Monday, 8 February 2010

Perry v Schwarzenegger: Judge Walker Outed

Only in California. Yes, the judge at the heart of the Perry v Schwarzenegger trial has been outed. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a piece yesterday that opened with: 'The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage being heard in San Francisco is that the federal judge who will decide the case, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, is himself gay.'

Such a statement invariably avoids any accusation of 'outing' in the way that Matthew Parris famously outed Peter Mandelson on Newsnight by saying 'he most certainly is gay' and later stating that he thought everyone knew (it turned out, we didn't). BTW - if anyone can find a clip of this, I'll add it to the post. So too, were those of us who don't live in SF and listen to the socio-legal gossip grape vine surprised by the news. Personally I was gutted. I thought Judge Walker has been an outstanding judge thus far, fair and asking some excellent questions of both sides. If he now comes to the view that prop 8 should be overturned, it will be inevitably rubbished as a 'gay judge' who was biased all along. If he decides that prop 8 should be upheld, many will accuse him of being a traitor. He is, quite simply, screwed no matter what he does. On the plus side, we now have another (sort of) out judge which I guess must be a good thing.

Blogs outside California will be increasingly picking up on this story and I suspect the European dailies will also start picking up on the story. One other judge, interviewed in the Chronicle piece put it rather well when he repeated the question "Is it newsworthy?" and replied (whilst laughing) , "Yes."

Share this:

Copyright © 2014 Law and Sexuality. Designed by OddThemes | Distributed By Gooyaabi Templates