Backers of California's anti-gay marriage initiative, Prop. 8, argued that the judge who declared the law unconstitutional should not have taken the case because he is gay. A federal judge rejected that argument Tuesday.
Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle/AP/File
A US judge refused to vacate a decision last year that declared California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Backers of Prop. 8 had wanted the decision thrown out on the grounds that the judge who made the decision is gay and therefore should have recused himself from the case.
Chief US District Judge James Ware said that requiring a gay judge to recuse himself from a case about gay marriage would have set a dangerous precedent.
“The fact that a federal judge shares a fundamental characteristic with a litigant, or shares membership in a large association such as a religion, has been categorically rejected by federal courts as a sole basis for requiring a judge to recuse her or himself,” wrote Judge Ware.
The decision means the ruling of US District Judge Vaughn Walker remains in effect. Prop. 8 backers have appealed that ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately, the case could end up before the Supreme Court, many legal analysts say.