The likely real reason for Hak-Shing William Tam pulling out of Perry v. Schwarzenegger
January 9th, 2010
Hak-Shing William Tam was one of five defendant-intervenors who petitioned the court to be allowed to defend Proposition 8 in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Today he requested that he be allowed to withdraw from the case (pdf).
He listed his reasons as being due to his fears of recognition and reprisals. He claimed that his life, and that of his family, could be in danger.
As evidence, he submitted examples of threats against him during the campaign including vandalism (his car’s tire was punctured while parked on the street without a Prop 8 bumper sticker but in front of a house with a yard sign), theft (some girl tried to steal his yard sign but ran away), death threats (someone left a vulgar comment on a YouTube video which Tam claims to “take very seriously”) and racism (other vulgar comments on his YouTube video).
However, his concerns about being recognized didn’t seem to have dissuaded Bill Tam from giving interviews and making videos and participating in debates during the campaign. And the worrisome issues didn’t give him enough concern to keep him from petitioning the court in May 2009 to be added as a defendant. And Tam provides no instances since May in which anyone recognizing him has been anything other than “friendly”.
He hasn’t even removed from availability the DVD he has called “FAQ: Same-Sex Marriage & Homosexuality” which explains the “Possible Cause of Same Sex Attraction and the Healing” (he has “many friends who went from homosexuality back to heterosexuality“).
But now Bill Tam has suddenly become reduced to a pile of quivering terror. Frankly, I don’t buy it.
However, in his declaration Tam makes a comment that may give us a better understanding of the real reason why the legal team defending Proposition 8 wants him off the case.
A second reason that I want to withdraw as a Defendant-Intervenor is that I do not like the burden of complying with discovery requests. I do not like people questioning me on my private personal beliefs. I do not like people questioning me regarding fourteen year old articles I wrote in the Chinese language to my constituents. I don’t like people focusing on a few articles I posted on my website regarding homosexuality and disregarding the 50 or 60 other articles I posted regarding family values subjects. I do not like the exposure of my history to people who are antagonistic to me.
He doesn’t say what was in the articles that “people” were questioning him about, but the AP gives us a clue:
In the months leading up the trial, lawyers for two unmarried same-sex couples on whose behalf the case was brought complained that Proposition 8’s sponsors were withholding evidence to which the plaintiffs were entitled by citing a letter they had uncovered written by Tam to members of his church during the campaign.
In the letter, Tam outlined what he described as the disastrous consequences for allowing gays to marry in California.
“One by one, other states would fall into Satan’s hands,” he wrote. “Every child, when growing up, would fantasize marrying someone of the same sex. More children would become homosexuals.”
The contents could come up in the trial because one of the issues is whether the measure’s backers were motivated by anti-gay bias.
But even Tam’s public statements during the campaign show clear anti-gay bias. In October 2008, Tam told a reporter with the San Jose Mercury News, “We hope to convince Asian-Americans that gay marriage will encourage more children to experiment with the gay lifestyle and that the lifestyle comes with all kinds of disease.”
That is likely among the tamer of Tam’s proclamations on the subject. I expect that the fourteen year old articles read like the denunciations of Jeremiah. And his website and history would probably provide a very clear illustration of the motivation of those who collected signatures, contributed time and money, and worked diligently to take away the basic rights of their gay neighbors.