A federal appeals court on Thursday
will hear arguments on two motions in connection with California's gay
marriage ban Proposition 8.
At the 2:30PM hearing, a three-judge
panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear
arguments on whether federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker
should have recused himself because he's gay and in a long-term
Protect Marriage, the coalition of
mostly Christian conservative groups defending the law, have appealed
U.S. District Judge James Ware's June ruling against their request to
invalidate Walker's August 2010 ruling overturning the 2008
voter-approved law because Walker has since acknowledged that he's
gay and in a ten-year relationship with a physician.
The 67-year-old Walker acknowledged his
sexual orientation after he ruled on the case and subsequently
retired from the bench.
The panel will also hear arguments on
whether to make public the videotapes of Walker's nearly three-week
In their filing, Protect Marriage
argued that Walker should have disclosed any interest he may have had
in marrying his partner or disqualified himself.
“Although a judge may choose to avoid
disclosure by recusing himself without explanation, he cannot both
remain silent and sit in judgment of a case in which a reasonable
observer, with knowledge of all of the relevant facts (disclosed or
not) would conclude the judge's impartiality might reasonably be
questioned,” lawyers for Protect Marriage said in written