Good news out today, a U.S. District Court Judge upheld a former colleague's ruling on California's Prop 8. The federal judge ruled that there was no evidence the previous judge was prejudiced in the case. Those in favor of Prop 8 had raised questions about the judge's ability to impartially decide the controversial question of same-sex marriage due to his homosexuality.
To be fair, the exact argument was that should the judge 'ever might' want to marry his partner he had an 'interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding'. Of course it is another standard of independence that no one may be a judge in their own case or have a stake in the proceedings against before him.
I think that the main point of the ruling today is well summed up as follows: "The presumption that [the judge], by virtue of being in a same-sex relationship, had a desire to be married that rendered him incapable of making an impartial decision, is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief... On the contrary: it is reasonable to presume that a female judge or a judge in a same-sex relationship is capable of rising above any personal predisposition and deciding such a case on the merits."