Openly lesbian appeals court judge Barbara Lenk on Wednesday was confirmed to the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court, making her the first openly gay justice in the state.
Lenk’s nomination was approved in a 5-3 vote by the Governor’s Council despite fiery debate within the council over some social conservatives’ unfounded suggestion that she would push a “gay agenda” in the court.
LGBT equality advocates hailed Lenk’s confirmation as a triumph of fairness and rationality over reactionary, extremist political views.
“We’re very pleased that so many councilors rose above the prejudice and vitriolic anti-gay comments they have heard recently to vote for a nominee who is clearly very well qualified,” said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus.[if gte vml 1]>
Lenk is a Queens, N.Y., native who married her partner in Mass. after its highest court ruled in favor of marriage equality and made the state the first in the nation to allow gay couples to wed.