The rumors appear to be true: Chief
U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker is gay. Opponents of gay
marriage appear to be keeping mum on the issue – for now.
Walker is about to rule on the first
federal trial to decide the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban.
Suggestions of Walker's orientation
peeked out on several gay blogs throughout the January trial,
including at Michael Petrelis' blog Petrelis
Files: “On several occasion, Walker, who I think could be a fab
host at a piano in a swank cafe, would make a funny comment or joke
from the bench, bringing forth many laughs and alleviating my
But Sunday, the San Francisco
Chronicle verified for the first time that Walker is gay.
“The biggest open secret in the
landmark trial over same-sex marriage being heard in San Francisco is
that the federal judge who will decide the case, Chief U.S. District
Judge Vaughn Walker, is himself gay,” the paper wrote.
The paper cited a friend of Walker's –
also a federal judge – as saying that Walker does not conceal being
gay, but believes the subject is private.
“He has a private life and he doesn't
conceal it, but doesn't think it is relevant to his decisions in any
case, and he doesn't bring it to bear in any decisions,” the
unidentified judge said.
When asked for comment, proponents of
Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, refused to comment.
“We are not going to say anything
about that,” Andy Pugno, general council for ProtectMarriage.com,
the group behind Proposition 8, said.
Pugno, however, did say he felt his
side did not receive a fair shake in Judge Walker's courtroom.
“In many ways, the sponsors of Prop.
8 have been put at significant disadvantage throughout the case.
Regardless of the reason for it,” Pugno said.
But during the trial, the defense made
the argument that California's gay community has powerful and
influential allies, openly gay politicians and judges included among
them. And concluded that the community does not need protection from