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Bar Association weighs in on Judge Walker coverage

September 2, 2010 | 12:06 pm

Arturo J. Gonzalez, president of the Bar Assn. of San Francisco, responds to The Times' argument for stating the sexual orientation of the judge who declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional:

I disagree with Times Assistant Managing Editor David Lauter's claim that the sexual orientation of Northern District of California Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is relevant to the paper's reporting on the federal Proposition 8 case Walker adjudicated.

Lauter states that judges "bring the totality of their life experience to the cases on which they rule. As a result, certain aspects of their humanity are relevant to note in news stories."

... Indeed, if this "totality of life experience" were so relevant to The Times, why did it not report on the sexual orientation of the heterosexual trial court judge who originally struck down the same-sex marriage ban in 2005, finding that it violated the California Constitution prior to its amending by Proposition 8?

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