The United States now has its first openly gay black federal judge, and he's from South Florida. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Darrin P. Gayles' nomination to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida was approved by the Senate today in a 97-0 vote.
Gayles was nominated by President Obama after another openly gay black local judges's nomination was singlehandedly held up by Marco Rubio, who had ironically recommended him the first place.
Miami-Dade Judge William Thomas had originally been nominated for the post, but judicial nominations need the approval of both U.S. senators from their state before moving forward, and Rubio withdrew his support citing vague concerns over Thomas's "temperament."
The Federal Judicial Nominating Commission then recommended Gayles for one of two empty spots on the district bench.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Gayles has served in Florida circuit court since 2011. Previously he had served as a judge in Miami-Dade county court since 2004.
Rubio had no opposition to Gayles' nomination.