Prop. 8 judge's relationship at center of appeals court hearing

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Thursday on whether a trial judge’s decision to strike down Proposition 8 should be overturned because the jurist failed to disclose he was in a long-term same-sex relationship.

During a two-hour hearing starting at 2:30 p.m., a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also will hear arguments on whether to make public the videotapes of the nearly three-week trial that led then-Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker to decide California’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the federal constitution.

Backers of the 2008 initiative to bar gay marriage have appealed Walker’s ruling on constitutional grounds. The 9th Circuit has been examining that issue for a year and is expected to rule on it within weeks.

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-- Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times

Photo: A Proposition 8 opponent stands outside the Philip Burton Federal Building before a ruling in the same-sex marriage ban in San Francisco last year. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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