Judge Vaughn Walker has responded to
gay marriage foes' uproar over his use of a clip from last year's
trial that led to his ruling against Proposition 8, California's gay
Proponents of the 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment on Wednesday asked the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals to forbid Walker from playing recordings of
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 presentation was
also broadcast on C-Span.
Walker declared Proposition 8
unconstitutional, but his ruling has been appealed by the law's
In the clip, Ted Olson, a lawyer for
the plaintiffs, is heard 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,”
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, chided
the now-retired judge.
“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?” NOM President Brian Brown said in a
“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.
In a letter to the court, Walker said
he would abide by whatever the court determines, but added that the
trial was open to the public, the AP reported.