Prop 8 supporters say Judge Walker shouldn’t have ruled on Prop 8 because he’s gay

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Three judges are hearing motions today on whether Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker should have recuised himself from the California’s Proposition 8 trial because he is gay and in a long-term relationship. Walker, who has since retired, overturned the voter-approved initiative that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, saying gay and lesbian couples were unfairly denied the right to marry.

District Court Judge James Ware upheld the ruling in June, saying “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.”

Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt of Los Angeles, N. Randy Smith of Pocatello, Idaho, and Senior Circuit Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of Phoenix will also hear arguments from sponsors of Proposition 8 appealing Ware’s decision that a video recording of last year’s trial on Proposition 8, as part of the trial record, should be made public.

Sponsors say those who testified would be subject to harassment and would deter witnesses in future cases.

Both sides of the Prop 8 dispute believe the issue of same sex-marriage is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps within the coming year.

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