California Governor Announces Appointment of Out Lesbian to Serve on California’s Court of Appeal

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Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that he has appointed San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese M. Stewart to serve as a justice on the California Court of Appeal, on the First District Court’s Division Two.  The appointment was made during San Francisco’s LGBT Pride weekend, and marked the historic milestone for California’s judiciary as well as its LGBT community. Stewart will be the first openly lesbian justice to serve on the California Court of Appeal, if confirmed.

In response to the news, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:

“Terry Stewart was my very first hire after I was elected City Attorney, and it has been an extraordinary honor to have someone with her intelligence, dedication and passionate commitment to justice serve as my chief deputy for more than a dozen years. I’d be lying if I didn’t concede a degree of personal disappointment in knowing that she won’t be standing by my side in the City Attorney’s Office anymore.  But I am incredibly proud of Terry for all she has accomplished in her career, for her appointment to the California Court of Appeal today, and for shattering one more historic barrier as California’s first lesbian-identified appellate court justice.  On a weekend in which San Francisco celebrates LGBT equality, Terry Stewart’shistoric appointment is still more cause to celebrate—not just for the LGBT community, but for all Californians who’ll be so ably served by her remarkable gifts on the judiciary.”

Dennis Herrera, San Francisco City Attorney

Stewart, who has served as chief deputy city attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office since 2002, and was key figure to argue on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco in the trilogy of cases advocating for marriage equality for LGBT Californians in the California Supreme Court.  She also led the team of San Francisco deputy city attorneys intervening as plaintiffs in the federal case challenging Proposition 8.


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