On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed
the nomination of Alison Nathan to serve as a federal judge in New
Nathan becomes the second out lesbian
federal judge in the country. Deborah Batts became the nation's
first openly gay and African-American federal judge in 1994. In
July, the Senate approved the nomination of federal district judge
Paul Oetken, who is openly gay. Both also serve in New York.
Nathan was confirmed with a narrow
48-44 vote and no support from Republican members.
She was nominated by President Barack
Obama in March and the Senate Judiciary Committee vetted Nathan
during a June hearing.
“The president welcomes the
confirmation of Alison Nathan,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye
told gay weekly Metro
Weekly. “She will serve the American people well from the
District Court bench.”
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions railed
against the nominee during comments which lasted more than 18
minutes. Sessions called Nathan a potential “activist judge.”
Nathan and her partner Meg
Satterthwaite are raising twin sons Oliver and Nathan in New York.