The Connecticut House of Representatives on Monday narrowly endorsed the confirmation of Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Representatives voted 75-74 to send McDonald's nomination to the Senate, where Republicans “seem poised to block” McDonald's confirmation, according to The CT Mirror.

If confirmed, McDonald would become the nation's first openly gay chief justice.

McDonald, 51, already has made history as the first openly gay member of the Connecticut Supreme Court as well as the first to serve as a legislator.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated McDonald for the court's top post in January. McDonald served as legal adviser to Malloy when he was mayor of Stamford and later in the governor's office. Malloy, a Democrat, nominated McDonald to the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2013.

Representative Rosa Rebimbas, a Republican from Naugatuck, told colleagues that opposition to McDonald “is not based on sexual orientation” or party affiliation. She said that opposition was based on McDonald's participation in a handful of cases, including a decision that ended capital punishment in Connecticut.

McDonald's nomination became the subject of a political campaign complete with media ads, a first in Connecticut for a Supreme Court nomination. Opponents include a website called, which referred to McDonald's nomination under the headline “Jewdicial Sodomites.” Christian conservative Mat Staver, who helms Liberty Counsel, also attacked McDonald's nomination, saying he's incapable of giving Christians a “fair shake” in court.

“The question is: are you going to get a fair shake out of this individual who identifies as someone based upon his sexual practices, who is identified and identifies himself based upon certain behavior?” Staver said. “Are you gonna get a fair shake? I don’t think so.”

In an editorial published last month, the Stamford Advocate pushed back on the argument that McDonald lacks the appropriate experience.

“After five years, he is the second-longest serving associate justice currently on the bench,” editors wrote. “In addition to his election to local boards in Stamford, he was a state senator, giving him valuable understanding of municipal operations, as well as how the state machine works. It’s also in his blood, as his mother, the late Anne McDonald, was a well-respected longtime state representative. He is such a political wonk that he listened to radio broadcasts of local government proceedings as a boy.”

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, a Democrat from New Haven, has promised an up or down vote by the end of the month.