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New York’s Failla Commission Salutes Judge William Thom

Photo of Judge William ThomJune 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 of New York State Courts, commemorated the 45th anniversary of the New York Court of Appeals decision that allowed the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund to incorporate, as well as that Court’s decision allowing a man with a sodomy conviction to be admitted to the New York Bar. 

In his remarks, Judge Thom recalled the history of these decisions and his appointment to the bench by Mayor Edward I. Koch. Speakers included Commission Co-chair Justice Marcy Kahn, Justice Rosalyn Richter, Judge Paul Feinman of the New York State Court of Appeals, and Justice Michael Sonberg. (The New York Gay City News’ June 21st article, Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal, gives a fuller account of the celebration and remarks.)

Photo of Matthew Skinner, Failla Commission Executive Director, Justice Rosalyn Richter, Judge William Thom, Justice Marcy Kahn, Justice Deborah Kaplan; Justice Paul Feinman, Rachel Tiven, Lambda Legal CEO, and Justice Michael Sonberg

Failla Commission Executive Director Matthew Skinner, Justice Rosalyn Richter, Judge William Thom, Justice Marcy Kahn, Lambda Legal CEO Rachel Tiven, Judge Paul Feinman, Justice Deborah Kaplan, and Justice Michael Sonberg

In addition to Co-Chair Justice Marcy Kahn, the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission includes a number of members of our Association. Our President, Judge Daniel J. Anders, was on hand to represent the IALGBTJ.