Digest: A judge may attend a community meeting in which gay and lesbian issues would be discussed and the meeting addressed by the liaison of the President of the United States to the lesbian and gay community.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5
The inquiring judge seeks the opinion of the Committee as to whether the judge may attend a community meeting at the New York Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center at which the President of the United States’ liaison to the lesbian and gay community would speak. The information provided to the inquiring judge indicates that the speaker, an executive branch employee, would confine remarks to a review of recent developments in the executive, legislative and judicial branches on issues of concern to the lesbian and gay communities. The speaker would be prohibited from conducting any campaign-related activities on behalf of the President and there would be no charge for attending the event.
Given the limitations outlined in the inquiry, especially the fact that no partisan political campaign activity will occur at the meeting, attendance by the judge would not constitute prohibited political activity under section 100.5 of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.