Gay Marriage foes are outraged over Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Northern District of California, proposed a last-minute revision of the court’s rules that would allow television coverage of the Prop 8 trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger (also known as the Olson/Boies case)
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which campaigned for Proposition 8 but isn’t a party to the case, said he is worried about the safety of witnesses, who could include contributors, campaign staff and volunteers. “The question is really whether Judge Walker can put people on the stand where they can be threatened,” said Mr. Brown. “It’s a question of people’s safety.” and Focus on the Family is already circulating a petition to prevent the trial from being televised, and have generated tens of thousands of signatures.
Brown’s arguments are a joke the ones who have faced genuine “intimidation and harassment” as a result of Prop 8 are the LGBT couples who lost their rights when it passed.
This whole episode raises the question of what the Prop 8 supporters have to hide. They haven’t been shy about their vocal support for denying equality in the past. Few have faced intimidation and harassment for it. More likely that their true motivation is to prevent the American people from hearing the powerful and compelling case that Boies and Olson are going to make in that courtroom. Both lawyers are expert litigants, and are pursuing a sensible Supreme Court strategy designed to swing Anthony Kennedy to join Stevens, Ginsberg, Breyer and Sotomayor to uphold the 14th Amendment and overturn Prop 8. Kennedy has made rulings favorable to LGBT rights in the past, including /Lawrence v. Texas/ in 2003 which decriminalized sodomy.
Judge Walker was planning to allow cameras in, but as a result of the Prop 8 supporters’ protestations, has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter next week. He is asking for public comments *by this Friday*. So *you have a chance to determine the outcome* – will Prop 8 supporters be able to hide their true arguments, or will the public interest and democratic transparency win out?
the signatures will be hand delivered to the court in San Francisco on Friday. Your signature matters – the more signatures we deliver to the court, the more likely it is that he will do the right thing in the name of equality, accountability, and transparency.