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Prop. 8 backers seek to block federal trial broadcast [Updated]

Backers of Proposition 8 filed an emergency petition with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today to prevent the broadcast of a federal trial on the constitutionality California's ban on same-sex marriage.

The trial, scheduled to start Monday, was supposed to be videotaped by the court and disseminated on YouTube and in other federal courthouses.

Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the Proposition 8 campaign, said the broadcast would be unprecedented and would violate federal court rules. He said the scheduled broadcast "collides with the longstanding policy of the federal courts not to televise trials."

"Many supporters of Proposition 8 who are being dragged into this case are fearful about being questioned about their personal, political and religious beliefs on the stand and having that televised," Pugno said.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is presiding over the San Francisco trial, said Wednesday that he favored a limited public broadcast of the trial as part of a trial project authorized by Judge Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th Circuit.

The campaign today also asked Walker to stay any order authorizing a public broadcast.

[Updated at 3:08 p.m.: One of the sponsors of Proposition 8 also asked Walker today to be removed as a defendant in the case because he feared for his life. Hak-Shing William Tam was one of five campaign sponsors who intervened in the case after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown declined to defend the initiative. He said the trial would bring him unwarranted publicity and possible retribution from supporters of same-sex marriage.]

--Maura Dolan

Comments () | Archives (57)

What? Why Don't be open about this issue and let's all see what is going on behind those doors?
It's about my future. Prop 8 affects me so I want to know why I don't deserve the same Rights that heterosexuals get. I am a tax payer and I demand EQUAL rights.

So what if it would be unprecedented. Everything is unprecedented the first time it happens.

i forgot to change my name from the last time i commented. a broadcast would be a good idea.

Tough! You don't get to take people's rights away and emerge unscathed!

of course they don't want it televised - it would be unfair for the rest of the country to see what narrow-minded bigots they really are. it's always better to keep sensitive things like this in the closet.

Supporters of Proposition 8 shouldn't be afraid to be seen and heard, just as those that wish to have equality in marriage for everyone. The public should know who really supports the proposition and where the political and monetary support came from. Let's have true transparency.

If you're not comfortable standing for what you "believe" in...then many be you shouldn't be testifying to restrict other people's civil rights! Exactly what kind of fear-mongering are they expecting to incite that they can't have the world see. Or are we fooling ourselves into thinking that we live in a democratic state?

What do they have to hide? If they don't have the courage to speak openly I ask, "where's their integrity?" I see this as a veiled attempt to hide something.

But why do they object? According to much of the pro-8 campaigns polling at the time, the opinions of several members of the campaign, as well as the outcome of Prop 8 itself, the majority of the California public is with them on this. And following that logic, the public should be more than accepting of anything they say, no matter how unpalatable some of us might see it as, right?

And of course, either way the public goes, the members of the pro-8 campaign are proud of their stances, feel no embarrassment or doubts as to their positions, and have no reason not to stand up in the spotlight and say with heads held high what they believe.


I think they just answered that question.

Televise it, so the world can see how many lies Prop 8 supporters are saying. We want to see the dumb looks on their faces as they continue to press their religious beliefs on a "seperated by church and state" nation.

@brian carroll -

Something tells me this isn't the ONLY thing Prop. 8 supporters wish would stay "in the closet." :)

I'm not fooling myself. We haven't lived in a true democracy for more than a century. they should televise this; one of the reasons the backers dont want it televised is because they know they sound completely foolish & bigoted in their arguments and they certainly wouldn't want the public to know how they really feel. When discussions about laws of the land take place in a public forum (like a courtroom), they should never be behind closed doors. As this law will affect all the citizens of California (and eventually beyond our state borders), we, the citizens, should be allowed to hear the discussion.

Sure, broadcast the Prop 8 trial. Right after Obama and his clowns in congress broadcast their health care negotiations like they promised...

Well, if their motive are "pure" and their intention was to "protect" something with Prop 8 then why would they be ashamed to appear on youtube? Most gay people live out in the sunshine (and sometimes glare) of public opinion every day, deal with the consequences of openly being who they are every day. Are these Prop 8 supporters proving to everybody they're all cowardly compared with a bunch of gays, transgenders and our supporters? I think they are.

We need to remember that crawling insects abhor the light of day.

you can love anything! but that doesn't make it right! you can sin and that's not right...but if you stop the sin the SIN has stopped....or you can CONTINUESLY WALK IN SIN. remember you can love anything but that doesn't make it right, if it doesn't fit don't force it!

I never thought I would say this, but the Prop 8 Hate needs to stop. I voted in support of Prop 8 and felt strongly until a recent event occured.

I was at church, yes a christian church. This isnt some small run of the mill church either, its 1 of the Biggest out here in the Antelope Valley. Right at the end of the service a couple saturdays ago, the pastor comes running back up on the stage with an "emergency" issue. Here I was thinking that member had been hurt or something of that nature. The emergency was the fact that "homosexuals" (not my words but the pastors) were rasing money to fight Prop 8 on the Federal level and the Chirstian laywers needed all the financial support they could get. So in doing what i thought was right, i tossed a $20 in the basket without any hesitation. It wasnt until I went home that I realized that I was just asked to actively support Hate in the church and I did it. This absolutly blew me away. HAte is NOT the God that I've know since a child yet, that is exactly what was being displayed and pushed on the congregation. For the first time I could understand why this issue is an equal rights and I could see how this was no different then when the Chirstian Church used scripture to justify the wrongs done to my great-grandparents and many others. Im not sure if it means much, but I for 1 would like to offer my appologies. I WONT SUPPORT THIS HATE ANY LONGER.

It has nothing to do with equal rights. They are already provided under the Domestic Partnership laws in the California Family Code.

Call me I will take the stand in support of prop 8 .its time to be heard and not be silenced by all this polical correctness

Something tells me the moderator is a liberal. No comments in favor of blocking...as per court rules. Classic!

In response to the [update]:

I do think he has a right to walk away from the case if he is concerned for his safety, of course he does. And I respect that, and would publicly deride anyone who felt such physical attacks were a solution. I will say he probably doesn't have much reason to worry, the numbers of people assaulted for being gay easily outweigh the numbers of people assaulted for stating they do not support gender-neutral marriage.

Why are people intimidated or afraid to stand up for what is right. If someone asks me to go to court and testify why prop 8 should stand I will. For one thing it was embraced by the people,the people spoke and that's why california doesn't recognize same sex marriage anymore. I have new for the gay community. There are a lot more straight people than there are homosexuals. So don't think that you are so overwhelming that you can influence regular everyday agendas to coincide with your gay agendas. But why stop there??? Why not give MAMBA some rights or murders or thiefs??? Is not there fault they were born that way...right??? Keep your gay actions and agendas to yourselves. I'm not a homophobe either but I'm sick and tired of hearing their crying about equality. They are just as equal as anyone else...just not there lifestyle

Prop 8 supporters are essentially admitting guilt. Stand strong Judge Walker!

Oh please, fearful for his life?!?!?!? You have the gall to deny someone's civil rights but are afraid to back it up by testifying... really? If you truly believe in something, you make your statements public. To be afraid to answer questions about your religious and moral objections to gay marriage publicly would make me think that your foundation and conviction is not exactly cemented. Perhaps they need to come out of the closet.

Folks who want to foist their personal beliefs on others by intimidation and threats should be the last people who claim they want equal rights. Proposition 8 was passed by a majority of the citizens of the State of California; twice.

Marriage is between a man and a woman.

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