Remember Proposition 8? Back in 2008, California proved that even in a state where more than 14,000 people will cast a ballot for this guy (and a majority will vote for this guy), 52% of voters oppose gay marriage. Well, the law is now being challenged in United States District Court.

Just last month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals authorized the use of cameras in district courts. The judge set to hear the Proposition 8 challenge has ruled that taping will be permitted in the trial, and that the videos may be uploaded to YouTube at the end of each day.

Supporters of the law are crying foul, and attorneys have asked Justice Anthony Kennedy to block video coverage, arguing that their client’s right to a fair trial would be jeopardized if this guy gets involved.

The legal argument to block coverage goes something like this: If the public is allowed to see and hear the testimony of witnesses in the trial, witnesses will be wary of testifying for fear of being targets of violence. But these alleged concerns would also cause Prop 8 lawyers to ask the trial judge to close the courtroom to the public during trial. No such motion has been filed.

The real issue here is that the lawyers and witnesses backing Prop 8 will have some unpleasant things to say about homosexuality, and they don’t want their vitriol committed to film and subjected to criticism by this guy, this guy, or these guys. Transparency is fundamentally a good thing, especially in a trial of such paramount importance. Lawyers and witnesses in this case should have their opinions subjected to public scrutiny and negative judgment, especially since Prop 8 supporters are in favor of doing the same thing to private relationships.

On Monday, the Supreme Court blocked all broadcasting of the trial in a temporary order, expiring on Wednesday. Presumably, the Court will expand on its reasoning (or rather, put forth reasoning in the first place) by then.

– Kevin Lumpkin

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