Prop. 8 trial to be shown on YouTube

Arguments in the lawsuit challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in California will be posted on YouTube, a first for a federal trial in the state.

The decision highlights the intense interest in this case, which advocates on both sides of the issue say could eventually be heard in the US Supreme Court and amount to a landmark ruling on gay marriage.

The rare decision to allow cameras in a federal courtroom was influenced by intense media attention.

“This certainly is a case that has sparked widespread interest,” US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said of the latest legal challenge to Proposition 8, the voter approved initiative that outlawed same sex marriage in 2008.

Prop. 8, approved with about 52.5 percent by voters in November 2008, amended the California Constitution to overturn a May 2008 state Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The lawsuit by two same-sex couples, a gay rights group and the city of San Francisco says the initiative violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. The nonjury trial, the first in any U.S. court on same-sex marriage, begins Monday and is scheduled to last two to three weeks.

Videos will be available at

Photo: Fritz Liess

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