Gay/Straight Alliance honors Chief Judge Kaye at annual event
On June 28, the Gay/Straight Alliance of the New York State Courts held a gay pride celebration where it honored the late Chief Judge Judith Kaye at the New York County Supreme Court, Civil Term.
The Alliance’s president, Marc Levine, hosted the event, which included many speakers: Hon. Rosalyn Richter, Hon. Marcy Kahn, Hon. Elizabeth Garry, Hon. Anthony Cannataro, Michael Pulizotto, Christopher DiSanto, Hon. Hannah Cohen and Michael Sonberg.
“Our former chief judge of the Court of Appeals was a woman who, if you knew her, you knew there was no one like her,” Levine said. “She was a dynamo; she was an impressive woman. We wanted to honor her, and unfortunately we didn’t quite get to do that — it had to be without her here. We are very fortunate to have her son here to represent her.”
Hon. Lawrence K. Marks, the chief administrative judge of the New York State Court’s System, was also on hand to speak at the event, and he discussed an LGBT Commission that the courts are working on developing. He wasn’t ready to make an official announcement, but he did share some details of the potential commission that Chief Judge Janet DiFore is expected to announce in the next few months.
“We’ve had a commission for minorities for 25 years, and it’s been very successful,” Marks said. “This commission will work very closely with the leadership of the court system, improving outreach to bring members of the LGBT community into the court as employees.
“The commission will also work to develop training programs, mentoring programs and will serve as the liaison between the court system and the larger LGBT community outside the courts,” Marks continued. “It will generally be an advocate for LGBT issues within the court.”
Levine was understandably excited about the chief administrative judge’s remarks.
“It’s about being recognized and having a place institutionally that should be an official part of the courts,” Levine said. “The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission has a direct line to the administration because they are the voice of minorities in the court system, and it’s time that we have the same thing. It’s a beautiful thing; it’s going to make all the difference.”
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