A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the release of a video recording of last year’s trial striking down Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage.
Attorneys representing two gay couples who challenged Prop 8 in court argued the video of the trial is part of the judicial record – and that the public has a right to see it. U-S District Judge James Ware agreed. In a 14-page opinion, he wrote that public access to trials and trial records is essential to “foster public confidence in the fairness and integrity” of the judicial process.
Attorneys who defended the gay marriage ban warned the video’s release would subject supporters to harassment – even violence – that could dissuade witnesses from testifying in the future.
Ware characterized their argument as “unsupported hypothesis or conjecture” that should not override the public’s interests. The video tape recording of the Prop 8 trial will be released at the end of the month, unless a higher court stays Judge Ware’s decision.
Attorneys defending Prop 8 are saying they’ll appeal Monday’s decision.