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LGBT Judge To Speak At Ann Arbor Interfaith Service

By | 2014-12-11T09:00:00-05:00 December 11th, 2014|Michigan, News|

By BTL Staff

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy, one of only seven openly gay federal jurists in the nation, will discuss her remarkable journey at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor for the fifth annual “Interfaith Service of Affirmation” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (LGBT) and their families, friends and allies.
Her keynote address and the following reception are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16. UUAA is located at 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, at the corner of Ellsworth. The event is free and open to the public.
“I am planning to talk about my personal story,” she said, “why I think diversity on the bench matters if we are to have a meaningful justice system, and a little on why we can be hopeful about the future.”
Levy, 56, who is celebrating her 29th anniversary with Janet Johnson, married her partner last summer in a civil ceremony in Washington, D.C. They have three children: Rianna, a sophomore at Yale, and twins Micah and Kayla, juniors at Pioneer High School.
Levy was confirmed in a 97-0 vote of the U.S. Senate last summer even though she has been a gay rights activist for most of her adult life and has followed a career path that could have put her in conservative Republican cross-hairs.
“I was nervous,” Levy said. “Your entire life is laid bare in what the Senate Judiciary Committee seeks, including everything you have ever said in public or written. I’m thankful that my nomination did not become a political issue.”
“I’ve been very fortunate,” she added.
A University of Michigan graduate, Levy worked at University Hospital, where she served for six years as bargaining chair for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. After getting her law degree from U of M in 1996, she spent four years as a trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, specializing in civil rights cases.
Levy became an assistant U.S. Attorney in 2000 and was chief of its civil rights unit from 2010 until her appointment to the bench.
She has also been an adjunct professor of law at U of M since 2000.
The service of affirmation will include a group blessing of same-sex couples who have been able to marry as well as those who wish to be.
Music will be provided by Katie Geddes, Kath Weider Roos, Laz Slomovitz, David Vaughn, Lori Fithian, Jean Chorazyczewski and Brandy Sinco.
In addition to UUAA, the event’s co-sponsors include: Beth Israel Congregation, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, First Congregational United Church of Christ of Ypsilanti, First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, Jim Toy Community Center, Interweave at First UU of Ann Arbor, Lord of Light Lutheran Church, Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, OASIS TBLG Outreach Ministry, Rainbow Crossing of the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF, Saint Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church and Trinity Lutheran Church.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.