Obama Nominates Second Gay Black Judge to Federal Bench

More than a year ago, Obama nominated Judge William Thomas to the Federal District Cour for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would have been the first gay black judge on the federal bench had it not been for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) who succeeded in blocking the Thomas nomination for political reasons.

GaylesNow, Obama has nominated a second out gay African-American judge to the federal bench.

Gayles' background, via the White House:

Judge Darrin P. Gayles has served as a Circuit Judge in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida since 2011.  From 2004 to 2011, he was a County Judge in the same Circuit.  From 1999 to 2004, Judge Gayles served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and from 1997 to 1999, he served as an Assistant District Counsel at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Judge Gayles began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997.  Judge Gayles received his J.D. in 1993 from George Washington University Law School and his B.A. in 1990 from Howard University. 

Gayles was endored by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund for his reelection in 2012, according to MetroWeekly.

They write:

If confirmed, Gayles, much like Thomas before him, would become the first out black man in the nation's history to serve on the federal bench. He would also be the second out African-American to serve as a federal judge. The first, Deborah Batts, was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Gayles was nominated today along with three other Florida judges to serve on U.S. District Courts.

Rubio does not take issue with any in the latest round of nominees, according to a statement.


  1. Belthazar says

    I agree w/the others. However, Rubio didn’t have a “problem” with the previous nominee (actual endorsed) until, in a craven move, he wanted to shore-up his Tea-Party credentials. Let’s hope this turns out a lot more positive.

  2. Red says

    Love that President Obama has not let GOP resistance and bigotry stop him from nominating qualified LGBT judges. And what a handsome judge he is at that!

  3. Graeco says

    He’s hot! And I love the fact that pronounced as two separate syllables, his last name really covers the bases.

  4. says

    Rubio always manages to find a way to be an ass. It’s something you can count on.

    Leahy is part of the problem. He’s old school trying to play an honors game with scoundrels. When a Republican is President the Republican head of Senate Judiciary only requires one blue slip. When a Democrat is President they changed it to two. Leahy, a Democrat, won’t change it back to one. But President Obama keeps trying. Thanks for that Prez.

    How many Federal Justices in the US?
    How many are LGBT?

  5. says

    Thanks Josh.

    .72% of the federal Justices are LGBT. Less than 1%. So at 5% of the population we’re under represented by a margin of 7 to 1.

    Heightened scrutiny.

  6. miami says

    Well played! So rare to see the Dems looking to damage future party leaders like the Reps do all the time to Demos. Given the current trends on LGBT rights this will hang around Rubio young neck in the future. FL is NOT MS, AL, LA or even TX. In 10 years this will look even worst for the young Rubio. Who would have thought that the Obama Adm really wants to make life difficult for the junior Senator from FL. Rubio is smart, clever and out of control ambitious, but he has not been doing well in DC. Watch him make his next typical move and start moving against his fellow Republicans maybe in a leadership betrayal. This is how the Rubio rolls….


    Jerry your point is? If he was some white queen you wouldn’t have said that. Read his credentials and YOU DECIDE!