Massachusetts Gets First Openly Gay High Court Justice as Panel Confirms Barbara Lenk
Following confirmation hearings that at moments featured ugly attacks from conservatives over her sexuality, Barbara Lenk was approved today for Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court and will be its first openly gay justice.
The Governor’s Council confirmed Lenk on a 5-3 vote. She is Governor Deval Patrick’s fourth appointment to the seven-member SJC, which issued the landmark 2003 ruling that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Lenk, who married her partner, Debra Krupp, after the ruling, has 18 years’ experience on the bench, a degree from Harvard Law School, and a doctorate in political philosophy from Yale. Patrick nominated her to replace Justice Judith A. Cowin, who is retiring.
Said Lenk during the hearings: "Every person who wears a judicial robe has had life experiences that leave their mark. Mine have been rich and varied, bridging many divides, and these experiences allow me to see things from many perspectives."