Lambda Legal Applauds Historic Same-Day Senate Confirmation of Two Openly Gay Nominees to the Federal Bench

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June 17, 2014
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Today, the U.S. Senate made judicial history by confirming Darrin Gayles to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and Staci Yandle to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, marking the first time that two openly gay judicial nominees have been confirmed to the federal bench on the same day.

President Obama has already nominated more African-American judges and openly gay and lesbian judges than any of his predecessors. With this historic confirmation, Darrin Gayles will become the nation's first openly gay African-American man to serve on the federal bench, while Staci Yandle becomes the second openly lesbian African-American woman to be confirmed in the 20 years since President Clinton nominated Deborah Batts to the Southern District of New York.

Today, it is more important than ever that our courts reflect the growing diversity of our country, but we have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are white men. Federal courts are charged with providing everyone with equal access to justice, and yet justice has not always been a reality for some. A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts.

Read the press release.