Democratic Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie's choice for the Hawaii Supreme Court, Sabrina McKenna, is openly gay.

McKenna was appointed to the bench this week, ABC-affiliate KITV reported.

The 53-year-old McKenna, who is raising three children with her partner Denise Yamashiro, said she hoped to inspire young people

“I think the reason I am willing to have this interview is that I want the young people to know that it doesn't matter who you are,” she said. “All of us who are not part of the mainstream go through the feelings of discrimination, the realities of discrimination.”

“Judge McKenna is living proof that when you have the determination and the desire and the support that you can come from any background,” Abercrombie told reporters at a news conference.

Aides to the governor said he did not consider McKenna's sexual orientation in his decision making process.

The appointment is good news for gay rights advocates lobbying for passage of a gay-inclusive civil unions bill. A similar measure was approved by lawmakers last year but then-Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican, vetoed the measure.