Prop 8 Judge Says He's Gay —and It's Irrelevant

Vaughn Walker confirms homosexuality
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2011 2:45 PM CDT
A 2009 file photo of Judge Vaughn Walker.   (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Paul Chinn)

(Newser) – The judge who overturned California's ban on gay marriage acknowledged in an interview for the first time that he's homosexual and that he never considered recusing himself from the case. "If you thought a judge's sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that's a very slippery slope," retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "I don't think it's relevant."

The Chronicle actually reported on Walker's sexual orientation during the Prop 8 trial, prompting critics, like this one, to stay he should have stepped down because he had a conflict of interest. ("He and his partner are now permitted to marry!") Nope, says the gay blog Queerty after the Walker interview. "Immutable characteristics like sexuality, race, and gender are not judicial conflicts of interest."

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