Stanford University professor Gary M. Segura cited hate crime statistics, anti-gay remarks by elected officials, the relatively low number of gay office holders nationwide, and the success rate of ballot initiatives such as California's Proposition 8 to argue that gays do not possess a meaningful degree of political power.
''By any measure, gays and lesbians would have to be understood as a minority faction,'' Segura said. ''People who accept the normativity of heterosexuality have held power essentially forever.''
Lawyers for two same-sex couples suing to overturn Proposition 8 -- California's gay marriage ban -- called Segura to the witness stand to buttress their argument that gays are a disadvantaged group that deserves the same protections from discrimination afforded other vulnerable minorities under the U.S. Constitution.
Segura said Proposition 8 was part of a chain of ballot-box defeats for the gay rights movement dating back to the 1970s, including 33 of the 34 measures across the country dealing with marriage.
''There is no group in American society that has been targeted with ballot initiatives more than gays and lesbians,'' he said.
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Via the NY Times.