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Court halts release of Prop. 8 video recordings

October 24, 2011 | 10:21 am

A federal appeals court Monday put a temporary hold on a decision to make public the video recordings of the Proposition 8 trial and decided to rule on the matter expeditiously.

A three-member panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a brief order that Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware's ruling this month to release the video recordings may not be enforced pending a decision by the appeals court.

The court set an accelerated schedule for written arguments and a hearing for Dec. 5.

Supporters of same-sex marriage want the recordings made public to show the evidence behind former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's ruling that overturned the 2008 ballot measure, a decision the appeals' court also is reviewing. The historic two-week trial examined the history of marriage and the nature of sexual orientation.

Opponents of gay marriage insist the recordings should remain sealed because of possible harassment of witnesses who testified for the backers of Proposition 8.

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-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco

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