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.

The friend 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 denied.

“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 August 30.

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 marriage ban.

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 Post disagreed.

“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.