As of press time, the same people who spent millions fighting a massive campaign to overturn same-sex marriage in California were fighting a judge’s decision to videotape a trial to determine Proposition 8’s constitutionality. They claimed the proceedings, to be shown on YouTube.com, would expose them to intimidation and harassment by same-sex marriage supporters, and they asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the plan.
Hak-Shing William Tam, a chief organizer of the campaign, was so frightened of repercussions that on Jan. 8 he asked a judge to remove him from the suit. In his petition, Tam wrote, “I do not like people questioning me on my private personal beliefs.”
What’s behind their sudden faintheartedness? As Theodore Boutrous, who is part of the anti-Prop. 8 legal team, put it in late December, “They certainly did not exhibit a similar fear of public attention when attempting to garner votes for Prop 8 from millions of California voters, (or) when touting their successful campaign strategy in post-election magazine articles and public appearances.”
The problem is that Tam and his crowd don’t want the ugly details of their beliefs known. Tam doesn’t want the people of America to know he told his church that the consequences of same-sex marriage would be: “One by one, other states would fall into Satan’s hands. …More children would become homosexuals.”
Tam and his colleagues fear that such revelations would lead to open hostility – perhaps even violence of the sort that LGBT people suffer at the hands of bashers inflamed by their own rhetoric. But their fears leave us cold.
If they could not walk down many streets in America holding hands with their spouses for fear of being tormented, beaten or killed, maybe we’d have sympathy. If they could be booted out of the military, fired from their jobs or denied fundamental rights like marriage merely because of who they are, then maybe we’d feel pity.
These people who claim such confidence that God is on their side should stand proudly and openly in the face of possible condemnation, just as so many of us have done.