Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Monday nominated Barbara Lenk, an openly gay appellate judge, to the state's Supreme Judicial Court, the Boston Globe reported.

The 60-year-old Lenk would be the first openly gay justice to serve on the court.

“She is a brilliant and thoughtful justice with a deep sense of justice,” Patrick said in a statement announcing his choice.

If confirmed, Lenk would also make history as the first justice able to marry her spouse as a result of the court's groundbreaking 2003 ruling that brought gay marriage to Massachusetts in 2004, making it the first state in the nation to do so.

Former Governor William Weld appointed Lenk to the Superior Court in 1993. Two years later, Weld appointed her to the Appeals Court.

A native of New York, Lenk holds a doctorate in political philosophy from Yale University and received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 1979.

Lenk would succeed retiring Associate Justice Judith A. Cowin, whose last day on the court is Tuesday, April 5.