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Celebrating the Appointment of Seth Marnin, First Openly Transgender Male Judge in U.S. History

June 8, 2023

On June 7, 2023, Governor Hochul announced 11 appointments and four reappointments to the New York State Court of Claims. Three of her appointments to the New York State Court of Claims include members of the LGBTQ+ community, and we celebrate these historic decisions: David Fried, Rockland County; Brian Haak, Albany County; and Seth Marnin, New York County.

Of particular note is the fact that Seth Marnin will not only become New York State’s first openly transgender judge but also the nation’s first openly transgender man on the bench. A litigator, civil rights advocate, and an educator, Mr. Marnin currently serves as the Director of Training and Education in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Columbia University. Prior to serving as the Director, he was the Founder and Principal of Workplace Strategies, advising non-profit organizations on a range of legal issues, including employment-related matters and policy development. He also served as the Vice President of Civil Rights at the Anti-Defamation League subsequent to serving as Assistant National Legal Director and Civil Rights Counsel. Additionally, Mr. Marnin served as the Deputy Director for The Center for HIV Law and Policy.


"We commend Governor Hochul’s LGBTQ+ appointments to the New York State Court of Claims. We are especially jubilant at the Governor’s selection of Mr. Marnin for the New York Court of Claims, making him the first openly trans person to serve as a jurist in any federal or state court in New York and the first openly trans man to serve as a jurist in the country. Beyond his connection to our community, Mr. Marnin has a keen intellect, a demonstrated commitment to the promise of equal access to justice for all, and a reverence for the rule of law. Mr. Marnin’s background and diversity of experience will provide the judiciary with a much-needed perspective and a notable enhancement to the trans community’s representation -- undoubtedly, a major step forward.” Janice Grubin and Michael Weiner, Co-Chairs of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York Judiciary Committee.


“At our Sapphire Gala, Governor Hochul discussed how New York State needs transgender judges. She is standing behind her words at a pivotal moment for the transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming communities. We applaud her historic selections and continued commitment to increasing LGBTQ+ representation across appointments and the judiciary.” Shain Filcher, Executive Director of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.


To download the press release related to this post, please click here.

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