There Are Not Enough Bisexual Judges

ONLINE_Political_Notes_11_15_LRG No other state other than California has made such great strides in BLGT inclusion, but the number of bisexual judges are still solely lacking.

At least, they’re not out in public yet. A report of the 1,655 judges in California showed that none of them declared themselves bisexual, although there were 41 (or 2.4 percent) who labelled themselves G, L, or T.

The California Administrative Office of the Courts gives an annual report of the identification, and last year 582 judges preferred not to identify themselves. So, there could be a few out there.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Governor Jerry Brown, told the Bay Area Reporter that Brown’s administration continues “to aim for a broad, experienced and diverse pool of applicants for every vacancy filled and California certainly benefits from a bench that reflects its rich diversity.”

But, the lack of out bisexuals on the state bench has not gone unnoticed by the state’s LGBT legal associations. Groups based in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County are jointly working on a report about the status of LGBT judges in California that should be completed this summer.

According to the story, Jamie Dupree, a lesbian and co-chair of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, a legal group for LGBT attorneys in the Bay Area, said she has spoken to a number of bisexual attorneys who are uncomfortable about being out about their sexual orientation at work, particularly if they are in an opposite-sex relationship and perceived to be heterosexual.

“It remains a challenge to be an out bisexual in general and within the legal field,” said Dupree, an attorney with San Francisco law firm Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier.

Two more judges identify as GLT over last year: 21 identify as lesbian, 17 as gay, and one as transgender. Los Angeles continues to have the most with nine, one less than what was reported last year, while San Francisco has the second highest with six judges, the same as in 2013.

Mike Szymanski
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]