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 Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

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

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  • davenj

    This is a good decision rooted in legal precedent. The same thing was attempted with female judges and sexual harassment cases, POC judges and race-based cases, etc., and has routinely been struck down. This isn’t surprising, but it is the correct decision, and hopefully is another step in the right direction.