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Will Supremes Block Cameras at Prop 8 Trial

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Lawyers defending Proposition 8 appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to block video coverage of the trial, which starts Monday in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The emergency appeal, filed with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, says that an earlier ruling allowing cameras in the courtroom -- with footage running on YouTube the following day -- would hurt the proceedings.

The trial "has the potential to become a media circus," attorney Charles Cooper wrote in the emergency appeal to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. "The record is already replete with evidence showing that any publicizing of support for Prop. 8 has inevitably led to harassment, economic reprisal, threats, and even physical violence. In this atmosphere, witnesses are understandably quite distressed at the prospect of their testimony being broadcast worldwide on YouTube."

Justice Kennedy has asked for a response from the state by noon Sunday.

Prop. 8 opponents criticized the emergency appeal. "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. "Apparently transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."

Regardless of the final determination on camera coverage, Advocate news editor Andrew Harmon will be live tweeting from the courtroom when the proceedings start on Monday. His reports can be found on Advocate.com or on The Advocate's Twitter page.

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