Lambda Legal Hails Nomination of First Openly Lesbian Chief Justice in the Country to Puerto Rico Supreme Court

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February 12, 2016
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla nominated Associate Justice Maite Oronoz Rodriguez as Chief Justice of the commonwealth’s highest court. She would be the first openly LGBT chief justice in the country.

Read Lambda Legal’s Puerto Rico resource page.

Lambda Legal released the following statement from Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan:

With this nomination, Maite Oronoz Rodriguez makes judicial history; not just in Puerto Rico, but for the entire country. This is a significant step forward towards achieving a judiciary that reflects the growing diversity of our country.

We are pleased with Governor García Padilla’s decision and applaud this important moment in Puerto Rico. For the judicial system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the full range of our country's rich diversity. It is critical that the judiciary be composed of judges who truly represent and understand the issues faced by all of the people affected by its rulings, including LGBT people. A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts.

In June 2014, we praised Oronoz Rodriguez’s confirmation as an Associate Justice on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court after Lambda Legal sent Gov. García Padilla a letter urging him to ensure that any potential nominee’s judicial philosophy includes a commitment to rule fairly and impartially in cases involving LGBT and HIV-positive litigants and to seek thoughtful jurists who reflect Puerto Rico’s rich diversity. 

Courts matter to the LGBT community in Puerto Rico and across the country. We must care about the courts if we care about our rights, our families, our neighbors and our society. We look forward to continuing our work in Puerto Rico on behalf of LGBT people and those living with HIV.