January 13, 2010
By Paul Hogarth
More of SF Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart’s redirect examination of Professor Chauncey.
C: In 2004, I had written optimistically that marriage equality was on the way … but since then, with the number of states passing constitutional amendments I am less inclined to believe this.
S: Mr. Thompson talked about religious organizations that supported marriage equality. What were some of the churches against marriage equality?
C: Baptists, Catholic Church — a whole range of religious groups that represent far more people than supportive churches.
S: [Quoting from a Vatican document re: recognition of same-sex unions.] Please read this:
C: [Reading Vatican statement] “There are no grounds to believe homosexual unions are equivalent to God’s plan to marriage and family. Homosexual unions” [more on how homosexuality is sinful and immoral]
S: Please read the Vatican statement re: allowing children
C: “Allowing children being adopted by gay couples would do violence to these children. Their condition of dependency would stunt their full human development.”
S: Please read the Vatican statement of legal recognition of gay unions:
C: “Legal recognition would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior — but would obscure basic values that …”
S: Are these statements more “moderate” views of homosexuality?
C: Compared to some statements, they are. But they express the fundamental view of gays being inferior.
S: Dr. Chauncey, this is a resolution from Southern Baptist Convention re: same-sex marriage. Please read fourth pargagraph:
C: “Whereas legalizing same-sex marriage would be societal approval of homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible calls sinful.”
S: Read the next resolution. [She asks him to quote from various excerpts of Southern Baptist REsolutions.]
C: “We oppose all media efforts to mainstream homosexuality … Whereas legalizing gay marriage denies the fundamental sinfulness of homosexuality … We urge all Christian pastors in California to speak out against homosexuality, and the urgent need to protect Biblical marriage. We pray the people of California to right this terrible wrong that the Supreme Court imposed.”
S: Are all these consistent with the religious beliefs voiced in support of Prop 8?
S: Assume religious beliefs in favor of Prop 8 are sincere. Would you say they derive from stereotypical views of gays?
S: When religious people supported segregation and opposed interracial marriage, was that also rooted in prejudice?
C: Yes. These beliefs, though sincere, are shaped by the culture that they believe. I don’t question the sincerity of people in the South who believed that interracial marriage was against God’s will.
S: Has there been significant progress? Is there still significatn discrimination against gays?
C: Yes and yes.
[Stewart wants to show video of Mr. Tam, a Prop 8 supporter. Thompson objects, because Chauncey had not been deposed on this subject. Stewart says Thompson opened the door on the subject by trying to argue there are non-bigoted reasons for supporting Prop 8. T says that Mr. Tam had "nothing to do with the campaign" (although Mr. Tam was an official proponent of Prop 8.) S vigorously disagrees with Thompson's assertion that Mr. Tam had "nothing to do with the campaign."]
This must be some pretty explosive stuff — if they’re objecting so strenuously to this.
Judge appears to agree that, given that Tam was an “official proponent” it should be viewed. Moreover, Stewart points out that Thompson opened the door, by asking Chauncey to comment on Prejean’s earlier comments. Judge agrees to view it.
BEGIN DR. TAM VIDEO:
So far, nothing too exciting. This is a video of Dr. Tam’s deposition in the lawsuit (12/01/2009.) Tam says he became an official proponent of Prop 8, because ProtectMarriage.com invited him. As an official proponent, he dedicated substantial resources. He organized several rallies — attended by thousands of voters (aggregate) — coordinated volunteers from Asian American community and raised a lot of money. Tam says he communicated with Ron Prentice, Frank Schubert and Andrew Pugno. Tam is explaining the dissemination of info to churches about the “Yes on 8″ rallies. Various pastors spoke at the rally. Mentions that Ron Prentice spoke at several of the rallies. Tam also says he authored a lot of writings for the passage of Prop 8, and sent it to Chinese newspapers.
Tam is now being asked to read one of the flyers he wrote.
Now, Stewart is asking Chauncey to read the same flyer. [JUDGE WON'T LET HIM READ IT OUT LOUD.]
S: Do you believe that this flyer reveals more hostility towards gays than what we’ve talked about?
C: No. It talks about the right to marry leading to prostitution and having sex with children. And gay marriage is a product of San Francisco government run by homosexuals. This “repeats the theme” of a long history of “anti-gay demonization.”
[RESUME VIDEO]First paragraph of Tam’s flyer: “SF city government is under rule of homosexuals. After legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What next?” Dr. Tam confirms that he wrote that. What does gay agenda mean to you, Mr. Tam?
“Do you believe that part of the gay agenda is the legalizing of sex with children?” Yes, says Mr. Tam. Tam is the Executive Director of the Traditional Families Coalition — which advocated the passage of Prop 8.[INTERRUPT VIDEO]
Now, Stewart wants Chauncey to look at the second paragraph of that “Message from Bill Tam.” It says the education curriculum in Alameda County will “brainwash” children into supporting gay marriage.
[RESUME VIDEO] Dr. Tam says he participated in three public debates on Prop 8. He was asked by ProtectMarriage.com to take part in that debate. Now, they’re asking Tam to look at a news article about the Prop 8 debate — Tam was quoted that children would be harmed if Prop 8 fails, because they would be “exposed to homosexuality.” Tam agrees with that statement.
Tam says: “If same sex marriage is legalized, every child will grow up thinking they can either marry John or Jane. That would cause a lot of problems for the parents. I also talked about the problem of 1st graders attending a wedding of two lesbians.” [INTERRUPT VIDEO]
S: Regarding whether children can think they can grow up gay. What do you think?
C: It’s consistent with the major ads in the Prop 8 campaigns — it reinforces the deep fear that simple exposure to same-sex marriage will lead children to become gay. The phrasing here is that the issue here is not just marriage itself — but overall acceptance of homosexuality. They’re not afraid of just gay marriage. They’re afraid of kids learning about gay people.
[RESUME VIDEO] Dr. Tam: “We believe civil rights to be about skin color — something you can’t change. My concern is that if homosexuals will define themselves as another minority. That to me is a concern.”
Lawyer now quotes Tam saying “gay marriage will encourage kids to expeirment with the gay lifestyle — which carries with it all sorts of disease.” Tam confirms that he said this, and then says it means “that kids will be able to have an option. That they will be able to choose who they can marry. My daughter told me kids in her school that girls who had problems dating boys, can just go ahead and try girls. So children did experiment.”
What do you mean by diseases? ”I meant sexually transmitted diseases.” Tam says it’s very easy to “find reports” online that gays have a “higher proportion” of getting AIDS and syphillis than straight people. [INTERRUPT VIDEO]
Stewart asks Chauncey — How does the messaging relate to prior messaging of antipathy towards gay people?
C: It’s pretty consistent we’ve seen in earlier campaigns. The theme that homosexuality is a choice. That children are exposed to homosexuals in any form are likely to become homosexuals — deep fear of instability of children’s sexuality. It’s premised on a notion of inequality and a strong hostility towards homosexuality. [References Anita Bryant]
[RESUME VIDEO] Tam is being shown Traditional Families Coalition newsletter, and he agrees he had editorial control over this document. The newsletter speaks out against Brokeback Mountain for disseminating the notion that homosexual affairs are “more noble” than traditional affairs. In Scandinavia, said Tam in newsletter, gays teamed up with liberal politicians to lower the age of consent for sex and legalized prositution — which demeaned marriage. [INTERRUPT VIDEO]
Thompson objects the relevance of submitting the next document. Judge sustains the objection.
[RESUME VIDEO] Mr. Tam’s columns are published in Chinese Christian Herald. And he wrote a book called “America, Return to God.” In these columns, Tam said that “children would benefit the most” if Prop 8 passes, because the children would then have “both sexes” as parents which is “good role models.” Kids adopted by gay couples (which will happen if Prop 8 fails) do not have “two genders” as parents. Now, plaintiffs’ attorneys are showing Tam columns he wrote about “parenting.” [INTERRUPT VIDEO]
Thompson objects, because we don’t know when those columns were written – and that Tam’s first language is not English. Judge tells Stewart that we have “exhausted this topic.”
[UPDATE] 12:06 Stewart asks Chauncey if there’s any messaging that Tam has mentioned tha ..
C: It re-inforces for me that, while gay marriage was the topic at hand, the arguments being made for Prop 8 were really about gay rights. It expressed the kind of hostility of homosexuality, and draws on the long history of hostility and fear.
S: Based on your knowledge of history, has there been a gay agenda?
C: That term was used to support referenda that overturn gay rights measures [Anita Bryant, et al].
S: In Mr. Thompson’s questions, he asked about Christian teachings that “everyone is a sinner.” Have there ever been efforts that try to forbid adulterers of the right to marry?
C: No, I’m not aware of that.
S: What did you mean in your books about “erased”?
C: For a long time, there was no real study of gay history. It was actively discouraged, even within my career. I found when I wanted to write a dissertation on gay history, it would be “career suicide.” When I got a professor job in 1991, I was only the second in the country to get a tenured-track job in LGBT studies. There’s very limited literature to study on that.
[LUNCH BREAK -- WE WILL RESUME AT 1:40 PM]