rather, I think there are a middle ground of people who are relatively centrist, but also either very ignorant or fairly stupid, who take the NOM commercials at face value, e.g. that children will be taught about gay sex in kindergarten. I think there is a set of people who, if they saw what the debate is really about, might vote differently.

    It's not like this would change it from the present ~53-47 against gay marriage (or whatever it is) to an overwhelming support in favor. But if it just 1 in 20 or 30 people (yes, that few!) was just like, "Oh, that kindergartener sex ed stuff is bullshit. And these plaintiffs in the trial seem like really nice people," seriously, that's all it would take.

  • 6. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Those on the other side are authoritarians and dominionists. They do not care what our side presents, even if it is outrageously simple to understand. Their compartmentalized little minds will not allow any information to override their religious programming.

  • 7. Christopher  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

    It may not change their mind but at least it may get a legitimate discussion started.

  • 8. V.  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

    It's extremely sad and revolting to see how people are not listening to the rest of the world and how much concerned their are by their own fears of the unknown.

    Aren't we supposed to help each others? Aren't we suppose to listen and appreciate the difference? The American culture is based on diversity, it's time to focus on simple things such as happiness for everyone. What is a wedding? A proof of love.

    All the arguments have been previously hard and it displays one thing: heterosexual have a perfect live. Well, how many people are divorcing now a day? How many men are cheating on their wife? In Africa, it's normal for a man to have several women. I am gay and all I want is an husband, I don't need more than one.

    I feel sorry for people who do not embrace the diversity and who do not even take the time to remove their fears to enjoy it. I feel sorry for people who judge without knowing. And I feel extremely sorry for people who think that what they see on television is the full truth.

    Love and passion are two words we all feel them when our heart is beating for someone. It's time to open the eyes and to enjoy the sunrise, just by thinking it's another day.

  • 9. Mike  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    The more we move to religious extremist the more vilent and hateful America will become. As long as politicians can rely on religious extremist to support their pro rich polices as long as they promote religious extremist… You get the point.

  • 10. Pierre  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

    You need to add a picture of this guy on the post…..everyone need to know who this guy is.

  • 11. J  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Oooo, he needs a new look.

  • 12. Dieter M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

    no..he needs a noose around his neck. sleep tight TAM…the gays are coming to get ya….LOLOLOLOL

  • 13. David  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm


    Don't know who you are or what you're trying to accomplish but you're not helping.

  • 14. Dieter M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    david, I can TELL you who I am. I am the guy who is going to see to it that people like TAM find it very difficult to sleep at night. and maybe will feel so scared that they feel the need to move away…far far away where people accept in UTAH.

  • 15. Brian Leubitz  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Thanks, I've updated the post with the photo.

  • 16. Bill  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    this is one time looking exaclty alike will come in handy for him.

    was that wrong? ; )

  • 17. Jevin  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Yep, racism is really helpful. (note sarcasm)

  • 18. rhythmia  |  January 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Uh yeah, that totally is.

  • 19. Jaime  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Yes, it is wrong. Are you somehow under the impression that we can cancel out bigotry with still more bigotry?

  • 20. OhGoddess  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    would you please provide a link to that pro-8 blog you are mentioning?

  • 21. Marc  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    yes, i would like to read the pro 8 blog as well. link, please?

  • 22. michael  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Not really live, but the Pro-8 blog is here:

    As far as the comment, "getting the conversation started", I have to question whether people REALLY have conversations anymore.

    Though I shouldn't rely on the internet comment sections as my basis for making that assumptions, but it's difficult to believe people that constantly throw out the "rethugs, cons, libs, libtards" are people capable of having a real conversation.

    Another issue is one's level of education. It's an uphill if not impossible task to attempt to sway public opinion if the public can't even "agree to disagree" without using profanity and insults.

  • 23. Carl E.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:38 am


    I have to comment on this. I am astonished at the adult level of discourse present in the discussion threads on this site. On every other discussion thread I've read or been a part of, the first three, or perhaps four replies actually contain reasonable comments on the topic at hand. After that, they devolve into various commenters accusing one another of being one form or another of mid-20th-century despots/non-democratic political party members, etc. It is truly a delight to interact with individuals who can agree or disagree and argue their points without vitriol or all-caps tirades. Thank you all (pro or con Prop. 8) for this reprieve from unseemly internet behavior.

  • 24. David Kimble  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Well, according the website on the other side of the debate – they are doing, just swimmingly! It never hurts to check-out what the other side is saying, but as others have commented here – there is no blogging, no opinions allowed – I suppose confidence breeds insanity?

  • 25. Tom  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    their blog looks eerily similar to ours in color, format, font, etc.

    not sure if that means we copied them or they copied us.

    probably does not even really matter, though i finnd it quite interesting.

  • 26. Dan Hess  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    They copied us, it was white until a few days ago.

  • 27. truthspew  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

    The anti-gay side has for years tried to link being gay with pedophilia and pederasty. Of course that 'theory' has been debunked a zillion times. Just ask the APA, the NASW, et al.

    And here's what amuses me about the whole trial broadcast issue. It isn't like we won't know who they are. Any news organization worth it's weight will have cameras OUTSIDE the courthouse getting pix of the bigots. And of course we'll have their names too.

    And know what, they may scream about the harassment but we've been harassed for years. It's about time they get a taste of their own medicine.

  • 28. Mykelb  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:55 am

    If one really wants to probe the minds of these religious zealots, go to: and you will begin to understand how they come to the craziness that is observed by the objective viewer.

  • 29. Ted  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I learned long ago to, "not feed the trolls."

    There is a certain demographic that no amount of logic will ever win over to "our" side. We can argue until we're blue in the face, and they'll still cite Old Testament verse (or whatever) to support their bigotry.

    Don't engage these asshats. It's a completely useless waste of our resources.

    It may feel good to knock them down, intellectually, but doing so is nothing more than a distraction. Your intellectual prowess will not win them over — nor anyone else that thinks the same way.

    Ignore. Move on. Only engage in discussion with people that are still willing to engage in rational and polite discourse.

    If you argue with a troll, the troll has already won.

  • 30. JimB  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:37 am

    ^^^ +1

    "dont' engage the asshats"

  • 31. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Quite right, Ted. Religious Fundamentalist Christians will cite what they refer to as "The Old Testament" whenever it suits them. As a Jew I'm revolted by their misuse of a Jewish document…which they never fail to misinterpret since they read it in English via multiple English translations over time…not to mention the earlier Greek translation…all so far removed from the original language.

    Over and over again prominent Anti-Gay politicians and activists have turned out to be closet homosexuals. No heterosexual secure in themselves would carry on like this wen they could be golfing, fishing, gong to ball games with friends or family. And these Anti-Gay Activists like Tam seem to always be MEN. Well, the exception would be Anita Bryant whose HUSBAND later was revealed to be a gay man. Close enough.

    Fundamentalist Christianity has damaged these people and filled them with fear and self-hatred. Instead of turning it inward and becoming depressed, turning to substance abuse or suicide, these people turn it all outward on the LGBT community they do not have the guts to come out to and join. That's why the rhetoric and behavior on their side is so irrationa. This is analogous to the men and women leading the anti-abortion movement who in their youths were involved in a relationship resulting in pregnancy that ended in abortion. They benefited from this medical procedure (many when it was still illegal). They're religion (but not mine) says it is wrong and they feel guilty. So they turn it outward and campaign against the very thing they availed themselves of to allow themselves to have the life they had…but God forbid anyone else should have this medical procedure.

    The United States has no official religion and never has. This isn't just about LGBT marriage (though it is that). It is about stopping these people from imposing their minority religion, yes right-wing, Christian Fundamentalism IS a minority religion! – from taking over our country.

  • 32. mp  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    my boyfriend and I used to watch videos of this guy speaking on YouTube… sort of like watching a trainwreck kind of thing. however, we noticed about a month ago every video (there were a lot!) had been removed. more information control from the right!!

  • 33. Rachael  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    So THAT'S why I couldn't find any videos the other day that he was mentioned in the comments! I really wish they were still up, I'd like to see this crazy in action.

  • 34. Dieter M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

    here ya go:

    William Tam – Email, Address, Phone number, everything!

  • 35. Shira  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    What is this, a plant? So the other side can turn around and claim they're getting death threats? It's not funny.

  • 36. Carl E.  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Shira, I agree – we are, unlike some on the other side, not the lowest common denominator. Tempting as it may be, we cannot stoop to their level.

  • 37. Dieter M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

    not a plant…simply information on where we are able to retrieve all the information that the bigots are trying to hide.
    simple as that…and I for one shall publish their names ,pictures, addresses and phone numbers on every website and every online blog I can find. These people are gonna wish they had just shut up and allowed cameras. Because NOW not only can we still spread the information they were afraid of, but also now we are pissed…payback is a b*tch.

  • 38. SherylC  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Dieter M, you are just playing into the hands of the Prop 8 folks. Everyone here understands the anger & frustration you are clearly feeling, but the sort of posts you are writing only serve to give credence to the Prop 8-ers' cries of fear of retaliation.

    Please stop, for all our sakes.

  • 39. Dieter M.  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    you are so right sheryl…we should not get angry at all…we should just continue to keep showing cute little snippets of gay people holding hands talking about how all we want is to be loved..that has worked so well so far in 31 states…oh wait…NO IT HASN'T. being nice has gotten us nowhere. same way with the President…he keeps screwing us and all the self loathing gays just keep giving him money and telling the rest of us to shut up and wait….FOR NOTHING.
    We are NOT ever handed rights. We must fight for them. if you are not willing to fight for them then you don't deserve them.Unless you still support the HRC who says to keep giving them money for the next 7 years and HOPEFULLY Obama will get re-elected (not) and HOPEFULLY he will do SOMETHING by the year 2017. Nope not ME. I won't wait…they wanna lie about me..then I will let the world know the TRUTH about them. Their addresses and phone numbers and pictures will be all over the web shortly. And I shall sleep contentedly!!!!

  • 40. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Eh, perhaps there's a happy middle ground between "showing cute snippets of gay couples holding hands" and borderline-illegal harassment, you think?

    I agree, and have blogged about it before, that pro-gay marriage groups seem unwilling to play the kind of hardball it takes to sway voters in the run-up to an election. But there is a huge difference between running an attack ad on TV (which I think No on 1 should have done, frankly, as distasteful as the idea is) and calling someone's house….!

    These wussified over-privileged asshats will play the martyr card if you even sneeze in their general direction. Don't make any of them actual martyrs, please!

  • 41. TammyT  |  January 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I just got done reading some of the blog posts about the trial at I noticed two things immediately. First, that comments are off for all of the posts. Second, that almost all of the posts titles, and all of the posts I have read through, claim how "clearly" the defendant is winning this case.

    The conservative approach to managing public and private opinion by creating their own reality is fascinating. I remember quite a bit of that during the last presidential election, even when it was plainly obvious to anyone who was paying attention that they were losing, and losing badly.

    I want to thank all of the bloggers here for diligently keeping us all updated. And I want to thank the commenters here who have provided ancillary information and links.

    This trial may not change things overnight, but it's a huge step in social change. Crossing my fingers for my friends and family who suffer from discrimination that this will make change happen much faster than ever before.

  • 42. Alex Tsai  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I was also rolling my eyes on this from,

    "…Chauncey admitted, among other things, that times have changed and gays and lesbians do not face the discrimination they did in years past. In fact, he said gays and lesbians continue to come to California because of our accepting attitudes…"

    Didn't he feel ashamed to use the word "OUR"?! I'm sorry, but I just didn't feel their accepting attitudes at all. Or, am I just not gay enough to feel it?!

    They are not only twisting the facts, but also hypnotizing themselves! It's amazingly interesting & terrifying at the same time…

  • 43. celdd  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Tihis is the same tactic that the Creationists and Intelligent Design "cdesignproponents" use. Real biology and evolution blogs allow all comments regardless of position. Discussion and teaching is considered a positive value.

    Without fail, if the creationist and/or ID blogs allow comments (a lot don't), they are heavily managed and if you don't subscribe to the party line 100%, your post is not published an/or you are banned.

  • 44. Kim Brown in El Mira  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Been reading this LiveBlog for last 4 days and have to agree with one of plaintiffs' witnessess from the first or second day – GBLT people ARE more educated. The comments on this blog are proof! It is so refreshing to see such thoughtful and well written commentary. Thank you!!

  • 45. Jude Stevens  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I don't understand why Tam can't be given a subpoena – but I'm not a legal expert. Just my two cents. Trying to make the addresses, telephone numbers and emails of the defendants public in an effort to intimidate them will only help their argument that televising this trial, that they would be attacked by gays.

    I am an extremely strong supporter of this movement. I follow it and blog on it every day. I boycott and buycott businesses based on their equality practices. But we cannot play into their hands. That strategy, no matter how emotionally satisfying, won't work.

    We can continue to raise our voices and invite others, including straight people, to raise theirs. We must.

  • 46. Alexandra  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I'm going to guess that Tam can not be served a subpoena to testify because of the type of trial this is, i.e. not a criminal trial nor a civil trial at a lower level.

  • 47. SherylC  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Does anyone know what kind of doctor "Dr. Tam" is? From the depth of his ignorance about homosexuality, it's hard to imagine he's an MD or doctor of anything requiring rational or logical thought.

  • 48. Kelly  |  January 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    After much much digging around on the internet i found his biography. I am disappointed to say he's a fellow chemical engineer… It actually is really misleading to call him "Doctor" when his area of expertise is in engineering, not sociology or something of the like which would give him some kind of credit for the absurd things he claimed…

  • 49. SherylC  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks, Kelly, especially for including the link. I'd done some searching myself, but obviously wasn't using the right search terms.

    It's truly sad that an engineer can go so off-track. Seems like the irrational will too often triumph over the rational in the human brain. If our species ever gets over that, we might finally be worthy of the label "homo sapiens".

  • 50. Warren  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    "Dr. Tam has written many articles on parenting, education, religion, creation science"

    The term "creation science" tells you all you need to know. That someone with a PhD in a scientific field can be convinced the world is 6,000 years old is not only bewildering but puts into context the fact that he believes gay people wanting their full civil rights are trying to legalize pedophilia and not that religious monsters are the pedophiles themselves.

  • 51. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Heh, not surprising.

    I was going to point out that this is yet another technique shared by ID Creationists and anti-gay marriage bigots (both I and celdd already mentioned that both groups don't allow dissenting comments on their website).

    It's a common creationist tactic to find some dumb-ass engineer (and I'm an engineer with a Master's degree, so I'm allowed to say "dumb-ass engineer) who happens to have a PhD, convert him/her to Jeebus, and then trot him/her out saying, "Praise the Lord, a real PhD says evolution is bullshit! And PhDs are super-smart, so look, there is real controversy!" Nevermind that if your PhD is in anything but evolutionary biology, that doesn't mean you are any more qualified to talk about evolution than my dog…

  • 52. Matthew S.  |  January 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Dieter– in reference to your Utah comment in Post #9 above… I'll thank you not to wish your cast-offs on us here. We Utah gays already have our hands quite full enough with all the Mormon fundamentalists. We don't need his ilk as well. Lord knows there's enough crazy to go around.

  • 53. Mike  |  January 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I checked out the web site and they are doing the same slimy thing that they did pushing Prop 8, they regurgitate propaganda. The "Gay men are 70%~ not into monogamy" thing, leaving out the part about the age of that study (25 years ago?) during a time when there was not even domestic partner 's much less marriage anywhere in the country. Gay men had grown up in a time that they didn't think they COULD have long term relationship.

    They are just preparing the lemmings so if the judge rules against them, they will not kno9w the truth why.

    you notice they have comments turned off; truth, as usula, is not what they are after.

  • 54. Ric Huang  |  January 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Looking thru this guy's vc and records, I'm so shaken by how much damage this guy and his ilk probably had cause d in the asian community. As an asian myself, I'm ashamed that so little outreach (from what I have seen) had been done in our own community. Does anybody know any asian activists out there?

  • 55. Alain  |  January 15, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Yes, API Equality has been working on the ground to educate and mobilize Asian and Pacific Islander communities in California since 2004.

    In fact, API voters have made the largest shift towards equality between the 2000 vote on Prop 22 and the 2008 vote on Prop 8 (moving more than 15 points, according to many exit polls).

    But yes, more work needs to be done. In Santa Clara County, only three cities voted in favor of Prop 8, and Milpitas was one of them (Morgan Hill and Gilroy the other two).

  • 56. This Afternoon Testimony:&hellip  |  January 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    […] On William Tam, or Help I'm a Bigot, Somebody Get me Out of Here […]

  • 57. Ric Huang  |  January 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Great point, SherylC!

    But from my personal experience, ignorance is not necessarily caused by lack of intelligence. It could also be caused by lack of exposure to ideas.
    Another possibility is that he’s a doctor of biblical studies of some sort.

  • 58. Warren  |  January 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I have a serious question for legal type. As a gay person this man has clearly stated that he accepts as fact the reason I want marriage rights is to engage in child rape. Besides being extremely offensive isn't that defaming me and my good name? Especially given that he holds a position of authority and his words are likely to be accepted by many people as true. Is their standing to show that this libelous speech has harmed my reputation and as such I am entitled to seek damages?

    I'm thinking this is a long shot as I'd have to show direct harm (as if prop 8 wasn't harm enough) but I imagine that others have suffered loss as a result of his words and actions? Or is the 1st Amendment in play here?

  • 59. James Sweet  |  January 15, 2010 at 12:58 am

    It can't be libel if you are talking about class rather than an individual — at least not in the US (the UK has absurdly plaintiff-friendly libel laws, but I think even there this would be a long shot).

    If Tam said, "Warren wants gay marriage to be acknowledged so he can rape children," then you might have a case. But if Tam says, "Gay people want gay marriage to be acknowledge so they can rape children," the fact that you happen to be gay does not give you standing to bring a lawsuit.

    And frankly, that's the way it ought to be. I've heard people here say that most homophobes are closet cases. (Which I actually think is mistaken and saying this does not help the argument, but that's a side point…) I mean, you don't want people getting sued for saying that, right?

    Defamation of a class is protected speech, and rightly so. After all, if it weren't, then I couldn't speak the truth about birthers ;D

  • 60. sarah  |  January 15, 2010 at 1:59 am

    They refer to this guy as Dr. william tam. Does anyone know what kind of doctor he is. I hope not a medical one.

  • 61. 2dog  |  January 15, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Here's what slays me about Tam, phd. Margaret Talbot from the New Yorker wrote:
    Tam said this week that he wants out of the trial—he said he fears reprisals from the pro-gay-marriage side, and has had enough intrusions on his private life. But today in court, the Olson and Boies team did show his videotaped deposition. According to the indispensable reporting of Howard Mintz, of the San Jose Mercury, Tam again made the point that if gay people were allowed to marry, children would suddenly find homosexuality irresistible: “Since it’s in the air, they think why not?”

    What exactly does Tam find SO irresistable I wonder. The hard abs, the firm bubble butts, the leather vests…

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