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Massachussetts confirms first LGBT justice on Supreme Judicial Court

BOSTON – Appeals Court Judge Barbara A. Lenk today was confirmed to the Supreme Judicial Court, making history as the first openly gay justice in Massachussetts.

Lenk was confirmed by a 5-3 vote by the Governor’s Council after being nominated by Gov. Deval Patrick.

She married her wife, Debra Krupp, after the state legalized marriage equality in 2003.

Lenk holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Yale, and has 18 years of experience as an Appeals Court judge.

"I thank the members of the Council who concluded, as I did, that Justice Lenk's sharp intellect, vast experience, and deep sense of humanity will make her an outstanding Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court," Patrick said in a statement today.

"The people of the Commonwealth will be well served by having her extraordinary talents and wisdom join our highest court."

Lenk has broad support from the state’s legal establishment, who praised her as a judge who is fair, decent and intelligent. Her critics ignored her legal credentials, instead focusing on her sexual orientation.

Patrick continues to make history with his judicial nominations. He named the first Asian-American (Fernande R.V. Duffly) and the first African-American (Roderick L. Ireland) to the state’s highest court. He completes the trifecta with the naming of the first LGBT justice to the bench.