Gay groups signaled Tuesday they would
appeal a federal judge's order to surrender documents related to
Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban narrowly approved by California
voters in 2008, the AP reported.
Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker
upheld a magistrate judge's ruling requiring pro-gay marriage groups
to hand over Proposition 8 campaign materials to defendants in the
high-profile trial considering the ban's constitutionality.
In court papers filed Tuesday, the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Equality California, the
state's largest gay advocate and the lead group behind the campaign
against the gay marriage ban, asked Walker to put a stay on his
24-page ruling while they appeal it to the 9th US Circuit
Court of Appeals.
The action is likely to delay closing
arguments in the trial, which Walker has yet to schedule.
In its filing the ACLU said, “it is
not their desire to delay resolution of this lawsuit” and argued
that the documents are confidential internal communications protected
by the First Amendment as political speech.
Walker's order “implicates issues of
a fundamental nature under the First Amendment with consequences not
merely for this case but for future election campaigns of all sort,”
the ACLU said.
During the January trial, plaintiffs
argued that Proposition 8 violates their constitutional rights. It
is the first federal case to consider the constitutionality of a gay
marriage ban and is expected to reach the Supreme Court.