Prop 8 Trial Update: Judge Denies Effort to Strike Evidence, Testimony

A quick update tonight: Judge Vaughn Walker has turned down Prop 8 proponents’ request to remove from the record more than a dozen documents and emails entered into evidence during the trial on the grounds that they were privileged communication protected by the First Amendment.

He also refused to remove from the record campaign letters sent by William Tam, along with some of his testimony. Tam was the hostile witness for the plaintiffs in the case, and was well known before the trial even started as the author of a pro-Prop 8 letter warning members of his church that California would fall into the “hands of Satan” if same sex marriage were kept in place.

In his testimony, Tam said that he agreed that homosexuality was linked to pedophilia and that same-sex marriage would result in a rise in polygamy and incest. Ted Olson and David Boies, the attorneys seeking to overturn Prop 8, are expected to cite his testimony in showing that the motive behind the initiative was animus toward gays and lesbians.

Walker ruled that Prop 8 proponents did not present convincing evidence showing that any of the e-mails or other communication should have been protected by the First Amendment.

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