There was powerful testimony this morning from Ryan Kendall, a 26-year-old gay man from Colorado. He spoke about the "conversion therapy" his parents forced him to undergo when he was a teenager living in Colorado Springs. The therapy was administered by the National Association for Restorative Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) based in Encino, California. Kendall tearfully described his mother's hostility toward him after she learned he was gay by reading his journal. "You are going to burn in hell," she told him. "She said 'I wish I'd had an abortion' and 'I wish you were born with Downs Syndrome‚' retarded, things like that." Kendall testified that the therapy was unsuccessful, and that he met at least one other patient at NARTH who the executive director said had been "cured" of homosexuality. Kendall said the young man, "Kelly," confided in him that he was faking being "cured" and was still gay. It's unclear what impact this has on the issues at hand -- the defense tried to prevent Kendall from testifying because he wasn't from California and had little knowledge of Prop. 8, but Judge Vaughn Walker overruled it.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the testimony -- after all that Ryan Kendall has been through -- is that he is a member of the Denver chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, an organization described as "gay members of the GOP."