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June 13th, 2011
12:20 PM ET

Should a Gay Judge Rule on Gay Rights?

Click here to check out a great article from NPR on the Proposition 8-Judge Vaughn Walker case.

We want to know what you think.  Should a gay judge be allowed to rule on gay rights?

Leave your comments below.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Kris

    If he was straight and ruled the other way, would that be bias? Should he have to disclose if he was a straight christian?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  2. Elda

    I do think he should! He has every right as a straight judge does.
    Love is love? What's so wrong about a gay couple getting married? They're human and last time I checked no human is more superior than another to have rights that some don't.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  3. Fede

    Of course! Just like women are allowed to judge women issues, hispanics are allowed to judge immigration issues etc.

    This kind of discrimination is appalling

    June 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Andy REDDSON

    The issue on this case is not that the judge is gay, nor really that he is in a “committed relationship” that could have been influenced by the case that he was presiding over, it is that he kept this fact secret; Had he been open and honest about this from the start, his interest in the matter (the “size of his dog in the fight”) could have been weighed, and then his partiality could be judged. Having kept this matter secret he may as well have declared from the outset that he would rule in a fashion favorable to himself, the law notwithstanding.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Juergen T Steinmetz

    1) Should a woman judge rule on a case involving women's issues
    2) Should a male judge rule on a case involving a man's issue
    3) Should a judge who is a car owner rule on an issue involving car ownership?

    Let's get real. We should give our judges more credit.
    Of course a gay judge should be able to judge on any issue before him or her.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  6. DarrellWayne

    Yes, any judge should be able to rule on any case. All judges have taken an oath. if you're going to remove a judge because he/she is gay, then you must remove a heterosexual judge on the same premise. If you remove him, then you must remove, latino/a, women, catholics etc. from cases involving those particular isues, ie., abortion, immigration, etc.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  7. Joseph Marrone

    Absolutely he should be able to rule on this, If he wasn't allowed to that would be like saying a woman judge is not allowed to hear any custody hearings because the Judge may be a mother. ..

    June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  8. Landon Capagli

    Should an American Judge rule on American issues? Same difference...

    June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  9. Daniel

    Yes, a gay judge should be able to rule on a gay rights case as long as there is no proof of a stake in the outcome. In the case of the Prop 8 judge, opponents have no proof that he wanted marry his partner, therefore he has no obligation to recuse himself and any reasonable person would see this.

    If gay judges have to recuse themselves simply because they are gay, so do minority, straight, and male judges in any civil rights case that might indirectly affect them.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  10. Brian

    Why is it considered improper for a gay judge to rule on a gay issue? When is the last time that a straight judge was asked not to be a part of a straight issue? Should a black judge step down from ruling on a black issue? Where do we draw the line?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Tom

    Absolutely not. This could be a bias decision and should be thrown out.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Carlos J

    Why are we asking this question in the first place? White judges have ruled on civil rights issues for Black people, and I'm certain some of them were racist. There have been female judges making rulings on abortion issues. If we're going to set aside a gay judge's ruling in favor of gay rights, then we need to set aside EVERY judgment made by heterosexual judges in favor of gay marriage bans. This would be considered the same bias this judge is being accused of. I'm really tired of this sense of entitlement for majority groups in this country. It's old.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  13. sdunnlevelrun

    Should Southern Baptist judges (male/female) be allowed to rule on any gay issues?....should any conservative judge (male/female) who accepts invitations to speak at events who are aligned with anti-gay agendas, be allowed to rule on similar issues?...where does it end?...I thought justice is blind?...oh, I get it!....justice is blind to those who can afford to pay for 'justice' !

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  14. Tim

    Humans in general should not be allowed to judge cases. If you put a straight judge on this case, how do we know that judge doesn't have a hidden agenda against gays? I think the IBM Watson super computer could do a fine job of replacing human judges. Until that day though, we have to rely on the rules we have in place. Judges take an oath to judge the case per the constitution, not their personal opinion, and as long as that is the "standard" there is no debate which judge should be assigned to which cases because there is no right answer.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  15. Kodes100

    Of course Judge Vaughn Walker should be allowed to rule on Proposition 8!
    If not than all straight judges should not be allowed to rule in this case as well.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  16. Sydney Noel

    maybe we should get a bi-sexual judge to rule on the case. That's the only person I could see as being impartial.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Tom

    As a sworn judge, Judge Vaughn's sexuality has absolutely nothing to due with his decision in this case.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  18. Adrienne

    Yes. A gay judge should be allowed to rule on gay rights. To say "no" would be like saying an African American judge should not be allowed to rule on cases involving civil rights.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Matthew C.

    It is okay for a gay judge to rule on gay rights. If a gay judge isn't allowed to rule because of a possible bias, then it wouldn't be okay for a straight judge to rule on the subject either. If the straight judge was homophobic or biased against gays then they could rule against gay marriage unethically. If either side could have a bias then I guess only a bisexual judge can rule on this case because their right in the middle? LOL

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Jonathan Smith

    We need to stop looking at the fact that the judge is gay and consider only his ruling. Is gay marriage or a ban on gay marriage unconstitutional? The fact of the matter is this: both are unconstitutional, as is straight marriage with the separation of church and state ( considering marriage is a religious ceremony ). However, it's simply a matter of all or nothing. A state can either choose to recognize marriage ( gay or straight ) or not recognize said marriage. Banning gay marriage on the basis of christian laws is unconstitutional. The government has to either ban ALL marriage or ban NO marriage to keep from being hypocritical and to follow the constitution in it's entirety.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  21. Shirley Townsend

    I happen to be straight but question why it is more appropriate for a straight judge to hear this case than a gay judge. Should a straight judge be required to recuse themselves due to their bias to prefer only marriage between a woman and a man. I fail to see the issue. If you follow the logic of those that think the judge should have recused himself then the only appropriate judge would be one that is asexual with no desire to marry.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  22. Johnny

    Yes by all means he should be allowed to rule on gay rights. Should a straight judge be allowed to rule on a gay rights topics? Yes. It is no different for a gay judge to rule on this than a straight judge rule on it. Who would rule unjustly? I am sure a straight judge would rule unjustly more than a gay judge just because of all the anti-gay bull this country stands for. Straights always get a better ruling than a gay does. Be real!!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  23. Ellen Jones

    Can a straight judge rule on non gay rights?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  24. Jen

    If straight judges are allowed to rule on straight marriage, doesn't it make perfect sense that gay judges are allowed to rule on gay marriage? What's next, should Jewish judges not be allowed to preside over cases that involve anti-Semitic hate crimes? How about a case in which a white guy is reverse-discriminated against and wrongfully loses his job? Should that case only be heard by a minority judge, because a white judge wouldn't be able to see past his personal white indignation?

    Honestly, this is just another example of why the government shouldn't be in the business of sanctioning ANY marriage. It's a matter of faith. It should be up to organization of faith to perform marriages, and the state should ONLY do civil unions–for straights, gays, whatever.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  25. Edwin

    Thats what the oath is for, If we want to play the he feels she feels game a straight judge could be bias as well against gay marriage, why not ask a bisexual judge right? Words have been lost like a game of telephone over time, thats why god died for us all.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  26. Daniel

    Judges take an oath to uphold the law as objectively as possible; if the judge chose not to make his homosexuality open for media consumption, it was because he knows his sexual orientation has nothing to do with his dealings with the law and his legal decisions. Conservatives who say he tried to keep a secret miss the point entirely, his orientation has nothing to do with his decision and this is just another example of right-wing bias and discrimination.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  27. J.P.

    Should a straight judge be allowed to rule on 'straight' rights? Get real people, it is 2011! Of course he should ... indeed he might even have a better perspective than 'straight' person.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  28. Charles

    As a gay man myself, we need to be heard as fairly as possible. I believe that being gay himself allowed him to be MORE impartial.

    In the case of Prop 8, so many religious and and secular organizations were weighing in to try and manipulate the system and voters into believing that it is absolutely OK to relegate those of us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered what have you to be less then equal and somehow less then human and third class citizens based upon our genetic makeup.

    GOOD FOR THE JUDGE for trying to being fair enough to hear the case!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  29. mottsy

    Then; should judges who belong to any organized religious group be able to rule on any marriage or social issues... these judges are appointed because of their capability to remain impartial and do the right thing according to the laws of the land and it's ludicrous that one parameter of their personal life affects how they do their job... the people who think different because this judge is gay are just on a witch hunt and grasping at straws ( the 1600's are over people ).

    June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  30. Wayne

    Another case of giving Americans reason to distrust the system. What would a normal individual think. Of course, he should have recused himself. What an idiot, letting it come out now. Ranks with Weiner blunder. This is now a gay issue with a twist of Weiner. Get off Weiners and Sexual orientation and get on with mainstream issues.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  31. Erica

    A homosexual judge should be able to rule on gay rights just as any other. To say that he is biased any more than a heterosexual man would be on the issue of gay rights is unfair and discriminatory. What are we going to do, find asexual judges? Gay rights and marriage should not even be an issue at all. Homosexual and heterosexual individuals should have the same rights; same sex marriage should be allowed nationwide.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  32. Sassy

    A gay judge should not be allowed to rule on gay rights. African Americans are offended by gays riding on our coat tails! a black judge is black in court, black at home and black where ever she/he goes. "Gay Privilege" allows gays to hide and come out only when it is convenient. THERE IS NOTHING HEROIC ABOUT THIS. This ruling is a crime of passion!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  33. Lee

    Fundamentally a stupid question. Should female judges be allowed to rule on issues relating to women's rights? Should black judges be allowed to rule on issues relating to race? The answers to these questions are all yes.
    The fact that this jugde is gay in no way calls into question his ability to render a fair judgment.
    The "secrecy" argument is both an indictment of our society's hostility toward gay relationships in general and an absurd suggestion that all aspects of any judge's private life are required to be disclosed.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  34. Gary L.

    Just heard the debate on this issue on CNN. MY TV is in another room aI rushed to my computer to comment on this right after the segment ended.
    I say a resounding NO this issue should not be retiried. I would ask those that think yes to give thought to what they open themselves up to. If a gay judge cannot rule on gay issues then can a non-gay judge rule on issues that affect hetro-sexuals? Can a black judge no longer make rulings on issues that affect black people? A white judge should not be able to rule on issue that affect white people?
    Enough!! This country is suppose to be EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE. It is time that we catch up to the rest of the civilized world and live up to our constitution. G.L.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  35. george

    He should recuse himself! Your kidding yourself if you think he could judge this without being biased. Does the O.J.jury ring a bell?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  36. Bill G

    The standard is that a "reasonable person" would say that they'd be unable to rule without bias – I maintain that the drive to discredit Judge Walker is not mounted by "reasonable persons" – these people would have any judge who doesn't rule in their favor in question – no women on abortion rights? no black judges on ethnic/racial discrimination? how about no wealthy judges on corporate cases? after the Citizens United ruling and Justices Thomas and Alito's association with the Koch Bros – I'd say the right-wing legal critics sure have their nerve

    June 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  37. D.S. Feldman

    I can not see how that would be fair in our legal system!
    Being a person of color myself, growing up in a time when there were few people of color,women,gays etc. presiding over cases that were completly opposite to their gender and ethnicity.
    Do we now go back and investigate what judges were doing or how they lived or even if they had a family member that was a victim of a crime while they made a ruling????

    June 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  38. J.D.

    Should a heterosexual judge, or a judge who's religious faith teaches against homosexuality, or he/she personally believes that marriage should be between a man and woman only, be allowed to rule AGAINST gay rights? Couldn't one argue that the judge is biased against gay rights and he/she should recuse themselves from ruling on the case. I have never heard of a more ridiculous argument against this judge's ruling. This is just one more example of the ridiculous reasons that people/groups against EQUAL gay rights bring forth to further their unjust oppression of homosexuals.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  39. Barbara Brannon

    I don't understand how this would work. If a gay man must disclose his sexuality to avoid possible bias, wouldn't it follow logically that a straight man must also disclose because he, too has a bias? So that leaves bisexual men/women who would have an openness to same-sex relationships (which would then rule them out) or asexual persons who see no value in sexuality in the first place which might rule them out as biased in their own way. So... who is left? Wouldn't it make more sense for a judge to do his/her best given that he or she has a bias through life experience and set that aside? Isn't that what all judges are supposed to do with every sort of case they preside over?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  40. Jeffrey

    why should he not be alot to rule we gave him that job for areasson an they know there not sup to rule on a bise term. there not our congress men an woman, we as him to step aside then we would make all black judge step aside to in all black case's its redicules how in this day an age we still have so much predejiuce..

    June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  41. sdunnlevelrun

    does the same sex issue in California really make sense?...after all...everytime any issue approaches the major courts, including the Supreme Court, the press and pundits play the odds on the outcome of cases bases on the side of the aisle the 'justices' recline/sit !....the outcomes are usually obvious based on the politics of it all...this is American justice!...go figure!....if the church and state are separate-let marriage be religious....and civil union be state!...oh wait/that's the way it and woman goes to city hall, gets a non-religious license/no God-stuff mentioned!....then by choice, the couple visits a church that accepts them depending on the denominational views. The church is not needed to get complete recognition of 'rights'....what's the debate. The couple already chooses whether to mention God in the ceremony...

    June 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  42. Gary L.

    Noting anothers' comment; if the issue is that he kept it secret then all hetro-sexual judges should annouce their preference prior to making ruliings on hetro-sexual issues G.L.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  43. Glackin

    Of course the judge should have recused himself. The conflict is clear.
    If the case reaches SCOTUS, the six Roman Catholic Justices should also recuse. As they should in all cases regarding abortion, birth control and the death penalty. Their religion is in conflict with the law.
    Is the sarcasm too subtle for you folks?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  44. Casey Strickland

    A gay judge ruling on this case is equivalent to a straight judge ruling on this case. Both have opposing lifestyles that could sway their opinions on this issue. This makes the challenging of this ruling based on the sexuality of the judge nonsensical. The arguments of the people wanting the ruling overturned for this reason are stained with hypocrisy and discrimination

    June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  45. Alda

    Yes. What this issue is pointing to is the fact that a gay man has the right to become a judge, an arbiter of the law, but he himself is not protected under the law he has sworn to uphold; he does not have the rights straight people have.

    I find it inspiring that he continues to serve as a judge while fully knowing and experiencing the discrimination that is LEGALLY sanctioned in our country against the GBTL community.

    If only straight people are allowed to hear trials about gay rights...where exactly is the justice in that? Should only whites hear trials about civil rights issues because people of color are biased due to their rights being trampled upon? Should men only hear trials about women's reproductive rights because women may not be impartial?

    I wonder if you notice how titillating this issue seems by implying that only white men, straight men can be impartial.

    You are not asking the right questions. WHY do we discriminate against the rights of a judge?! Why do we think one gay man speaks for all gay men? One woman on the bench represents all women? I wish you, the media, could stop asking questions that allow people to think they have a RIGHT to decide about this man's profession. We don't. He took an oath to uphold our laws.

    If people were not voting about whether or not rights should be given to all American citizens, this would not be an issue.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  46. Devon

    So a straight judge would be unbiased. Absolutely not they would be equally biased, but for the opposing side. Its sad and disturbing that the rights for a particular group of people must be debated. So shouldn't this be considered a breach on these humans rights? I'm young(17) and a lesbian, I cried knowing that I couldn't have the wedding I dreamed of. All because the majority of government officials couldn't understand my emotional connection to the same sex. This is a violation of my constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  47. Ernie S.

    Should a homosexual Judge rule on gay rights? A better question should be, "should a heterosexual judge be allowed to rule on gay rights"?

    All individuals have biases whether conscious or subconscious. Can we honestly say that heterosexuals do not have a bias that is unfavorable towards the gay community? Most heterosexuals are definitely baised againest gays. Is it right to allow them to judge the rights of a gay man or women?

    So, if we do not allow Judge Walker to rule on the issue of gay marriage, should we allow a heterosexual judge to do so? This is very convenient for the hetersexual community that is generally homophobic and anti-gay, however, it is not fair to the gay community.

    Homosexuals are generally good people that deserve to be treated with respect and enjoy the SAME rights as heterosexuals! Let's start practicing what we preach and "love thy neighbor as thyself." Moreover, let's uphold the constitution and bill or rights of our great country without prejudice and bias.

    If you are wondering, I am heterosexual, married with a lovely wife, three lovely daughters and one wonderful son. And, I am really pissed off with self-righteous axxxxxxs.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  48. Susan Stringham

    It would seem to me that if a judge owes it to the American people to recuse himself from any case of law that he feels would even cause a remote chance of bias in his decision, or would cause controversy and mistrust in the public view. "Wisdom is in the guardians if they be wise" ....Plato (The Republic)

    June 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  49. ron

    Andy, What are you saying? What is it that he has to disclose? He is a judge. last I heard, they are humans also. Black,White, Straight, Gay.
    If a judge has to talk about every experience he has had in his life before he can rule on a case, we would never have a ruling. It's not a matter of hiding the fact that he's gay, it's irrelevant to this case. Just as it would be irrelevant if he were straight and ruled the other way.
    Would he then have to point out that he ismarried with kids in order to
    make his ruling stick?

    June 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  50. Jean, Toronto

    The so-called gay judge should not have the right to rule on so-called gay rights. He hid his lifestyle. He said it is unconstitutional. Now that he has exposed his so-called gay lifestyle, this means he was biased in favor of those people as himself and his lifestyle.
    In any case, those people should not be given credence. Their actions are immoral and an abomination to the Lord.
    Their interest groups as that judge who promote this abomination are the reason why there are so-called gay and lesbian marriages.
    They should also not be allowed to adopt children for obvious reasons. Their lifestyle is unnatural and unbecoming and not suitable for a moral environment for children.
    Let it be known ther lifestyle is scandalous and an abomination to the Lord. It is also offensive to those who do not approve of it.
    There are no gays or lesbians in Heaven and there never will be. Therefore they better not deceive themselves and take God for granted, who will never be taken for granted.
    If they do not change their abnormal lifestyle, repent, pay God homage with a humble and contrite heart, pray and make penance and sacrifice to appease Our God, they have forfeited their right to Heaven for all eternity.
    God is all-holy and all pure. St. Paul who wrote through the inspiration of The Holy Spirit said, "Nothing defiled will enter Heaven." Their lifestyle is gravely defiled.
    Sensible people should know that it is abnormal for people of the same sex to enter into such a relationship and to get married. It makes no sense whatsoever. I often wonder are our governments blind to this?
    Governments too who have legislated this abnormality will be accountable to God for legislating immoral laws. This includes those who also approve of it, condone it and applaud it.
    They are lessening the days of the Great Trial and Tribulation with fire and brimstones upon the earth.
    They must not expect some of us who oppose their intrinsically evil lifestyle to approve of what which primarily offends Our God who created man and woman and said, "Go and multiply" and "What God has joined together let no man put asunder." He meant only marriage between a man and woman from the beginning of time, to this present age and until the end of time.
    Some people of this era have become too immoral and scandalous with worst to come in the future. It is also a sad situation that they are not ashamed to hide it. They say they have pride. Well, pride was the fall of Satan and "Pride comes before the fall."
    God will never bless this sort of so-called marriage. Better believe it.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  51. Uche

    If a black judge had to handle a civil rights case would his decision be ignored as a biased judgement? These judges whole career revolves around them being unbiased. Why question his judgement unless he had a questionsable history of unfair or biased judgment?

    June 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  52. SpaceCadet

    I don't see why not. Put it this way, if he was to rule in the favor of gay rights would it be any different if a straight judge ruled I'm the opposite direction? That's a bit bias if you ask me, he's an appointed judge and should be treated as such. The real question is should a straight judge be allowed to rule on gay rights? Knowing that theirs a 75% chance that in this day and age he/she has already made up their mind that being gay is wrong. Why can't we as a human race just learn to accept eachother already. It's getting old. We are alibi am being and should be treated as such no matter what your background is. Some humans just hate change, and their fellow humans that have different beliefs. Get with the program people. Their is no way we can move forward as a race (the human race) if we don't start accepting eachother and stop with all the hate and discrimination.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  53. Roze

    Absolutely a gay judge should be allowed to rule on gay rights topics. There is no reason to judge the merit of someone serving on the 9th Circuit of Appeals; obviously they have gone through the schooling to make logical decisions on anything that presents itself and automatically assuming that someone of homosexual orientation would be biased in this situation is demoralizing.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  54. Josh

    The problem is not that Judge Walker is gay and is ruling in a "gay rights" case. I don't have a problem with a christian ruling on a case dealing with religious freedom, or a hispanic on a case dealing with immigration.

    The problem I have is that Judge Vaughn Walker would directly benefit from the outcome of this case. If Proposition 8 is overturned, this judge will not only be able to marry another man, but will get state benefits to that marriage. He has a direct financial benefit to say that prop 8 should be overturned.

    Now to put this in perspective, let's look at a scenario with a Christian judge. This judge should not automatically recuse him/herself on a case dealing with a fellow christian and their personal religious rights. But say the case is about the constitutionality of giving state money to parents who want their kids to go to religious schools. If that judge's spouse works at a religious school that would benefit from this law, the judge would clearly have a direct benefit from ruling on this case, therefore they should recuse themself.

    Can we please grow up and not use politically charge terms like "hate" and "discrimination"? This issue is not about either of those terms, it is about a man who swore to serve the public, but now it is clear he is using his position to serve himself. No matter what ideology you adhere to, I hope you will see this as something that should not ever happen.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  55. Heather

    Are women judges allowed to rule on women's rights? If so, then I don't see any issue.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  56. Blakedabozo

    If Judge Walker, (a long time respected California Appeals Court judge), has to recuse himself, because he cannot be trusted to rule objectively in this case, then, when, this case reaches the Supreme Court, ALL the Catholic members of the Supreme Court, (as well as any other active members of religious communities which do not approve of these people's "lifestyle"), should have to recuse themselves, or, issue a public statement that they do not actually believe/accept their church's teaching and guidance on this subject.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  57. Brian

    No where in his Oath of Office is it stated that he will not be allowed to preside over issues of a homosexual nature. Surely, he has presided over a gay defendant in the past. By making him excuse himself from this case on the basis of bias, doesn't that open the door for any gay defendant to appeal his ruling from the past?

    June 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  58. Anna

    Of course he should be able to vote on gay rights! For the same reasons that he would be biased in terms of supporting gay marriage, those who are heterosexual or, more extreme, those who are against gay rights may be biased against the legalization of gay marriage and therefore should not be allowed to vote. This is equivalent to saying a pet owner should not be allowed to vote on animal rights. It is completely ludicrous to disavow him of his right to vote on this matter. Given that the national climate is moving more towards equal rights for all, to say that a gay man does not have the moral standing to vote objectively on the matter is almost equivalent to saying that gay people do not have equal values and therefore should not be afforded equal rights to those who are not gay – which brings us back to the issue that is being voted on in the first place!

    I am seeing arguments accusing the Judge of "directly benefiting" from his ruling because he could have freedom to marry another man and receive financial benefit. If he wanted to, he could potentially "marry another man" and not be in love with that man and still receive financial benefit – the same could hold true for any man or woman who would rule on the Proposition. If you doubt his moral character in his current position, then you might as well doubt any judge in his position.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  59. Frederick. Bronson

    Whats the difference if a gay judge, a christian, or born again Christian judge it should not make a difference

    June 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  60. J.D.

    Someone mentioned Prop 8. Prop 8 was put up for a vote to a predominately heterosexual anti-gay marriage population. Was allowing blacks to have equal rights put a to a white vote? Was a woman's right to vote put to a male vote? Were whites asked to vote on whether or not blacks should be allowed to attend all white schools? Prop 8 is unconstitutional PERIOD.

    And for the bible thumpers out there, the text is partly celestial mythology. Lot's "house" was the "house" of Gemini. The "two male messengers who came down from heaven" are Gemini. The "doorway" to Lot's hose is the "eastern horizon" or "eastern gate" of the "heavenly kingdom". At the end of the astronomical AGE of Gemini, the people weren't supposed "to know" the "two male messengers" any longer. It was against the "heavenly kingdom" of God "to know" the "two male messengers" because we had entered into the "house" of Taurus, the "golden calf". The "golden calf" was the representation for the astronomical AGE of Taurus, when the AGE "was young". Ram"moses" II threw the "golden calf" out of the temple and put in the ram's horns for the AGE of Aries.

    two male messengers= Gemini
    golden calf= Taurus
    sign of the fish=Pisces
    sign of the Baptizer/baptism= Aquarius

    At the end of this AGE, the "little fishes"(Pisces, not Christians) will be called back "up to heaven". You are not supposed "to know" the "little fishes" any longer. The "sign of the Baptizer/sign of the baptism"(Aquarius) will be brought down from heaven and drawn in the sand.

    Don't be "left behind" in the "bond"AGE of an "old covenant" or "old testament". When two "words" are written as one "word" you have "bondage". Each AGE should have it's own "word"(testament). The "rock of AGES"(the SUN, of God) is being "tapped twice" and two-age covenants are being written.

    The circle of Light must be UN"broken", the piscean age when the sun, of God, fed the multitude with TWO FISH should have prepared the way for the age when the sun, of God, shines down on us in the IMAGE of a man, bearing water, and "pouring out" God's blessing on all. MARK 14:13 describes going to the "city of God"(the heavenly kingdom, not Jerusalem) and entering into the "house" of Aquarius, and finding the "man bearing a pitcher of water" and following HIM. Follow the "Baptizer", He is the TRUE SIGN of the cross of the sun, of God. "Jesus" hangs on the cross of the sun. "Jesus", the IMAGE of a DEAD CRUCIFIED MAN is not a "sign of the cross". There is no constellation of a DEAD CRUCIFIED MAN on the ecliptic of the sun. "Jesus" is the false IMAGE of the Piscean sun coming out of (the horizon of) Egypt.

    It's time to take the IMAGE of the DEAD CRUCIFIED MAN down from the cross, and put on the IMAGE of the RISEN LIVING BAPTIZER (Aquarius). ON EARTH, as it is "in heaven".

    June 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  61. Jean, Toronto

    We certainly have a great problem in this era of gays and lesbians which we did not anticipate would occur whatsoever. It is a sad era in which we are residing in.
    There are many pros and cons. They wrought it opon us and brought it upon themselves.
    It still stands that it is obvious Judge Walker would be in favor of his counterparts who practice this intrinsic lifestyle as he. He did well to excuse himself from this case. His action showed his feelings that he could not possibly be fair. At least he is honest about that much. He would also have done well to keep quiet about his lifestyle for no one asked him. They go about on TV, Radio, Newspapers blowing their horns that they are gay.
    I do not hear or see married, separated, divorced and single people going about flaunting their status or having a special parade for all the world to see, stating that they have pride. What pride? This is no pride but the pride of Satan.
    Those who comment about other Judges on civil rights and women cases, they must argue their case if they hope to win it. Even then they may not win the case. They do not go about saying that they are civil rights members or in favor of them and also in the case of women rights. However, this judge said that it is unconstitutional and then stated that he is gay. He projected that he would be biased towards the case and he was. Note the difference.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  62. Keeeevin

    The ethics "expert" claimed that the judge should have disclosed his sexual orientation if a reasonable person thinks that it would influence his decision. But tell me this: what "reasonable person" votes for Prop 8 in the first place?? Gay people are humans fer crissakes! This issue shouldn't even be a question!

    June 14, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  63. Woman

    A gay judge should have confronted that he was gay and let the jury decide if he was still in the position to make that judgement. But by concealing the fact that he was gay in the first place, could mean he is trying to hide something. Though, a gay judge should also be allowed to participate in gay rights, but after stating that he is gay himself. The jury then should decide if he should continue or participate or not.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:14 am |
  64. Aristocles

    It was not that he was Gay, but that he was seeking a gay marriage, which meant that he had a personal stake in the outcome. By definition, he should have recused himself.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  65. sdunnlevelrun oat is an oath....politics are is money....right and left are left and right....justice goes to face time on tv/press....and the power base of elected politician/judge...nolonger do we recognize statemen...only paid hacks in congress and on the bench!....what is it about equal you don't understand? one wants to return to 'conventional' marriage...of the 1900's....wives are women's rights to divorce if abused....let the churhes decide...Baptists will say no....anglicans/thinkers will say yes...but the state should be non bigoted in all respects...let the churches speak for god!...and the courts, eh?

    June 14, 2011 at 6:48 am |
  66. dwombat

    Why is this issue about a gay man ruling about a gay issue?

    Honestly, this country is going down the tubes a little more everyday. Let's stop debating his sexual orientation and actually have a news article that discusses the ACTUAL JUDGEMENT.

    Judges are not robots. Every judge feels bias on almost every case, because they are human beings that have moral values and preferences. The judge in the Casey Anthony trial, no matter how impartial he is professionally, probably feels bias deep in his heart. To be a judge, a person has to look past themselves and look to the law.

    The law is what matters here, not the opinion of the man that was called upon to judge it.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  67. Gekaap

    How many white people have ruled against equality for blacks?

    How many men have ruled against abortion rights for women?

    How many Americans have ruled against illegal immigrants?

    How many mothers have ordered a man to pay child support?

    How many conservative justices in the S.C. ruled in favor of Bush in 2000?

    Where were the calls for recusals back then?

    June 14, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  68. Gekaap

    Demanding that a gay judge cannot hear a case about gay rights firmly assumes that gay people are inferior to straight people, and assumes the decision should have been in favor of Prop 8. Either the case of gay marriage affects only gay people, or it affects everyone. Those who oppose gay marriage argue that it effects everyone, and that there is thus a legitimate government interest that can be served by banning it. If this is the case, then straight judges are no less subject to bias in hearing such cases. And the only way to escape this dilemma would be to assume that some allegedly superior quality of a straight judge allows him or her to put aside their biases moreso than a gay judge.

    June 14, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  69. James D.

    The bible says "you never know when you are in the presence of a wise man, but a fool runs up and down the street advertising his (her) ignorance. Some of the comments on this tread prove that statement is absolutely true.

    The judge made and air tight ruling based on the law. I've read the ruling he issued and it is air tight based on constitutional law.

    The Prop 13 backers are grasping at straws because hey know they are drowning in their own cesspool of hate.

    June 14, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  70. Jonathan Lyons

    How backward can this question get?!
    Should we allow a heterosexual judge to rule on this case? Mightn't s/he act to preserve heteros' "special" status on marriage? That's the risk this question assumes as an additional burden upon any LGBTQI judge presiding over a Prop 8 case, and that's bigoted as hell.

    What's next, asking whether anyone nonwhite has a right to be heard in cases involving civil rights?

    Do better, CNN.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  71. Ren

    The question ..should be should a straight person..rule on gay rights..and why should anyone know their orientation...everyone deserves rights..the USA. ...and the constitution ..demands it..all equal..all. This needs to be's not hard to decide..when everyone has the same it

    June 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  72. Todd

    It's pretty obvious that if Judge Walker voted to keep prop 8, the anti marriage equity backers would have had not problems with his orientation.

    They just see the end of the line for their government sanctioned bigotry, and it frightens them.

    June 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  73. Stephen

    I did not read every entry but I agree with a lot of them. This judge, as every judge has taken an oath...IF he broke that oath, then go after him...just like you would with any other judge.

    If they take this route, they will spend more time qualifying judges as they do jury members.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  74. Janis

    should a straight judge be allowed to rule on straight cases?

    June 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  75. asdjf

    Should a Black Judge rule on Black rights?
    Should a Woman Judge rule on Women's rights?
    Should a Jewish Judge rule on Jewish rights?

    June 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  76. Ky

    Should a gay judge be allowed to rule on gay rights? Should a straight judge be allowed to rule on straight rights? Should a black judge be allowed to rule on black rights? Should a State judge be allowed to rule on State rights? Should a Federal judge be allowed to rule on Federal rights?

    When you extrapolate the question, you realize how ridiculous the argument is. It happens everyday, yet no one questions those rulings in this manner. This motion is another spotlight on the inadequacy of the anti-marriage movement to provide a legally defensible argument.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  77. Sanity

    If I were a judge, and there was something I wanted to do but it was illegal, and I had a chance to rule on the constitutionality of it, I'd jump at the chance, too. Of course he should have recused himself from the case. It's another case of the king's new clothes and nobody wants to admit it.

    June 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  78. Jr.

    Hey, I have an idea. Since everyone has a bias and no Judge "Straight or Gay" can make a proper assessment of the Law...Let the majority of people rule by Vote. Oh yeah, they did and they Gay Rights people didn't like that so they found a back door.

    June 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  79. Jack

    Is the judge going to take into account that AIDS has killed over 500,000 and infected more than one million Americans; and all armed conflicts in all of last century and so far this century, foreign soldiers have directly killed about 700,000 of our military personnel.
    At least 75% of the aids cases are male to male contact and or drugs.
    Men are scum in family court and heroes when they are serial killers. interesting concept.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  80. Wayne Nashville Tennessee

    Should a fox watch the hen house. What a stupid question. Should the private fed bankers watch the money of America and print it out of thin air??

    June 17, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  81. Jeanne

    I believe that Marriage is between a man and a woman, however I believe that when the same sex wants to live together legally it should be called something like 'COUPLING' not marriage.

    The issue would then be if people who are coupled have the same rights as people who are married. That way everyone knows exactly what marriage is and "COUPLING' is and no-one should be offended.

    We can't stop people from choosing to living together but we can stop marriage as having to be redefined. Jeanne

    June 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  82. bob

    Judges are there to uphold the laws not make them. They do not have the right or the authority to change them. The people voted how they wanted it. That vote becomes the law. It cannot be overturned other than with a new vote. That is the supreme law of the united states. The judge acted illegally and unconstitutionally. There is no higher power in the U.S. than the people. Thats how its supposed to be. Any thing else is a dictatorship.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:42 am |
  83. Dajah Chantelle Gaines

    For all the people who said yes probably they are gay and there is nothing to judge about because God can only judge but all I know is its your choice to be GAY and see what the Lord have to say about this and he brought you here and he can bring you out of this world and YES I do want to go where the Lord is not where the devil is and that's why I stay in church I am 13 in the 7th grade but I am praying for those who are gay, lesbians, bisexual, homosexual, etc.

    December 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

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