The Yes on 8 attorneys are really grasping at straws. Yesterday in federal court, they argued that the trial judge, now-retired Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, was biased because he is gay. The Yes on 8 attorneys are saying that because the judge is gay – which was an open secret while he was on the bench – he stands to benefit from his own ruling. It is, of course, a specious argument.
By that same argument, a black judge would have to recuse himself from a civil rights case involving a black person because that judge could benefit. A Hispanic judge would recuse himself from an immigration case. A woman judge would have to recuse herself from a case where women would benefit based on her ruling. Spare me. Where does it end?
It smacks of desperation to me. Yes on 8 knows that they’re going to lose. Public sentiment has been shifting. The public is more and more supportive of same-sex relationships and of same-sex marriage. So the forces of the status quo are going to lose. (Anyone see any parallels between the struggle for gay equality and the fight for civil rights a few decades ago? It’s not the same, but the parallels really are stunning.) And if you’re going to lose – and know it – try everything possible to pull it out.
There will be same-sex marriage in this country. (Indeed, there already is in several states, and the world has not ended – despite Harold Camping’s best calculations.) DADT is on its belated way out. DOMA still remains the law of the land, but that could change when the appeals courts get the appeal from this case, and other cases wending their way through the courts.
Judge Walker’s ruling was upheld today. That is in line with other cases where race and gender were the issues. But the Yes on 8 people were really offensive with this argument, saying that a gay judge couldn’t be impartial. Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional because it is unconstitutional. It had nothing to do with the fact the judge is gay.