U.S. District Judge James Ware ordered that the videotapes of the Prop 8 trial should be released, despite opposition from supporters of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Ware’s order was stayed until Sept. 30, which gives Prop 8 supporters time to appeal.
His order comes on the same day that Dustin Lance Black is debuting his play “8,” on Broadway, intended to bring to a wider audience what happened during the January, 2010 trial.
Ware wrote that he found “no compelling reasons” to continue sealing the tapes.
He wrote, “Foremost among the aspects of the federal judicial system that foster public confidence in the fairness and integrity of the process are public access to trials and public access to the record of
judicial proceedings. Consequently, once an item is placed in the record of judicial proceedings, there must be compelling reasons for keeping that item secret.”
Update: The cast and crew of “8” were in rehearsals at the Eugene O’Neill Theater when they heard the news.
Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, said in a statement, “This is a significant victory for the American people, who will soon be able to see the evidence put forward by both sides in this historic federal trial. Unlike political campaigns, in a court of law, the truth and facts are all that matter. When witnesses take the stand, they are under oath and under penalty of perjury, and their statements are subjected to cross-examination and scrutiny. The public will soon see the extraordinarily weak case that the anti-marriage Proponents presented in a desperate attempt to defend this discriminatory law.”