High court blocks taping of trial over gay-marriage ban

Amanda Becker | Content Regulation | Quicklink | January 11, 2010

The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked a federal judge's plan to film the trial over whether banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and broadcast it online, The Washington Post reported.

Justice Stephen Breyer was the only justice to dissent from the court's decision to issue the stay, which expires on Wednesday, because the argument for halting the broadcast did not show a likelihood of "irreparable harm," The Blog of Legal Times reported.

The court said it would consider the matter further as the trial began today in San Francisco.

Judge Vaughn Walker decided last week that cameras would be allowed in the courtroom during the legal battle over a California ballot proposition that prohibits same-sex marriage. The footage would be streamed into courtrooms across California and uploaded later to the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube.

Attorneys arguing on behalf of the ballot proposition's constitutionality said that televising the trial would subject those who supported the same-sex marriage ban to harassment and appealed to the Supreme Court.