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Gay Man Nominated to Federal Bench

Gay Man Nominated to Federal Bench


President Barack Obama has nominated J. Paul Oetken, a gay lawyer who served in the Clinton administration, to be a federal judge in Manhattan.

The New York Times
reports on the nomination of Oetken, a senior vice president and associate general counsel of Cablevision. He was recommended by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who said that Oetken possesses the three criteria of "legal excellence, moderation of views and diversity."

"I am looking for people who fit the three criteria, and I was shocked to learn there were no openly gay male judges on the entire federal bench," said Schumer, who added that Oetken, a graduate of the University of Iowa and Yale Law School, "fit the bill," the Times reported.

Last year, Schumer recommended that the president nominate Daniel S. Alter, who is gay, to the same court in Manhattan. Alter was not nominated, a decision that he believes was based on statements he allegedly made about the term "Merry Christmas" and the Pledge of Allegiance. He denies he made the statements.

Obama also has nominated Edward Carroll Dumont, who is gay, to the court of appeals for the federal circuit in Washington.

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