NY Gov. Patterson Appoints 2 Lesbian Appelate Judges

richter-mugThe former head of Lambda Legal and a Supreme Court justice in the Sixth Judicial District were chosen late yesterday by Governor David A. Paterson to be the New York’s first openly gay and lesbian appellate judges. Judge Rosalyn Richter and Judge Elizabeth A. Garry are were both chosen by Patterson to fill vacancies in the Appellate Department, which is directly below the Court of Appeals.

Gay City News sheds some light on the two jurists:

“In the Manhattan-based First Department, Paterson named Judge Rosalyn Richter, who has served as a New York Supreme Court justice since 2003, after three years as an acting justice. Between 1987 and 2000, Richter held a variety of judicial posts within the criminal, community, and administrative trial court systems in Manhattan and the Bronx…

In the area of LGBT law, Richter gained attention with a 2007 ruling that applied a principle based in marriage law — equal division of property — to a dispute between former lesbian partners who had split up and were selling their four-story, eight-room and four-and-a-half bath Upper West Side townhouse…

In the Albany-based Third Department, the governor appointed Elizabeth A. Garry, who has been a Supreme Court justice in the Sixth Judicial District since her election in 2006. Prior to that, Garry was the town justice of New Berlin, which is about halfway between Albany and Syracuse, beginning in 2001.

Garry is a 1984 graduate of Alfred University in Western New York and a 1990 graduate of Albany Law School. The press release from Paterson’s office highlighted the fact that Garry lives with her same-sex life partner, stepson, and adopted son.

Curiously, the release omits mention of Richter’s partner, Janet Weinberg, who is the senior managing director for development and legislative funding at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and earlier held a senior position at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.”