Day 8 of the Prop 8 Gay Marriage Trial: We Musn’t Dwell. Not on Dr.Tam Day!

Hello friends! Are you ready for more all-go no-stop Prop 8 action? I hope so, because today is the day that our homophobe BFF Dr. Hak-Sing Tam gets up behind the witness stand, and we are all pretty freaking pumped about that. Are you ready? Get ready!

First of all, some news: while we’re on the subject of California, it turns out that they have to elect a new governor eventually, and this is important. Rich and obnoxious person Meg Whitman has announced that she’s willing to spend more than $100 million on her own campaign, and guess what, she is a total h8er. If elected, she will put all her cold hard cash money towards eliminating marriage equality and probs every other right she can. So let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, ok guys? Take it from someone who lives in Massachusetts and now has to look at Scott Brown’s face all the time, GET OUT AND VOTE IT IS IMPORTANT.

Also today we found this really amazing website and took a bunch of their cartoons. YOU WILL SEE THESE CARTOONS.

Also, in funnier news, we’ve been tipped off to a fantastic Open Letter to Andy Pugno in which the author, a sassy and awesome twice-divorced woman, makes a lot of excellent points about how Prop 8 devalues not only same-sex relationships but divorced ones, and that she (and a lot of other “children of divorce,” including me) can testify that “intact” heterosexual homes are not necessarily safe, or supportive, or good for children – that a heteronormative family full of tension and misery and stagnation is worse for kids than a happy, stable homo one:

“They were divorced. Damn them and their selfishness, refusing to stay together for the children… My brother, sister and I all graduated Summa Cum Laude from Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas (with little sis eeking out a class rank of 7th ahead of my brother’s and my kindred score of 9th in our class years…the pipsqueak) and equal honors from college. I went off to college on a full scholarship. My brother is currently pursing his Masters in Psychology and my sister a Masters in Library Science (in addition to being an ordained Lutheran Children’s Minister).”

And then she offers to give Andy Pugno a blowjob on national television if he is able to prove that “heterosexual couples are able to feel and live with love more deeply than two people of the same sex.” HOLLER.

Last time on Judgment Daze: Ex-gay camp didn’t work for Ryan Kendall, and Gary Segura explained how we don’t all have big apartments like Will & Grace. Actually I kinda don’t wanna recap it for you ’cause it was kinda important and you should just read it OKAY I’M TIRED BUT I LOVE YOU.

Part One:

One: Yep, They Like Gays

We are starting off a little anticlimactically because the h8ers, who are good at h8ing but not so much at time management, were not able to finish The Longest Cross-Examination In Recorded History yesterday, and need to talk to Professor Segura again.

h8Er Thompson: May I approach the witness?
Judge: More binders, eh?

Yes. More binders. This is like my last internship. Thompson starts out by talking about, I think, how popular certain politicians who opposed Proposition 8 are – Senator Feinstein, Obama (???), Clinton, Boxer… I think the point here is that “gay people are popular and beloved, they have many friends, homophobia did not exist and did not drive this vote.” Sounds like someone is a little jealous he didn’t have a fabulous gay male friend in high school to help him pick out his tux for prom, just saying.

Thompson: Stars, like Ellen DeGeneres and Brad Pitt, opposed 8?
Segura: Ellen DeGeneres is like a political party in that she is part of the class that is under question here.

Write that one down on the “pros” side of being queer. “Stated support of Brad Pitt.” Got it. Can we make a rule that if you’ve already said it in court, you can’t say it again because it’s boring? Or if you’ve already said it three times? They are going over the same things about how 127 different rabbis and 47 chapters of Unitarian Universalists opposed Prop 8, and how California is easier to live in than West Virginia for queers… it’s like they’re going for a quantity over quality thing, like even if their point doesn’t make sense the judge might believe it if they say it enough times. Whatever, Thompson, I’m so over this I’m going to scroll past it.

Now it gets a little more interesting as Thompson is trying to directly undermine Segura’s point that, you know, Prop 8 was a majority voting on the rights of a minority and that shit’s not okay. He’s still wrong, but he’s on the right track in that it would be a big deal if he were actually able to prove this. But he’s not!

Thompson: [Reads from Dall’s book suggesting that majorities are inherently unstable.] That’s the protection against the Madisonian concern about tyranny of the majority. Don’t you see that the majority is not monolithic and some are in favor of ss marriage like in New Hampshire? (Dahl or Dall is the authority on majoritarianism cited many times yesterday and part of S’s main education.] [I wish it was Roald Dahl and we could segue into James and the Giant Peach] [SEE ILLUSTRATION]
Segura: You miss the point. One of the critiques of Dall’s pluralist theories is that there are some majorities that do not fade, that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not real, and that they do not break down, theyt persist for a long time such as the majority opposed to gay rights and even what happened with African-Amrerican people– that took an exceedingly long time. You’re taking this paragraph out of context.

Someone give this dude a class on structures of power in the US! This isn’t actually that dumb an argument, I feel like there are a lot of people who believe this. But the truth is that while some opinions change (sweater sets are in style, and then later out of style) (are skinny jeans out of style yet) there are some systems of power and domination that are so deeply ingrained into American culture and sometimes global culture (like racism, like misogyny) that if they change at all they have to erode slowly, like large mountains of homophobia.  In the 1300s women weren’t supposed to read or be educated; the first institute of higher education for women in America didn’t open until 1836. That’s 500 years. Slavery in America officially ended in 1865; black women were still being sterilized against their will in Montgomery, Alabama in 1973.

It’s true that social institutions and opinions can change, but I’m going to side with Prof. Segura here and that in between now and Boys Don’t Cry, there hasn’t been a landslide of difference.

Now we’re talking about religion again – Thompson is repeating over and over that religion may have motivated voters, which seems dumb considering all the time we’ve already spent establishing how bad religion is for homos. I think the point is that he’s trying to say not all religions hate homos, and so some people who voted based on religious principles could have voted “no” – like OMG HE MENTIONED QUAKERS:

Thompson: 100% of Quakers?
Segura: All three of them, yes.

Ok sorry that was only funny to me. [Riese Sidenote: I am 1 part quaker, 1 part native american & 2 parts jewish and i love gay people, and it was funny to me too, i love the oats]

Now Thompson wants to talk about “vandalism and violence in campaigns…” he manages to find a video of a little old lady with bruises on her face who says that her neighbor gave them to her after she put a Yes on 8 sign on her lawn. Did that actually happen? If so, I am going to go ahead and say that is because her neighbor is crazy, not because he is gay. Who beats up old ladies? Crazy people, not gay people.

He also has a report that someone was assaulted for handing out Yes on 8 signs at his church and then had his signs stolen, but apparently the source for this is ProtectMarriage.com, so… make what you will of that. The judge makes a really interesting point (Does anyone else really kind of like Judge Walker, or is it just me?) when he compares the alleged violence of the Prop 8 opposition to the violence associated with the civil rights movement:

Judge Walker: Just occurred to me since Thompson is exploring this line of questioning, have you considered the riots and vandalism and other inappropriate behavior associated with the civil rights movement and associated largely with blacks and how that affected civil rights movement?
Segura: Yes. Any form of violence or disorderly behavior has a negative impact on the public. Non-violent protests play better. That said, it is conceivable that such outbursts may serve the long-term impact of the group. Eg, post-Rodney-King violence that spurred “Rebuild LA” that brought about investment in south LA. I’m not endorsing such acts, but there are times when such acts express powerlessness.

Ultimately, Segura says he would be wary of taking the analogy that the alleged “violence” is an oppressed group reclaiming power too far, because there’s also been a ton of violence (pretty much definitely more) perpetrated against queers than by them.

“The Heritage Foundation reports that violence against Prop. 8 is intellectually dishonest because it did not take into account any acts against the NO side. We know there were over 100 hate crimes reported in 2008.”

This is a good point, but overall the cross is sucking because Thompson is just pointing out instances of “aggression” against h8ers over and over and forcing Segura to say every time “yes, that does not sound very nice.” Is he trying to make gays sound mean? Or just trying to be a jerk to Segura? I’m voting for the latter, because Thompson seems like a total jerk. He snidely asks the definition of “hate crime,” and then plays thisclip from The O’Reily Show:

“… he brings on 21-year-old guest who is Christian (named Christine Cloud) who plays Christian music and has been doing so in Castro for three years. We don’t stop people.“Are you trying to convert from being gay to straight?” “No, but we are hoping they’ll accept Jesus Christ and have that revelation.” “We wanted to be sensitive to these people. We were singing Amazing Grace. A man took my bible, and hit me upside the head with my bible. He knocked me on my back and kicked me.” The police arrested the guy, but I said I would not press charges. I said that I forgive you.” O’Reilly tries to say that the police should have arrested him. She says the police did not see crime. “I don’t know if we are going to be back. We are going to use wisdom, we know it is a politically charged situation.” BO: “You turned the other cheek.”

I’m sorry, but maybe you’re just a bad guitar player? Okay, look, I don’t mean to be a bitch, but the truth is that while it’s really sad that someone attacked you, it’s not a hate crime. You can’t be hate crimed. In the same way that being mean to a white person can’t be racist, being mean to a straight person can’t be a hate crime – hate crimes refer to when violence is done to a group because they are part of a reviled and socially undesirable group of people.

Hate crimes spring out of generations of systematic oppression; they are part of longstanding and deeply held prejudicial beliefs held by entire cultures. The fact that a drunk queer “hates” hearing Amazing Grace off-key does not make this a “hate crime.”

[I AM GOING TO LEAVE YOU WITH A FEW MOMENTS OF SILENCE TO THINK ABOUT THIS. this is cyber-silence. thank you]

So.

Thompson is trying to make this sound like we are the mean alcoholic abusive stepfather of America, like anything bad that happens to us is our own fault because we keep smacking people all over the place.

A) this is not true, we are nice people

B) I don’t recall anything bad ever happening to straight people for shoving us into lockers or beating us up in the parking lot or outside of bars, and

C) this is dumb, stop it.

Other things that dumb and you should stop: trying to act like we are at The Top Of The Pyramid because the government funds AIDS research. That’s not because we’re gay, it’s because along with a ton of straight people; we’re dying, you coldhearted misanthrope. The fact that 40 states have the right for gay adoption also doesn’t prove that we’re “politically powerful” – having basic human rights does not mean you are a Fat Cat. I NEED THIS CROSS-EXAMINATION TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW ok, good, it is!


Redirect! We go ahead and establish right away that the fact that gays have boycotted anti-gay supporters does not mean we are “politically powerful,” it in fact means the opposite as it puts us in a boat with Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez and a lot of people who are awesome, but def disenfranchised. As for the “violence and vandalism” against h8ers – “Individuals sometimes behave badly. Individuals whose emotions run high frequently behave badly. Not endorsed or supported by No campaign… idea that lots of people changed their minds from no to yes on 8 because of vandalism is almost impossible. Some might have, but not enough could have.Thank you! And finally, finally we are looking at the numbers of hate crimes perpetrated against gay people during the Prop 8 campaign – I’m going to guess that it’s larger than the number of old ladies with mean neighbors. Yup, it is. And now, OMG you guys, now they play the Gathering Storm video! Yes! Thompson objects, but Walker says it is “at least as relevant as Bill O’Reilly.” Word.

Segura watches the video with everyone else, and then confirms that it contains like a million “references to fear, children, churches facing government repression, gays and lesbians as serious threat to all sorts of aspects of public life.” He doesn’t say that it’s hilarious, but we’re all thinking it. We talk about how no matter how many Quakers, Reform Jews and Unitarian Universalists hold up rainbow signs at Pride parades, religious organizations still pose a huge obstacle for us. The bottom line of the redirect and Prof. Segura’s entire testimony is this one question: Are queers politically powerful or politically powerless? Here’s what he says:

“Even though Mr. Thompson pointed out there are gay and lesbian pols and pols in CA that support gays and lesbians, does not show power. Protections that stop at a county or state line are hardly protections at all. Need to look at layers of government. I do mind experiment that says, “Imagine that gays and lesbians are powerful.” I survey the world and see FBI report that says that gays and lesbians are 70% of hate-inspired murder. Are they still powerful? Possibly. 29 states do not protect gays and lesbians. Powerful? Possibly. Could I look at 150 ballot measures that gays lose 70% of time. Powerful? Presumably. Could I see constitutional prohibitions for gays and conclude they are powerful? Yes. I could not draw the conclusion that gays and lesbians are powerful by looking at all of these factors. “That would be the political science equivalent of malpractice.

That’s the last word from Professor Segura! You did great, we love you, Professor Segura! Do you know whose turn it is now? Do you? IT’S MR. TAM. SO EXCITED.

Part Two:

Tam Time


You guys! Mr. Hak-Sing Tam is the guy who was an official supporter of Proposition 8 and part of this lawsuit on the defense side, but recently said he wanted to pull out altogether because he was afraid of repercussions, like vandalism and violence. But seriously witness his testimony and tell me if you don’t believe this guy could probs hallucinate violence and vandalism.

But, as our boy Boies says, “Tam cannot join a case, litigate it and then decide to get out.” Now he has to testify, and I’m a little excited because I think this guy might be IS DEFO crazy. From the first few minutes of testimony, it appears that that might be true!

Boies: You supervised the language of Prop. 8?
Tam: I’m not sure what “supervise” means.
Boies: Look at the declaration in which Tam says he supervised the appropriate language for Prop. 8.

He also says that he didn’t write his declaration regarding Prop 8, but that ProtectMarriage wrote it for him and had him sign it. Interesting!  That’s how I lost all my Precious Moments Dolls in my most recent divorce. That bitch I swear.

Some more ProtectMarriage fun facts: they told Tam when to start collecting signatures for his campaign, told him to send letters regarding Prop 8 to pastors he knew… this is hard to follow, mostly because it seems like talking to Mr. Tam is a lot like talking to my grandma. He is confused by every question, and his lawyers interrupt virtually every question to slow down the process.

Boies: I think I already asked him, but I’ll ask again. Is this partial listing of coalition of groups working with ProtectMarriage.com to pass Prop. 8?
Tam: I believe so, but it’s their website?
Boies: If necessary, I can take you through these one at a time. Focus on Family part of coalition supporting Prop. 8?
Tam: I believe so. I really don’t know why they put these names this list. You have to ask them.
Boies: I asked you if the Family Research Council was one of the organizations that supported Prop. 8? Yes. No. I don’t know. Family research council was an organization that was listed with your organization as working together to support Prop. 8.
Tam: Could be.

Next he will ask someone to get him some instant coffee and toast, and to turn up the volume on that home design show. Boies shows us and Tam a lot of documents from as early as October 2007 to show that Tam was integral to Prop 8 from the very beginning, but Tam apparently does not remember any of them because “his memory is fuzzy.” Fuzzy?

Also, emails that were addressed to him as part of the leadership of ProtectMarriage were only written that way “to be nice.” I genuinely can’t tell if this guy is being misleading on purpose, or if he is just a super confused old dude. Either way, I would not say he is a flattering asset to the Prop 8 side. In fact; I might say that he is one of the worst possible people to be representing them right now. Clearly Fred Phelps is busy outside with his signs and stuff.

Either way, Boies has started reminding him each question of answers he gave before, just in case he’s forgotten. Which is likely due to fuzzy memory. Probs from smoking too much pot, which happens to all of us.

Also, whenever we actually get to read the text of emails without having the h8ers redact them because of “attorney-client privilege,” it appears that Mr. Tam is very confused in them as well – “who is Brian Brown and why is he speaking for us?”

Now we’re getting down to some of Mr. Tam’s beliefs about gay people – which, if you will recall from earlier, include child prostitution?

He says he supports civil unions, “hasn’t come to a conclusion” on gay adoption, but believes firmly that the next generation should “understand the meaning of marriage,” because “this is very important for the stability of Asian families.” I don’t belong to an Asian family, but if I did, I feel like I would be pissed that this guy doesn’t think we can withstand Ellen and Portia’s wedding. He also confirms that he is part of the website onemanonewoman.net, which is run by the America Return To God Prayer Movement (catchy!). This site exhibits Mr. Tam’s apparent belief that homosexuality leads to pedophilia, but in his defense, Mr. Tam is quoted as saying that bestiality “is not related to homosexuality.” Give the man a round of applause! Also, he’s crazy.

Boies: [Reads:] “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 the 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, the organization has the right to link it.
Boies: 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!

Seriously, Tam, come on now. Would you say “it’s just linkng” if your son linked an AIM chat to Manhunt? I think not. This is ridic times a billion.

[Sidenote I HATE THAT PAPERCLIP he never knows what I want, just like my ex-boyfriend, like do you want me to do it really fast and hard and then fall asleep YES PLEASE THANK YOU PAPERCLIP I WOULD LIKE A RESUME TEMPLATE]

This would be hilarious if it weren’t, you know, our lives at stake. Actually, you know what, it is still kind of hilarious. Also, this:

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.

Special side note: Rick Jacobs describes his feelings at this point as “nauseated.” Girl, don’t I know it.

Guys, I’m going to be honest, it gets really crazy here.

Part Three:

WHAT THE FRICKIN’ FRACK

Boies is having Tam repeat every crazy-ass homophobic belief that was previously described in court, and even though I guess we already knew this stuff it’s pretty chilling to hear someone say it out loud like it’s no big. UNDER OATH.

David Boies (B): You say here that if we lose Prop. 8 “they” will lose no time to push the gay agenda?
William Tam: Yes. They will.
David Boies: You said that you thought Prop. 8 would lead to legalizing prostitution. Why?
Tam: Measure K in San Francisco. I saw some homosexuals hanging around there.
Boies: You know that Measure K has nothing to do with Prop. 8.
Tam: Yes.
Boies: You told people that after Prop 8, legalizing sex with children will be next. That’s the homosexual agenda. Do you believe this?
Tam: Yes.
Boies: You said that if Prop. 8 passes, California will fall into Satan’s hands.
Tam: Yes, I said that.

I mean, I guess I didn’t expect him to lie, but… really? Really? I feel so naive, but how can you say this with a straight face in front of hundreds of people without shame? CAN SOMEONE GET THIS MAN A DOCTOR?

Boies is going through documents and articles attributed both to Tam and to the religious organization of which he is secretary – every time, Tam insists that he didn’t write them, which is pretty amazing in terms of sheer boldness – it was on your website, dude! Your website called “BillTam.org!” Who are we supposed to think wrote it? I take that back about how he sounds like my grandma, my grandma makes way more sense than this. Now he’s talking about how he knows that sexual orientation can be changed because he saw it on NARTH’s website – that was the same organization that our homeboy Ryan Kendall got forcibly conversion-therapied by, as we learned yesterday. Mr. Tam confirms that NARTH is an objective and reliable source, and that he saw no reason to check what the American Psychological Association says about this practice. HELP US, JESUS. Then, there’s this:

Tam: Homosexuals are not a minority.
Boies: How many are there?
Tam: I am a minority. Minority is based on skin color.

You know what Tam? There are a ton… I mean it… A TON… of people with your “skin color” (I mean, also, “minority is based on skin color”? Did this guy totally miss out on the Politically Correct Revolution?) who are ALSO GAY. Can you imagine what THEIR LIVES MUST BE LIKE? ihateyousomuch

You know, maybe my mind will change after reading more of this, but this seems more sad to me than anything. I feel like Tam really believes what he’s saying, maybe more so than anyone else on the Prop 8 side – that may be partly because he’s crazy, but it seems pretty clear that this was also what he’s been taught for a long time – maybe from his church, maybe from his parents, but either way, it’s like watching a train wreck happen to hear him talk. According to his website, William Tam has a PhD.

What does it say about America if you can get a PhD and not learn any better than this? How does this even happen?

Tam is alternately confirming and having no idea that he ever attended Prop 8 rallies, sent out emails about them, knew speakers on the subject, or wrote flyers on them. So confusing! Sometimes, though, we get isolated moments of clarity, and usually some real gems:

Boies: Second document which is from 1man1woman dot net, more specific. Says that if same sex marriage passes it will lead to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. Do you agree with that?
Tam: Yes.
Boies: That’s what you told people to get them to vote for Prop. 8?
Tam: Yes.

Okay then! Other things Mr. Tam has told people to get them to vote for Prop 8: that after same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands, they went ahead to legalize incest and polygamy. He said that!

Boies: Who told you that?
Tam: I found it on the Internet. I did not write this that polygamy was legalized in 2005.
Boies:You put it out there to convince people to vote for Prop. 8. Did you ever look up the law?
Tam: Yes, there was different documents that shows that’s true.
Boies: So after Netherlands legalized same sex marriage, legalized polygamy and incest.
Tam: I’m not sure about incest. That may have been legal before same sex marriage passed.

Part Four:

WHAT THE FRICKIN FRACK FOR REAL

I DO NOT THINK THIS COULD GET ANY CRAZIER. Seriously, I thought I knew how crazy the other side was, BUT I DID NOT KNOW HOW CRAZY THE OTHER SIDE WAS. Why are we still having a trial? Why does it not end right here, after a leader of ProtectMarriage.org admits that he lied to voters and told them that incest was legal in the Netherlands? Like, what else is there to say? Can anyone even tell me what this means?

“The name of marriage is so important. If marriage is not limited to above the age of 18, our children will fantasize about marrying either a man or a woman. To us parents, you may say that I’m a paranoid Chinese parent, and I get very upset about that. However, if DP we can exchange to our children that some sex people want to live committed life together, it’s very easy to understand. But if you mix up the sexes with marriage, it’s confusing.”

This is like trying to talk to a space alien. Is Tam a real person? I think a lot of paranoid Chinese parents would take offense to this. Seriously. Dude; there are tons of Chinese parents out there paranoid — as many parents are these days — that crazy shit is gonna happen to their kids. But it’s got nothing at all to do with the crazy-ass shit you’re talking about in a court of law. This is nutso. This is worse than the craziest sexting-multiple-personalities-high-school-sex-ring-involving-Stabler’s-kid episode of Law & Order: SVU ever.

Boies: [You understand that] just as children of you and your wife benefit from knowing you are married,that the children of gays and lesbians will benefit from knowing that their parents are married?
Tam: No.
Boies: You don’t think children want their parents to marry?
Tam: [Laughs] … I don’t know what they are trying to get at.

OH I DON’T KNOW YOUR SOUL?

To ProtectMarriage’s credit, they apparently tried to stop Mr. Tam when he independently contacted newspapers to say that “same sex marriage can lead to all kinds of diseases,” but to be honest that doesn’t make any of this testimony any less f*cking insane. They apparently did not ask him to retract his statement that homosexuals are twelve times more likely to molest children, so. Basically, Boies is making the point that while some of the batshit crazy shit Tam said was more or less on his own, ProtectMarriage was aware of his views and worked with him anyways, while all of Tam’s material was still available for viewers and voters. [This kinda reminds me of the McCain/Palin campaign] I think Prop 8 is about to try to deny this in their own examination of Tam, but I wouldn’t be excited about it if I were them.

I mean, the Prop 8 lawyer isn’t doing a terrible job – it’s true that Tam worked most closely with Prop 8 during the “petition phase,” it’s true that he didn’t draft the language of the actual bill. But you know what? He said that homosexuals were 12 times more likely than heteros to molest children, and that they caused incest. There is just not a whole lot that they’re going to be able to do about that.

It’s frustrating that during the examination by his own side, Tam’s nearly debilitating confusion is suddenly gone – we went from “I wrote a flyer? I never wrote a flyer. What are fliers?” to “No, nothing I ever said was on behalf of ProtectMarriage.org.”

Whatever, dude, you’re still crazy.

cute girls for no reason

Now we’re back to Boies! It turns out there are actually like a million documents with Tam’s name on them from ProtectMarriage.org after “the petition phase,” so that part was made up. I am having a hard time paying any attention to the details of this because, um, THIS GUY IS CRAY-CRAY.

When asked if he was involved in any of the Proposition 8 ads, because the organization he works for clearly was, Tam says “I’m Chinese and I don’t know that I would have to face a lawyer one day to talk about this.”

I don’t even know what to say about that. If you think your grasp of English and American culture is slippery enough that you don’t understand legal proceedings, it is perhaps a mistake to get involved in the passing of a legal document that will affect thousands of people’s lives in a deeply invasive way. And if the people you’re working with don’t have the decency to tell you that this could go to court, do you really want to work with them?

And similarly, the way you are referring to your ethnicity as an excuse for irresponsibility is really, really, really, really, really deeply offensive. You’re insulting gay people and Chinese people, and therefore you are really insulting gay Chinese people, and therefore you’re the weakest link and stuff fo’real.

Don’t you wish they kept score? I keep wanting to know if we’re winning, you know? No. You don’t know. And neither do I! EXACTLY.

And that’s it! With that one last confusing and concerning statement, we have had our Mr. Tam time for the day.  I don’t even know if he was a defense witness and if their turn has officially started; I honestly have no idea what is going on. Did you notice how ALL OF THAT WAS F*CKING CRAZY? Get lots of sleep tonight, you guys, because if the next few days are as ridiculous and emotionally exhausting as this one, we will need it. Tune in next time for Prop 8 Trial Day9, now with an added bottle of wine!

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Rachel is Autostraddle's Senior Editor and the editor who presides over books and news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy."

Rachel has written 749 articles for us.

60 Comments

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    i haven’t read it all yet but this is effing brill “That’s how I lost all my Precious Moments Dolls in my most recent divorce. That bitch I swear.” i am printing this phrase out – if i had a tumblr or something i would write it in a clever type face and put it over an image of MIA or something.

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      i take it back

      this is my favorite part “If you think your grasp of English and American culture is slippery enough that you don’t understand legal proceedings, it is perhaps a mistake to get involved in the passing of a legal document that will affect thousands of people’s lives in a deeply invasive way”

      brill.

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    omfg The Tam part was brilliant! I’m still willing to bet that the prop 8 people will somehow dig all those facts from some homo hating teenager’s livejournal and try to post them as facts. Oh child, the fact that this man is allowed to get married and have children and has all his rights IS what’s wrong with America.

    P.S. “I don’t even know what to say about that. If you think your grasp of English and American culture is slippery enough that you don’t understand legal proceedings, it is perhaps a mistake to get involved in the passing of a legal document that will affect thousands of people’s lives in a deeply invasive way. And if the people you’re working with don’t have the decency to tell you that this could go to court, do you really want to work with them?”

    I wholeheartedly agree with you…thank you

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    Rachel, this is so good! I’m not sure how you write so many words every day and manage to remain clever or sane.

    -”I don’t recall anything bad ever happening to straight people for shoving us into lockers or beating us up in the parking lot or outside of bars.” Yes yes yes.
    -I love the Illegalize Gay graphic. Like a lot.
    -The h8ers look more ridiculous every day! I’m really glad that the craziness I see in those people in the real world is translating to the court room.

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    While the write up was hilarious, Tam has DRIVEN ME TO DRINK.

    I was going to have a nice time at the gym and then make soup and instead I’ve just bought a six pack of cheap lager. I mean I know people with his pov are out there, but actually reading through such illogical nonsense has made me really REALLY agitated. Someone grab me another cold one.

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    We need to be strong ladies and gent! We can’t go out binge drinking and kill our livers before Ted & David get us our rights. I am feeling a little better each day this trial goes on. There are so many juicy tidbits for the record. I can hardly wait for this to get all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Rachel, you rock! Autostraddle is the shit! Whoo hooo!

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    My dad is Chinese and I think he thinks I’m pretty awesome. He buys me train tickets so I can visit autostraddle in NYC. Not all Chinese people are crazy!

    Also, just saying, being a Jewish Chinese lesbian was the worst in high school. On the other hand, I usually win the minority game.

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    Rachel – thanks for the props on my Prop 8 column yesterday! It’s a great compliment that you stopped by for a read and felt it worthy to share with your audience. High five and eff 8.

    Erika Napoletano
    aka
    @DearRedhead/@RedheadWriting

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    You know, I’m sick of the whole “I’m Chinese, this is they way I was brought up, I can’t change!!1″ bullhonkey. My partner’s mom grew up in Hong Kong, and while this whole thing hasn’t exactly been sunshine and roses, she’s come so much farther than I ever thought possible. (Then again, the same can be said of my partner’s Australian father.)

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    dude doesn’t speak for this Asian.

    However, he’s not alone. I’ve heard very similar sentiments from my family and friends, from kidhood until now. It’s confusing, it’s unnatural, it’s icky, it leads to incest and paedophilia, etc. A few years ago I was at this symposium for a proposed National Sex Ed Curriculum in Malaysia reping our youth journalist group. On one page they said “if you think you’re gay you can talk to a trusted adult for advice”. Next page? “Homosexuality is immoral, illegal, and banned in every religion and culture.” Hell yeah I spoke up about the mixed messages. urgh!

    which is to say, even if y’all think he sounds crazy, there’s going to be a lot of Asians going “FINALLY SOMEONE WHO SPEAKS SENSE”. Bringing up places like the Netherlands doesn’t work because then the counterargument is “but they also legalise drugs and prostitution, and make fun of Muslims, and they’re not to be trusted”.

    Also, while overall I agree with your sentiment, I’m finding it a bit difficult to read statements about how you’d think the Gay Chinese would feel about Dr Tam. You can find him offensive yourself, but I’d rather that the Gay Chinese speak for themselves. There’s a whole lot of cultural norms about collectivism, family piety, and so on that a privileged majority Westerner may not necessarily grok, and to claim that you know what they think (even if you are ultimately right) is to continue the oppression of taking away their voices. The reality may be a lot more complicated than that.

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      Hey! Thanks for that! I think all of what you wrote is excellent, and a lot more intelligent than most of what we write in these recaps. It’s definitely true that we’re not in a position to speak for any part of the Asian community; I think we’re just frustrated with Mr. Tam that he assumes he does, and speaking for myself personally I really didn’t want to write this and give anyone the impression that I “blame” Mr. Tam’s beliefs on his culture or his ethnicity, or that I held the group he belongs to personally responsible for any of this crazy Prop 8 stuff. We saw enough of that with the ridiculous “black people passed Prop 8 because they hate gays” stuff, and I really don’t want to go back there.

      Also, a lot of what you said reminded me of this really interesting NYT article that confirms that a lot of the Chinese Christian community (at least, that this guy interviewed) really do feel like Tam is a hero.

      Also, thanks for using “grok” in a sentence, every time someone does that on autostraddle it makes my day a little bit better.

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        ha, I hang out with enough geeks and nerds to use the references but not see the originals…

        And yeah, I’m not greatly fond of Dr Tam either, but I’ve also had enough people try to speak on my behalf (and then not let me speak for myself) that that sort of reasoning just makes me quiver. And some of why he sounds like a nutso is probably because he’s trying to convey concepts that are untranslatable. I wonder if he would have been any better if his part of the trial was conducted in Mandarin with an interpreter.

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    Seriously? Can’t someone put like a child lock on this guy’s internet or something? I can’t believe this guys has a PhD! He shouldn’t even have a drivers license or a library card. I mean… the whole minorities only being based on skin color thing?!?!?! I mean… I am flabbergasted. FLABBERGASTED! This guys is like a cartoon character. The sad thing is that he will probably be on Glenn Beck tomorrow.

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      wow, clearly I need to read over my comments before posting. My fingers seem to have a mind of there own. It sounded like Dr. Tam wrote my comment for me. This seems to happen often. It’s not my fault. I’m anglo saxon. woops

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    I cannot even explain how much I love reading this everyday. I have giggled my way through it everyday…much to the interest of my co-workers and roommates. I am just posting to say thanks, this recap is absolutely fantastic. It is informative and brings a smile to my face…even when the h8ers are ridic. Keep up the amazing job!!

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    Hi! I love this blog! It has become my daily dose of righteousness AND hilarity, a thing hard to find even in the vastness of the internet. Today however, I have a tiny bone to pick, out of the skeleton of usual Judgement Daze awesome.

    It’s this: “In the same way that being mean to a white person can’t be racist, being mean to a straight person can’t be a hate crime – hate crimes refer to when violence is done to a group because they are part of a reviled and socially undesirable group of people.”

    You are, of course, totally right! All crimes are not equal since they take place within a system of oppression that is decidedly UNequal (hi, society!). However, of course, our legislators are not so good at reality. The tremendous folks at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project have this to say about hate crimes: “Unfortunately, the popular imagining of the operation of hate crime laws does not bear out in reality. Hate crime laws do not distinguish between oppressed groups and groups with social and institutional power.”

    What?!?! I know, right?! The characteristic that you would think DEFINES a hate crime is not actually a part of hate crime legislation. Way to miss the point, lawmakers!

    As a result (Sylvia Rivera Law Project again): “Compared to white men, Black men are disproportionately arrested for race-based hate crimes. The second-largest category of race-based hate crimes tracked by the FBI is crimes committed against white people. Every year, the FBI reports a number of so-called “anti-heterosexual” hate crimes—incidents where members of the LGBT community have been prosecuted for supposedly targeting straight people with criminal acts.”

    So that lady singing songs about Jesus in the Castro? In the eyes of the law, she totally got hate crimed. And the queer who did it could get extra time in the slammer (a really fun place for queers, I hear!) to think about all the hate and oppression that he’s perpetrated on Christians who just wanna sing Amazing Grace.

    The more you know! http://srlp.org/node/301

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    SKINNY JEANS WILL NEVER BE OUT OF STYLE.

    Thompson: 100% of Quakers?
    Segura: All three of them, yes.
    THIS. WIN WIN WIN. lmaooo.

    ASSHAT.

    WAIT WAIT! The paperclip/ex boyfriend comment WINS. Lmao! Yes, I’m laughing at men. So many of them are like that.

    “it could be journalists.” It also could be secret messages from the unicorns in area 51, who bloody knows?!

    Cray-cray, f’serious.

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