Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Monica Marquez. Marquez is the first Latina and openly gay member of the Colorado state Supreme Court. She was sworn in by her father, retired Judge Jose D.L. Marquez. There are only 5 openly gay state supreme court justices, two of whom are in the state of Oregon. The first openly gay state supreme court justice in the nation was Oregon’s Rives Kistler. The second openly gay state supreme court justice was Oregon’s Virginia Linder.
Marquez has been a consistently visible force for social justice, including LGBT equality. She is a past president of the Colorado GLBT Bar Association and a board member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and served as chairperson of the Denver Mayor’s GLBT Commission. Regarding marriage equality and her role as a state supreme court justice, Marquez says:
On the bench, of course, my allegiance is to the law, not to any particular constituency…which is fine, because the law — and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1996 decision in Romer vs. Evans, which overturned Colorado’s repeal of anti-gay discrimination laws.
I want to thank Justice Marquez for her dedication to social justice and for being visible. Our being visible helps LGBT youth see the possibility of an end to discrimination. Click here to read an article regarding Marquez.