Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez is a judge at County Court at Law in San Antonio, Texas. She also happens to be the first lesbian judge to be elected in Bexar County back in January of 2019. In order to show pride and confidence within herself and her sexuality, an LGBTQ+ flag stands tall directly behind her bench.
However, it was recently discovered that the State Commission demanded that Gonzalez remove the flag from her courtroom after Flavio Hernandez filed a complaint stating he’s showing his “support for American traditional values”, when questioned by San Antonio Express News.
This flag was something that Gonzalez held very dear to her heart as it was awarded to her by the local LGBTQ council of the League of United Latin American Citizens, The Orgullo de San Antonio. Gonzalez has been a longtime advocate and leader within the community well before she was elected judge.
Back in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that required all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states, she became an ordained minister and offered to marry same-sex couples at no cost.
Nonetheless, comments were made that the flag is considered disrespectful and have even gone as far as to compare it to a swastika or the Confederate flag. She was also asked to remove anything that displayed support for the LGBTQ community including photos, posters, her rainbow pen and even her glasses which had rainbow colors on the side.
Some say that this is just another way to attack the openly gay bilingual Democrat judge, as it’s not her first time being in the hot seat. Just last year the Texas Commission of Judicial Conduct gave a public admonition and order of additional education to Gonzalez after a series of Facebook posts which congratulated lawyers who won jury verdicts in her courtroom.
A rule in the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from lending the prestige of their judicial office to advance their own or others’ private interests although Gonzalez states that it’s not clear what judges are and are not entitled to post on social media.
Yet it seems Gonzalez refuses to remain silent as she plans on appealing the decision made by the State Commission to remove her flag. Deanna Whitley, who is Gonzalez’s attorney states, “Judges all over the state of Texas have a right to express their First Amendment rights. They don’t lose that right when they become elected.”
As for now, no updates have been given in regards to Gonzalez’s appeal and the public patiently awaits the state commissions response. #Gayes, do you think it is okay for her to represent her pride flag inside her courtroom or does her flag show bias?