Prop. 8 Court Challenge: Televised or Not?

by Frank Pizzoli
The first salvo in California’s Prop. 8 court trial involves whether or not the proceedings should be televised. After complicated legal wrangling, state district court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that video of the trial challenging Prop. 8 could be posted on YouTube.

Supporters of Prop. 8, California’s state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage then went to the US Supreme Court Saturday in an attempt to stop the YouTube televising of the trial starting expected to start today, Jan. 11, according to Lyle Denniston of SCOTUS blog and reported by Central Voice San Francisco correspondent Michael Petrelis. Prop. 8 opponents claim that the video ban violates the US Constitution.

The decision to allow or ban televised viewing of the trail is now before the US Supreme Court. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, as circuit justice for the Ninth Circuit, had asked for a response by noon Sunday. A decision is pending.

Opponents of Prop. 8, along with a coalition of media organizations, argued by midday Sunday that televised viewing of the trial on the marriage ban’s validity should not be barred.

Justice Kennedy has the authority to act on the stay request on his own, or the option of sharing the issue with his colleagues.

The Sunshine State began granting same-sex marriage licenses June 16, 2008, following a state supreme court ruling based on an equal protection under the law argument. License granting stopped November 5, 2008 with passage of Prop. 8, an amendment to the state constitution limiting marriages to those between one man and one woman.

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