News (USA)

Prop 8 defendant asks to be released from suit, citing personal threats

Prop 8 defendant asks to be released from suit, citing personal threats

An outspoken gay marriage opponent, and one of five defendants in the case challenging California’s Proposition 8, has asked to be removed from the lawsuit over fear the trial publicity that would endanger him and his family.


Hak-Shing William Tam was one of five people who formally intervened to defend the state from a federal lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which seeks to overturn the 2008 voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

”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.”

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 federal court in San Francisco.

Tam was a proponent of Proposition 8, which passed in November 2008 and was upheld four months later by the California Supreme Court.

For more colorful reasons supporting his request, Tam’s motion can be viewed here.

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