The public is well aware of what happened when Proposition 8 -- the California constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage -- went on trial in federal court last year: a judge declared the law unconstitutional, which has led to more courtroom drama as the measure's backers appeal the decision.
But will the public at large ever know exactly *how* the trial went down? US District Judge James Ware isn't saying, after he heard arguments Monday over whether to release videos of last year's trial. He is saying he'll decide soon, "without much delay," however he decides, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper.
A coalition of media organizations, the city of San Francisco and the same-sex couples who filed the original 2009 lawsuit seeking to overturn Proposition 8, approved by state voters at the ballot in November 2008, are asking that the video transcripts be released. Proposition 8's backers are saying the videos were shot under express direction that they'd be retained only for the use of Judge Vaughn Walker, who conducted the trial.
Releasing the videos could harm Proposition 8's backers, including witnesses who may find themselves subjected to harassment and other unpleasantness, according to arguments heard Monday.
As for Prop 8 itself, a hearing at the California Supreme Court is scheduled for Sept. 6. At issue is whether the sponsors of the struck-down state law can appeal to the US Supreme Court when neither the Attorney General nor the state governor have done so.