Gay marriage foes are livid at
now-retired federal judge Vaughn Walker's use of a clip from last
year's trial that led to his ruling against Proposition 8,
California's gay marriage ban.
Walker declared the 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment unconstitutional. His ruling, however, has
been appealed by the law's sponsors.
Lawyers on Wednesday asked the 9th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to forbid Walker from playing
recordings of the trial.
Sponsors filed their motion after
Walker gave on February 18 a presentation at the University of
Arizona which included a clip from the trial, the AP reported. The
presentation was also broadcast on C-Span.
In the clip, Ted Olson, a lawyer for
the plaintiffs, is seen rebutting lawyer Charles Cooper's arguments
that banning gay marriage serves society.
“That is nonsense that you can enact
a proposition that walls off the citizens of this state from a
fundamental right because you're worried that otherwise children
might be prematurely preoccupied with issues of sexuality. If that
was a justification, it would equally warrant banning comic books,
television, video games, and conversations with other children,”
“By releasing the videotape on the
eve of leaving the judicial bench, Judge Walker violated a judicial
ethic, a clear promise he made to the witnesses, and defied the
Supreme Court itself. What more evidence do we need that we have on
our hands a rogue judge with little regard for ordinary judicial
process and fair play?” Brian Brown, president of the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous
opponent of gay marriage, said in a statement.
“Allegations of prejudice and the
appearance of bias on the part of Judge Walker are becoming
increasingly hard to ignore, given this reckless disregard of normal
judicial rules of behavior,” he added.