“The U.S. judge who struck down California’s gay marriage ban never considered his own homosexuality as a reason to recuse himself from the case, he said on Wednesday.
“Former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s comments were his first on what legal observers have been been intensely — but quietly — discussing since the blockbuster case was filed. Some wondered whether his sexual orientation would affect his decision and how it would be received.
“However the group defending California’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, refrained from raising the issue in court. Walker eventually struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, and the case is currently on appeal.
“The Republican-nominated judge, who had a stormy history with the local gay community, calmly controlled his courtroom during the trial, adding dollops of humor as well.
“The case could set national policy if it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court and is being watched throughout the nation, where same-sex marriage is legal in only five of 50 states.”
Here is what is being discussed about this at Citizenlink.com:
“And as Ed explains, the question is not whether the judge thinks he can remain impartial. The question is whether the judgeâ€™s impartiality might reasonably be questioned ‘from the perspective of a reasonable person.’
“Whelan makes a strong case. Itâ€™s not about sexual orientation. Walker stands to gain (at least in his own mind as reflected in the strange ‘findings of fact’ and conclusions contained in his written decision) personally and financially should he â€œmarryâ€ his partner at some point in the future, all made possible by his August 2010 decision. As usual, the mainstream media is totally ignoring this story.
“It would be up to the proponents of Prop 8 to now make the request to the 9th Circuit to have Walker disqualified and his opinion thrown out. That would put the Prop 8 litigation back to square one.”