Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Support love, not H8

U.S. District Court Judge James Ware just ruled that former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker did not have to recuse himself from the federal case against Proposition 8 because he is gay and in a long-term committed relationship. 

This is the news we were hoping for. If Judge Ware had decided that Judge Walker should have removed himself from hearing the case because he is gay, Judge Walker’s ruling in 2010 that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional could have been overturned. It also would have set a dangerous, far-reaching precedent. Female judges could be barred from hearing any cases that affect women. Black, Latino and Asian American judges could be barred from hearing cases that affect these groups. Today’s ruling reaches far beyond the LGBT community and is a cause for elation.

But there’s more. The Yes on 8 folks wanted Judge Walker to return all of the tapes of the trial and never show them in public, keeping their bigoted arguments hidden away. Judge Ware ruled that the tapes do not have to be returned.

Now it’s up to the California Supreme Court, which will hear arguments in the case against Prop. 8 in September. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider the findings of the California Supreme Court and make its own ruling on Prop. 8, most likely in early 2012.

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