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Lawyers Want Yes On 8 Emails


Lawyers for two gay couples told a federal appeals court on Tuesday that they need access to internal communications from last year's Proposition 8 campaign.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Theodore J. Boutrous, told three U.S. ninth circuit court of appeals judges that getting access to the internal communications was vital to demonstrate that campaigners for Prop. 8 intentionally sought to incite fear and anger in voters.

Meanwhile, the defendants claim that releasing the documents would infringe on their freedom of speech and association.

"We have a 1st Amendment right not to disclose what we hold confidential and private," said Charles J. Cooper (pictured), an attorney representing Protect Marriage, the group behind the Prop, 8 initiative, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The two couples filed a lawsuit after being denied marriage licenses after the November 2008 ballot initiative passed, defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Golden State's constitution.

The couples claim that their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal protection as outlined in the 14th Amendment have been violated by narrow definition of marriage.

The couples' lawsuit is set for trial January 11 before U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco.

Walker had previously ordered Prop. 8 supporters to turn over e-mails and communications sent to third parties related to the strategy for winning over voters, but the group appealed to the ninth circuit.

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