Judge Who Struck Down Prop 8 Confirms He’s Gay

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The federal judge who struck down California’s gay marriage ban has confirmed that he’s gay.

   Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker retired in February, several months after his landmark decision that’s being challenged in an appeals court.

   The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Walker told reporters Wednesday that he never considered recusing himself from the case because he believes his sexual orientation was irrelevant in deciding the constitutionality of Proposition 8. It’s the first time that Walker confirmed longtime rumors that he’s gay.

   He says a judge stepping aside because of sexuality, ethnicity, national origin or gender would be “a very slippery slope.”

   The former corporate lawyer was appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush. Since retiring, he’s returned to private law practice, specializing mediation and arbitration.

  • landsknekt

    If he has step aside the pro 8 people would not have that as an argument for appeal. This one issue can get the entire issue tossed and start from scratch again. Nice going!

    • cowtownferret

      On the same argument, you could state that a straight judge was biased against the gays.

  • gabrielle

    Are the judges of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, those who have placed a hold on the prop 8 decision straight? Maybe they should excuse themselves.

    • Tracy

      EXACTLY! It’s a ridiculous notion, that one cannot weigh the facts in evidence because of one’s sexuality. If that is a real concern, this will never get resolved!

  • Jane

    so what? you could say the same thing if he were straight. totally a non-issue. what if he were a black judge sitting on discrimination case? or a female judge sitting on a rape trial? judges are chosen to be fair and unbiased and that’s how our justice system works. just because this judge was/is gay means nothing about his ruling.

    • Jeff

      a female judge sitting for a rape trial doesn’t gain anything from her decision or presiding over the trial. A black judge sitting for a discrimination case also wouldn’t gain anything, unless it gives a new “right”. It is not really about the sex, gender, race, or color it is about what does a judge stand to gain if he/she decides a case one way or the other! Or if they have a relationship in someway with either party to the case. Just like the newest US supreme court justice is recusing herself from cases that are coming before the US supreme court that she rendered a decision on already and it is being appealed to the US supreme court.

  • Ben

    The problem being that typically the people who supported Proposition 8 are the same people to lack the intelligence to figure out what’s been stated in the last three comments: you would need an asexual judge if the sexuality of the judge is considered a bias.

  • Bob

    “so what?”
    well, it’s not an issue to the rational and the logical.

    the problem is bigots by nature aren’t rational, so you can be sure they’ll latch on to this and try to twist it into some sort of angle.

    • Jeff Wilson

      So again if someone doesn’t agree with your idea they are a bigot Sounds hypocritical to me? Just me though!!

    • Tom

      And you think gays arent bigots by nature and you think gays are rational give me a break . you all think straight people owe you the world for the mistake in the gene pool

  • Marc Sac

    The real story should be how the California people voted for this Prop and one man (well kind of) voted it down. I find it very scarry how the majority can not have their vocies heard.

  • Jeff

    The problem is if a judge has a relationship with either side of an issue before him/her then he/she must recuse themselves from the case. This judge because he is admittedly gay stood to gain from the decision he rendered. A hetrosexual judge doesn’t stand to gain anything either way. Now the issue of his impartiality can become an issue of technicality and render his decision void.

    • Sactown

      A straight judge has the same thing to lose; their unjust exclusive right to the government sponsored term marriage.

  • Bob

    Gay judge?????? His decision was decided long befor the case came to him.It sould be reversed now and he should be removed from the bench.

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