SAN FRANCISCO - Gay men and lesbians are a politically unpopular and relatively powerless force in the United States, even though the public tends to think otherwise, a political scientist testified Wednesday during a historic trial on the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban.
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."
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