Wednesday, during the federal trial to decide the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a judge heard from a man who was forced to undergo so-called conversion therapy to remove his attraction to other men.

On the seventh day of the trial in San Francisco, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker heard testimony from Ryan Kendall, a twenty-six-year-old Colorado man who said he considered suicide after being forced to attend conversion therapy.

“First hand experience to illustrate points that have been raised is very helpful,” Walker answered in response to Proposition 8 lawyer's objections to the witness. Lawyer James Campbell had told the court that such “memories” of conversion therapy are “unreliable, unhelpful for serious analysis.”

On the stand, Kendall told Walker that he was aware of this sexual orientation at an early age. At his parents reading a journal where he admits to being gay, he said, “My parents flipped out.”

“I remember my mother looking at me and telling me I was going to burn in hell,” he said.

Between 14 and 16 years old, Kendall was forced to attend group therapy from the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that believes sexual orientation can be altered.

Turning to the Department of Social Services, Kendall severed his parent's parental rights at 16.

“I was a 16-year-old kid who had just lost everything he ever knew. I was very lost,” he said. The experience left him contemplating suicide, he said.

In the cross-examining, Campbell seized on the fact that Kendall was an unwilling subject: “Your goal was to survive the experience. Your goal wasn't to decrease your sexual attraction.” Kendall agreed. But Campbell failed to draw out testimony of a successful reorientation.

In other testimony, the court heard from Professor Gary Segura, a political scientist at Stanford University, who testified on the relatively limited political power of gay men and lesbians.

“Gays and lesbians lack sufficient power to protect themselves in the political system,” Segura said, then added that women in the 70s enjoyed greater political clout. Being a woman isn't “inherently controversial,” he said.

David Thompson, a lawyer for Proposition 8, disagreed with Segura's conclusions. He ticked off a list of gay political figures – California Assembly leader John Perez, Houston Mayor Annise Parker – and “reliable political allies” on gay issues – the ACLU, unions, Barbara Boxer and President Obama.

“I think President Obama is the best illustration of an ally who cannot be counted on, whose rhetoric far exceeds his actions,” Segura said.

As with previous witnesses, Thompson attempted to discredit Segura as a sympathizer, asking him if he donated to the campaign against Proposition 8. He answered “yes.”

Judge Walker also allowed the introduction of numerous internal documents between various organizations that supported passage of the gay marriage ban over intense objections from the defense. Included in the documents are controversial Mormon Church emails. In one email, church officials acknowledge they have 20,000 volunteers supporting Proposition 8. And for the first time, the communications reveal that the church actively attempted to hide its involvement in the campaign: “With respect to Prop. 8 campaign, key talking points will come from campaign, but cautious, strategic, not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.”

The trial resumes Thursday.