Bexar County judge wins appeal to display rainbow flag in courtroom

Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez celebrates big win for herself and LGBTQ community

SAN ANTONIO – After a four-year battle and appeal process Bexar County Court 13 Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez won an appeal over her right to display a rainbow flag in her courtroom.

Within months of taking the bench in 2019, a complaint was made by a local defense attorney to the State Commission of Judicial Conduct over the rainbow flag Gonzalez displayed in her courtroom.

Gonzalez is the first openly gay judge in Bexar County.

The commission later forced her to remove all rainbow items from her courtroom, including the flag, a pen, a mousepad and a robe she used that featured a serape pattern, because it violated Texas’ code of judicial conduct.

Gonzalez appealed that decision and last year was about to state her case during a hearing in Austin.

“We went before three appellate judge justices in front of the Texas Supreme Court back in June,” Gonzalez said. “We finally got their opinion last week and they vacated any sanctions against me and dismissed the grievance that was originally filed.”

The victory was a meaningful one for Gonzalez and the entire LGBTQ community.

Despite winning the appeal, Gonzalez said the flag will not return to her courtroom to avoid further complaints.

“You can’t stop people from filing their grievances, so we have come to the decision that the very same flag that was in the courtroom has been sitting and will remain posted right outside my chambers in my office,” Gonzalez said.

What is important now, Gonzalez said, is despite whatever people may think of her, she will continue to provide equal justice for all.


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

About the Authors

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.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.

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