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Arline Isaacson on Judge Lenk Appointment

By Charlotte Robinson, April 10, 2011
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We asked Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts
Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus what she thought about
openly gay Judge Barbara Lenk being appointed to the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Isaacson stated,
“MGLPC applauds Gov. Deval Patrick's appointment of
Barbara Lenk to the Supreme Judicial Court. Judge Lenk
embodies some of the very best qualities a judge on our
SJC should have. She has the intelligence, the experience,
the legal & academic credentials that most would want for
a justice on our state’s highest court. But just as importantly,
she is an out lesbian. There have been other LGBT’s on the
SJC in the past, but they have all been closeted.
The significance of having an out lesbian on the SJC is worth
acknowledging, particularly as some in the LGBT community
discuss the media’s use of the phrase ‘openly lesbian’. In
Massachusetts we've been blessed to have on the SJC several
justices who believe deeply in equality for the LGBT community.
But that has not always been the case. Having an out lesbian
on the SJC will serve the same important purpose that having
out LGBT’s in every profession does: It helps change for the
better, the attitudes, insights & sensitivities of those who work
with or interact with them. When laws or regulations on
discrimination change & when appointments like this one are
made, it inextricably leads to a better understanding of the
challenges discrimination & lack of equality have on our lives.
And just as importantly, it leads to a greater acceptance of
the LGBT community.” For More Info: mglpc.org
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1 comment:

Arline Isaacson said...

Barbara Lenk’s nomination to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is of great significance, for the court, for our state and for all LGBT people. There remains a significant difference between the lives of LGBT community who live openly and those who remain in the closet. The insights and sensitivities an out lesbian can bring to the SJC will help further infuse its decisions with a depth of understanding that serves only to enhance the cause of justice. At a time when we are constantly reminded of the pain and tribulations so many young LGBT’s experience at the hands of bullies and even their families, it is especially important to highlight and celebrate the presence of successful out LGBT’s. These individuals provide LGBT youth who are struggling with their sexuality an important, albeit implicit lesson that ‘It Gets Better”.

It is not a surprising nomination, coming from a Governor who values diversity and is so strongly committed to equality for the glbt community. But we celebrate it as another step forward in our march towards equality and we thank the Governor for selecting so able a nominee.

Arline Isaacson, Co-Chair, Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus

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