TIME justice

First Openly Gay Black Male Federal Judge Confirmed

The Obama appointee was approved unanimously by the Senate

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed the first openly gay black man to the federal bench.

Judge Darrin P. Gayles will serve the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a famously busy jurisdiction, Reuters reports.

President Barack Obama appointed Gayles, a native of Peoria, Ill., to the federal bench after another openly gay black nominee was rejected last year due largely to the opposition of Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said he had concerns about the judge’s sentences in a murder and drinking-and-driving case.

The Senate also confirmed the federal bench’s second openly gay black woman, Judge Staci Michelle Yandle.


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