Massachusetts Governor nominates first gay justice to state’s highest court

Gov. Deval Patrick (left) and Justice Baraba Lenk

Gov. Deval Patrick (left) and Justice Baraba Lenk GOVERNORS OFFICE PHOTO

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday tapped Associate Justice Barbara A. Lenk to be his fourth pick for the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, and the court’s first openly gay nominee.


Gov. Deval Patrick (left) and Justice Baraba Lenk

“I am honored to nominate Justice Lenk to the Supreme Judicial Court,” Patrick said in a statement. “She is a brilliant and thoughtful jurist, with a deep sense of justice.”

If confirmed by the Governor’s Council, Lenk would be the first openly gay judge on the state’s highest court, reports the Boston Globe.

She would also be the only justice who was married as a result of the court’s landmark 2003 ruling that made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

“I will bring with me the sympathy and understanding of one who has experienced a full life from both inside and outside the mainstream,” Lenk said at a news conference announcing her nomination.

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