Gay attorneys celebrate with dinner and drinks

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A crowd of gay Atlanta attorneys packed together in an upscale ballroom in Midtown on Thursday with enough judges to fill a courthouse to celebrate, fete their honorees and hear from a leading gay marriage activist.

That was the scene for the 19th Annual Awards Dinner from the Stonewall Bar Association, which held its largest-ever banquet in a ballroom at the Biltmore. The group honored Judge Jane Morrison, a lesbian who helped organize the LGBT legal group and served as its second president. In August 2012, Morrison won election to a state court judge seat in Fulton County, where her partner, Joan Garner, sits on the county commission.

Stonewall also honored Lynn Roberson, a recent past president of the Atlanta Bar Association. During her tenure, the group came out in support of gay marriage. On Thursday, the Stonewall crowd also heard from Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, which lobbies for same-sex marriage. The group is also part of a coalition that recruits mayors, including four in Georgia, to support gay marriage.

Scores of judges attended the event, including superior court judges from DeKalb and Fulton counties. The roster included Fulton Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright, a lesbian who delivered the oath of office to Garner in January 2011.

Judges at the dinner included:

Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes, Court of Appeals
Judge Arnold Ragas, DeKalb County Probate Court
Judge Jeryl Rosh, DeKalb County Probate Court
Judge Bradley J. Boyd, Fulton County Chief Juvenile Court Judge
Judge Melynee Leftridge, Fulton County Magistrate Court
Judge Robin R Palenske, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Judge Stacey K. Hydrick, DeKalb County State
Judge Dax E. López, DeKalb County State Court              
Judge Jack McLaughlin, DeKalb County State Court
Judge Janis C. Gordon, DeKalb County State Court
Judge Jane Morrison, Fulton County State Court
Judge Susan E. Edlein, Fulton County State Court
Judge Jay M. Roth, Fulton County State Court
Judge Diane E. Besson, Fulton County State Court
Judge Joseph C. Iannazzone, Gwinnett Count State Court
Judge Gregory Adams, DeKalb County Superior Court
Judge Tangela M. Barrie, DeKalb County Superior Court
Judge T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Doris L. Downs, Fulton County Superior Court
Senior Judge Stephanie B. Manis, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Cynthia Wright, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Wendy Shoob, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Phillip Jackson, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Robert McBurney, Fulton County Superior Court
Judge Henry Newkirk, Fulton County Superior Court

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