Social conservatives are crying foul
over the recent San
outing of Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who is
about to rule in the first federal trial to decide the
constitutionality of a gay marriage ban.
The outing would “explain much of his
bizarre behavior throughout the trial,” blustered Matt Barber,
director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel, a Christian-based
group opposed to gay rights.
“At every turn he's displayed extreme
bias in favor of his similarly situated homosexual activist
plaintiffs. These individuals have eschewed the democratic process
and seek to employ like-minded judicial activists to radically
redefine the millennia-old definition of natural marriage.”
“In unprecedented form, and to
plaintiff's' delight, he has created a circus-like atmosphere
throughout,” Barber added.
In a statement titled “Got Bias?”
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for
Marriage, the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage,
accused Walker of “egregious and damaging” bias.
“He's been an amazingly biased and
one-sided force throughout this trial, far more akin to an activist
than a neutral referee,” Brown said.
Opponents, however, are more than
likely relishing the idea that Walker is possibly gay.
Throughout the three-week trial,
defense attorneys made the argument that California's gay community
has powerful and influential allies, openly gay politicians and
judges included among them. They argued such a politically
influential group does not need protection from the government.
Analysts expect Walker to rule in favor
of the plaintiffs and against Proposition 8, California's gay
marriage ban, if only for the failure of ban supporters to attract
credible witnesses. Proposition 8 lawyers called only 2 witnesses to
testify in favor of the gay marriage ban, while lawyers for the
plaintiffs strung together weeks' worth of testimony from 17 experts.
Plaintiff's lawyers crushed one witness
for the defense, who admitted under cross-examination that legalizing
gay marriage would “improve the well-being of gay and lesbian
households and their children” and that homophobia is a “real
presence” in our society.
Given their inevitable loss, social
conservatives have already begun to argue that Walker's random
assignment to the case has tainted the trial's outcome.
“He also allowed plaintiffs a parade
of 'expert' witnesses who viciously maligned Christians and other
observers of natural and historic sexual morality as 'prejudiced',
'bigoted' and 'homophobic',” Barber added.
On Wednesday, Ruth Marcus of the
Washington Post responded to the allegations of impartiality
“No one would question an
African-American judge's capacity to preside over a race
discrimination lawsuit or a female jurist's handling of a sexual
harassment case. In the Proposition 8 matter, a straight judge would
bring his own preconceptions to the courtroom, and no one would
challenge his impartiality,” she said.