News

Retired Prop. 8 judge says same-sex marriage's time has come

U.S. Supreme Court could decide not to review the Proposition 8 case, he adds

The now-retired federal judge who struck down Proposition 8 said at a meeting in San Francisco Thursday he thinks same-sex marriage is "an idea whose time has come."

Former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker made the comment at the end of a Commonwealth Club lecture in answer to an audience member's request for his view on the future of gay marriage in American society.

"It does seem to me the notion of people deciding to get married without regard to gender is an idea whose time has come and that eventually will be accepted," Walker said.

"It seems to me that will eventually be the outcome," he said.

Walker, who retired last year, ruled in 2010 that California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution's

guarantees of equal protection and due process. The measure was enacted by state voters in 2008.

In February, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Walker's conclusion by a 2-1 vote, but on narrower grounds

that would apply only to California's situation.

The appeals panel said Proposition 8 treated gays and lesbians unfairly by taking away their previously granted right to marry without any

reasonable justification. Same-sex marriage was legal in California for several months before the initiative was passed in November 2008.

Proposition 8's sponsors have now appealed for a reconsideration of the case by an 11-judge panel of the appeals court. After the appeals court rules on that request, the next step could be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Asked for his prediction on the final outcome of the case, Walker said he's not sure whether it will reach the high court.

"My decision was affirmed by the 9th Circuit on narrower grounds than those on which I decided. Like any judge who is affirmed, I'm happy to take that," Walker said.

But "there is some question whether Proposition 8 will go to the Supreme Court," he continued.

"The Supreme Court could decide not to review the Proposition 8 case" because of the narrowness of the 9th Circuit ruling, Walker said.

Walker, 67, joined the federal court in 1989 after being nominated by President George H.W. Bush. After retiring in February 2011, he returned to private practice in San Francisco, specializing in mediation, arbitration and complex litigation.

The main topic of Walker's talk was the current state of law practice, which he said has changed greatly over the past two decades because of advances in computer technology, law firm mergers and greater control by clients over their cases, among other factors.

"In a way, I feel a little bit like Rip Van Winkle," Walker joked, in a reference to the fictional colonial character who fell asleep for 20 years and woke up to discover the American Revolution had taken place.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tennessee Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 20, 2012 at 7:18 am

So he was..."like" asleep for those 20 years on the bench? And to think I stood-up for this dolt when the heat was on him to recuse himself before the Prop8 trial began.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 8:36 am

Yes! Thank god that same-sex marriage is continuing to move closer to reality.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mae
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

It is time we all get over this and let it happen!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Andrew M.
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

You know who can't wait for same sex unions to become legal? Divorce attorneys.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mort
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Long overdue


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Charlie brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Soon, Snoppy and I can tie the knot, why not?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by darn
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Charlie brown (aka Rick Santorum) go take your hate somewhere else. As for your question: a human who loves another human that just happens to be the same gender is not even close to bestiality. Here's a helpful infographic for you: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sybil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Darn , you apparently haven't seen the group dykes on bikes. Not only are they beasts, they always look angry......I thought they just wanted love, but they are out to mess people up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mittens
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

What about taking on multiple wives though? Heavens sakes, can't we all get along? I think it should be left up to the states. In Utah, for example. As long as you can show you wear magic happy underpants you should be able to have as many wives as you please. File this under religious freedom. Obama is a nice guy but he's in over his head.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

At our current time in history, marriage is a contract. In the past it may have had other meanings or intentions, such as to bind warring or competing families or countries together. But at this point in time Marriage is a contract. Remove the word marriage, or change the word to something else and you are left with the simple fact that the resulting action is a legal binding contract executed between two parties with specific rights, expectations and responsibilities. People must apply to the government for permission to enter the contract. Sometimes this permission is denied. Most times it is granted. Upon receiving permission to establish the contract, the parties then move towards executing to the contract. Often the execution is conducted with personal selected rituals such as meeting in a church, declaring your commitment in front of family and friends, or more privately like standing next to Elvis. And this is generally followed in celebrated with family and friends. However, there is no requirement for any such ritual or celebration to occur for the commitment to be made and the contract put into force. Once the contract has been established, the parties must abide by its terms and expectations and in turn will receive the rights and shared benefits of the contract. These include changing names and acting together as one. Creating an estate. Building wealth. Living life. Making decisions together. Making decisions for each other if one becomes unable to do so individually. Parties who act together as if a contract existed, even though no specific contract was entered into, will after a certain period of time be recognized and deemed by the common laws of our country to be existing and operating under this contract. And, if the parties decide the arrangement isn't suiting them, then they must apply to the government for permission to dissolve the contract and settle their debts and gains equitably.

This is a simple issue of contract. Currently managed and controlled by government entities. As such, I believe the government must act equally and equitably the same to all applying parties, without discrimination. We can not have freedom in a society where certain members are excluded from receiving the rights and benefits of contracts that other members receive without question. Where will we be if the government declares that the color of your hair, or the color of your skin, or your sex determines who may enter into contracts, who may own property, who may get a drivers license, or which people will attend which schools? Where will we be? We can not justify such actions, such decisions, by saying, "its tradition". Years ago, back in our history, slavery was tradition. Years ago, back in our history, your right to vote was determined by your sex, and that was tradition. Years ago, back in our history, your education was decided by the color of you skin, and that became tradition, and habit as well. We have slowly turned some things around. The contract issue is another one that needs turning. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter how populist or unpopular an issue may be. The government is required in all cases treat the people equally, fairly and equitably. I say, if you apply for permission to enter into the contract, your body parts, matching or not, should not be factored in, any more than the color or your hair, or the color of your eyes. Right is right and wrong is wrong.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mitten
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

It's sad to watch AIDs related dementia take the life and logic away from this once coherent judge. He is unwittingly making the case for those moralists who have been combatting the demise of the institution of marriage. At least he retired, not a minute too soon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mittens
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Mitten, you nasty kitten; you've lost one of your mittens ... advanced stages of dementia perhaps? That's okay, a GOP president was in the advanced stages through most of his presidency.

Heavens, with so many unwed mothers traipsing around on welfare -- and you really can't fire them, as much as I'd like to -- can't we just marry them off to all the magic happy underpants guys in Utah? My own wife has had to work sooooo hard during her life, we could always use another set of hands for washing her two Caddies. We feel blessed to have lived as we have, my wife slaving away in the kitchen and me slaving away at the hedge fund company. Most patriotic Americans have never known such work! At all!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reese Davis
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Apr 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

How did homosexuals ever get the idea that they had any rights
that are inalienable? Who told them that? Don't they understand
that they only have the rights that decent people care to dole
out to them? What on earth is the matter with queers?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mitten
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Reese, there's not enough room on his topic to fully answer all of your questions, but good questions they are. Only in calif. would such perversion be considered acceptable or tolerable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mittens
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Absolutely. There's no room for rational discussion when there's so much hatred to distribute across the board. Suffice it to say that people don't act perverted like that in Utah. We know how to be intolerant of such abominations. Our happy magic underpants protect us from such devilish temptations.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm

mittens doesn't wear underpants...fess up!


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