After last week's landmark ruling overturning California's Proposition 8, saying it is unconstitutional to deny gay people the right to marry, there have been hues and cries and whispers that Judge Vaughn Walker, Chief Judge of the District Court of Northern California should be impeached.
Why? Because he upheld the Constitution. The argument from the homophobic sector is that he unilaterally dismissed the votes of more than 7-million Californians (partially bought using more than $20-million dollars from The Mormon Church). But once upon a time, millions of Californians also voted that it was illegal to allow blacks to marry white people too. Was it wrong for a court to deny the popular plebiscite in that case?
Also, Judge Walker is gay. I know, "so what?" I hear you saying. And I agree. But now the National Organization for Marriage who supported Prop 8 (and who will fight this all the way to the Roberts-Alito Supreme Court) are arguing that Judge Walker should have recused himself from the case because he actually has a dog in this fight. Supposedly the good Judge has been in a long-term stable relationship...WITH ANOTHER MAN! Oh. My! God!
And supposedly that makes him biased when it comes to ruling on the Constitutionality of voters taking away the rights of a minority group which includes the Judge himself.
But allow me to pose this rhetorical question: If we had a different judge on the case...let's say, oh, I don't know...perhaps a normal red-blooded heterosexual American male who likes girls...and let's say, hmmmm, that just maybe this hypothetical straight guy judge was MARRIED to a woman of the opposite sex...
WOULD THAT JUDGE HAVE TO RECUSE HIMSELF BECAUSE HE WAS STRAIGHT AND NOT IN A GAY MARRIAGE?
Sorry, my head hurts. But that's what comes from attempting to apply logic to irrational emotional arguments about sex, race, religion, and politics.
Anyway, the news today is that Judge Walker is about to rule on the STAY. That is, should Proposition 8 be allowed to remain in effect (denying gay folks the right to marry) until the case has wound its way through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and all the way up to Messrs. Roberts-Alito-Scalia-Thomas-
Although I want to see Prop 8 go away TODAY, my bet is that the good Judge, the biased unrepentant gay Judge, will rule to allow the stay to remain in place. And Prop 8 will continue denying rights to gay people until this stupid thing is decided by the Supreme Court. Why? Because Judge Walker is a prudent jurist, and the Courts tend to err on the side of the status quo until all appeals have been heard.
That's just the way it is, baby.
Until then, we have the satisfaction of knowing that Judge Walker made the correct ruling, despite the alleged disenfranchisement of California voters, and that the Constitution still rules. At least on paper.
Loving V. "What's race got to do, got to do with it?" Virginia