You see, now that we know that yes, for sure, Vaughn Walker, the judge who presided over the Prop 8 trial, is indeed gay, and moreover has a longtime partner, proponents of the discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage believe that his decision should be thrown out, due to a supposed “conflict of interest.” Uh, yeah. Adam Serwer explains how stupid this is:
This argument is too clever by half, and relies on the same faulty argument put forth originally in defense of Prop 8: The qualitative judgment that same-sex relationships are inferior. Opponents of same-sex marriage are arguing, in effect, that because Walker was in a long term same-sex relationship, he stood to benefit personally from Prop 8 being overturned. They argue, naturally, that the issue is not Walker’s sexuality per se, but his relationship status. But by that logic the only way a gay or lesbian judge could rule impartially on matters involving gay rights is if they’re celibate.
The problem is that this same logic could be applied to a straight, married judge hearing the case. After all, supporters of the same-sex marriage ban are arguing that marriage equality is so damaging to the institution of marriage that the government has a vital interest in making sure gays and lesbians can’t get married. That means that a straight, married judge couldn’t be expected to be impartial, either — after all, according to supporters of Prop 8, “the further deinstitutionalization of marriage caused by the legalization of same-sex marriage,” would directly impact married heterosexuals. Therefore, a heterosexual, married judge could be seen as having just as much “skin in the game” as Judge Walker.
Adam points out that they wouldn’t make that argument, because, like the arrogant-yet-not-that-bright people they are, they only believe this kind of logic applies because they believe that gays and lesbians are inferior, in general:
The notion that Walker’s ruling should be vacated is built on the flimsy assumption that gays and lesbians are different from heterosexuals in a manner that justifies denying them their fundamental rights. It’s also built on an unstated but core conservative view of the courts — that judicial “impartiality” is best defined as viewing the law through the cultural prism of a heterosexual, conservative white Christian judge.
Aha! It goes right along with their notion that any judge who rules in any way they don’t like is an “activist,” because Prop 8-supporting bigots are feverishingly clinging to the notion that they, and only they, are the gatekeepers to American society. But this notion has lost a lot of currency in the mainstream of American thought. Indeed, the average American is fairly turned off by the Religious Right these days, and will only become more turned off as time goes by, because as social conservative wingnuts’ numbers continue to drop, their statements are becoming harder and harder to distinguish from the unhinged antics of the Westboro Baptist Church cult.
Amanda Marcotte sheds more light on why this argument from the wingnuts is so hilarious, and, again, stupid:
Amazing because they’re always denying this is about bigotry, and yet bigotry is the only grounds the appeal is being made on. Of course, the argument against gay marriage that’s forwarded to hide the bigotry is that it somehow threatens straight marriage, so by their own measures, straight people should be even less objective.
The underlying assumption is that non-white people, women, and gay people just count for less.
And that is the very assumption, at least about gay people, that Judge Walker found to be baseless and bigoted, and he found it in a court of law, by examining the facts, things which are completely foreign to your garden variety, anti-gay bigot.