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Ohio Appoints
First Out Lesbian Judge

Ohio Appoints
First Out Lesbian Judge

A former Dayton city commissioner may be Ohio's first openly gay judge after being appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland.

A former Dayton city commissioner is reportedly Ohio's first openly gay judge after being appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland. According to TheWashington Blade, Mary Wiseman is replacing common pleas court judge John Kessler, who will retire October 31. Gay rights group Equality Ohio announced the milestone.

Stickland asked Wiseman to take the position more than a week ago. He said he was happy to break a barrier but noted that he chose Wiseman based on her qualifications. "Mary was an exceptional candidate for appointment to the court in June, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to appoint her to the current vacancy," Strickland said in a statement on October 22. "Mary is an experienced attorney and public servant who will bring great value to the court."

Wiseman, 45, will take the bench November 5, according to a statement from Strickland's office. The registered Democrat served on the Dayton city council from 1998 to 2002. She also served as a partner at Faruki Ireland and Cox PLL in Dayton from 1991 to 2005. She currently serves on the boards of Legal Aid of Western Ohio/Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, which recruits local lawyers to represent low-income people in civil cases. Wiseman also serves on the Montgomery County Public Defender Commission, which provides free representation in criminal cases to those in financial need. (The Advocate)

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