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 started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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

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