Federal judge’s refusal to overturn Prop 8 judge’s ruling appealed

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Proposition 8 proponents made good today on their promise to appeal Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware’s June 14 decision holding in place his retired colleague’s ruling last year to invalidate the law banning same-sex marriage in California.

Attorneys for Prop. 8 filed their appeal this afternoon before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court that is hearing an appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling last August that the law unconstitutionally violated the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

Earlier this year, Prop. 8 sponsors had asked Ware, Walker’s replacement as chief justice, to throw out Walker’s ruling because of an interview he did with reporters in April, after his retirement, during which he discussed his long-term relationship with a gay man. They argued that Walker should have disclosed the relationship and whether he intended to marry before last year’s trial.

Attorneys for the same-sex couples who sued over Prop. 8 argued at the time that the motion was “frivolous” and “offensive.”

Ware denied the motion, saying there was no federal precedent for disqualifying a judge solely because he shares a characteristic, such as sexual orientation, with a litigant.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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