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ACTION ALERT: Tell Judge Walker To Televise Prop 8 Trial

From Courage Campaign comes the following alert:

Urgent: Sign the letter telling Judge Vaughn Walker to televise the Prop 8 trial

Stand up for equality and transparency.

Deadline: Friday 9 AM

The landmark federal lawsuit about Prop 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, also known as the Olson/Boies case is about to go to trial. The presiding judge, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is holding a hearing on whether the a pool television camera should be allowed to film the trial, given the unprecedented interest in the proceedings. Judge Walker is encouraging the public to submit comments on the issue, before the hearing.

This is your one chance to urge Judge Walker to do the right thing in the name of equality, transparency and accountability.

Join the Courage Campaign Institute and CREDO Action and sign this letter to Judge Walker.

Optional: Please add your own personal comments.

We will personally hand-deliver your comments.

DEADLINE: Friday 9 AM.

Eugene from Campaign Courage as a new DailyKos post with more details– please head over and rec the diary, sign the petition and spread the word (FB, Twitter, etc).

One of the fundamental legal principles this country was built on is the openness and transparency of the judiciary. For the system to work, people must believe the process is fair, the outcomes just. And for that to occur, the public needs to be able to see what is going on in the courtroom.

On a case this important, the public’s right to know should be protected and upheld in the broadest possible form. That means televising the proceedings. Since this isn’t a criminal trial, there’s no defendant who could be harmed by having this made public, no jury that could be swayed by the cameras. Since only a tiny handful of people will ever be able to be in the courtroom itself, that would seem like an open and shut case for allowing cameras in the courtroom. Right?

Well, not if you’re the forces who put Prop 8 on the ballot and helped it pass. They are afraid of public scrutiny. Afraid of the camera. Afraid to let the people of this country hear the bigoted truth behind their defense of Proposition 8.

They have decided to organize the far-right to pressure Judge Walker to close the courtroom to cameras. Focus on the Family is circulating a petition to prevent the trial from being televised, and have generated tens of thousands of signatures.

Their argument is:

Following a short public-comment period – only five business days – the battle could bring a circus-like atmosphere. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is considering allowing video cameras in the courtroom.

Ron Prentice, executive director of, is concerned Walker’s decision could cause problems for proponents of Prop. 8 who have already come under attack.

“Intimidation and harassment will continue,” Prentice said. “And, those who are put on the stand or are seen in the courtroom may very well be recognized and further intimidation or harassment may continue.”

Not only is this ridiculous on its face – the people who have faced genuine “intimidation and harassment” as a result of Prop 8 are the LGBT couples who lost their rights when it passed – but it is a pretty weak reason to deny the public their right to know what is going on in that courtroom. If the Prop 8 supporters want to defend the law, they should have no hesitation to do so in a public manner, on television.

Judge Walker was planning to allow cameras in, but as a result of the Prop 8 supporters’ protestations, has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter next week. He is asking for public comments by this Friday.

So you have a chance to determine the outcome – will Prop 8 supporters be able to hide their true arguments, or will the public interest and democratic transparency win out?

The Courage Campaign Institute, where I work as Public Policy Director, isn’t going to wait to find out. We’re going to organize to deliver petitions of our own to Judge Walker, as he has solicited, in order to uphold the public interest and demand that this trial be televised.

You can sign your name here – along with CREDO Mobile, we will hand deliver the signatures to the court in San Francisco on Friday. Your signature matters – the more signatures we deliver to the court, the more likely it is that he will do the right thing in the name of equality, accountability, and transparency.

Here is the Campaign Courage Twitter; grab it and GO!

RT @CourageCampaign: Urgent: sign the letter to Judge Walker. Tell him to televise the Prop 8 trial #LGBT #Prop8

Thanks, folks! 🙂

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