Supreme Court Bans Video Coverage to Protect Prop 8 Supporters
January 13, 2010Now in my twenties, I, like most young LGBT folks, spent my adolescent years searching far and wide for accurate, respectful, role-model-worthy representations of LGBT people in the media. It was – and still is – pretty slim pickings. So when I heard that the current trial on California’s Prop 8 ruling, which began on Monday, has banned all video coverage of the proceedings, I had to wonder how such restrictions will impact today’s LGBT adolescents following news that may affect their lives for decades to come. Despite the unprecedented nature of the hearings and last month's decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to begin allowing broadcast coverage of some high profile trials, the Supreme Court voted to instate the ban after extensive opposition to televising the trial by Prop 8 supporters. While witnesses of all creeds deserve protection, the insinuation behind the ruling – which, in trying to minimize coverage of the trial, has actually increased it – is that LGBT people, and those who support their rights, are potential threats to their ideological opponents. What message does this send to today’s youth, LGBT or otherwise? The fight for gay marriage has been hailed as the civil rights movement of this generation. How different that movement – or groundbreaking trials like Roe vs. Wade – would have been had there been Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the endless mass communication capabilities we have today. Is it unreasonable for the American public to demand that our judicial system keep up with the times? Its decisions affect the lives of citizens in the world we live in today. Beyond the fight for same-sex marriage, this case has the potential to tell LGBT stories that are rarely heard. It's an opportunity to put faces to the real people fighting for their rights and paving the way for the next generation of gay youth. Most importantly, it would provide some incredible – and accurate – figures to look up to.