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Key Ruling Due Today on Calif. Gay Marriage Ban

Judge to rule on gay colleague's decision striking down Prop. 8
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2011 4:00 AM CDT
Updated Jun 14, 2011 4:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chief US District Judge James Ware will rule today on whether Judge Vaughn R. Walker's decision to strike down the state's gay marriage ban should be invalidated because the judge is gay and in a long-term relationship. Walker "occupied precisely those same shoes as the plaintiffs" when he decided Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, an attorney for gay marriage opponents ProtectMarriage argued during a hearing yesterday.

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Ware appeared skeptical of ProtectMarriage's argument, and he is not expected to throw out Walker's ruling on the basis that the judge should have recused himself, the Los Angeles Times notes. "Our test of reasonableness in our country will not allow us to discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation," he said after asking ProtectMarriage's attorney whether he thought people should expect black judges to recuse themselves from civil rights trials. (Read more Proposition 8 stories.)

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