Court: California gay groups must share Prop 8 memos

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate is ordering several gay rights groups that campaigned against California's 2008 same-sex marriage ban to furnish some internal memos and e-mails to lawyers for the measure's sponsors.

U.S. Magistrate Joseph Spero issued the order Friday as part of the first federal trial to examine if the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from outlawing gay marriages.

Spero says Equality California, Californians Against Eliminating Basic Rights, an ACLU campaign committee and an umbrella group that oversaw the campaign against the ban must hand over all documents "that contain, refer or relate to arguments for or against Proposition 8," with the exception private communications between their core leaders.

Lawyers for the ballot initiative's backers were required to provide similar documents to lawyers representing two same-sex couples who are suing to overturn Proposition 8.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.