Gay Calif. judge's Prop 8 ruling upheld

June 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, June 14 (UPI) -- A federal judge in San Francisco upheld a controversial ruling by a fellow judge overturning California's ban on same-sex marriages.

Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said there were no grounds to overturn the ruling by his predecessor, Judge Vaughn Walker, just because Walker himself turned out to be a homosexual in a long-term relationship.

Sponsors of Proposition 8, which restricted legal marriage to heterosexual couples in 2008, had challenged Walker's ruling that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. They argued Walker should have recused himself -- withdrawn -- from the case because of his sexual orientation, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

But Ware said in his written ruling that there was no evidence Walker let his homosexuality influence his ruling and that the contention was "as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief."

"To presume that Judge Walker was incapable of being impartial, without concrete evidence to support that presumption, is inconsistent with what is required under a reasonableness standard," Ware wrote.

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