Prop 8 Trial Gets a Date With a Judge - NBC Bay Area

Prop 8 Trial Gets a Date With a Judge



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    Chicago's gay politicians remain in the shadows. If both candidates keep their hats in the ring leading up to the February 2010 Democratic Primary, it would be the first of its kind at this level of politics in Illinois.

    Lawyers on both sides of the Prop. 8 trial are on notice for closing arguments.

    Judge Vaughn Walker held a hearing Wednesday and said he wants the lawyers to be ready to delivery their final words June 16.

    Walker is being asked to decide if California's same-sex marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution.   It has been on hiatus for several months.

    The trial consisted of more than two weeks of testimony back in January.   The judge called a break to review the evidence, but the time has dragged on as civil rights groups that opposed the measure fought turning over internal documents from the 2008 campaign to the measure's sponsors.

    RAW VIDEO: Prop 8 Lawyer Talk About Case

    [BAY] RAW VIDEO: Prop 8 Lawyer Talk About Case
    Attorneys speak Wednesday after the Prop 8 trial wrapped up.
    (Published Wednesday, June 16, 2010)

    The case was brought on behalf of two unmarried same-sex couples.  It's being watched across the country because it's the first federal trial to examine if denying gays the right to marry violates their civil rights.

    Two national renowned lawyers argued on the couples' behalf.  Theodore Olson and David Boies are best known for being on opposite sides of the  case of  Bush v. Gore which ultimately put George W. Bush into the White House.  In this case they worked together.

     There may be one final hurdle before the end of the trial.  It involves emails and memos written by Proposition 8 supporters.

    Protect Marriage, the coalition of religious and social conservative groups that qualified the ban for the ballot, have asked Walker to strike some of the messages, which include some of the trial's most explosive elements.

    Yusef Robb, a spokesman for the gay rights group that spearheaded the case, says some of the writings include those that claimed gays are more likely to be pedophiles and that allowing them to wed would cause young people to become homosexual.

    Lawyers for Protect Marriage told the judge in court papers filed last week that allowing the documents to remain in the trial record would violate the First Amendment freedom of association rights of the measure's supporters.

    Walker on Wednesday asked to be fully briefed on that issue by May 10. He could set a separate hearing to resolve it before the closing arguments, Robb said.