Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Nominates Out Lesbian Barbara Lenk to Supreme Judicial Court

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has nominated Barbara Lenk, an openly gay associate justice of the state Appeals Court, to a seat on the state's Supreme Judicial Court, the Boston Globe reports:

Lenk If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Lenk would be the first openly gay judge on the state’s highest court, which issued the landmark 2003 ruling that made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

The nomination of Lenk comes after the governor named Roderick Ireland to be the first African-American chief justice of the SJC, and Fernande R.V. Duffly to be the first Asian-American judge on the state’s high court. Patrick has spoken of his desire to make the judiciary and other branches of government more reflective of the state's diversity.

A specialist in civil litigation and First Amendment issues, Lenk holds a doctorate in political philosophy from Yale University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Lenk would fill the seat vacated by Justice Judith A. Cowin, who is stepping down in April

Pro-Equality Justice Roderick Ireland Set to Become Chief of MA Supreme Court [tr]


  1. Patric says

    I believe this makes three state supreme court justices nominated this year by Democratic governors (Colorado and Hawai’i coming earlier), while Republicans do their best to remove pro-equality justices in Iowa. Yes, elections do matter.

  2. IonMusic says

    This is great news. Our presence needs to be balanced in the courts with justices who aim to strip us of our rights. More LGBT need to make a concious effort to enter the political arena; and given our sense of passion, compassion, wit, brains, and communication….we would serve well in that platform if more LGBT would apply themselves and go for it. That’s how you lead progress.