ProtectMarriage, proponents and defenders of California's same-sex marriage ban, have filed a motion requesting that the District Court set aside the ruling that found the law unconstitutional.
The reason? The group claims that Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself because he is a gay man who has been in a relationship for 10 years.
The filed motion argues that judicial ethics rules required Vaughn Walker to disclose his relationship and sexual orientation prior to the Prop 8 case, as his status creates the impression that he was unable to rule impartially.
It's widely known in the San Francisco legal community that Vaughn Walker is gay, reports the Los Angeles Times. He and his partner have attended dozens events over the years and have never hid their relationship.
ProtectMarriage should have known this, and if it was a real issue, they would have brought it up prior to the Prop 8 ruling.
Even if Walker's sexual orientation did create the appearance of impropriety, his well-written decision and the dismal trial court record created by those defending Prop 8 prove otherwise.
Lawyers defending Prop 8 presented almost no evidence during trial, and that which they did was questionable. Any attorney, regardless of their beliefs, would find it difficult to argue that Walker's decision was baseless given the evidence.
The fact is, that while the 9th Circuit waits for the California Supreme Court to opine on state issues of standing, ProtectMarriage is doing everything it can to avoid a potentially damning decision. If they have to attack a judge who arguably did nothing wrong, so be it.
- California Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Say Gay Judge Erred in Taking Case (Bloomberg)
- Developments in Same-Sex Marriage Law (FindLaw)
- No Same-Sex Marriages During Prop. 8 Appeal (FindLaw's Decided)
- Understanding "Standing" in the Proposition 8 California Same-Sex Marriage Appeal (FindLaw's Writ)