Sister of Prop 8 mastermind
runs for judge in Sacramento
by Dan Aiello
The lesbian sister of Proposition 8 mastermind Frank Schubert has announced her candidacy for Sacramento County Superior Court judge.
At her campaign Web site, Anne Marie Schubert, a deputy district attorney for Sacramento County, promotes herself as a law and order and victim's rights candidate with several endorsements from local law enforcement organizations.
According to voter records, Anne Marie Schubert is a registered Republican. She has hired Gilliard Blanning, a conservative political consulting firm known for championing some of the state's best known Republican candidates and causes, to run her campaign.
Anne Marie Schubert, 45, doesn't mention her family or sexual orientation on her campaign Web site. But Sacramento County tax records show that Anne Marie Schubert purchased her home with Julie Greenberg in March 2005, where the women live together raising two children. Frank Schubert told the Bay Area Reporter the two women are in a registered domestic partnership.
"She and Julie are in a domestic partnership, and they have two wonderful children," Frank Schubert said.
Asked if he considered the children and Greenberg to be a part of his family, Frank Schubert replied, "Of course I consider them and their children to be part of my family, and I love them very much."
In a New York Times interview in November 2008, Frank Schubert acknowledged to reporter Jesse McKinley that he has a gay sister, confirming with the B.A.R. this week that he was referring to Anne Marie Schubert during the interview.
"I don't recall proactively bringing up the fact that I have a gay sister with Jesse McKinley," stated Schubert in an e-mail to the B.A.R. "I believe he asked me about it. Regardless, it is Anne Marie to whom I was referring."
Anne Marie Schubert declined to discuss same-sex marriage or Proposition 8, citing judicial code.
"Because I am running for a judicial seat, I am bound by the California Code of Judicial Ethics. This code applies to both sitting judges and attorneys running for judicial office," Anne Marie Schubert said in an e-mail. "This code makes it clear that 'Candidates may not make statements that commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies, or issues that could come before the courts.' This code also states, 'Judges involved in judicial campaigns must also avoid comment concerning a matter pending or impending in any court.'"
Asked specifically about her position on the marriage equality issue, Anne Marie Schubert replied, "In all honesty, I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to give you my personal opinion on Prop 8."
"What I can tell you about myself is simple: I have the knowledge, skill and ability to be a well qualified judge," she said. "I have the endorsements of a significant number of law enforcement groups and victims' rights group in Sacramento County. I spent the last 20 years of my career protecting the rights of victims and prosecuting the most serious offenders in Sacramento County."
Anne Marie Schubert said someone's sexual orientation is irrelevant to being a judge.
"It is irrelevant what race, creed, sexual orientation, or gender someone possesses. What matters is that all participants in the judicial system be treated with fairness and respect," she said.
Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, the statewide LGBT rights organization, said he hopes Anne Marie Schubert will meet with the group.
"The LGBT community is extremely underrepresented in the judiciary and many qualified openly LGBT applicants have not been appointed to the bench by the present or previous governors," Kors said in an e-mail. "It is critical that qualified LGBT candidates both apply to be appointed but also run for office when opportunities arise, especially in parts of the state that are more conservative and that don't have as many openly LGBT officials. We look forward to interviewing Ms. Schubert and hope that she, unlike her brother, believes that it is a violation of the constitution to deny any minority the same rights the majority has.
"It would be terrific to have a member of the Schubert family on the bench who understands the public danger and harm that Frank Schubert has helped inflict on so many," Kors added.
For his part, Frank Schubert said that he tries to keep his family separate from his political activities.
"I have tried not to bring discussion of Anne Marie into my political activities," explained Frank Schubert. "Our relationship is entirely personal and should have no role in any political campaign. I did not want her to be a focus of comment from either side of the marriage debate."
Frank Schubert ran both the Yes on 8 campaign in California in 2008 and the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine this year, which repealed that state's marriage equality law.
"My activities in politics are mine alone – she doesn't have anything to do with them," Frank Schubert said. "I tried to focus the Prop 8 and [Maine's] Question 1 campaigns on the various issues associated with redefining marriage, not on the personalities of the people involved on either side. Anne Marie and I disagree on the marriage issue. I am certain that she opposed Prop 8. Neither of us has allowed that single issue to define our relationship as brother and sister."
Frank Schubert also said he supports his sister's judicial campaign.
"I believe she will be an outstanding judge for the people of Sacramento County," wrote Mr. Schubert. "She is a fair and diligent prosecutor who has distinguished herself for a considerable period of time. ... I am not playing any role in her campaign beyond contributing to the effort."