Prop 8 sponsors ask judge to strike trial evidence

SAN FRANCISCO — The sponsors of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage want a federal judge to strike numerous campaign e-mails and memos from evidence in the trial over the proposition's constitutional validity.

Lawyers for the group Protect Marriage told Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in court papers filed Friday that allowing the documents to remain in the trial record would violate the First Amendment freedom of association rights of the measure's supporters.

Walker is presiding over a case brought by two gay couples seeking to overturn Proposition 8. He heard two-and-a-half weeks of testimony in January, but delayed closing arguments so he could review the evidence. The proceedings have been on hiatus since then.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.