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Federal appeals panel rejects bid to keep cameras out of Prop. 8 courtroom

January 8, 2010 |  5:36 pm

A federal appeals court late today rejected an appeal by backers of Proposition 8 to prevent the public broadcasting of a federal trial on the constitutionality of California's ban on same-sex marriage.

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

Supporters of Proposition 8 argued that the broadcast would violate federal court rules and intimidate witnesses

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

But a three-judge panel the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the challenge, ruling that petitioners failed to demonstrate the case warranted "extraordinary" intervention.

--Maura Dolan