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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It Doesn't Matter That Judge Vaughn Walker Is Gay

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

You can be gay and impartial
  • You can be gay and impartial

At least that's what a federal judge decided today.

Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware ruled on Tuesday that there is no proof that Judge Vaughn Walker, who last year struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, would benefit from his own ruling. Walker only recently revealed that he has been in a relationship with a man for 10 years, but he never said they plan to wed should same-sex marriage become legal.

But backers of Proposition 8, the controversial state ban on same-sex marriage, argued that Walker should have recused himself or, at the very least, disclosed his relationship status before hearing the case.

But Ware challenged that notion. "So if a reasonable person thought a black judge

should recuse himself from a civil rights case, that would be enough?" he asked.

Charles Cooper, the attorney representing the Prop. 8 backers, replied: "No, your honor. A reasonable person would not consider that black judge, any more than a white judge, for that reason alone, someone biased or impartial."

"I agree with you,'' Ware reportedly said. "Our test of reasonableness in our country will not allow us to

discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation."

Which kinda brings us full circle.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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