A ruling by a gay judge who struck down the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban in California was upheld by a federal judge yesterday.
In upholding former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to strike down Prop 8, Chief U.S. District Court Judge James Ware rejected arguments that Walker wasn't qualified to hear the case based on his sexual orientation.
ProtectMarriage.com, a Christian group, challenged Walker's 2010 decision on Prop 8 on the basis that he did not disclose -- before or during the trial -- that he was in a longterm relationship with another man.
Lawyers for ProjectMarriage.com argued that Judge Walker should have recused himself, or disclosed that he was gay, because he had a vested interest in protecting the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
But after hearing arguments from both sides in the appeal on Monday, Ware noted that former Judge Walker didn't marry his partner of 10 years, and therefore wouldn't benefit from his own ruling.
Judge Ware, who is black, said judges who are African American shouldn't be expected to recuse themselves from hearing civil rights cases even if they benefited from their ruling.