SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lawyers are aggressively contesting claims that the federal judge who overturned California's gay marriage ban was biased because he has been in a long-term relationship with another man.
The lawyers, who represent two gay couples who sued to end the ban, filed legal papers Friday arguing that "factually groundless" speculation that now-retired Judge Vaughn Walker wants to marry his partner and therefore would benefit from his own ruling is insufficient evidence to vacate the decision.
The religious coalition that sponsored Proposition 8 has asked Walker's successor as chief federal trial judge in San Francisco to rule that Walker should have disqualified himself from considering the case or at least disclosed his same-sex relationship before he ruled.
Judge James Ware has scheduled a June 13 hearing on the request.
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