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The U.S. Senate has confirmed J. Paul Oetken as federal district court judge, making him the first openly gay man to hold the position. By a vote of 80-13, the Senate confirmed J. Paul Oetken, whom President Obama nominated in January to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A simple majority was required to confirm Oetken. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, praised the Senate for what he said was a “historic vote” in confirming an openly gay male to the federal bench. “Confirmation of Paul Oetken serves as a role model for all LGBT people interested in serving on the judiciary and shows LGBT youth that hard work pays off,” Solmonese said.

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