article placeholder

Atlanta gay voter files ethics complaint in state judicial race

A gay Atlanta voter filed an ethics complaint against Fulton Magistrate Judge Melynee Leftridge on Wednesday accusing Leftridge of an “apparent elaborate scheme to funnel some $18,500 to a company responsible for maintaining a website www.pirouettesexy.com” that features “pictures of scantly clad women.”

But Leftridge counters that the company she paid — Pirouette Companies — provides legitimate campaign services, and notes it has also been used by several other candidates, including openly gay State Rep. Simone Bell.

Leftridge faces openly gay attorney Jane Morrison in a non-partisan race for an open Fulton County State Court seat to be decided in the primary just five days away. Morrison could not immediately be reached for comment on the complaint against her opponent.

article placeholder

Election Preview: Lesbian candidate in race for Fulton County State Court judge

Judges on the ballot

Attorney Jane Morrison hopes to become one of the first openly gay judges in Georgia and the Southeast with her bid for the Fulton County State Court judge seat left open when Judge Brenda Cole retired after serving 14 years on the bench.

Morrison, 48, faces Fulton Magistrate Judge Melynee Leftridge for the non-partisan post, which will be decided in the July 31 election. State court handles misdemeanor criminal cases such as DUI and civil cases including contract cases and personal injury cases.

Morrison, whose partner is Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1994 and said she was immediately drawn to civil rights work.

article placeholder

Ga. judge involved in 2007 controversial lesbian custody dispute resigns over ethics probe

A Wilkinson County judge who in 2007 attempted to strip custody of a 7-year old girl from a lesbian because he believed homosexuality is immoral recently resigned after an ethics probe was opened to look into allegations he "allowed the prestige of his office to advance his private interests."

Superior Court Judge John Lee Parrott, 63, of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit turned in his notice of resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal on May 19; it was effective immediately. Parrott served 24 years on the bench.

article placeholder

U.S. Senate confirms first openly gay federal judge

J. Paul OetkenThe United States Senate, for the first time, confirmed an openly gay man to serve as a federal judge. J. Paul Oetken was nominated by President Obama in January and was confirmed by a vote of 80 to 13 on July 18. A simple majority was needed for confirmation.

Oetken will sit on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who recommended Oetken to President Obama, praised Oetken on the floor of the Senate prior to the confirmation vote.

“Paul is not just an excellent candidate,” Schumer said. “As the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge and to serve on the federal bench, he will be a symbol of how much we have achieved as a country in just the last few decades.”