Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO -- Next week's trial in San Francisco of a lawsuit challenging the initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California won't be televised live, but it will be videotaped for delayed Internet release on YouTube, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ordered the video coverage, the first for a federal trial in California, over the objections of Proposition 8's sponsors. Their lawyer argued that allowing the proceedings to be viewed outside the courthouse would violate their right to a fair trial by intimidating their witnesses.

"The knowledge that you're testifying to untold thousands or millions ... can cause some witnesses to become more timid" and induce others to be overly dramatic, attorney Michael Kirk told Walker.

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