Turn Of Events In Proposition 8 Gay Marriage Case In California

04.26.11 | Sarah Harnisch

  There's been an interesting turn of events in the Proposition 8 case over gay marriage in California: the judge overseeing the case is gay. Opening a new battlefront in the case Monday, lawyers said the federal judge who struck down the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage should have disqualified himself from the case. Former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has been in a gay relationship for the past 10 years. Lawyers argued his "impartiality might reasonably have been questioned from the outset." They said "no man can be a judge in his own case." They have asked the new chief judge to set aside Walker's August 4th decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional. Monday night, Walker said his sexual orientation is irrelevant, and his personal life does not dictate his decisions. Defense lawyers say there's definitely a bias, and specifically requested Monday that neither a gay or lesbian judge sit in on the case.