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Prop 8 Proponents Ask Supreme Court to Block Camera Coverage

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The Day of Decision Protest in Hollywood on May 26 (more photos here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist

After losing the bid to block cameras from the Prop 8 trial twice, supporters of the measure that banned gay marriage in California have submitted a last-minute emergency application to the Supreme Court asking Justice Kennedy to the decision.

Supporters said allowing cameras in the courtroom would violate federal court rules and would intimidate witnesses called to the stand. Perhaps in an effort to demonstrate that intimidation, one of the defendent-interveners, William Tam, yesterday filed a motion (.pdf) to withdraw from the case, citing fear for his life.

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"The first reason is because I am fearful for my personal safety and the safety of my family," Tam wrote in the motion. "In the past I have received threats on my life, had my property vandalized and am recognized on the streets due to my association with Proposition 8. Now that the subject lawsuit is going to trial, I fear that I will get more publicity, be more recognizable and that the risk of harm to me and my family will increase."

If Justice Kennedy denies the emergency application like the lower courts before him, a delay video of the trial will be uploaded to YouTube each day. Additionally, a live video and audio feed from trial in San Francisco will be available for public viewing in federal courthouses elsewhere in California, and in Oregon, Washington and New York. Los Angeles residents can view the trial at the Richard H. Chambers United States Courthouse in Pasadena (Courtroom Three, First Floor). The trial is scheduled to begin on Monday at 8:30 a.m., PST. (a complete list of viewing locations across the country is below)

"Those who want to ban gay marriage spent millions of dollars to reach the public with misleading ads, rallies and news conferences during the campaign to pass Prop. 8. We are curious why they now fear the publicity they once craved," said Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights in a statement today. "Apparently transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."


(Additional sites may be announced)
Perry v. Schwarzenegger
Case No. 3:09-cv-02292

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
James R. Browning United States Courthouse
95 7th St.
San Francisco, California
Library Conference Room, First Floor

United States Court of Appeals
Pioneer Courthouse
700 S.W. Sixth Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Courtroom, Second Floor

William K. Nakamura United States Courthouse
1010 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, Washington
Courtroom One, Eighth Floor

Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, New York
Courtroom 8A South, Eighth Floor

Richard H. Chambers United States Courthouse
125 South Grand Avenue
Pasadena, California
Courtroom Three, First Floor

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