Supporters of California’s ban on same-sex marriage asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco this afternoon to block the broadcasting of next week’s trial on the measure.

Proponents of the ban, enacted by voters as Proposition 8, argued in an emergency petition to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the trial due to begin before U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco Monday “has the potential to become a media circus.”

They claim that Walker’s plan to allow delayed video broadcast of the trial on YouTube would violate their right to a fair trial.

The petition contends the broadcast could result in “harassment of witnesses, threats to the safety and security of trial participants, unnecessary public exposure and ridicule of trial participants.”

It argues that the public wasn’t given adequate notice and opportunity to comment on a new rule allowing broadcast.

If not halted by the appeals court, the video coverage would be the first broadcast of a federal trial in western states.

The two-week trial, to be decided by Walker without a jury, will be on a lawsuit in which two same-sex couples claim Proposition 8 violates their federal constitutional rights.

Walker announced at a pretrial hearing on Wednesday that he would allow the broadcasting. Video recorded by court staff would be posted on San Bruno-based YouTube’s Web site after a delay of unknown length, possibly several hours, and would then be available to the public and for rebroadcasting on television.

The plan was made possible when the governing body of the 9th Circuit announced in December that it would allow a pilot program of broadcasting civil nonjury federal trials in nine western states.

Television cameras have previously been allowed in state courts and in some federal appeals court hearings, but not in federal trial courts nationwide except in a handful of cases.

The emergency petition claims that a local rule of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco allowing implementation of the pilot program wasn’t subjected to adequate public notice and opportunity to comment.

The trial will be the nation’s first on a federal constitutional challenge to restrictions on same-sex marriage.

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  • kl2real

    Now these vampires are complaining that the light (they turned on) is too bright? See you in court! *grabs popcorn*

  • Greg Dewar

    I’m confused.

    It was my understanding that the assholes who supported Prop. 8 and who accepted an award at the AAPC last year in full public view and who bragged about their successes kept saying they were doing the Lord’s work in the Devil’s state or some shit like that.

    But apparently when you want to analyze who gave money to them (i.e. part of the disclosure laws everyone has to comply with) or want to televise their version of Jesus returning on his stallion, to hear them say it, they suddenly get “scared.”

    Fuck them. Seriously. Fuck them and their bullshit. If they are on God’s side they should have no problem broadcasting that to the sinners. If not they are chickenshit asshats.

    In fact I am going to triple dog dare all supporters of Prop. 8 to stand up and shout from the rooftops “I so hate gay people and their right to marry because God told me to say this shit” and if they don’t, well fuck them.