CA same-sex marriage ban gets another day in court

By the Associated Press | December 8, 2011 | 8:30 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The sponsors of California's gay marriage ban have renewed their effort to disqualify a federal judge because of his same-sex relationship — the first time a jurist's sexual orientation has been cited as grounds for overturning a court decision.

Lawyers for a coalition of religious conservative groups told a federal appeals court panel Thursday that now-retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have revealed that he had a long-term male partner before he presided over a trial on the measure's constitutionality.

Walker struck down the voter-approved Proposition 8 as a violation of gay Californians' civil rights.

Charles Cooper, an attorney for Proposition 8's backers, argued that the similarity of Walker's personal life to those of the same-sex couples who sued to overturn the ban put his impartiality in doubt.