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February 04, 2021

California Supreme Court Judge Martin Jenkins to receive Stonewall Award

CHICAGO, Feb. 4, 2021 — The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity will honor Judge Martin Jenkins with its Stonewall Award during a virtual ceremony on Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. CST at the ABA Midyear Meeting.

Named after the New York City Stonewall Inn police raid and riot of June 28, 1969, which was a turning point in the gay rights movement, the award recognizes lawyers who have considerably advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBT legal causes. 

Jenkins, an associate justice of the California Supreme Court, is the first openly LGBTQ justice and the third African American man to serve on the court. He has a long record of public service, including as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County from 1981-83 and for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division from 1983-85. Jenkins then served as in-house counsel for Pacific Bell for four years before being appointed to the Alameda County Municipal Court in 1989.

In 1992, he was appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court, where he served until 1997. President Bill Clinton nominated Jenkins in 1997 to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, where he served until 2008, when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated him to fill the vacancy on the First District Court of Appeal.

Immediately prior to joining the California Supreme Court, Jenkins served as judicial appointments secretary to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Jenkins, who is co-author of the Jenkins-Laporte Doctrine, which defines the boundary of copyright and contractual rights in the licensing of digital works, has a B.A. from Santa Clara University and J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

You can find a photo of Jenkins here.

The ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity leads the ABA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and full and equal participation by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ABA, the legal profession and society. Created in 2007, the commission seeks to secure equal treatment in the ABA, the legal profession and the justice system without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.