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US court upholds earlier ruling against ban on same-sex marriage

District court judge James Ware said that the judge who ruled that the gay marriage ban was conconstitutional did not have to recuse himself from the case because he was himself gay.

Image: AP Photo/Armando Franca

A US FEDERAL judge has ruled than the judge who last year struck down a ban on gay marriage in California was not obliged to absent himself from the case simply because he is in a long-term relationship with a man.

Judge Vaughn Walker revealed the ten-year-long relationship when he retired in February. He had ruled that the voter-approved ban on gay marriage under Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

Yesterday, US District Court Judge James Ware issued a 19-page ruling which said that gay judges, just like minority jurists and female judges, can be impartial in cases that might affect them. Ware upheld Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the sponsors of the ban had asked Ware to declare that Walker should never have taken the case.

The group, ProtectMarriage.com, says it intends to appeal Ware’s ruling and will “continue our tireless efforts to defend the will of the people of California to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman”.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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