Trump Nominates Openly Gay Man to Court of Appeals

President Trump nominated an openly gay federal prosecutor to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, reported the Washington Blade. The nomination came as part of a group of 18 nominees for judgeships, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals.

Patrick Bumatay will be the second openly gay member of a federal appeals court if approved by the U.S. Senate. Bumatay is currently an Assistant Attorney in the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of California, according to the White House press release of the nominations.

Bumatay is also currently detailed to the office of the Attorney General, the press release bio says, and serves as Counselor on issues including the national opioid strategy and transnational organized crime. Senate confirmation would see Bumatay in position as one of the highest-ranked judges in the US.

Log Cabin Republicans, an organization advocating for equal rights for LGBT people in the United States by working within the Republican Party, confirmed to the Washington Blade that Bumatay is openly gay.

Gregory Angelo, Log Cabin Republicans president, told the Washington Blade, “Patrick would make an excellent addition to the court – the historic nature of his nomination as an openly gay man adds an additional layer of prestige to what by all counts is an exceptional career in law.”

The first openly gay federal appeals judge is current U.S. Circuit Judge Todd Hughes, who was appointed by former President Obama in 2013.

Bumatay is the second openly gay nominee from President Trump. Judge Mary Rowland was nominated in August of 2018 for a position on the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Her nomination is still pending with the Senate.

While Trump’s second nomination of an out judicial candidate brings his total above President Bill Clinton – as the Washington Blade reported in July – many of his other nominees have strong anti-LGBT records. “The more extreme anti-LGBT nominees litigated against marriage equality, in favor of California’s Proposition 8 and worked to facilitate anti-LGBT laws,” said the Blade.

According to the White House bio, Bumatay is a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

After graduating cum laude from Yale University and receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School, Bumatay served two positions as a law clerk. He has also served in other Department of Justice Positions including the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he oversaw various aspects of civil enforcement programs, according to the bio.

Citing an archived page on the White House website, the Washington Blade noted that Obama appointed eleven openly gay judicial nominees during his presidency.