A judge today approved a limited form of broadcasting the trial in the legal
challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage, concluding it is the type
of case that warrants breaking with traditions that generally ban cameras in
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker approved court-operated cameras in
his courtroom for delayed release on YouTube, but rejected a bid by media
organizations to televise the proceedings themselves for live broadcast.
Walker, by approving some broadcast of the Proposition 8 trial, became the
first federal judge in the West to make use of an experimental program put in
place recently by the 9th Circuit Judicial Council, which sets policy for
federal courts in nine states, including California.
Walker rejected the arguments of Proposition 8’s defenders, who opposed any
broadcast of the proceedings outside the San Francisco federal building. It was
not clear from Walker’s remarks how long the delay would be for the video to be
posted on the Internet.
The trial is scheduled to begin Monday in a challenge to Proposition 8,
approved by voters last year to restore California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Same-sex couples sued in May 2009 to overturn the law. The trial is expected
to last several weeks.