Focus on the Family and ProtectMarriage.com yesterday reiterated that gay people are unfit to be judges, because gay people have a vested stake in every facet of law — you know, like everybody else.
Of course, that’s not how Focus worded its bigotry; the organization instead suggested that a non-celibate gay judge (for example, retired District Judge Vaughn R. Walker) should recuse himself from any case involving recognition of family relationships. But the broader ramifications of Focus’ contention were obvious to all, at a hearing held yesterday before U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware.
Ware will decide today whether Walker’s ruling, which struck down California’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, should be overturned because he failed to divulge his sexual orientation, sever ties with his partner, and forego any future relationship before issuing his ruling.
Yesterday, Ware bluntly questioned the Christian Right’s implicit contention that black judges should recuse themselves from civil rights cases, and that female judges (who are at higher risk of sexual assault) should recuse themselves from assault cases.
Ware also indicated that he was likely to deny the Christian Right’s demand that video coverage of the previous Prop 8 trial under Vaughn Walker be surrendered to the court for permanent suppression.
Focus on the Family admitted none of this news in its summary of the proceeding. Instead, Focus quoted Ed Whelan, president of the so-called “Ethics and Public Policy Center.” Whelan contended that it is appropriate for members of a majority to have a stake in the seizure of others’ rights — but inappropriate for a minority to have an equal stake in preserving the rights of all.
Focus said it fears that, if the public gains access to video of the original trial proceedings, the Christian Right might be “exposed to harassment” (embarrassment) at the hands of “gay activists.” The organizations that favor marriage equality, however, contend that public exposure of the trial testimony — and the poor in-court performance of the Christian Right witnesses — would be more damaging to the antigay alliance than any activist press release.
While Focus and its allies in the alliance maintain a united public front, their influence among other conservatives may be fading along with their courtroom credibility. The conservative Fox News rejected Focus’ ridiculous assertions. Guest host Gregg Jarrett and Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano both agreed that the Christian Right case against Walker is without merit.
DISCUSS: Should Jewish and atheist judges be required to convert to evangelical Christianity before ruling on matters of minority religious freedom?