Gay Marriage Opponents Want Leaked Trial Tapes

Anti-gay industry frantic to hide leaked footage of Prop 8 trial.

By Matt Baume
|  Saturday, Apr 16, 2011  |  Updated 5:45 PM PDT
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Prop 8 Backers Want Leaked Tapes

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Lawyers have accused Walker of breaking the law by allowing citizens to witness their legal system at work.

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Don't look now, but some bigotry is showing.

Prop 8 backers are in a panic over a few minutes of leaked audio from last year's trial over the anti-gay law's constitutionality.

Back in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Prop 8 trial could not be televised. That was welcome news to the anti-gay industry, which fought hard for secrecy around the trial. And they were successful: the footage from the trial has been kept under wraps for months.

But that all changed in February, when Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled that separate-but-equal marriage laws violate the US Constitution, showed a 3-minute clip of the trial during a speech. It's not a particularly revealing clip: no people are discernible in the fuzzy footage, and the conversation is dry and legalistic.

Now, the losing anti-gay lawyers have accused Walker of breaking the law by allowing citizens to witness their legal system at work.

For his part, Walker has said that he feels the tapes are public record. Quoting Chief Justice Berger, he added, "People in an open society do not demand infallibility in their institutions, but it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing."

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