California Prop. 8 Judge Vaughn Walker: Yes, I'm gay

Thu. April 7, 2011 7:29 PM by News Staff

San Francisco - Retired U.S. Chief District Judge Vaughn Walker, who struck down the state's ban on gay marriages, confirmed his week that he is gay.

Walker was originally nominated to the bench by President Ronald Reagan. That nomination was stalled by liberals because of his controversial defense of the Olympic Committee's right to prohibit the "Gay Olympics" from using the word "Olympics." He was nominated again by President George H.W. Bush.

Last year, Walker ruled that Prop. 8, the voter-approved ban on gay marriage, was unconstitutional. He put a stay on his own ruling, though, while the case is appealed.

The San Francisco Chronicle mentioned Walker's sexual orientation during the trial, but Walker didn't comment at the time.

He said on Wednesday that he figured everyone knew, and nobody cared.

"If you thought a judge's sexuality, ethnicity, national origin (or) gender would prevent the judge from handling a case, that's a very slippery slope," Walker said on Wednesday. "I don't think it's relevant."

While some opponents of gay marriage felt that Walker's sexuality was reason enough for him to recuse himself from the case, the plaintiffs never made the request.