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First openly gay U.S. attorney begins job in Seattle

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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Jenny DurkanThe new top federal prosecutor in Seattle knows the significance her role carries for many people: she’s the nation’s first openly gay U.S. attorney.

Gay rights activists say her appointment reflects a growing acceptance in the U.S. as well as the attitude of President Barack Obama’s administration. Earlier this month, Obama nominated an openly gay police sergeant to be the U.S. marshal in Minneapolis; she would be the first openly gay U.S. marshal.

Lambda Legal, a national organization that promotes equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, says it knows of no other openly gay U.S. attorneys in the nation’s 93 judicial districts.

“We see it as really sort of a respectful acknowledgment that it is important to have all sorts of people represented in government,” Lambda Legal spokesman Jason Perez Howe said.

Before being confirmed by the Senate a month ago, Durkan, 51, performed a wide variety of civil litigation and criminal defense work, and was active in bar associations. In 2002 she traveled to Morocco to train female candidates for parliament.

Full story, AP via KOMO-TV.

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