Lesbian Judge for Colorado State Supreme Court

While much of the headline news over the struggle for queer equality is devoted to the high-profile national stories, great progress is being made across a broad front at state and local level. This story, of an important judicial appointment in Colorado, is one of many that deserves wider attention:

Relief and skepticism both are greeting Colorado’s next member of the state Supreme Court. Monica Marquez is the first Latina and the first openly gay jurist on the state’s high court.

Marquez was named by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter on Wednesday to fill a vacancy on the court. Marquez is currently deputy Colorado attorney general and is past president of the Colorado Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association.

A gay state senator tells The Pueblo Chieftain that Marquez’s appointment means racial and sexual preference barriers are no longer there. But a conservative critic of the court tells The Denver Post that he suspects Marquez was picked not because of her merits but to appeal to “special interests.”

Edge Dallas

Queer Rights, In The courts: GOP To The Rescue?

With LGBT issues prominent in an increasing number of court cases, we are accustomed to hearing conservative outcries about “activist” judges “legislating from the bench”. However, an examination by Joshua Greene at the Atlantic of the key judgements holds a surprise: the judges involved are not democratic activists, but conservative judges appointed by GOP presidents and governors. This should not surprise, of course. The issues are not only”civil rights”, but also two deeply important conservative principles. The first has already been highlighted by the recent DOMA judgement, that federal government cannot overrule states’ rights in their areas of competence. The other is parallel to this, at an even more basic level: government has no business interfering in people’s personal lives. What can be more personal than our love lives?

Read the rest of this entry »