The Supreme Court Monday blocked a broadcast of the trial on California's same-sex marriage ban, at least for the first few days.
The federal trial was scheduled to begin Monday in San Francisco. It will consider whether the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban approved by California voters in November 2008 is legal.
The high court on Monday said it will not allow video of the trial to be posted on YouTube.com, even with a delay, until the justices have more time to consider the issue.
It said that Monday's order will be in place at least until Wednesday.
Opponents of the broadcast said they fear witness testimony might be affected if cameras are present. Justice Stephen Breyer said he would have allowed cameras while the court considers the matter.
The San Francisco proceeding is the first federal trial to determine if the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from outlawing same-sex marriage.
The proceedings, which are expected to last two to three weeks, involve a challenge to Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban approved by California voters in November 2008.
Regardless of the outcome, the case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it ultimately could become a landmark that determines if gay Americans have the right to marry.
The decision sided with proponents of Prop. 8, who claimed that their witnesses would feel a "chilling effect" on their testimony. With all due respect to the Supreme Court, if you feel the presence of cameras in the courtroom for a delayed broadcast on YouTube chills your testimony against gay marriage, maybe that should tell you something about the strength of your argument.
One other important point: California's Attorney General, Jerry Brown, would normally be the one defending the state of California, and therefore, in this case for the continuation of Prop. 8. However, Brown--who is considering another run for Governor--has consistently and repeatedly said that he felt Prop. 8 should be repealed, and refused to represent the State in trial.
** corrected to reflect the decision came from the federal Supreme Court, not the California Supreme Court.