U.S. Senate confirms first openly gay federal judge The GA Voice Editors July 22, 2011 National Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, called the vote historic. “Paul Oetken serves as a role model for all LGBT people interested in serving on the judiciary and his confirmation shows LGBT youth that hard work pays off,” said Solmonese. Oetken joins Judge Deborah Batts, a lesbian who also sits on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, as the only other out LGBT person in an Article III federal court. Batts was appointed to her position during the Clinton administration. Top photo: J. Paul Oetken (via Facebook) SHARE ON Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website 2 × two = Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.