Would It Help Things If the Prop 8 Judge Was Gay?


Is U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker — the San Francisco federal judge overseeing the Boies-Olson Prop 8 lawsuit — a big ‘mo? Maybe! That’s the gaydar report from Michael Petrelis, who notes the usual factors: No mention of a wife in press reports, plus Walker’s “chipper demeanor,” and suggestions from a reporter and gay activist the judge plays for our team. (Posting the item to DailyKos had the website’s administrators warning him not to out anyone.)

If Walker is one of The Gays, does this mean the Prop 8 case in a shoe-in for our side? Not unless you think having a black man on the court means you’ll get a vote against white defendants. The idea that a judge’s identity will play a role in his decisions is, on its face, a ridiculous assumption. The men and women who make up the upper echelons of justice learned long ago in their careers that personal beliefs must be set aside when interpreting the law — despite all those alleged “activist judges” making law.

But if Walker does have an affinity for other men, it certainly doesn’t hurt our chances to have him hearing the case. But already he’s shown he’s handling things squarely, denying a request for an immediate stay of Prop 8. But Walker explicitly stated he wants to move the case quickly to trial — which will take place in a courtroom that doesn’t belong to Walker.

And so begs the question: If Walker is gay, and the courts manage to overturn Prop 8, and Walker opts to marry his male partner down the road, does that mean he was biased all along? YES OF COURSE.