AFER And Media Organizations Call For Release Of Gay Marriage Trial Footage
April 22, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
A civil rights group and several prominent media organizations have requested the release of footage of a high-profile case involving gay marriage in California.
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) recently filed a brief calling for the full and unedited release of public trial tapes of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a case that examined the Constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which bans marriage between same-sex couples. FOX News, NBC News, The Associated Press, CNN and the Los Angeles Times also submitted separate briefs to request the footage.
In August of 2010, a district judge ruled that Proposition 8 violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later ordered that the judgment be suspended pending a decision by the State Supreme Court.
Theodore Boutrous, the attorney for AFER, said that Americans have the right to see what happened in the district trial. He claimed that Proposition 8 proponents are "desperately anxious" to block the release of courtroom footage because they "simply have no case."
"Why should the public be denied the opportunity to see and hear what happened in a public trial in a public courtroom in a case involving the Constitutional rights of millions of people?" said Boutrous.
In their briefs, media organizations argued that the footage will enhance the public's understanding of the matter.