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Ga. judge involved in 2007 controversial lesbian custody dispute resigns over ethics probe

A Wilkinson County judge who in 2007 attempted to strip custody of a 7-year old girl from a lesbian because he believed homosexuality is immoral recently resigned after an ethics probe was opened to look into allegations he "allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests."

Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott, 63, of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit turned in his notice of resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal on May 19; it was effective immediately. Parrott served 24 years on the bench.

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U.S. Senate confirms first openly gay federal judge

J. Paul OetkenThe United States Senate, for the first time, confirmed an openly gay man to serve as a federal judge. J. Paul Oetken was nominated by President Obama in January and was confirmed by a vote of 80 to 13 on July 18. A simple majority was needed for confirmation.

Oetken will sit on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who recommended Oetken to President Obama, praised Oetken on the floor of the Senate prior to the confirmation vote.

“Paul is not just an excellent candidate,” Schumer said. “As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge and to serve on the federal bench, he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades.”

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Karen Handel ‘sick and tired’ of liberal judges

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel sounded off today on the ruling overturning California’s Proposition 8. Handel took to Twitter to denounce the ruling:

sick and tired of liberal judges subverting the will of the people to push their left wing agenda.

Handel must be forgetting that Judge Vaughn R. Walker was appointed to the seat by George H.W. Bush and not Bill Clinton.

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Prop 8 victory, but stayed

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Wednesday that California’s ballot measure banning same-sex marriage violates the federal constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process of law. A few minutes after issuing the decision, Walker also issued a temporary stay of its impact and directed attorneys challenging the initiative to respond to request by August 6.

The 136-page decision, which has been much anticipated by both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, says supporters of Proposition 8 failed to establish any rational or legitimate reason for prohibiting same-sex couples from having marriage licenses.