US: Senate confirms first lesbian Asian American to the federal bench

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The US Senate has confirmed the first lesbian Asian American for a seat on the federal bench.

Pamela Ki Mai Chen was approved by a voice vote for a seat on the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

She was first nominated for a judgeship by President Barack Obama last August and then renamed along with others at the start of Congress.

Both the White House and senators celebrated the confirmation.

White House spokesperson, Shin Inouye said: “The President welcomes the confirmation of Pamela Ki Mai Chen.

“She will serve the American people well from the Eastern District of New York bench.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, who recommended Ms Chen’s nomination to President Obama said that her extensive background will serve her well on the federal bench.

The Human Rights Campaign, an organisation that works to achieve equality for LGBT Americans praised the Senate for adding another lesbian to the federal bench.

Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “We congratulate Judge Chen on a much deserved achievement and thank the White House and Senate for their continued commitment to nominating and confirming well-qualified, diverse individuals.”

A Chinese-American, Ms Chen graduated from the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School.

Since 1998, she has worked in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she served as chief of the Civil Rights Section’s Criminal Division and concentrated on combating human trafficking.