Openly gay man confirmed as US judge

July 19, 2011 5:05:30 AM PDT
A former Clinton administration lawyer has become the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge.

According to Sen. Charles Schumer, J. Paul Oetken will become a federal judge in Manhattan when President Obama signs his confirmation. It could be as early as this week.

The New York Times says the Senate voted 80 to 13 to confirm the appointment, which Schumer recommended to Obama last year.

The 45-year-old Oetken was a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun of the Supreme Court. He later worked for the Justice Department and as an associate counsel to President Bill Clinton.

Currently, he's a senior vice president and associate general counsel at Cablevision.

Deborah A. Batts, a lesbian, has been a federal judge in Manhattan since 1994.