Prop. 8 hearing on gay marriage will be televised by C-SPAN
A federal appeals court Wednesday authorized the televising of a Dec. 6 hearing on whether Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage, should be struck down.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request by C-SPAN to broadcast the two-hour hearing, which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. The court said C-SPAN would provide its tape to other broadcast media that receive court permission to televise the hearing.
The 9th Circuit is hearing an appeal of an August ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who presided over a trial that examined such questions as whether homosexuality could be changed and whether same-sex parenting harmed children. Walker wanted to broadcast the trial on the Internet, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to ban cameras on the grounds that witnesses could be intimidated during testimony.
The December hearing will involve legal arguments by lawyers, not testimony by witnesses. The 9th Circuit has said the first hour of the hearing will examine whether the sponsors of Proposition 8 and Imperial County have legal authority, or standing, to appeal Walker's ruling.
Standing generally requires an appellant to have been directly affected by a court decision. The state has standing because it enforces Proposition 8, but Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to appeal. The second hour will be spent discussing whether the gay marriage ban violates equal protection rights.
--Maura Dolan in San Francisco