Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia
Padilla on Friday nominated an openly lesbian justice to head the
Puerto Rico Supreme Court.
If confirmed by the Puerto Rico Senate,
Justice Maite Oronoz Rodriguez would become the first openly LGBT
chief justice in the United States.
“It is time to fortify justice amid
the challenges of the future. It is time for generational change,”
the governor is quoted as saying by the Caribbean
Business. “I tasked this job to the youngest justice in
the court. … Maite Oronoz Rodriguez.”
“I accept this nomination with the
energy and force of a new generation, with my love for Puerto Rico
and my unwavering commitment to the judicial branch and justice,”
Oronoz Rodriguez said.
The 39-year-old Oronoz Rodriguez joined
the court in 2014.
LGBT legal group Lambda Legal cheered
the move in a statement. “We are pleased with Governor García
Padilla’s decision and applaud this important moment in Puerto
Rico,” said staff attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan. “For the judicial
system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the
full range of our country's rich diversity. It is critical that the
judiciary be composed of judges who truly represent and understand
the issues faced by all of the people affected by its rulings,
including LGBT people. A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve
the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the