After we heard the plaintiffs in Perry would be calling to the stand William Tam — the defendant who tried removing himself from the case because it was becoming, ahem, too burdensome — all we could think about was what sort of crazy things he would put in the court’s record. We’re happy to report: He did not disappoint!
Following up his fearmongering letter to church supporters wherein he claimed legalizing same-sex marriage would force “every child, when growing up, would fantasize marrying someone of the same sex,” he stuck to his guns on the stand, relaying his theory about how pedophilia was destined to blossom if Prop 8 hadn’t passed.
In federal court, attorney David Boies spent time walking Tam through a Web site for a Chinese-American evangelical Christian group that featured a headline reading “Studies Show That Homosexuality Is Linked to Pedophilia.”
Tam serves as secretary of the group, known as the American Return to God Prayer Movement.
The Web site also contained a link to another article claiming gays were 12 times more likely to molest children.
“So you supported this Web site making these kind of statements?” Boies asked.
“Uh, yes,” Tam said.
“Do you believe that homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children?” the lawyer continued.
“Yeah, based on the different literature that I have read,” Tam replied.
You know, the literature he read on the Internet. Because everything published there is rooted in reasoned analysis and fact!
Under questioning by Boies, Tam also said he agreed with a statement on the Web site for the Chinese-American Christian group that said if same-sex marriage was treated as a civil right, “so would pedophilia, polygamy and incest.”
“And that is what you were telling people in encouraging them to vote for Proposition 8?” Boies asked.
“Yes,” Tam answered.
Tam said he drew that conclusion after reading an Internet article that claimed incest and polygamy were legal in the Netherlands, a country where same-same marriages became legal in 2001.
Boies: “You are saying here that after same-sex marriage was legalized, the Netherlands legalized incest and polygamy?”
Tam: “Yeah, look at the date, Polygamy happened afterward.”
“Who told you that? Where did you get that idea,” Boies asked incredulously.
“It’s the Internet,” he said. “Another person in the organization found it and he showed me it. … I looked at the document and I thought it was true.”
For the record, polygamy is not legal in the Netherlands.
And now that it’s out there, the defense (that’s ProtectMarriage.com) must also work to distance itself from Tam’s claims. Because they are fucking crazytown. Luckily for them, Tam knows this, and is also working to put on the record that he wasn’t terribly involved in Yes On 8.
During a news conference outside court, lawyer Andy Pugno, who represents Proposition 8 backers, said Tam had “next to nothing” to do with the campaign, even though he was one of the measure’s official proponents.
Tam said he spent a lot of time working on the campaign and frequently communicated with its leaders but modestly added he did not consider himself a major player.
Tam explained that he got involved in early efforts to promote the gay marriage ban in 2007, gathering signatures to qualify it for the ballot. He became an official proponent because of his concern that legalizing same-sex marriage would encourage young people to pursue gay partners, he said.
“I think it’s very important for the next generation to understand the historical meaning of marriage,” he said. “I think it is very important that children won’t grow up to fantasize or think about should I marry Jane or John when I grow up, because this is very important for Asian families.”
People. This stuff is excellent. Beautiful, even. Because while Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may find a way to agree with Tam’s idiocy, few reasonable people will. And it will be easy for Olson/Boies to continually point to this testimony — from an official unofficial Yes On 8 leader — as to why passing Prop 8 wasn’t just a move to endorse discrimination, but was rooted in a fantasyland.
Shortly before Tam left the witness stand, Boies asked him if he had spoken to his lawyer during a 5-minute break in his testimony. Tam said he had.
“I said I felt like naughty boy being put in front of a classroom and being mocked at,” he said.