Pro-Prop 8 Activists Try To Use Judge's Sexuality Against Him

ProtectMarriage, the group backing California's Proposition 8 limiting marriage to a man and a woman, has asked a district court to overturn Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling against the law.

Mostly because Walker, appointed by George H. W. Bush, is gay.

"Judge Walker's ten-year-long same-sex relationship creates the unavoidable impression that he was not the impartial judge the law requires," said ProtectMarriage's lawyer. "He was obligated to either recuse himself or provide full disclosure of this relationship at the outset of the case. These circumstances demand setting aside his decision."

Walker has since retired, and during the case, reporting on his sexuality was fairly low-key, partly because for whatever reason, ProtectMarriage didn't seek to make an issue of it. The Los Angeles Times says he was "widely known within San Francisco's legal community to be gay. He brought his partner to bar events and introduced him to others as his partner." Politico says that what changed is that he publicly acknowledged being gay.

It's Walker's partner that's the focus of ProtectMarriage's claim: They argue that if Prop 8 is overturned, Walker can marry him.

Perhaps the reason that ProtectMarriage hasn't sought to make an issue out of this is that they're totally full of shit. By this thinking, which a law professor likened to saying women can't rule on sex-discrimination cases or African-Americans on race-discrimination cases, only heterosexuals (or white people, or men, or all of the above) are able to be "objective," their attributes considered standard and invisible.

This most recent skirmish in the Prop 8 fight is separate from ProtectMarriage's appeal of Walker's ruling. They're waging the battle because Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown both declined to defend Proposition 8. It's not clear if the advocacy group has the standing to fight for the law, which the Supreme Court will decide upon sometime this year.

Proposition 8 Supporters Say Ruling Should Be Voided [LAT]
Gay Marriage Foes: Judge Was Biased [Politico]