US: Washington state appoints first gay Supreme Court judge

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Washington has appointed gay judge Mary Yu, who performed the state’s first same-sex marriage, to the state Supreme Court.

Yu, who has been a judge at King County Superior Court since 2000, was appointed yesterday by the state’s governor, Jay Inslee.

As well as being the first gay judge to sit in the Supreme Court, she is also the first Asian judge to do so.

Inslee said in a statement: “Judge Yu has distinguished herself throughout her career as someone of great intellect, dedication and compassion.

“She has brought to her work and to her life a never-wavering commitment to ensuring justice for everyone.

“Her appointment today is a moment all Washingtonians can be proud of.”

Yu performed the first same-sex marriage at 12:01am, on December 9 2012, one minute after the state’s same-sex marriage law came into effect.

On that day she spent seven hours marrying couples.

Yu pledged to “work collaboratively” with colleagues in her new role.

She said: “Trial court judges, at every level of the court, are the work horses of our system of justice.

“I am proud to come from their ranks and will do all that I can to remember that a trial court remains the place where the law is actually applied to everyday life.”

Last year, same-sex marriages accounted for 17% of all marriage licenses issued in Washington state.

Watch Yu perform one of the state’s first same-sex marriages below: