American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Witness Testimony: Hak-Shing William Tam

On the eighth day of trial, Hak-Shing William Tam, an official proponent of Proposition 8, was called as an adverse witness by plaintiffs.  He testified about the messages he disseminated during the Proposition 8 campaign.

Watch George Takei reenact William Tam’s testimony during the Los Angeles premiere of “8” the play.

Testimony Highlights

“I think it’s very important for the next generation to understand the historical meaning of marriage. It is very important that our children won’t grow up to fantasize or think about, Should I marry Jane or John when I grow up?”


“[I]f ‘domestic partner’ is defined as it is now, then we can explain to our children that, yeah, there are some same-sex person wants to have a lifetime together as committed partners, and that is called ‘domestic partner,’ but it is not ‘marriage.’ Then we have something that is very easy for our children to understand.”


“[DAVID BOIES]: What I’m trying to get at, and I will be really clear, is that children of gays and lesbians want their parents to be married, just like children of heterosexual couples want their parents to be married, because the word “marriage” means something, correct? You may think they shouldn’t have it –


“[BOIES]: (Continuing) — okay? You may think they shouldn’t have it for all sorts of reasons, but you recognize that that’s important to those children, correct?

“[TAM]:  Yes.”


“[BOIES]: Now, do you believe that homosexuals are 12 times more likely to molest children? Do you believe that?

“[TAM]: Yeah, based on the different literature that I’ve read.”


“[BOIES]: Okay. Now, [on your website] you go on to say that: ‘If Proposition 8 loses, one by one other states would fall into Satan’s hand.’  Do you see that?“[TAM]: Yes.

“[BOIES]: And by falling into Satan’s hand, you meant permitting gays and lesbians to marry, correct?

“[TAM]: Yes.”