A supporter of Proposition 8 called as a hostile witness told a trial on gay marriage yesterday that gays are more likely to molest children.
William Tam, whose name was one of five which appeared on Prop 8 ballot arguments, was called as a witness by two gay couples challenging California’s marriage ban.
He was called in an effort to demonstrate that opposition to gay marriage is based on animosity towards gays.
Associated Press reports that Tam was asked by attorney David Boies: “Do you believe that homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children?”
He replied: “Yeah, based on the different literature that I have read.”
When pressed to cite authors or studies, he said he could not remember any names. Earlier in the trial, Cambridge University psychologist Michael Lamb testified that there was no evidence to suggest gays were more likely to abuse children than their straight counterparts.
Tam also told the court he believed that gay rights advocates wanted to lower the age of consent.
He said of Canada and “liberal” European countries: “Their legal age of consent is 14 or even as young as 13 years old. That is having sex with children. And these countries legalised same-sex marriage. The liberal trend, that’s what I was afraid of.”
Boies countered that none of the countries with a lower age of consent had made the change due to allowing gay marriage.
Tam said he had worked on the Prop 8 campaign and distributed his own leaflets which warned of incest, paedophilia and polygamy if gay marriage was legalised.
He said he had joined the campaign because he feared children would begin to “fantasise” about having gay partners.
A lawyer for the anti-gay marriage team said outside court that Tam had “next to nothing” to do with the campaign.
Under cross-examination, Tam admitted anti-gay statements he made about paedophilia and incest had not been approved by ProtectMarriage.com, the organisation that ran the Prop 8 campaign.
Yesterday, Ryan Kendall, 26, testified that he had been forced to undergo ‘gay cure’ therapy to turn him straight.
Kendall said he had been left suicidal by the treatment.
Lawyers challenging California’s gay marriage ban are expected to wrap up their arguments today.