Anti-Gay-Marriage Videos Admitted Into Evidence

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Week 3 of the Prop. 8 federal trial began with a skirmish over evidence. At issue are videos of religious rallies that occurred during the campaign for Prop. 8 and whether they should be admitted into evidence. Lawyers seeking to show that Prop. 8 was based in prejudice played a video with portions of a rally in San Diego depicting a black pastor saying the gay community is "trying to hijack the civil rights movement." Another black pastor says: "It's like comparing my skin with their sin." In that same video, Rev. Jim Garlow from Skyline Church warns: "The polygamists are waiting in the wings. If same-sex marriage wins, they'll use the same argument, and they're going to win."

In another video clip, chairman Ronald Prentice, speaking about phone calls to voters, said: "All it took was when we asked 'Are you going to be voting yes or no on Prop. 8?' If they weren't solid yes, we said: 'Did you know every public child will be taught this?' 80% of those who were on the fence, flipped to be for it. What you're hearing is that we have a hidden force that needs to come out. We can win this."

Lawyers for Prop. 8 argued the videos should not be admitted since they weren't produced by the Yes on 8 campaign. Attorneys against the measure countered that they paid for distribution of the videos. After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Vaughn Walker admitted the videos into evidence. This could be an important part of the plaintiffs' argument that Proposition 8 influenced voters to support the measure based in part on messages that were based in bias and prejudice.

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