The Illinois Appellate Court has named openly gay Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sebastian Patti, 57, to fill a vacancy on the bench, according to ChicagoBusiness.com . He will succeed Leslie South effective Aug. 3.
The Appellate Court is the second-highest court in Illinois, behind the state supreme court. Patti will serve on the 1st District bench.
Openly gay Cook County Court Judge Tom Chiola, who heads the Alliance of Illinois Judges, said, "We are moving up and on as we perform. We are being judged on our merit —just like everyone else."
When talking with Windy City Times last year about having LGBT judges on the bench, Patti said, "...it is important to have a reflection of society, as a whole. ... If the judges are not reflective of society as a whole, I can understand why people call into question if justice will be fair, impartial and speedy."