Supporters of same-sex marriage ordered to turn over campaign documents to Prop. 8 sponsors

Judge rules materials might help show 'mix of information' available to voters

The federal judge presiding over a San Francisco trial on Proposition 8 ordered Monday that two groups supporting same-sex marriage must turn over campaign documents to the other side.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the documents from Equality California and the American Civil Liberties Union could help show the "mix of information available to voters" when they approved Proposition 8.

He ordered the groups to turn over the documents to the official sponsors of Proposition 8 by March 31.

The initiative measure, enacted by California voters in 2008, amended the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Walker is presiding over a non-jury trial in which two same-sex couples claim the measure violates their federal constitutional rights. The sponsors of Proposition 8 are defending it in court.

Testimony in the trial was completed in a two-and-one-half-week proceeding before Walker in January. But the judge kept the trial open until the dispute over the documents was resolved.

A lawyer for the ACLU told Walker at a hearing last week that the group would appeal any order requiring it to surrender campaign documents. Such an appeal could further delay resolution of the case.

Closing arguments before Walker have not yet been scheduled.

Walker is expected to issue a written ruling at some point after hearing the final arguments. The decision can then be appealed to a federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The trial is the nation's first on a federal constitutional challenge to a state prohibition on same-sex marriage.

The Proposition 8 sponsors sought the campaign documents from the No on 8 groups after Walker ruled last fall that the sponsors must turn over some of their own documents.

Under the terms of a federal appeals court ruling issued in January, the documents to be turned over are those that refer to arguments for or against Proposition 8, with the exception of private, internal communications within each campaign group.

Walker's order today upheld a similar ruling issued by a federal magistrate earlier this month.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:51 am

Shocker...the ACLU is afraid that their internal documents might prove a tad incriminating? Say it isn't so.

Like this comment
Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

SteveP is a registered user.

LOL. What's fair for one is fair for all. Now that's equality we can beleive in! Expose the pervs.

Like this comment
Posted by Tracy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

Pervs? Meaning people in same gender relationships and those who support their right to love who they are attracted to? Seriously?!

Like this comment
Posted by Buddy
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

perhaps Steve means perversions of the law

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

what's good for the goose is good for the gander!


Like this comment
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

I say let them get married so they can enjoy the marriage tax penalty we've been enjoying all these years. Heck, someone needs to pay for that health bill Obama signed us up for...

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