KENDALL PROP 8 TESTIMONY – ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2010

There was a point during the testimony this morning that it became impossible for me to write because I couldn’t see my pad through the tears in my eyes. I was overwhelmed by the cruelty exhibited by those in the pursuit of “Christian” values. Ryan Kendall testified that when his parents found out he was gay, his mother told him he was going to burn in hell. He was shocked by the level of their reaction, “it doesn’t get much worse than eternal damnation.”

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Ryan Kendall leaving District Courthouse
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

He was sent to a Christian therapist who told him homosexuality was incompatible with Christian teachings. He said that the goal of the therapy was to make him a heterosexual. Asked if it was successful Kendall replied “I was still gay.” Asked if he had tried to change he replied, “It was not possible. I’m gay. I’m short and half Hispanic those things aren’t going to change.”

It is painful for me to even try to write about his family life because it is difficult for me to try to imagine what it must have been like to have those who are supposed to love you reject you. To have your mother like his mother tell you she wished she had had an abortion must have been devastating.

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Ryan Kendall leaving District Courthouse
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Bu there is an amazing survival instinct that Ryan Kendall exhibited when he said that he stopped the therapy because “I realized if I didn’t stop I would have killed myself.” So he surrendered himself to Colorado Department of Children Services and stopped living with his parents. That was a start on his journey

During the cross examination the defense attorney suggested that perhaps it was his family situation that did the damage not the conversion therapy and that since he never really wanted to change his attraction and he was forced against his will to go to therapy were reasons the therapy didn’t work.

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Ryan Kendall outside District Courthouse
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Before Ryan Kendall was allowed to testify the defense had objection to his testimony as irrelevant. In denying the motion Judge Walker said that first had experience is very helpful.

See Related: MARRIAGE EQUALITY

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON ARCHIVE

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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