January 9, 2010

Courting Intimidation of Witnesses: the SEIU-ization of Liberalism

Hatched by Dafydd

A trial starts Monday in San Francisco that could overturn the will of the people in 45 of the 50 states; U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker (Bush-41) will preside over a federal court case that seeks to overturn Proposition 8 in California -- the state initiative constitutional amendment that itself overturned a California Supreme Court ruling foisting same-sex marriage (SSM) on America's biggest state.

And Walker is stacking the deck: He has already ruled that the trial will be videoed and the videos put up on YouTube, so that radicals will know who to assault. And now, one of the "designated defendants" supporting Proposition 8, Hak-Shing William Tam, is asking to be released from the case, saying he's already suffered death threats and harassment, vandalism, intimidation, and threats to his family:

On Friday, Tam told the court that he was harassed and his property vandalized during the campaign, and feared similar retribution if he continued to represent gay marriage foes' interest in the lawsuit and trial, which is scheduled to start Monday in San Francisco.

''In the past I have received threats on my life, had my property vandalized and am recognized on the streets due to my association with Proposition 8,'' Tam said in a court filing. ''Now that the subject lawsuit is going to trial, I fear I will get more publicity, be more recognizable and that the risk of harm to me and my family will increase.''

Say... if they can just succeed in pushing out the other four designated defendants the same way, the defense will collapse for lack of a defendant, and SSM wins by default! (You don't think this could be, you know, the strategy... do you?)

The forces of liberalism have already done some deck-stacking of their own: When the case was first filed by a couple of SSM activists, both California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown (the former governor) declined even to defend the state's law, passed with a clear majority by the citizens of California. Both men are strong supporters of SSM; so I can only conclude they were hoping that by refusing to defend the case, SSM would be ushered into California law regardless of what the so-called "people" want.

As H.L. Mencken is reputed to have said -- or written -- or thought up -- or wished he had thought up -- "If the government doesn't trust the people, why doesn't it dissolve them and elect a new people?"

Schwarzenegger is a particular disappointment. A couple of years ago, after Proposition 22 (defining marriage to be between a man and a woman) had passed overwhelmingly, the radical-Left California state legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill anyway -- essentially telling voters to take a long walk off Fisherman's Wharf. At that time, Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the measure, saying that, while he personally supports SSM (he's a Hollywood conservative, recall), the people had indeed spoken.

Now he tries an end-run around those same people's vote, this time on a state constitutional amendment. Perhaps he got tired of sleeping on the couch.

The liberal elites on the California Supreme Court overturned Prop. 22 (In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757), mandating SSM; and the court ordered it to begin almost immediately, even though Prop. 8, which would make traditional marriage part of the California state constitution, was already on the ballot and seemed likely to pass. The justices must have known the chaos that would (and did!) ensue; evidently radical liberalism triumphed over stability and voters' respect for their civic institutions, as the majority flung both in the dustbin.

Prop. 8 won, of course; but not before some 18,000 same-sex couples were legally married. In May, the California Supreme Court held Prop. 8 to be a valid constitutional amendment; but it also held that those same-sex marriages performed during the brief "window" that the court itself deliberately created were likewise valid.

Monday's lawsuit is a liberal attempt to revive the failed lawsuit against Prop. 8 by refiling it in federal court; evidently the theory is that California's constitution -- which explicitly bans discrimination on the basis of sexual preference -- is no barrier to the people defining marriage in the traditional way... yet the federal Constitution, with not even a mention of sexual preference, nevertheless mandates SSM for every state!

I suppose it makes sense to the Left. And it especially makes sense with Walker's decision about YouTube videos: A new strategy of harassment and intimidation is added to the arrows in the quiver of those who despise traditional marriage as hopelessly Mediaeval.

We've all seen how other liberal shills, such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), "persuade" conservatives to abandon their arguments; remember the video of SEIU thugs beating black conservative Kenneth Gladney last August at a town-hall meeting in South St. Louis County, Missouri?

Gay activists have already demonstrated their eagerness to “punch back twice as hard” against conservatives, as Barack H. Obama's deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, exhorted a few days before Gladney's beating. As Big Lizards reported in October, activists in Washington state have resorted to trying to publish all the names of the ordinary voters who signed a petition against SSM -- painting them all as bigots, Christians, and homophobes, and of course setting them up for harassment, intimidation, or worse:

But here is where things get creepy: In response to the petition that put Referendum 71 on the ballot, gay activists have become obsessed with "outing" everybody who signed it -- publicly printing not just their names but their addresses as well. They even wanted to put all the personal information on the internet, so it would easily be searchable by anybody who suspected his neighbor might be insufficiently tolerant.

Activists claim they are only trying to exercise the state's "public records disclosure law;" but it's hard not to come away with the sick feeling that SSM proponents are hoping that friends and neighbors of the petition signers will punish them for their apostasy, especially if they live in a liberal (or gay) neighborhood. That is, I believe the legal fight to release the signers' names and addresses is a transparent attempt to intimidate and frighten them into not signing any future petitions.

How many witnesses will be eager to expose themselves as targets for radical gay-rights activists? How many would have their lives turned upside down, their employers called with bogus complaints, their children threatened and perhaps beaten-up in school... and at the very least, how many will suffer humiliation as their religious and political beliefs are "explored" in court -- by professional mockers and denigrators?

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.

Tam's personal religious beliefs are quite mainstream among conservative Christians; and in any event, they are utterly irrelevant to the case: The initiative was passed by literally millions of voters, not personally by Mr. Tam. Yet the liberals at the Associated Press implicitly identify those beliefs with "anti-gay bias," and want the entire amendment overturned because at least one of its authors was a -- a Christian.

The Left holds up Hak-Shing William Tam as the poster-boy of wacko, far-right, homophobic, bigotted Christianity; and come Monday morn, anybody who missed that characterization in the New York Times and the scores of other newspapers that take AP's feed can watch, via YouTube, the plaintiffs call him all those names to his face.

Gee, I wonder why he now wants out? And what a wonderful way to hold an unbiased trial.

I'm sure Judge Walker will "kindly" let Tam out of the lawsuit; and with that example, I'm sure the pressure on the other four designated defendants will mount. In the liberal utopia, they too would all cave... and the radical-gay agenda to destroy marriage would win by intimidation... which appears to be the liberals' favored means anyway.

(Like Professor Fate in the Great Race, they're not interested in winning our way, by persuading voters; they want to win their way, by dirty, mean, underhanded tactics. I think it gives them an extra frisson of pleasure to know that they scared us into silence. Makes 'em feel powerful.)

I hope the other four defendants have more guts than Mr. Tam. I would be happy to volunteer, but I live outside that court's jurisdiction.

Besides, while Judge Walker will doubtless be pleased to allow any defendant who quakes in his boots to leave the case, I doubt he would be interested in allowing anybody more steadfast to join it: That doesn't fit the storyboard of "rats fleeing the sinking ship" that he evidently wants to tell.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 9, 2010, at the time of 10:40 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Chris Hunt

Push the button, Max!

The above hissed in response by: Chris Hunt [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 11, 2010 10:01 AM

The following hissed in response by: Tony King

Excellent post really enjoed it

The above hissed in response by: Tony King [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 29, 2010 3:18 AM

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