Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. Shortly afterward, opponents of same-sex marriage called the ruling invalid, arguing that Walker’s homosexuality made him unfit to adjudicate the case. On Tuesday, another federal judge threw that argument out.

Lawyers said that no American judge had ever been prevented, on the basis of his or her race, religion or gender, from hearing a civil rights case. “It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings,” Chief Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco wrote in his ruling. Walker’s decision now must survive a separate appeal. –ARK

Los Angeles Times:

A federal judge on Tuesday refused to invalidate last year’s ruling against Proposition 8, deciding the gay jurist who overturned the same-sex marriage ban had no obligation to step aside because of a possible conflict of interest.

The decision by Chief Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco left the ruling by retired Judge Vaughn R. Walker in place. Walker’s decision remains on hold pending a separate appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Proponents of Proposition 8 argued that Walker’s conflict was not his sexual orientation, but the fact that he was in a serious same-sex relationship that could conceivably lead to marriage.

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