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A federal appeals court refused Thursday to unseal video recordings of a landmark trial on the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban.

Siding with the ban's supporters, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the public doesn't have the right to see the footage.

The 2010 trial lasted 13 days and was the first in a federal court to examine if prohibiting gay couples from marrying violates their constitutional rights.

It was open to the public and received widespread media coverage, so the recordings would not have revealed any new evidence or testimony.

In deciding to keep the videos under seal, a three-judge 9th Circuit panel cited a promise by the trial judge that the footage would not be seen outside his courtroom.

Former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had staff members make the recordings with the caveat that the footage would be used only by him to help him reach a verdict.

Walker, who has since retired and revealed he is in a long-term relationship with another man, originally wanted to broadcast the trial in other federal courthouses and on YouTube.

The U.S. Supreme Court forbade him from moving forward with that plan after the ban's sponsors argued that distributing trial footage could subject their witnesses to harassment. At the time, the 9th Circuit did not allow the federal courts within its jurisdiction to televise trials. The appeals court since has adopted rules that would permit trials to be broadcast under limited conditions.

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