Senate OKs first openly gay black federal judge

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate for the first time has approved an openly gay black man to become a top-level federal judge.

Senators voted 98-0 on Tuesday to confirm President Barack Obama's nomination of Darrin Gayles. Gayles will be a district court judge in Florida.

By 52-44, the Senate also approved Obama's choice of a gay black woman, Staci Yandle, to serve as a district judge in Illinois. While that is not a first, the White House said Yandle's confirmation meant Obama has now appointed more female judges than any other president.

In a third roll call, the Senate voted 92-4 to make Salvador Mendoza a federal district judge in Washington state. The White House said Obama has appointed the most Hispanics to the federal bench of any president.

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