A brief filed in the appeal of a ruling
that found California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8,
unconstitutional takes issue with Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn
Walker's rumored sexuality.
of the court brief filed last week by Robert Wooten blasts Walker
for being gay, a rumor first published in the San
Francisco Chronicle that the judge has neither confirmed nor
“If the allegation that Judge Walker
is a homosexual is true, [then] he has a personal interest in the
outcome of the trial” and should have recused himself, Wooten wrote
in the brief.
Being gay, Wooten says, is a moral
issue that “transcends the personal desires of the Plaintiffs and
significantly affects the lives of all residents of the State to the
extend that it becomes a public interest issue which negates the
requirement of 'standing' in the matter.”
The brief, titled Application To
File An Amicus Brief In Support Of Traditional Marriage, is dated
Opponents of gay marriage have bitterly
complained that gay activists sought out a like-minded judge to rule
in their favor. Walker, however, was randomly selected to preside
over the first trial to challenge the constitutionality of a gay
In a statement titled “Got Bias?”
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for
Marriage (NOM), 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.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a
group that supports openly gay elected officials, protested
the group's gay-baiting after a television appearance by Maggie
Gallagher, board chair of NOM.
“Here we have an openly gay federal
judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of
our Founding Fathers who I promise you would be shocked by courts
that imagine they have the right to put gay marriage in the
Constitution,” she said.
But Ruth Marcus of the Washington
“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.
With the filing of the brief, Walker's
rumored sexuality and what, if any, role it plays in the appeal is
now part of the court record.