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Oetken is considered the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate for a seat on an Article III court.
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, yesterday praised the Senate for confirming Paul Oetken to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Oetken is considered the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate for a seat on an Article III court.
“We commend the Senate for their historic vote," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Paul Oetken serves as a role model for all LGBT people interested in serving on the judiciary and his confirmation shows LGBT youth that hard work pays off."
Judge Deborah Batts, who currently sits on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is considered the first openly gay woman to be confirmed for a seat on an Article III court. She was appointed to the bench during the Clinton Administration. Prior to Mr. Oetken’s confirmation, she was considered the only LGBT individual serving openly on an Article III court. Now, the Southern District of New York will have the only two openly-gay Article III judges in the nation.
“The federal bench is greatly lacking LGBT diversity and with thousands of qualified LGBT attorneys in the U.S., there is no reason why the federal bench should not better reflect the composition of our country.”
HRC has advocated for Mr. Oetken’s confirmation since his nomination including a letter of support from January of this year.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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