A federal judge ruled today upheld a gay judge's ruling striking down California's ban, rejecting arguments that the judge's sexual orientation compromised his impartiality.
Former District Judge Vaughn Walker invalidated a proposition barring gay marriage in California last May. After the case Walker disclosed that he was in a ten-year relationship with another man when he made that ruling, leading lawyers representing proponents of the ban to sue. Today's ruling by U.S. District Judge James Ware upheld Walker's decision.
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, Ware wrote in his ruling. Yesterday, Ware questioned the grounds for violating Walker's decision by asking attorneys whether they also believed that an African American judge would not be able to rule on a civil rights case.
Walker's original ruling is still on hold pending an appeal.