A federal judge in California has
upheld a ruling that declared Proposition 8, California's gay
marriage ban, unconstitutional.
Proponents of the ban on Monday asked
U.S. District Judge James Ware to invalidate Judge Vaughn Walker's
August ruling overturning the 2008 voter-approved ban because Walker
has since acknowledged that he's gay and in a ten-year relationship
with a physician.
The 67-year-old Walker acknowledged
that he's gay after he retired from the bench.
Lawyers for Protect Marriage, the
coalition of socially conservative groups defending the law, argued
that Walker should have recused himself because he's in a same-sex
relationship and stood to personally benefit from the verdict.
“It now appears that Judge Walker, at
the time the complaint was filed and throughout this litigation,
occupied precisely those same shoes as the plaintiffs,” attorney
Charles Cooper said.
Lawyers representing the two gay
couples challenging the constitutionality of the law called the
motion a thinly veiled attack on Walker's sexual orientation.
Ware said on Tuesday that Walker's
sexual orientation did not create a conflict of interest.
Ware “erased all doubt that the Prop
8 trial was anything but fair and thorough and sent a powerful
message that extreme fringe groups cannot strong-arm the law,” said
Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal
Rights (AFER), the group formed specifically to challenge the law.
“Prop 8 is hanging by a thread,” he
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court
of Appeals put Walker's ruling on hold as it considers an appeal.