First lesbian D.A. sworn in

BY Advocate.com Editors

January 08 2003 12:00 AM ET

Republican Bonnie Dumanis was sworn in as the nation's first lesbian district attorney Monday, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dumanis, 51, was once head of San Diego's Metropolitan Homicide Task Force and was appointed a juvenile court referee in 1990. From there she was elected to the municipal court bench and in 1998 was elected a superior court judge.

Dumanis says that in her line of work everyone tries to put her into a category. "People are always trying to pigeonhole me," she said. "They see me as conservative on some issues, very liberal on others. The fact that I'm gay and a Republican boggles some people's minds. But I just like to look at things from every angle."

But Dumanis says her caring nature won't make her any less effective as a district attorney. "I don't see that being caring is inconsistent with being tough on crime," she said. "Sometimes being caring means being tough on people. You have to hold them accountable for their behavior."

Dumanis resides in San Diego's Hillcrest district with her partner, Denise Nelesen.

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