William Tam, the gem of the Asian American community
No, seriously. When I was little I was sent to day care run by people like this guy. People like William Tam make me ashamed to be Taiwanese/Chinese American.
William Tam wanted to testify, then the defense
Yes Tam. You totally were not involved in Prop. 8 campaigning.
Boies: Between January 2008 and November of 2008, did you devote substantial amount of your work time and organized rallies?
Boies:Did you work with the people from Protect Marriage.com on the rallies?
Tam: No. Those rallies were mainly Asian Americans and those were the people that I knew. I only invited Protect Marriage's Ron Prentice to be present and be one of the speakers.
Boies: Mr. Prentice, the CEO of ProtectMarriage.com? Do you consider that working with ProtectMarriage.com?
Tam: I would say so.
Boies: I would, too. Did you personally participate in debates?
After a string of questions grilling Tam on just how involved he was with the Prop. 8 folks, defense attorney Thompson objects!
Thompson: Objection. Leading the witness.
Judge Walker: He’s an adverse witness. He’s on the other side. Objection overruled.
Star Crossed Gays: The Next Generation
Tam: It is very important that next generation understands the meaning of marriage. That our children not grow up fantasizing about: "Should I grow up to marry John or Jane, when I grow up?" This is very important for the stability of Asian families.
The Beast with Two Backs
Boies asks Tam about the website onemanonewoman.net, a website created by Chinese American pastors (*groans*). Tam says he is the Secretary of this website.
Boies: This website says that homosexuality leads to pedophilia. Do you believe that?
Tam: Yes, I do.
Boies: reads from site "Homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children." Is it appropriate for your organization to tell people that?
Tam: Which organization?
Boies: The organization--of which you are secretary-- that puts out this website!
Tam: Yes. From what we see here, those are not the statements of the organization. Those are just links to other websites. My position is that if there is something like this that people want to read about, organization has the right to link it.
Boies: But you are not just linking. Your website says that homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children.
Tam: It’s in that website. It’s not from the organization.
Boies: Mr. Tam, this is print out from your website!
Tam:From the organization. But I’m only secretary. There are presidents and vice presidents.
Boies: Do you believe that homosexuals are more likely to molest children?
Tam: Yes, I do.
Boies: Based on what?
Tam: From academic papers.
Boies: Which academic papers?
Tam: Some could be news and some could be journalists.
Boies: I’m not asking you what it could be. Was it a book? An article? Who wrote it?
Tam: I don’t remember. I don’t know.
And We See Why the Defense Did Not Want Tam to Testify
Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?
Tam: Measure K (a proposition to legalize prostitution) was introduced in SF. I saw some homosexuals hanging around there.
Boies:You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.
Boies: You said that unless Prop. 8 passes, California will fall into Satan’s hands.
Tam: Yes, I said that.
Tam: Homosexuals are not a minority.
Boies: How many are there?
Tam: I am a minority. "Minority" is based on skin color.
Boies: How many are there?
Tam: 2-4% of population.
Boies: So they are a minority?
Boies: Do you believe that homosexuals should be discriminated against?
Facepalm Facepalm Facepalm
Boies: Here’s a flier that says Prop. 8 protects against social, moral decay. What is the social, moral decay?
Tam:Well, from Christian angle, homosexuality or sex between two persons of the same sex is a sin.
Boies: You were saying that Prop. 8 protects against homosexuality?
Tam: No. But I agree with this. If same sex marriage is legal, it would encourage children to explore same sex as their marriage partner. From Asian as well as Christian angle, we think this is social, moral decay.
Boies: The second document which is from 1man1woman.net is more specific. It says that if same sex marriage passes it will lead to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. Do you agree with that?
Boies: That’s what you told people to get them to vote for Prop. 8?
Boies: Your paper says that after Netherlands legalized same-sex marriage, the Netherlands legalized incest and polygamy. Do you believe that?
Tam:Same sex marriage may not have led to legalization of incest and polygamy, but it happened.
Boies: Who told you that?
Tam: I found it on the Internet.
Note: Despite Tam and his pal's best efforts, the majority of Asian Americans actually voted against Prop.8 and supported same sex marriage.
Tam: I believe if marriage is beyond a man and a woman, any person can come to ask for marriage for incest and polygamy. If this is a civil right, what would stop anyone from using marriage?
Boies: Can two siblings become domestic partners? Can man and girl of young age become domestic partners?
Boies:Domestic partnerships exclude people of certain age and relationship.
Boies: You know that?
Boies: So you see that domestic partnerships do not lead to incest.
Tam: Yes. Oh. I see your logic.
Boies: Yeah, logic. Logic.
Boies: Is it your position that if we change the name, that we’ll all of a sudden start having sex with 13-year-old girls?
Tam: No. The name of marriage is so important. If marriage is not limited our children will fantasize about marrying either man or woman. To us parents--you may say I’m a paranoid Chinese parent--I get very upset about it. However, if [through] domestic partnership we can explain to our children that some same-sex people want to live a committed life together, it’s very easy to understand. But if you mix up the sexes with marriage, it’s confusing.
Earlier in the trial, the defense argued that the trial should not be broadcast because Tam was afraid of being slammed with hate mail.
Boies: You also realize that it’s important to gays and lesbians that they be allowed to marry?
Boies:Just as the children of you and your wife benefit from knowing you are married, the children of gays and lesbians will benefit from knowing their parents are married?
Boies: You don’t think children want their parents to marry?
Tam: Laughs. I don’t know what they are trying to get at.
Boies:Gays and lesbians want the same rights that you have and they think it’s important--even if you don’t think they should have it. Can you understand that?
Tam: I understand.
I mean, if you want to bring race into it Mr. Tam...
Boies: Did you know that in American history there were extremely unfortunate times when Asian Americans were limited as to whom they could marry?
Nicole Moss of the defense objects
Boies: He gave his answer your honor. I have no further questions.