Gay marriage foes appeal ruling on gay judge

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2011 8:13 PM
Gay marriage foes appeal ruling on gay judge

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Supporters of California's gay marriage ban are appealing a ruling that a U.S. judge's own gay relationship was no basis for tossing out his decision in support of same-sex marriage.

District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco last year struck down California's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. He later openly discussed his own gay relationship after retiring from the bench earlier this year.

Supporters of the ban now say his ruling was compromised and should be vacated. But Chief District Judge James Ware disagreed earlier this month, ruling that granting such a request would send a message that minority judges could not rule in civil rights cases.

Attorneys for ProtectMarriage.com, the anti-gay marriage group defending California's ban, said in court papers filed late last week that they would appeal Ware's decision.

A representative for two same-sex couples challenging the ban did not immediately comment on Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a same-sex marriage bill into law on Friday, making New York the sixth and most populous state to allow gay marriage.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is already considering the constitutional issues surrounding gay marriage and has asked the California Supreme Court to weigh in on one point of state law.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 09-2292.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Anthony Boadle)