Filmmakers will recreate California’s gay marriage trial
A pair of Los Angeles filmmakers are recreating all 60-plus hours of California’s trial on the gay marriage ban.
The trial, which is the first federal trial to examine whether the state’s ban is constitutional, is currently on a break until next month.
Before it began, presiding judge Vaughn Walker ruled proceedings could be broadcast on YouTube but gay marriage opponents successfully argued in the Supreme Court that they could be subjected to intimidation if they were shown.
Instead, filmmakers John Ainsworth and John Ireland are using 3,000 pages of court transcripts and professional actors to re-enact the landmark trial word for word.
The men, who both married their partners while gay marriage was briefly legal in California, have begun filming the re-enactment, with one installment already published.
Mr Ireland told Press Association: “This is something I believe should be a resource for Americans.
“This is a process we as a society are going through, and there is nothing like good drama with professional actors that allows people to consider the lives of others that are different from them.”
Although those who appealed against the YouTube broadcast had made extensive public and television appearances in the last year, the Supreme Court agreed 5-4 that they could be subject to “irreparable” harm if the proceedings were shown to the public.
But one, Justice Stephen G Breyer, called the decision “unusual” and said there was no precedent for blocking public access to proceedings.
He wrote: “It identifies no real harm, let alone ‘irreparable harm’. . . . And the public interest weighs in favour of providing access to the courts.”
The hour-long video clips will be shown on YouTube and marriagetrial.com, a site created by the filmmakers.