Member Spotlight

Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, Nation’s First LGBT Chief Justice

February 23, 2016, Lambda Legal announced:

Late yesterday, the Puerto Rico Senate confirmed Associate Justice Maite Oronoz Rodriguez as Chief Justice of the commonwealth’s highest court. She will be the first openly LGBT chief justice in the country. Lambda Legal released the following statement from Staff Attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan:

“The confirmation of Maite Oronoz Rodríguez as the first openly LGBT Chief Justice in Puerto Rico and the United States makes history, breaks barriers, and marks a momentous step towards achieving a judiciary that reflects full and rich diversity of our country. A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, it boosts public confidence in the courts.

“In June 2014, Lambda Legal praised Oronoz Rodriguez’s confirmation as an Associate Justice on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court after we sent Gov. García Padilla a letter urging him to ensure that any potential nominee’s judicial philosophy includes a commitment to rule fairly and impartially in cases involving LGBT and HIV-positive litigants and to seek thoughtful jurists who reflect Puerto Rico’s rich diversity.

“We are pleased with the Puerto Rico Senate’s decision to swiftly confirm now-Chief Justice Oronoz Rodríguez to the Commonwealth’s highest court. * * *

“Courts matter to the LGBT community in Puerto Rico and across the country. We must care about the courts if we care about our rights, our families, our neighbors and our society. We look forward to continuing our work in Puerto Rico on behalf of LGBT people and those living with HIV.”

February 13, 2016, shortly after the nomination, El Nuevo Dia reported

In accepting the nomination to head the Supreme Court, Judge Oronoz Rodríguez promised to give physical, economic and procedural access to any and all Puerto Ricans in the courts of Puerto Rico.

“I am of those who think it’s time to take off the robe, to step down and receive with open citizenship that requires human justice arms. Only then we begin to restore confidence they deserve the vast majority of judges and judges worthy of our system, “said Oronoz Rodríguez.

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