‘I was being targeted’: Bexar County judge fighting to get rainbow Pride flag back into her courtroom

Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez was forced to remove flag and other items in 2019

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Court Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez is awaiting her own day in court after she was forced to remove the rainbow Pride flag and other items from her courtroom in 2019.

Gonzalez became the first openly gay judge elected in Bexar County in 2018.

Within months of taking the bench, a complaint was made by a local defense attorney to the State Commission of Judicial Conduct over the rainbow flag she had in her courtroom.

In a 2019 ruling, the commission forced her to remove all rainbow items, including her flag, a pen, a mousepad and a robe she used that featured a serape pattern, because it violated Texas’ code of judicial conduct, Gonzalez said.

A copy of the ruling has not yet been made public as the commission keeps such rulings confidential unless they are appealed.

“It came across very much like I was being targeted and discriminated against, and it still feels that way,” Gonzalez told KSAT.

The attorney who filed the complaint called hanging the flag in the courtroom “extremely repugnant” in a statement to NBC News, adding that “other flags expressing personal bias such as white supremacy (swastikas), or black slavery (confederacy) are also divisive and inappropriate symbols in our courtrooms.”

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Gonzalez said that she has seen other judges in Texas that have a rainbow flag in their courtroom but that she’s unaware of any instance of them being asked to remove the flags. Gonzalez said she feels like she’s being singled out, and therefore is appealing the ruling.

She is now awaiting her day in court.

“We opted for an in-person hearing, so we’re waiting to hear from Austin when that will actually take place,” Gonzalez said.

While she is waiting, Gonzalez continues her advocacy in Bexar County for the LGBT community and recently won a leadership award from the Texas Diversity Council.

“It’s become a year-round type of approach to life, to live authentically and live out loud,” Gonzalez said.

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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