Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Openly Gay Justice Nominee Goes Off Script to Thank Partner, Kids

In the oft-boring and emotionless world of Senate committee hearings to consider nominations, it’s rare for a human moment to break through; but Stuart F. Delery, President Barack Obama’s openly gay nominee to be the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, got his moment Tuesday.

Delery went off script from his prepared remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee after Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who was chairing the session, moved to begin the nominee’s testimony by saying, “It looks like you have a happy family behind you there.”

Perhaps what was so touching about the moment was how normal it was, even as gay rights are being widely debated in legal systems across the country, including the Supreme Court. Delery is the acting head of the DOJ’s Civil Division. Per CQ’s John Gramlich, who was WGDB’s eyes in the hearing:

In Delery’s prepared statement, he simply wrote that he is “blessed to have a wonderful family, and I thank them for the foundation they provide me.”

But here is what he actually said:

“I do have a number of family members here today and, with the chair’s invitation, I’d like to introduce them. First is my partner, Richard Gervase. I wouldn’t be here without the support that he’s given me over the last 20 years, since we were classmates in law school. In addition to being a great father, he’s a terrific lawyer, and I’ve been improved by his intelligence, judgment, integrity and sense of justice.”

You can watch the exchange here at the 42-minute mark.

Delery continued by thanking his two children with Gervase, Michael and Sebastian, calling them “the joys of my life” and noting that they were present at the hearing “to see a little bit about how their government works.”

Given the depths and length of exchanges for the committee’s other nominee in consideration — B. Todd Jones for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — Michael and Sebastian got quite the civics lesson. Read more about Delery from a 2012 Metro Weekly profile here.

  • Mikey

    I’ve got news for Delery, he did not have any children with Gervase. That’s something that can only happen with marriage; which can only be between a man and a woman. Sorry fellas, its nature.

    • TheLoweDown

      Children is something that can only happen with marriage? I guess all the children born outside of marriage in the country are magically non-existent? The tricks of the mind are amazing!

      • Mikey

        No one said that dolt, Why is it Democrats cannot comprehend the written or spoken word. They have their own definitions of words. The guy Delery said he had children with Gervase. He did not. It is not possible for 2 men to procreate, you idiot you.

        • Timmy Schultz

          Mikey, you don’t get to decide who is a parent or who has children with whom. Are you saying that a heterosexual man who has adopted a young child is not that child’s parent with his wife? If you are so focused on sex between men, I wonder what else you got going on.

          • Mikey

            Adoption is not what we are talking about here, its procreation, by nature, stay with it. Adoption stuff is a legal remedy for what cannot happen naturally; and as you acknowledge, ‘with his wife’; meaning female, not same sex.

  • Dapandico

    Would he have been nominated if he wasn’t gay?

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