SAN FRANCISCO â€” A proponent of Californiaâ€™s same-sex marriage ban warned voters during the 2008 campaign that gay rights activists would try to legalize sex with children if same-sex couples had the right to wed, according to evidence presented Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the measure.
The taped statements were made by San Francisco resident Hak-Shing William Tam, a defendant in the federal case.
Lawyers for two same-sex couples introduced the footage to buttress their contention that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it was fueled by deep-seated animosity against gays.
Tam made the remarks during a legal deposition taped last month while discussing a letter he wrote to Chinese-Americans church groups during the campaign for the ballot initiative.
In the letter, Tam wrote that legalizing same-sex marriage was part of a broader gay agenda.
â€œOn their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children,â€ states the letter, which also cautioned that â€œother states would fall into Satanâ€™s handsâ€ if gays werenâ€™t stopped from marrying in California.
During his deposition, Tam explained that he based his views on personal experience and a Web site that described a 1972 meeting of gay rights activists.
â€œMy daughter told me her classmates chose to become lesbians and experiment with it after they noticed that same-sex marriage, they think it is a cool thing,â€ Tam said. â€œThey have some problem getting dates with boys, so same-sex marriage, since it is in the air, they think, â€™Oh, why not try girls.â€â€™
Tam last week asked the judge hearing the case to remove him as a defendant because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker has not yet ruled on the request.
David Thompson, a lawyer for Proposition 8 backers, told Walker that despite Tamâ€™s official role as a sponsor of the measure, Tam had nothing to do with the campaign and â€œis attempting to withdraw to avoid precisely this kind of focus on his individual views.â€
Updated 3:22 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Lawyers in a case seeking to overturn California's gay marriage ban are presenting statements by a proponent of the measure saying gay rights activists would try to legalize sex with children if same-sex marriages were legal.
The taped statements by Hak-Shing William Tam were presented Wednesday during the civil case being heard in federal court.
The footage was introduced to buttress the contention that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it was fueled by deep-seated animosity against gays.
Tam made the remarks during his legal deposition taped last month while discussing a letter he wrote to Chinese-Americans during the 2008 campaign for the ballot measure.
Tam has asked the judge to remove him as a defendant because he feared publicity could endanger him and his family.