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Hawaii governor appoints lesbian judge to state Supreme Court

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sabrina McKenna

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) has nominated lesbian judge Sabrina McKenna to the state’s Supreme Court.

“I don’t think I ever would have imagined achieving this kind of honor in my life,” McKenna said. “I do think that the world is changing, and I think that my appointment is an example of that.”

“I think the reason I am willing to have this interview is that I want the young people to know that it doesn’t matter who you are,” McKenna said, telling reporters that she believes her sexual orientation is important to talk about.

McKenna, 53, who has spent the last 17 years as a family court judge, attended Tuesday’s announcement in the governor’s office with her partner, Denise Yamashiro, and their three children.

She said the message of her appointment is important for young people.

“Whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, be yourself.” McKenna said. ”Be honest with yourself, even if people reject you, just do your best and anything is possible if you work hard and try hard.”

Abercrombie, in announcing her nomination, told the gathered press corps that McKenna’s appointment had everything to do with her intelligence, temperament and legal knowledge, and nothing to do with her sexuality.

McKenna’s confirmation hearing will coincide with the just-launched effort to pass civil unions in Hawaii, but legislators say that issue will not effect their assessment of her candidacy.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Really, why should it matter? It’s kind of a shame that this is newsworthy: I’m more interested in her politics.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:24pm
  2. Someday ethical and moral character will be all that matters.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:27pm
  3. Maggie – I can’t wait for the day when this isn’t newsworthy. That will be nice.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:38pm
  4. @Randy, 1. LGBTQ is not just a site for gay folks, the world iis larger than that. 2. My point is that it DOES matter, but it shouldn’t.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:45pm
  5. Wow progress is happening all over the place.So happy people are finally starting to pull their heads out of their asses! We need to stop fearing what we don’t understand,educate oursleves and quite being sheep!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:47pm
  6. I don’t know how to react towards this…
    I mean, we don’t say “straight man elected as ______”…
    but at the same time, it’s a step forward in a very good direction.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 5:51pm
  7. @Rayy – my point exactly.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 7:34pm
  8. yes sireee !!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 7:39pm
  9. @ Randy: Either cut down on how much koolaid you drink or join the HRC! Geeez, dude!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 9:18pm
  10. It is changing. Slowly, but surely. It’s about time :))

    Posted on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:19am
  11. So proud to know that someone that attended the same high school as me was elected! Way to go, Sabrina!

    Posted on Monday, January 31, 2011 at 9:11am