Trial over gay-marriage ban will be recorded and broadcast

Amanda Becker | Content Regulation | Quicklink | January 6, 2010

A federal judge in San Francisco has decided the first trial challenging California's same-sex marriage ban will be filmed over the protests of gay-marriage objectors, San Francisco's ABC7 reports.

At a hearing on Wednesday morning, Judge Vaughn Walker said cameras in the courtroom would record the proceedings and the footage will be uploaded to the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube through a contract with the federal government.

The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit – the governing body for all federal courts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands – in December announced it had voted to allow the trial courts in those states to experiment with taping civil cases tried without a jury.

Supporters of Prop. 8 argued that televising the trial would subject those who supported the ballot measure to harassment.

"The question is really whether Judge Walker can put people on the stand where they can be threatened," Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, told The Washington Times. "It's a question of people's safety."

The trial is schedule to begin Monday Jan. 11.