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In February, Mr. Walker gave a speech in Arizona at which he played footage from the trial, which was broadcast by C-SPAN and can now be viewed online. “The fears the witnesses had came to fruition,” said Mr. Pugno.

Fears for witness safety were rooted in the backlash against Proposition 8 campaign contributors in the aftermath of the November 2008 vote. Using information taken from the state’s campaign databases, gay-marriage activists boycotted businesses and threatened individuals, causing at least one to lose his job. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was targeted for protests and received envelopes in the mail containing white powder, which was later found to be harmless.

Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times published editorials last weekend in favor of releasing the videotapes.

“The proposition’s backers will not be hurt in any way if the footage is released,” said the New York Times in its Aug. 26 editorial. “The American public, on the other hand, stands to lose something very valuable if it is denied the chance to see and hear what happened in a critically important case on marriage equality.”