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Grassroots Group Petitions to Televise Prop 8 Trial

A Los Angeles-based grassroots group has set up an online petition urging a federal judge in San Francisco to allow television cameras in the Proposition 8 trial scheduled to begin next week.

Judge Vaughn Walker will weigh arguments for and against cameras in a Wednesday hearing. Plaintiffs' attorneys, who will argue that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution, are in favor of a televised trial, while lawyers defending the antigay ballot measure contend cameras could lead to "compromised safety, witness intimidation and/or harassment of trial participants."

Judge Walker has also sought public comments on whether to broadcast Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, which is expected to last two to three weeks.

As reported by the L.A. Weekly's Queer Town blog, the Courage Campaign, which advocates for a repeal of Prop. 8 at the ballot box, has created a form petition on its Web site urging the court to televise the proceedings.

Last month the judicial council of the ninth U.S. circuit court of appeals in San Francisco approved limited use of cameras for federal trials.

The deadline for submitting comments to the court is Friday at 9 a.m.

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