Gay Judge’s Prop 8 Ruling Sustained

Judge Vaughn Walker smiling

Yesterday a federal judge upheld the ruling– issued by a gay judge– that struck down Prop 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. You’ll remember that Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional back in August, and has also been in a relationship for 10 years with another man.

Yesterday’s case is significant not only because it ensures that the discriminatory and shameful ban has no place in California law, but also because it sets a good precedent for preventing identity politics from interfering in court cases.

From the NYT:

“This decision is in line with decisions in the areas of gender, race and ethnicity and religious background,” Mr. Boutrous said. “This is a powerful statement about gays and lesbians deciding gay cases.” [Emphasis mine.]

To me, it seems like BS that it was even a question. Can you imagine someone challenging a judge’s decision in a case related to marriage simple because he or she was in a long-term heterosexual relationship? But I guess I’m still happy to see it officially acknowledged that being gay doesn’t automatically preclude you from being a good judge. Although the Times reports that the battle over Prop 8 “remains far from over” (sigh), this is a solid step in the right direction.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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