Campaign lawyers said several witnesses insisted on being withdrawn for fear of being harassed if their testimony was broadcast. Lawyers for the challengers implied that the witnesses were withdrawn because they made statements harmful to Proposition 8 during their deposition.
The testimony that appeared to most transfix the plaintiffs and other gays and lesbians in the courtroom came from Columbia University professor Ilan H. Meyer, who said discrimination has made gays more vulnerable to mood disorders and suicide. One gay man whispered afterward that he felt he had just spent hours in psychoanalysis.
"A gay couple has to monitor their behavior, such as holding hands, because someone can throw something at them even on a safe street," Meyer testified. "Concealment," he added, "may be stressful because you have to work hard on it. If you are lying, you have to work to keep lying. It's very hard."
Attorneys for the challengers also have tried to show that sexual orientation is core to an individual and not subject to change. One of the challengers, Sandra B. Stier, previously was married to a man. Olson asked her how she knew she was gay if she had lived with a husband.