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Prop 8 Opponents Lose Appeal Over Document

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In a ruling that could further delay a verdict in the lawsuit against California's Proposition 8, a federal judge has ruled that marriage equality proponents must turn over nonprivileged documents from the No on 8 campaign in 2008.

U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker on Monday upheld a federal magistrate's previous ruling that the groups -- Equality California, Californians Against Eliminating Basic Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union 's Campaign for Marriage Equality -- must turn over documents that "contain, refer or relate to arguments for or against Proposition 8" by March 31.

The ACLU and Equality California had argued before the magistrate that the campaign memos sought by Prop. 8 proponents were not relevant in discerning voters' intent in the ballot measure, which passed by a slim majority in 2008.

In October, Judge Walker ordered Prop. 8 backers to turn over documents pertaining to campaign strategy. Attorneys representing the anti-marriage equality groups said such disclosures "violated the free speech rights of [Prop. 8] supporters and potentially subjected them to harassment from gay marriage advocates."

Closing arguments in the case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, have yet to be scheduled.

The ACLU has said it would appeal if Walker upheld the magistrate's ruling, the Associated Press reports.

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