A federal appeals court in San Francisco says its ruling will stand that guarantees the right of proponents of California’s constitutional ban on same-sex “marriage” to keep campaign strategy documents from same-sex “marriage” advocates, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
A three judge panel for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said its December 11 decision overturning Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s October order to produce the “Yes on 8” documents will stand as a majority of the full court voted not to review the case.
The panel had ruled 3-0 that allowing the opposing side to view the pro-family campaign memos would set a precedent detrimental to participation in campaigns and strategists speaking frankly through internal communications.
Same-sex “marriage” activists were seeking to view the “Yes on 8” campaign memos in order to demonstrate that an anti-gay bias fueled California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage.”
California voters approved Proposition 8 in November to define marriage in the state constitution as the exclusive union of a man and a woman. The initiative overturned a May 2008 ruling from the state Supreme Court that legalized same-sex “marriage.”
The Chronicle reports that obtaining the memos was part of a strategy whereby Walker could throw out the voter-approved constitutional amendment without saying that the amendment in itself was unconstitutional.
Walker, Chief U.S. Judge of the Northern District of California, is scheduled to hear a non-jury trial on January 11 in the matter of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. In that trial, Theodore Olson and David Boies – famous adversaries in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case – have joined together to argue that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. (see coverage)
However, Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, asserts in a column for National Review Online that Walker is making unlawful maneuvers to televise the Perry proceedings that violate long-standing federal judicial rules designed to guarantee a fair trial.
Whelan states that Walker is amending the federal district court rules to allow televised coverage of what media companies are touting as a “modern-day Scopes trial” in order to give same-sex “marriage” advocates as much of an edge as he can, with little regard to the serious consequences that pro-marriage legal counsel and witnesses may face.
Congressional testimony in 2007 showed that the U.S. Judicial Conference understands that televised federal trials could “undermine the fundamental rights of citizens to a fair trial,” quoted Whelan. That testimony from the conference’s chairman said televised proceedings “could jeopardize . . . the safety of trial participants” and “produce intimidating effects on litigants, witnesses, and jurors.”
Whelan reports that the prospect of harassment and intimidation is so great that Yes on 8’s counsel says “some potential witnesses have indicated that they will not be willing to testify at all if the trial is broadcast or webcast beyond the courthouse.”
Fears of intimidation and harassment are not unreasonable for the pro-family campaigners that fought for Proposition 8’s passage. Petition-signers and organizers of the “Yes on 8” campaign in California reported receiving threats of violence and intimidation from homosexual activists who used the state’s public disclosure database to identify backers of Proposition 8.
The Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as well as private individual supporters have been targeted for harassment and vilification by homosexual activists.
At least eight Mormon buildings in Salt Lake City, the religion’s headquarters, were vandalized with spray-painted epithets criticizing the church’s support of Proposition 8.
“The Mormon church (just like most churches) is a cesspool of filth,” declaimed the homosexual anarchist group Bash Back.
Several Mormon temples and a Knights of Columbus printing center had to be evacuated over suspicious envelopes of white powder presumed to be anthrax, but later deemed to be harmless.
At one major homosexual march in West Hollywood, even black homosexuals were targeted by angry white homosexuals calling them “n*****s” because blacks overwhelmingly voted for Prop. 8 by a margin of 70 – 30 percent.
The LA Times reports that one restaurant, El Coyote, came under siege by hundreds of homosexual protesters because the owner’s daughter, Marjorie Christoffersen, had privately contributed $100 to Yes on 8. The rioting became so out of control at one point that the LA Police Department was forced to deploy in riot gear to quell the disturbance.