In Memoriam

Honorable Carolyn Archbold
Judge, 29th District Court, City of Wayne, Michigan
(Judicial Service: 1985-2003)

Judge Carolyn Archbold loved living at Hubbard Lake, Michigan, and frequently traveled Africa and Asia. Beloved to many, Judge Archbold is remembered as a good friend and positive role model.

Judge Archbold was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

The Wayne Dispatch
Honorable John Barnich
Judge, Municipal Court, Houston, TX
(Judicial Service: 1999-2007)

Judge John Barnich was the first openly gay judge appointed to the municipal court in Texas. He is remembered by friends as "A wonderful, kind person. A character," while having a "...sense of humor that was very unique."

Judge Barnich was also a strong figure in the anti-HIV stigma movement, and served as the board chairman of the Houston AIDS Foundation, Inc.

Texas Obituary Project
Honorable Deborah Batts
New York
Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District, NY
(Judicial Service: 1994-2020)

Judge Deborah Batts was the first openly lesbian federal judge at the time of her appointment by President Bill Clinton in 1994. In a life of firsts, Judge Batts is also remembered for being the first African American faculty member at Fordham University. She is described as a "relentless stalwart for justice...[who] will be deeply the courthouse and across the legal community."

The New York Times, Time, Lambda Legal
Honorable Daniel Brenner
Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 2012-2016)

Remembered as a "brilliant judge and lawyer," Judge Daniel Brenner was appointed to the bench by Governor Jerry Brown of California in 2012.

In addition to his service as a judge, he was also a lecturer and sat on the faculties of multiple universities.

Los Angeles Times
Honorable Sandra Butler Smith
Judge, Superior Court, San Joaquin County, CA
(Judicial Service: 1985-?)

Most remembered for her strong devotion to children and any type of juvenile injustice, Judge Sandra Butler Smith was a beloved teacher, wife, mother, district attorney, author, writer, artist, speaker, superior court judge and foster parent.

Record Net, Marshall Town High School
Honorable Herbert Donaldson
Judge, California Superior Court, San Francisco, CA
(Judicial Service: 1983-1999, 2003-2007)

An altruist at heart, Judge Herbert Donaldson loved being recognized as the first openly gay judge in San Francisco.

Also remembered as a “renaissance man,” Judge Donaldson once ventured into a side business in coffee shop ownership and coffee bean wholesaling.

Judge Donaldson was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

Honorable Richard (Dick) Failla
New York
Justice, New York Supreme Court, New York City
(Judicial Service: 1985-1993)

Judge Dick Failla started his legal career in the military, where he served as a lieutenant in the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps for five years. While stationed in the Philippines and in Vietnam, he often volunteered to defend sailors who were facing discharge due to their sexual orientation.

Judge Failla was the first openly gay person appointed to the New York City Criminal Court as well as the first openly gay person elected to the New York State Supreme Court. Judge Failla also served as vice president of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the late 1980s.

The New York Times, NY Courts, Columbia University
Honorable Barry D. Kohn
Commissioner, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 1981-2011)

Remembered for his devoted friendship, there was no task too small nor large for Judge Kohn, who served on the Los Angeles bench for the better part of three decades.

Judge Kohn was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

Metropolitan News-Enterprise
Honorable Jerold A. Krieger
Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 1982-2002)

Co-founder of the world's first gay and lesbian synagogue, Judge Jerold Krieger was a well-known, openly gay judge, who was most notably remembered for his service as Chairperson of the Sexual Orientation Fairness Subcommittee of the California Judicial Council's Access and Fairness Advisory Committee.

Judge Krieger was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

Honorable Robert F. Kumor, Jr.
Justice, District Court, Springfield, MA
(Judicial Service: 1990-2009)

Judge Robert Kumor tried it all. He can be equally remembered for his time as a mayor, marine, judge, and teenage television game show contestant (and many more).

Judge Kumor is popularly remembered as a loving mentor, and for his aptitude, intelligence, and friendliness.

Mass Live, Boston.Com
Honorable Cira A. Martinez
New York
Judge, Family Court, Kings County, NY
(Judicial Service: 1992-1999)

Judge Cira Martinez, supervising judge of the Bronx Family court, is remembered for her fierce devotion to children and tirelessly advocating for the underprivileged.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Judge Martinez started her career in the court system as a court interpreter, before she became a lawyer. She was the first Hispanic woman to graduate from Fordham University’s School of Law, and was later the first Hispanic woman appointed to the Bronx family court.

Judge Martinez was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

The New York Times, Fordham Law Review
Honorable T. (Tracey) Edward Page
Magistrate Judge, Superior Court, Lake County, IN
(Judicial Service: 1984-2000)

Judge Tracey Page is described as a "well-respected judge, attorney, and resident who will be sorely missed," and was also known as "a lawyer's lawyer, a very compassionate person and a good man."

Judge Page will be remembered as an extrovert with a love for traveling and a knack for getting to know a new person within minutes. He was a car enthusiast, and also an avid birdwatcher who loved spending afternoons on his porch watching birds fly by.

Judge Page was a founding board member of the IALGBTQJ.

Judges.Org, Legacy.Com
Honorable Gina Quijano
British Columbia, Canada
Judge, Supreme Court, Victoria, BC
(Judicial Service: 1995-2005)

A respected counsel in the field of family law and civil litigation, Judge Gina Quijano is remembered as a committed lawyer, judge, birdwatcher, photographer, and amusing raconteur.

For 10 remarkable years, she brought to the bench her renowned integrity, humor, fairness, common sense, and good judgment.

Généalogie Quebec, Vancouver Sun
Honorable Robert Sandoval
Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 2001-2006)

Judge Robert Sandoval is remembered as "evenhanded and efficient," and as an advocate for unequivocal fairness in the judicial process. As a Municipal Court commissioner in Hollywood, Sandoval ended the practice of announcing in open court the results of AIDS testing, which was required for people charged with prostitution.

Judge Sandoval and his partner were among the first gay male couples to adopt a child in Los Angeles.

Judge Sandoval was a founding member of the IALGBTQJ.

Wikipedia, San Diego Tribune, LA Times
Honorable Rand Schrader
Judge, Municipal Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 1980-1993)

Judge Rand Schrader was the first openly gay staffperson to work in the Los Angeles City Attorney's office. The LA County supervisor appointed Judge Schrader to the Los Angeles County AIDS Commission in 1987; he served as its chairman from 1989-1991.

In an attempt increase AIDS awareness and to combat discrimination and misinformation, Schrader publicly announced in 1991 that he had been diagnosed with AIDS.

Wikipedia, Gay Influence
Honorable Matt St. George
Commissioner, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 2009-2019)

Judge Matthew St. George is described as “a true trailblazer ...always with a sparkle in his eye."

In addition to founding the Gay and Lesbian Student Group at Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Judge St. George was also one of the early leaders of Lawyers for Human Rights, now the Los Angeles LGBT Bar Association.

In 2004, Judge St. George championed a measure in favor of California's early adoption of same-sex marriage.

Met News
Honorable G. Keith Wisot
Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
(Judicial Service: 1981-1994)

A doting father, grandfather, husband, and brother, Judge Keith Wisot enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his family and large circle of colleagues and friends.

Judge Wisot was also active in many bar associations, including the Lawyers for Human Rights.

Judge Wisot was a founding board member of the IALGBTQJ.

Honorable Jason Worth
New York
Judge, Housing Court, Brooklyn, NY
(Judicial Service: ?-1995)

Judge Jason Worth used his HIV diagnosis as an opportunity to advance HIV/AIDS workers' representation and rights.

On days when his illness prevented him from traveling, he used a telephone equipped with a television to handle settlement conferences from home.

The New York Times

If you know of anybody missing from this page, or have any additional information, please contact Judge Dan Anders at