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Prop.8 judge’s partner cited in push to erase ruling

Supporters of Proposition 8 in California filed a motion to stay the verdict overturning the ban on same-sex marriage because the judge who struck down the measure recently revealed he is in a relationship with a man.

In a brief filed with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the group ProtectMarriage.com said that Judge Vaughn Walker failed to disclose the details of his 10-year relationship and that he should have recused himself from the case.

Andy Pugno, the general counsel for the group, said the law requires that a judge step off a case if he or she has any vested and personal interest in the outcome.

The brief said his ruling would have only been acceptable if the judge “had unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case.”

Opponents of the Proposition 8, including many legal professionals, argue that no U.S. court would rule that a judge’s personal identity would be sufficient enough to overturn the ruling. And when speculation of Walker’s sexuality first began to emerge during the original trial, neither legal team broached the subject.

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