Actors Taking Extra Notes in Prop 8 Trial

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010  |  Updated 8:20 AM PDT
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There's no camera in the courtroom for one of the most anticipated decisions of recent times but there will be a group of people in attendance for the closing arguments today's Proposition 8 trial in San Francisco who will be acting out the events for everyone else to watch.

The audience in today's closing arguments include a small troupe of Hollywood actors preparing for a YouTube performance. The arguments before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker are the final stage in a trial in which two same-sex couples claim that Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on gay and lesbian marriage, violates their federal constitutional rights.

Co-producers John Ireland and John Ainsworth of Los Angeles said the six actors plan to re-enact the five hours of arguments later this week for posting on a website, MarriageTrial.com, hosted by YouTube.

The re-enactment is part of a larger project in which 42 volunteer actors in the roles of Walker, the two couples, witnesses and attorneys have replayed the entire trial for posting on the Internet, using publicly available transcripts of the trial as their script.

The group has, so far, re-enacted and posted 55 hours of the testimony portion of the trial held before Walker in January. The producers got the idea for the project after the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote blocked Walker's plan to allow a delayed broadcast of the  nation's first federal trial on a constitutional challenge to a state ban on  same-sex marriage. The purpose is to make the historic trial more accessible to the public.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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