Lesbian confirmed as US federal judge

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The US senate has confirmed a lesbian to serve as a US federal judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Alison Nathan is the second of four openly gay people appointed by President Obama to be confirmed.

The Senate voted yesterday 48-44 to confirm her with all Republicans present voting against her confirmation.

Ms Nathan, a former Associate White House Counsel, face accusations from a conservative women’s group about her “ingrained” LGBT “biases”.

In a letter seen by The Advocate, Concerned Women of America wrote: “She served as a member of the LGBT issues policy committee during the 2008 Obama campaign.

“In addition, Nathan has provided pro-bono representation for the ACLU, Lambda Legal, Service Members Legal Defense Network, and individual service members in challenges to the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

The group added: “Her biases are so ingrained and so much the main thrust of her career that it not rational to believe that she will suddenly change once confirmed as a judge. Rather it is reasonable to conclude she would use her position to implement her own political ideology.”

Another group, Heritage Action for America, claimed that Ms Nathan lacked experience.

However, New York Senator Charles Schumer, speaking before the vote, said she had the same level of experience as 33 previous candidates.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Advocate: “The President welcomes the confirmation of Alison Nathan. She will serve the American people well from the District Court bench.”

Another openly gay nominee, J Paul Oetken, was confirmed to the Southern District of New York in July.