We picked the nominees. You picked the winners. Out of dozens of candidates in a variety of categories, eight remarkable equality champions–from a non-gay Supreme Court Justice to newly out Olympian–were selected as winners in the 2015 Queerties Awards. In many cases, the only thing they had in common was a fierce and uncompromising commitment to complete LGBTQ freedom.
But the campaign didn’t stop there.
Of those eight leaders, we once again asked for your help, dear Queerty readers, in narrowing down the field to just one by voting for the 2015 Queerties Person Of The Year…
So, without further ado, the winner of the 2015 Queerties Awerds Person Of the Year is…
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
Five judges constitute a majority on the Supreme Court, but one stands out: Anthony Kennedy. The Reagan-appointed justice has become the most foreceful advocate for LGBT rights on the bench, taking the lead on opinions striking down sodomy laws, anti-gay ballot measures and, most notably, bans on marriage equality. He’s done so by using language that goes well beyond legal reasoning to recognize the validity and even integrity of same-sex relationships–and their children as well. He’s become a kind of poet laureate of same-love, with such eloquent musings in his rulings such as this: “There is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices.”
Kennedy’s legal mentor was a gay man who clearly had a profound impact on his student. Would we have been quite as successful if someone else held Kennedy’s spot on the bench? Maybe. But we would never have had the same affirmations of the respect that we deserve as American citizens if it weren’t for Anthony Kennedy.
Congratulations, Justice Kennedy. And thanks to everyone who voted!