Gay marriage supporters challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 lost their bid Friday to see the internal communications of those who supported the initiative when an appeals court ruled that disclosure would violate the 1st Amendment, reports the LA Times.
In a unanimous ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals tossed out the order that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued in October against backers of Proposition 8, which state voters approved in November 2008.
Lawyers for two couples denied licenses to marry because they are of the same sex had sought access to e-mails and letters among Proposition 8 backers, hoping to prove the discriminatory intent behind the measure, but the appeals court said those claims can be presented without trampling on free speech rights.
The ruling comes as the legal challenge to Proposition 8 draws closer to a January 11 trial date in San Francisco before Judge Walker.
Both sides have filed hundreds of documents with the San Francisco judge outlining their arguments for and against the measure, which was approved by the voters in November 2008 and restored a ban on same-sex marriage in the state.
More on the story at the Los Angeles Times.