American Foundation for Equal Rights

Ninth Circuit Rules on Prop. 8 Trial Tapes

Special message from Chad Griffin, AFER Board President

In a court of law, where only truth and facts matter, the evidence was irrefutable. Witness after witness testified that marriage strengthens our society and that denying gay and lesbian couples their fundamental freedom to marry causes direct harm to them and their families. Even the star witness for the anti-marriage proponents admitted that we, as a nation, would be more American the moment gay and lesbian couples are able to marry.

Regrettably, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided not to unseal the video record of the historic twelve-day public trial of Prop. 8.

AFER will continue to do everything we can to make sure that the public sees the facts of what happened in that courtroom.

Every day, our team works to educate the public by telling personal stories of gay and lesbian Americans and their families and actively corrects misinformation about the myths of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. In partnership with today’s most effective issue leaders and organizational allies, AFER is changing the debate and changing public opinion.

Our newest endeavor brings the issue of marriage equality to areas where we need it most. In partnership with Broadway Impact, community and college theaters across the country will perform Dustin Lance Black’s new play, “8,” to spark dialogue, understanding and action. Based on the actual court transcripts and moving interviews with AFER’s plaintiffs, the play is an unprecedented account of what happened when discrimination was put on trial.

It speaks volumes that the proponents of Proposition 8 spent millions on a political campaign to publicize their views, yet they have done everything they can to stop the public from seeing the weak case they put on at trial. They know the videotape would expose their baseless campaign of fear and let the public see the powerful evidence we submitted showing that Proposition 8 flatly violates the United States Constitution.  That’s why they fought so hard to keep the tapes secret.

In the coming weeks, the Ninth Circuit will rule on the merits of our case that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  It is my hope that the Court will uphold the District Court ruling and stand up for the freedom to marry.