By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
SanFranciscoSuperiorCourtis known for being liberal. It was the first to prohibit judges from associating with the Boy Scouts of America, which characterized gays as “unclean” and “not morally straight.” It’s called the “Lavender Bench,” because at least 10 of its 50 judges are openly gay.
But Judge Richard A. Kramer, whose ruling this week offered hope to gays and lesbians — along with those who think they should have a right to marry — isn’t one of those 10. He is a straight, white, Irish Catholic, who happens to be a Republican appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in 1996.
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and raised in the Los Angeles area, Kramer is the only son of a bookkeeper father and a homemaker mother. He graduated from USC in 1969 and stayed on for law school, embarking on a lengthy career in commercial litigation before rising to the bench. He has one daughter and a working wife, according to a profile in the DailyJournal,and enjoys skiing, tennis, bike riding and family getaways in Lake Tahoe. After receiving death threats in a gang case he once tried, he wore a bulletproof vest and carried a weapon to court. When first assigned to criminal cases, he explored San Francisco’s Tenderloin District to learn more about the people he would be seeing in his courtroom. Prosecutors, defenders, plaintiffs’ lawyers and their adversaries have praised him for being intelligent and fair-minded.
More L.A. Weekly articles on the gay marraige ruling:
Image Control: “Consecration”; art by Mr. Fish. In Filtered, Arnold on Hardball and excerpts from Judge Kramer’s ruling on gay marriage.
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