Alex Blaze

Guess who's gay?

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 09, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Andy Pugno, gay marriage, marriage, marriage equality, prop 8 trial, Prop. 8, same-sex marriage, trial, vaughn walker

It turns out that Vaughn Walker, the judge at the Prop 8 trial, is gay. Not that that means that his position is going to be any more biased than all judicial decisions are, but that did just add another reason for the right to complain that the decision isn't valid should they lose at trial. Here's what they had to say about that:

Not so, said Andy Pugno, general counsel for the group that sponsored the Prop. 8 campaign.

"We are not going to say anything about that," Pugno said.

He was quick to assert, however, that Prop. 8 backers haven't gotten a fair shake from Walker in court. He cited both the judge's order for the campaign to turn over thousands of pages of internal memos to the other side and Walker's decision to allow the trial to be broadcast - both of which were overturned by higher courts.

"In many ways, the sponsors of Prop. 8 have been put at significant disadvantage throughout the case," Pugno said. "Regardless of the reason for it."

Of course an attorney waiting for a judge to decide a case is going to say that. But now it'll become part of fundie lore....

As we heard back in the Sotomayor hearings, the right only thinks that white, straight males can be objective judges, everyone else is biased in favor of whatever background they come from.

In fact, their entire argument that "activist judges" are going beyond their duty and "legislating from the bench" is based on the idea that any decision the right doesn't like is biased, since nice, normal, Real Americans would always agree with them, and Real Americans write the laws, so it must be those not-Real Americans on the bench. Consider NRO's response to the news Walker is gay, right after insisting that his sexuality is unimportant:

Walker's entire course of conduct has only one sensible explanation: that Walker is hellbent to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. Given his manifest inability to be impartial, Walker should have recused himself from the beginning, and he remains obligated to do so now.

Unless he decides in their favor, of course. Then all this recusal talk was just in good sport.

The SF Chronicle has more on Walker's background, which I was surprised to find out:

Vaughn Walker almost lost his chance to reach the federal bench because of claims that he was anti-gay and hostile to civil rights. Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed his nomination because of his alleged "insensitivity" to gays and the poor. His first appointment, from President Ronald Reagan in 1987, stalled out in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

His nomination was renewed by President George H.W. Bush in early 1989.

Back then, Walker struggled to assure skeptical liberals that, as a judge, he could rule with impartiality even though he had represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in its successful effort to prevent an athletic competition in San Francisco from being called the Gay Olympic Games. He was harshly criticized for putting a lien on the home of a gay-games leader who was dying of AIDS. Walker insisted that he was not anti-gay and was only doing his best to serve his client.

Walker also was under fire for his membership in San Francisco's all-male Olympic Club. He resigned during the nomination process, which helped cement his confirmation.

"San Francisco's all-male Olympic Club"? Sounds pretty gay to me, but Wikipedia says that it's just a country club. With 45 holes.

Even though I doubt he could be any more biased than someone like Scalia, the fact that the right had to argue that gays are awful people straight to a gay person makes me smile on the inside.

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Well, lets face it.

If they would have found out that his neice's boyfreind's vetrinarian's supplier of dog dewormer's second cousin was lesbian they would still be screaming "SEE! He's biased!"

If he was totally stright, married with a wife and kids they would say that he has a secret gay life.

If he leaned towards those who support Prop 8, then they would be making glowing statements about how a fine upstanding, right thinking 'gay' man he was.

They saw where the entire proceding was going.

And if he had a cousin that were a priest, we'd be screaming as well...

We are of course to ignore that the defence team was abysmal and couldnt do their job to save their lives. That's unimportant.

Well, they're blaming the judge for that one, because they say even the threat of the video appearing on YouTube scared all their expert witnesses away.

If that's true (and I doubt it), it means that their expert witnesses who are perfectly happy to speak to newspapers and at colleges and to rallies have some pretty strange fears.

Wait? that was a defense team? I thought it was a well placed secondary prosecution team.

NOM is the only one to hold accountable for its lame defense and lame defensive team. Saying the judge is biased, the judge could be Antonin Scalia and even he would be hard pressed to find for the defense because there was no defense.

Maybe it was an intentional knell on the play? A punt to SCotUS? Maybe... but I don't think that going to SCotUS with a loss will be a strong play.

I dont know that I'd be quite so sure about what will happen when this goes to Washington (which of course it will). Scalia has demonstrated more than a few times that he sometimes views the Constitution as a guidelines and a suggestion. The idea that he thinks companies are people speaks a lot about his priorities.

About all we can hope for if this goes to such a conservative court is that the Prop 8 people give as lame a performance as they did here, giivng Scalia et al no choice but to rule in our favour.

Interesting times, indeed.

I doubt it, since they'll be arguing on the basis of law and the evidence already entered at the trial if they go to the Supreme Court. But Scalia et al have already shown themselves to be hostile to the legal arguments needed to win, and the others might not be willing to make the jump.

We just saw the evidence. The legal arguments against overturning a state-level referendum on marriage are more difficult for our side, IMHO.

You're dead on. There's no way the lawyer is going to claim bias or say that they'll make a big deal of Judge Walker's sexual orientation while the case is pending. They'll let their minions spread the word while they keep mum.

Now I'm concerned there may be a number of heterosexual judges we don't know about as well. Rumors are floating around there might even be judges who believe in supreme supernatural beings or people rising from the dead after their execution. How could I respect the decisions of someone who is convinced by nonsense like that... how might it affect their judicial decisions? There is also a distinct possibility there are some judges who believe in long disproved racial theories of the superiority of one race over another. Who knows how these bizarre LIFESTYLES and absurd beliefs will influence their court decisions?

We need to stop heterosexual judges from spreading their sick agenda nor can we permit people who are clearly mentally ill and delusional (by virtue of believing in imaginary "deities") from serving in important positions in our judicial system.

But haven't you heard, Gina? Straight judges don't have a sexual orientation. They just have genitalia blessed by God.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 10, 2010 5:25 PM

"They just have genitalia blessed by God"

Does that make somebody who wants to impeach them a Holy Peter-Beater?

Hey you guys. just thought I would mention. because we all fear some radical persons views regarding religion; lets study religion. gay christian 101 is a great site. it includes great studies. Not just on the language 2000+ yrs ago but history and other books and other inscriptions clay tablets from other books of that time. The bible is totally gay friendly.. you can not take something written 2000+ yrs ago and just apply it to today. when you learn the history and the culture. you see that we were included. not Excluded. check it out. the language of the time was Eunuch/someone who is unwilling with the opposite sex. that also stood for natural born persons (gay). i have learned so much. it arms us against the anti gay movement with there weapons.