Being Gay is Not a Conflict of Interest
"If you don’t like the message, then go after the messenger!" That’s exactly what the people behind California's discriminatory Prop 8 are trying by moving to disqualify the judge who ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional.
Judge Vaughn Walker ruled decisively last year against the legal team at ProtectMarriage.com, which has been fighting for Prop 8 in court. They now claim that, because Judge Walker is gay and in a relationship, he had a vested interest in the outcome of the case – and should have recused himself earlier on. They're asking another judge to disqualify Judge Walker on those grounds.
This kind of argument is an attack on the dedication and professionalism of gays and lesbians – not just in our legal system, but in all professions.
It’s a disingenuous legal tactic that has been used time and time again – especially during the civil rights era – by unhappy litigants when they are unable to win their case on the merits. Should women judges have to recuse themselves from cases that concern equal pay? Should African American judges not be allowed to rule on cases related to race?
Call on ProtectMarriage.com to withdraw their motion to throw out Judge Walker’s ruling simply because he’s gay.
- Executive Director, ProtectMarriage.com
I am offended by your attack on the gay and lesbian professionals in our legal system. Your motion to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision on California’s Proposition 8 is a transparent attack on the LGBT community.
Judges do not need to recuse themselves in cases involving a minority simply because they belong to that minority group. Plain and simple. Your disapproval of Judge Walker’s ruling does not mean he was not qualified to make it.
I ask that you withdraw your motion to vacate Judge Walker’s ruling and let the legal process continue based on the merits of the case – not on an individual judge’s sexual orientation.
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