BALIF applauds the milestone appointment of Therese (Terry) Stewart to a position on the California Courts of Appeal. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Terry during San Francisco's LGBT Pride weekend. If confirmed, Terry, who is currently the Chief Deputy Attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, will be the first out lesbian appellate judge in the California state court system. BALIF endorsed Terry for the position last December after the unanimous recommendation of the BALIF Judiciary Committee based on Terry's decades of tireless and successful advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community, women, minorities, and other marginalized communities.
"Therese Stewart is an ideal candidate for the California judiciary, and we were pleased and honored to deliver BALIF's endorsement," said Elizabeth Pritzker, partner at Pritzker Law in San Francisco and former BALIF Judiciary Committee Co-Chair. "Therese will bring to the Courts of Appeal a multitude of strengths: a brilliant legal mind, an exceptional aptitude for solving difficult legal questions, and a great judicial temperament. Her appointment to the appellate court is a significant legacy for the LGBT community."
Terry has led a distinguished career as a top litigator, as one of the first female partners at Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin (now Arnold & Porter LLP) in San Francisco, and since 2002, at the City Attorney's Office. As Chief Deputy Attorney, she was instrumental in securing the rights of same-sex couples to marry, from representing San Francisco when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom first attempted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004, to winning marriage equality at the California Supreme Court in 2008, and finally successfully challenging Proposition 8 in Federal Court. Terry is a former member of the BALIF Board of Directors and the recipient of the 2013 American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women's Lawyers of Achievement, the highest award for a female attorney in the United States.
Check out Terry's It Gets Better video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZgvvw0-8Y