The Prop 8 Trial (Non) Secret That No One Talked About Until Now. – Judge Vaughn Walker Is Gay.

Thats right.  Judge Vaughn Walker, the man in charge of deciding the fate of  Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Prop 8 Trial) is GAY!

This is the biggest NON SECRET of the trial.  Walkers sexual preference was and has been really no secret since well before the trial and it’s only NOW that the media is beggining to pick up on it and report it.  Regardless of the fact that  the Prop 8 case was assigned to Walker at random, and Walker has ruled against gays in cases past.  National Center for Lesbian Rights head Kate Kendell thinks the judge’s sexuality will likely be brought up by Prop 8 supporters should they lose the case, a notion that general counsel for the Prop 8 side Andrew Pugno denies.  But objections to the ruling if the Prop 8 supporters lose because of the judge’s sexuality seem unlikely to get very far legally.  But will be more hyperbole homophobic propaganda.


Walker has declined to talk about anything involving the Prop. 8 case outside court, and he wouldn’t comment to us when we asked about his orientation and whether it was relevant to the lawsuit.

Many San Francisco gays still hold Walker in contempt for a case he took when he was a private attorney, when he represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in a successful bid to keep San Francisco’s Gay Olympics from infringing on its name.

“Life is full of irony,” the judge replied when we reminded him about that episode.

And did he have any concerns about being characterized as gay?

“No comment.”

Shortly after our conversation, we heard from a federal judge who counts himself as a friend and confidant of Walker’s. He said he had spoken with Walker and was concerned that “people will come to the conclusion that (Walker) wants to conceal his sexuality.”

“He has a private life and he doesn’t conceal it, but doesn’t think it is relevant to his decisions in any case, and he doesn’t bring it to bear in any decisions,” said the judge, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the Prop. 8 trial.

“Is it newsworthy?” he said of Walker’s orientation, and laughed. “Yes.”

He said it was hard to ignore the irony that “in the beginning, when (Walker) sought to be a judge, a major obstacle he had to overcome was the perception that he was anti-gay.”




The far-right shit rag The National Review is already calling for Walker to step down. The linked editorial cites Walker’s attempt to have the trial televised, then closes with this:

Take Walker’s failure to decide the case, one way or the other (as other courts have done in similar cases), as a matter of law and his concocting of supposed factual issues to be decided at trial. Take the incredibly intrusive discovery, grossly underprotective of First Amendment associational rights, that Walker authorized into the internal communications of the Prop 8 sponsors—a ruling overturned, in part, by an extraordinary writ of mandamus issued by a Ninth Circuit panel consisting entirely of Clinton appointees. Take Walker’s insane and unworkable inquiry into the subjective motivations of the more than seven million Californians who voted in support of Prop 8. Take Walker’s permitting a parade of anti-Prop 8 witnesses at trial who gave lengthy testimony that had no conceivable bearing on any factual or legal issues in dispute but who provided useful theater for the anti-Prop 8 cause. And so on. Walker’s entire course of conduct has only one sensible explanation: that Walker is hellbent to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. Given his manifest inability to be impartial, Walker should have recused himself from the beginning, and he remains obligated to do so now.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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