Prop. 8 backer questioned about child sex comment

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lawyers in a case seeking to overturn California’s gay marriage ban are presenting statements by a proponent of the measure saying gay rights activists would try to legalize sex with children if same-sex marriages were legal.

The taped statements by Hak-Shing William Tam were presented Wednesday during the civil case being heard in federal court.

The footage was introduced to buttress the contention that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it was fueled by deep-seated animosity against gays.

Tam made the remarks during his legal deposition taped last month while discussing a letter he wrote to Chinese-Americans during the 2008 campaign for the ballot measure.

Tam has asked the judge to remove him as a defendant because he feared publicity could endanger him and his family.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Yale historian testifying in a case challenging California’s same-sex marriage ban is being cross-examined about public attitudes about gay Americans.

George Chauncey returned to the witness stand for a second day Wednesday.

A lawyer for sponsors of the voter-approved ban quoted some of Chauncey’s writings along with polls indicating gay people and their relationships had gained greater acceptance during the past 10 years.

Chauncey testified Tuesday that the 2008 campaign to pass Proposition 8 played on stereotypes historically used to portray homosexuals as perverts who prey on young children and entice straight people into “sick behavior.”

The proceedings in San Francisco are the first in a federal court aimed at determining if state prohibitions on gay marriage violate the U.S. Constitution.