SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court has put the brakes on unsealing video recordings of last year’s trial on the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban.
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said late Monday it was temporarily staying a lower court judge’s order to make the videos public tomorrow so the court could be briefed on the matter.
Lawyers for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that qualified the ban for the November 2008 state ballot have appealed U.S. District Judge James Ware’s decision to the 9th Circuit.
Ware ruled last week that the public has a right to access the recordings just like any other court record, even though the judge who presided at the trial said they were for his own personal use.
The appeals court asked Proposition 8 sponsors and the lawyers for two same-sex couples who sued to overturn it to get their written arguments in by Oct. 10. The 9th Circuit already is considering whether another federal judge erred when he struck down the ban, known as Proposition 8, as unconstitutional.
Gay rights advocates want to use the recordings to try to puncture political arguments used by opponents of same-sex marriage.