News/Case Summaries

Media ask court to unseal gay marriage trial tapes

April 19, 2011

Media organizations are joining lawyers for two-same-sex couples in urging a federal appeals court to release videotapes of a lower court trial on California's gay marriage ban.

The 13 organizations, which include The Associated Press, argued in a motion filed Monday with the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals that the videos are court records that the First Amendment requires to be open to the public.

Sponsors of voter-approved Proposition 8 asked the 9th Circuit last week to keep the tapes sealed and to order the trial's presiding judge to return his personal copies.

The move came after now-retired Judge Vaughn Walker, who declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional, used a brief segment of the video in several public talks.

The 9th Circuit now is considering the gay marriage case on appeal.

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