Lambda Legal Applauds Historic Confirmation of First Openly Lesbian Chief Justice in the Country to Puerto Rico Supreme Court

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February 23, 2016

Late yesterday, the Puerto Rico Senate confirmed Associate Justice Maite Oronoz Rodriguez as Chief Justice of the commonwealth’s highest court. She will be the first openly LGBT chief justice in the country.

The confirmation of Maite Oronoz Rodríguez as the first openly LGBT Chief Justice in Puerto Rico and the United States makes history, breaks barriers, and marks a momentous step towards achieving a judiciary that reflects full and rich diversity of our country.  A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, it boosts public confidence in the courts.

In June 2014, Lambda Legal praised Oronoz Rodriguez’s confirmation as an Associate Justice on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court after we 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.

We are pleased with the Puerto Rico Senate’s decision to swiftly confirm now-Chief Justice Oronoz Rodríguez to the Commonwealth’s highest court. We hope that the United States Senate will act as responsibly and swiftly in considering President Obama’s nominee to the current vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

Read the press release.