Prop 8 Lawyers Appeal Ruling over Gay Judge

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Proposition 8 attorneys are appealing a recent court decision that a gay judge didn't need to recuse himself before ruling on California's traditional marriage amendment.

Last year, then-Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Prop 8, California's voter-approved definition of marriage that barred gays from wedding.

After his retirement, Walker openly discussed his own homosexual relationship, which Prop 8 supporters felt was a conflict of interest.

They challenged Walker's decision on those grounds, but Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware rejected that appeal June 14.

Now, Prop 8 proponents have filed an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- the same court considering the constitutional issues surrounding gay marriage.

Judge Ware, who's African American, said overturning Walker's ruling would be like saying a black judge cannot rule on a civil rights case.

"It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings," he wrote.

Proposition 8 was passed by 52 percent of Californians in November 2008.

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