Gay and lesbian judges may preside over gay rights cases and rule on same-sex marriage disputes as long as the jurists are not attempting to marry their partners, according to the nation's top experts in legal ethics.
But ethicists disagree on whether retired federal judge Vaughn R. Walker, 67, should have disclosed his 10-year relationship with his partner before presiding over the challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot measure that reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage. Walker ruled in August that the ban was unconstitutional, and his decision is now before an appeals court.
A conservative Christian group has asked a federal judge to void Walker's ruling against Proposition 8 on the grounds that he might benefit from it if he wishes to marry his partner. Although Walker is openly gay and his sexual orientation was known to lawyers in the Proposition 8 case, Walker did not publicly confirm it or disclose his long-term relationship until after he retired from the bench in February.
Complete article at Bellingham Herald : http://bit.ly/l3NYvH