Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker
Comes Out as a Gay Man

(Judge Vaughn Walker, left, with Brett Andrews, a platonic friend and AIDS executive, on May 17, 2010, at a gay restaurant in the Castro district. Credit: Michael Petrelis.)

From Reuters today:

Former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who retired from the bench at the end of February, said it would not be appropriate for any judge's sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin or gender to stop them from presiding over a case. ...

The talk to a handful of reporters was Walker's first public comments to reporters about presiding over the lawsuit challenging to Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California. Walker struck down the ban as unconstitutional, and the case is currently on appeal.

It was also the first time Walker publicly acknowledged his own sexual orientation. Walker said he has been in a relationship with the man for 10 years. "He is a physician," Walker said. ...

From my post of July 3, 2009:

The moment I saw the photo of Walker in the BAR, my gaydar's bells and whistles went off. Once I was allowed into the courtroom, took a seat and observed Walker in action, I was convinced the judge was a gay man.

His chipper demeanor, and low-key humor that several times set off loud laughter from lawyers and spectators, gave me the feeling Walker would make an excellent entertainer at a gay piano bar for refined mature gentlemen. ...

From my May 17, 2010, guest post at the SF Appeal about seeing Walker in a gay restaurant:

With a smile on my face, I approached their table, nodded acknowledgment to Brett, then extended my right hand to Walker, who was grinning and quite relaxed. (Was it the drinks that put him at such ease?)

The brief conversation started thus:

MP: "Hello, Judge Walker, I'm -- "

VW: "Hi Michael."

MP: "I wanna ask you something. Will you come out?"

VW: "Come out?"

MP: "Yeah, come out."

BA: "Do you mean come out for some socializing?"

MP: "Oh, okay. Whatever. I just hope you do the right thing. Have a good night." ...

What else can I say on this day, when Judge Walker finally and officially steps out of the closet, except the obvious? Welcome to the out-of-closet community.

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