In a ‘quiet moment,’ gay judge makes history

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Date:

07/18/2011

"The remarkable thing about what happened on the Senate floor Monday night was that it was utterly unremarkable.

"The matter under consideration – the nomination of the first openly gay man to serve on the federal bench – would at one time have been a flashpoint in the culture wars. But Paul Oetken was confirmed without a word of objection on the Senate floor and with hardly a mention in the commentariat.

"Oetkin, by contrast, downplayed nothing about his sexual orientation: his work with Lambda Legal and the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project, or his co-authorship of a Supreme Court amicus brief opposing an anti-gay law. At his confirmation hearing, he introduced Grassley to his partner."

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