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2017 Stonewall Award honoree: Tonya Parker

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2017 Stonewall Award honoree: Tonya Parker

By John Glynn

Tonya Parker, judge of the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas, received national and international media attention when, after her election in 2010, she declined to officiate weddings until every couple in Texas, including gay and lesbian couples, could get married. In 2013 and 2015, she received the Dallas Bar Association’s highest ratings of any civil district judge. In 2015 Judge Parker was named Trial Judge of the Year by the Dallas chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. A graduate of the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Parker is the first openly gay woman to be elected as county judge in Dallas and was previously a partner at two Dallas law firms.

Presented by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Stonewall Award recognizes contributions by the recipients thereof to the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the legal profession, and/or to LGBT legal issues.

Established by the ABA in 2007, SOGI Commission the works to secure for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons full and equal participation in the ABA, the legal profession and the justice system.