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June 1, 2015


This update includes, among other things, items related to Chicago this August and our history.
The current schedule of activities for Chicago included the following events:
Wednesday, August 5, 6:00 pm – Welcome Reception hosted by Retired Judge James A. Shapiro, a Director of the Alliance of Illinois Judges, at his Lakeview condominium. (The address approximately 30 minutes from the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile will be provided to everyone later.)
Thursday, August 6, 12:15 pm – Annual Meeting and Lunch (Members Only), Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 North Michigan Avenue
Thursday, August 6, 7:30 pmPride Films and Plays, a Chicago LGBT theatre group, will be presenting The Boy From Oz, the bittersweet musical based on Peter Allen's life which follows his rise to fame as Judy Garland's back-up, his marriage to Liza, his struggle with coming out, his love for another man and his eventual death from AIDS.  Hugh Jackman won the Tony playing Allen on Broadway.  (Although the link indicates that performances begin August 7th, previews are August 5th and 6th.)
Members will need to organize among themselves attendance and ticket purchases. Discounted tickets will be available to Lavender Law attendees for all performances of The Boy From Oz, Aug 5-9.  Use the code LavenderLaw (no spaces) to get a 10% discount on all tickets that weekend. Call 773-327-5252 or go to the online ticket site and – once again – remember to use the code LavenderLaw (no spaces).
The discount and opportunity have been arranged by Retired Judge Tom Chiola (IL).  He has confessed “Full disclosure:  I am a member of the PFP acting ensemble and have been in several PFP productions since I retired from the bench.”
Friday, August 7, 6:00 pm -- Annual Dinner at Park Grill at Millenium Park, 11 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60602 .   The cost is expected to be approximately $80.00 per person, drinks not included.  For the steak option, the cost will be an additional $15.00.
A great big thanks to those of you who have indicated your attendance intentions as to the Welcoming Reception, Annual Meeting and Annual Dinner.  The sooner that information is received regarding your plans (as you come to know your plans), the better it will be for the Alliance of Illinois Judges and Judge Daniel Anders (PA) as they continue to make plans for our arrival.  So, please let me know.
Celebration of the historic administration of the oath to Judge Joseph Quinn (CA) by his husband, Justice Jim Humes (CA) and the accompanying link to the Bay Area Reporter presented an opportunity for the sharing of more of our collective history.  Justice Michael Sonberg (NY) found a gentle way to note earlier milestones:
"One comment and quasi-correction to your ​piece on Judges Humes and Quinn. While they are the first male same-sex judicial couple in California, and Judges Hitchens and Davis were the first female same-sex judicial couples in California, neither was the first in the United States.
"In New York, we've had a female same-sex judicial couple since 1986, when Mary Bednar was appointed to the Family Court, joining her then-partner, now spouse, Joan Lobis; Judge Lobis had been appointed a judge of the New York City Housing Court in 1985 (she was elected to the New York City Civil Court in 1988 and to the Supreme Court in 1992).
"And Florida had judges Scott Bernstein and David Young, in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, until Judge Young resigned to become a television judge in 2007; they were the first male same-sex judicial couple. Judge Young was first elected to the Miami-Dade County Court in 1993; Judge Bernstein was elected to the Circuit Court in 1998. Judge Young has announced his candidacy for an open circuit court seat; the election will take place in 2016."
In responding to him Justice Sonberg declined my reference to him as “the excellent historian of our community.”  Rather, observed “We're beginning to lose some firsts due to retirement (and probably some deaths) and … we should be looking to someone from each state to be responsible for compiling the history and keeping it current.”
We salute Judges Bednar, Bernstein Lobis and Young.

 May 28th, Justice Sonberg included me among those who received the following message:
"In March 1986, Mayor Ed Koch appointed Mary Bednar to the Family Court, making her the first open lesbian appointed or elected to an Article VI court in New York State, as well as the second open lesbian holding a constitutional judgeship in the United States.  She was preceded, in New York, by Mayor Koch’s appointment in 1984 of Bill Thom to an interim vacancy on the Civil Court and of the late Dick Failla to the Criminal Court in 1985, and, in California, by Governor Jerry Brown’s appointment of Mary Morgan to the San Francisco Municipal Court in 1981.
"Judge Bednar’s appointment marked another first, in that her partner (now spouse), Joan Lobis, had been appointed a judge of the Housing Court in 1985, making them the first (and, for the next decade, only) same-sex judicial couple in the United States.
"Tomorrow, May 29, 2015, will be Judge Bednar’s final day on the bench, after more than 29 years of service.  I’m sure that I speak for all of us in wishing her the best in this next stage of her life and in congratulating her for her trailblazing career; it was not easy being out on the bench in the 1980’s, and those of us who have followed her surely stand on her shoulders."
Thank you Judge Bednar and congratulations for blazing a trail.  From what I have seen from our members “retirement” certainly does not mean that one is any less busy contributing to things that matter.
Judge Harvey A. Silberman (CA) just brought something to my attention as he was telling me about his plan to be with us in Chicago.  With pride, he offered “…not to toot my own horn…but the San Fernando Valley Bar Association recently awarded me Judge of the Year.  It was a wonderful night with over 400 people in attendance to give me a pat on the back.  Judge Amy Pellman, who I believe is a member of our organization, introduced me.”  The February issue of the Valley Lawyer can be accessed at this link:
 Congratulations, Judge Silberman!  Thanks for finally letting the rest of us know about the honor. 
I love the fact that your infectious smile always accompanies you.  
I have been asked to pass this on: “A young lawyer friend who lives, works in Chicago is interested in attending but as he notes, things are little tight right now (he recently opened his solo practice).  … Do you have any info or contacts that would enable him to volunteer and waive the fees, etc.  Please pass this on to our colleagues who might have info......."   If you have any information, please let me know and I will get it to our colleague.
 All the best,