AUSTIN, TX — (04-21-20) — An openly gay Texas judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez, says she was forced to remove her rainbow gay pride flag and other colorful materials after a local defense attorney filed a complaint over the gay pride flag comparing the symbol to a swastika and Confederate flag.
Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez told NBC News that she was investigated by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct office, and ordered to remove the gay pride flag, eyeglasses and a mouse pad with rainbow patterns, as well as a colorful Mexican cloth called a sarape.
“It felt like they were trying to shame me and bully me into not expressing who I truly am,” Gonzalez told NBC News in an interview published Tuesday. “It felt like a kick in the gut.” said Gonzalez.
The Mexican American judge, who presides over Bexar County Court 13 in San Antonio, slammed the decision by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct office as gender-based discrimination and xenophobic.
Judge Gonzalez added that other county judges are allowed to display an Irish flag or wear a camouflage robe in the courtroom.
“If you don’t tell them to take their rainbows down, then it’s not about the rainbow, it’s about me,” said Gonzalez to NBC News.
Defense attorney Flavio Hernandez confirmed that he filed the complaint to the state agency in back in August of 2019.
He told NBC News in a written statement that he was “grieved” when “confronted by a rainbow flag prominently displayed” in Judge Gonzalez’s courtroom and said he was concerned that he or his clients could face “implied authority of this unofficial flag symbolizing the Judge’s personal bias.” wrote Hernandez.
“Other flags expressing personal bias such as white supremacy (swastikas), or black slavery (confederacy) are also divisive and inappropriate symbols in our courtrooms,” argued Hernandez in a written statement to NBC News. “I may not be able to turn the dark tide of legalized immorality infecting our nation like a virus, but in my small way, I voiced my support of traditional American family values.”
The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct has sanctioned Bexar County Court-at-Law No. 13 Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez for using Facebook to congratulate attorneys who won jury verdicts in her courtroom. Will the obvious homophobic harassment ever stop? If a Judge isn’t even amuned to homophobia on the bench, where does that leave the rest of LGBTQ Americans?
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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