The judge who ruled that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional said he never considered his sexual orientation a reason to recuse himself from the case.

The Advocate reports U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker, who retired in February, said judges’ own attributes, such as sexual orientation, race, or religion, should never influence their ability to preside over a case.

In the interview Walker also acknowledged that he is gay and has been in a in a relationship with a physician for the past decade.

Walker spent years working at a top law firm in San Francisco before President George H.W. Bush nominated him for the federal bench in 1989.

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