The ink was hardly dry on Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in the Proposition 8 marriage case before opponents started attacking the judge personally.
Rather than critique the legal reasoning in the decision, they chose to denounce him as a gay judge.
Maggie Gallagher, chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that helped fund Proposition 8, condemned Judge Walker as "an openly gay federal judge substituting his views for those of the American people and of our Founding Fathers."
Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, went further, calling for Congress to launch impeachment proceedings — on the ground that the judge is a "practicing homosexual" whose "judgment is clearly compromised by his own sexual proclivity."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
Wildmon called the judge a "black-robed tyrant whose own lifestyle choices make it impossible to believe he could be impartial. His situation is no different than a judge who owns a porn studio being asked to rule on an anti-pornography statute."
Bryan Fischer, AFA's issues director, went further. Judge Walker, he said, is "Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office."
For several years, proponents of Proposition 8 have claimed their main goal is to protect traditional marriage, not promote discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Statements by Fischer, Wildmon and others suggest otherwise. At least part of this coalition seems to be actively working to ensure that gays and lesbians remain second-class citizens.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.