A respected judge in the Florida Keys retired early last week after a blogger posted screenshots of his perfectly legal Manhunt profile online, sparking a discussion among online trolls about judges using “the world’s biggest gay hookup site.”
Judge David Audlin’s last day as Monroe County’s chief circuit judge was last Friday, though he announced his resignation earlier in April. He identified the continuing coverage of his now-deleted Manhunt profile as an “inappropriate invasion of my privacy” and the sole reason for his early retirement. “I’m looking forward to my constitutional rights being restored — my right to privacy and to be left alone in my private life,” he said.
Now 56, Audlin says he’s been out since he was 23 and never once tried to hide his sexuality during his years as an attorney and a judge. His Manhunt profile was discovered by a blog called JAA blog in January, which debated the “impropriety” of “a judge advertising his gavel length and width.”
Audlin did nothing illegal and has refused to apologize for creating the profile, which he contends was made on a private website for people 18 and older.
“I think some people look at a gay judge’s personal life as being interesting or salacious,” he said. “I suppose it’s the times we live in. This whole matter has nothing to do with my service to the people or my work as a judge.”
Audlin is most noted for having overturned a 1977 decision that made the adoption of children by gay and lesbian couples illegal in 2008, directly affecting the lives of Wayne Larue Smith and Daniel Skahen, the first gay couple to adopt a child in the state of Florida.