News

First Openly Gay State Supreme Court Justice to Retire

September 13, 2018 (Portland Tribune)—Justice Rives Kistler, who became the first openly LGBT state supreme court justice in the nation when he was appointed in 2003, will retire from the Oregon Supreme Court on December 31. Kistler announced his retirement Monday, September 10, in a letter...

Judge Helen Whitener Named Co-chair of Minority & Justice Commission

September 21, 2018 (Pierce County, WA)—Pierce County Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener has been elected co-chair of the Washington Supreme Court Minority and Justice Commission, taking up the position after longtime co-chair, Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson, chose to step down. Justice Johnson served on...

Philadelphia Celebrates National Coming Out Day with LGBTQ Wedding Event

October 11, 2018 (Philadelphia City Hall)—Mayor Jim Kenney, Director for the Office of LGBT Affairs Amber Hikes, City Representative Sheila Hess, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell were joined by esteemed LGBTQ+ judges Daniel Anders, Ann Butchart and Barbara McDermott, and LGBTQ+...

Lesbian Sworn In as Alameda County Court Commissioner

August 29, 2018 (Bay Area Reporter)—In a packed courtroom at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland Friday, August 24, lesbian former research attorney Bentrish Satarzadeh was publicly sworn in as an Alameda County court commissioner. Numerous judges, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, California Court...

First LGBT Judge Named to Sonoma County Court

July 11, 2018 (Bay Area Reporter)—California Governor Jerry Brown has named the first known LGBT judge to the Sonoma County Superior Court. Barbara Phelan, 57, a lesbian attorney who lives in Glen Ellen, was appointed by Brown in late June to fill a vacancy on the...

Tennessee Judge Rachel Bell Got Married and Came Out

June 3, 2018 (Out & About Nashville)—Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Rachel L. Bell married Dorsha James, an emergency room doctor, this past February in a small, intimate ceremony. The two knew they would host a larger, more public event in June because, in...

New York’s Failla Commission Salutes Judge William Thom

June 19, 2018 (New York)—New York's first openly gay judge, William Thom, was honored at a forum entitled July 3, 1973: The Day the Court of Appeals Made Pride Possible in New York. The Pride Month event, hosted by the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission...