The U.S. Senate late Monday confirmed
the nomination of Paul Oetken to the Federal District Court for the
Southern District of New York, gay
weekly the Washington Blade reported.
Oetken's nomination was approved by
an overwhelming 80 to 13 vote. He becomes the first openly gay male
federal judge in U.S. history.
New York Senator Charles Schumer
recommended Oetken for the bench and President Barack Obama nominated
him in January.
“As the first openly gay man to be
confirmed as a federal judge, Paul Oetken is living proof that it
really does get better,” said Schumer in a statement, referring to
gay activist Dan Savage's It
Gets Better Project.
“His confirmation moves us one step
closer toward equality. But long after today, what the history books
will remember about Paul are his achievements as a fair and brilliant
judge, his unwavering dedication to public service and the
Constitution of the United States, and his commitment to the rule of
Two additional out judges, Alison
Nathan and Edmund Dumont, have also been nominated by Obama to serve
on federal benches.
In May, Barbara
Lenk became the fist openly gay judge to serve on Massachusetts'
highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court.