Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Institute called on President Joe Biden to appoint an LGBTQ person to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court and stood in support of his commitment to nominate a Black woman. Neither an LGBTQ person or a Black woman have ever served on the Supreme Court. Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative – a coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations – noted there are many qualified LGBTQ Black women who could serve on the Supreme Court, including U.S. District Court Judge Staci Yandle and Washington State Supreme Court Justice G. Helen Whitener.
“We urge President Biden to make history and appoint a Black LGBTQ woman to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “With his previous commitment to nominate a Black woman, President Biden affirmed the important role diverse perspectives have on the bench and on the health of our democracy and society. There is a powerful pipeline of Black LGBTQ judges, officials and leaders who are more than qualified to fulfill this promise.
“We’ve seen time and time again that LGBTQ freedoms are fought for and won in the courts. It’s past time we have representation in the highest judicial body tasked with protecting our fundamental rights. Justice Breyer was a champion of equality during his nearly three-decade career on the bench and replacing him with an LGBTQ Black woman justice would be a powerful way to carry on his legacy.”
Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative works with the administration to recommend and advocate for qualified LGBTQ leaders ready to serve in the administration. In August 2020, it announced four priorities for the next administration, including appointing an out LGBTQ Supreme Court justice for the first time.
Two other priorities are accomplished: securing the first Senate-confirmed out LGBTQ Cabinet member (Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg) and the first out Senate-confirmed trans person (Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Admiral Rachel Levine and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly). The fourth priority – the successful appointment of the first LGBTQ women ambassadors, LGBTQ ambassadors of color and transgender ambassadors – is not yet achieved.
According to Victory Institute’s Out for America Map, which tracks out LGBTQ elected officials nationwide, there are currently 125 out LGBTQ people serving in elected court positions nationwide.
About LGBTQ Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.