Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club

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1 Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club 2015 Judicial Primary Election Questionnaire Please return to by March 9, 2015 Name: Judge Michael Fanning Campaign Address: Friends of Mike Fanning 8827 Brocklehurst Street Philadelphia, PA Phone number: Office Sought: Judge, Court of Common Pleas Judge, Municipal Court Date: BACKGROUND QUESTIONS 1. Please attach a copy of your resume to your completed questionnaire. My resume is being sent along with the Questionnaire. 2. What rating have you received from the Pennsylvania Bar Association and/or the Philadelphia Bar Association? I have received Recommended Status from the Philadelphia Bar Association for both Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court for 2011 and The evaluation process for 2015 is in progress. I appear before the Bar Association on What is your experience with the LGBT community both generally and/or professionally? Please provide specific examples. Generally, I have acquaintances, friends and family included in the LGBT community. Professionally, I have worked with and alongside of those in the LGBT community. As for specific examples, I really don t know. I never thought of my relationship with others as being in or out of the LGBT community, or in or out of any community for that matter. 4. Do you employ any openly LGBT people on your campaign staff or other staff?

2 Professionally, I have - although I have never really thought of it that way. As for my campaign staff, candidly it is not that large. 5. How are you best qualified for the bench? I am currently a Judge, Court of Common Pleas, serving in Family Court where I preside over custody and criminal cases and other matters. I have past experience as an Assistant District Attorney (First Assistant Child Abuse Unit), past experience as civil and criminal defense litigator in both state and federal court. I was appointed by the Governor, passed unanimously through the Senate Judiciary Committee and unanimously approved by the Senate. I have substantial experience and I am fair. 6. What is the general nature of your legal practice, and what are your particular areas of concentration? I am currently a Judge. As an attorney, I was an Assistant District Attorney (First Assistant Child Abuse Unit). As a private attorney, I was a civil and criminal defense litigator. Civilly, I handled a myriad of matters, ranging from injury cases, maritime law and discrimination matters - this not being an exhaustive list of matters. I was also regularly appointed by the Federal Court to represent those criminally charged in the federal system. 7 Describe a few of the most significant cases that you have litigated. Please give a summary of the substance of each case, the citations if available, and explain why you believe that each such case was significant. As a former First Assistant of the Child Abuse Unit while serving as an Assistant District Attorney, the most rewarding, albeit the most disturbing, cases I tried involved the prosecution and conviction of those who sexually assaulted younger and/or weaker (physical and/or mentally) persons. Further, although disturbing in nature, I enjoyed the ability of representing those who were victims of employment related discrimination due to their differences. Prevailing on those matters was very emotionally rewarding. 8. What pro-bono legal work have you performed, and for what organizations have you volunteered time? In addition, have you performed any LGBT specific pro bono or volunteer work?

3 Throughout my career as an attorney, I have provided pro-bono legal services, ranging from a simple consult to complex litigation in federal court. I am former Counsel for the Democratic County Executive Committee of Philadelphia, where I provided representation to countless individuals on a bro-bono basis. I have also dedicated volunteer time to youth organizations and community groups. I have also represented many persons from the LGBT community. 9. Have you ever experienced discrimination on a personal level? If so how did you overcome it? Yes, while being a caretaker of two young children, I was treated different by some people I knew, as well as some in the community generally, because I was caring for minority children. In addition, my daughter has experienced discrimination against her due to her disabilities. I don t know if I overcame it. I know I fought it. CIVIL RIGHTS QUESTIONS 10. How have you advanced the rights of the LGBT community, racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities? Please provide specific examples. As a former Assistant District Attorney, I prosecuted individuals for hate crimes. As a private attorney, I represented and fought for those who were the victims of discrimination. As an individual, I was a caretaker for a substantial period of time for two minority children. Further, my daughter is disabled. I fought and advocated for her and others similarly situated in many respects. 11. Do you support the rights of LGBT people to the following (if yes, please explain how you have supported the issue): a. Marriage equality (including the dissolution in Pennsylvania courts of an out-of-state marriage and/or civil union): b. Second-parent adoption? c. Equal custody rights in divorce (including visitation and custody rights for non-birth parents in separations)? d. Protection from discrimination in connection with employment, housing and accommodations?

4 e. Protection from acts of violence, including hate crimes, based on sexual orientation or gender identity? f. Access to victims services and Protection From Abuse orders for victims of domestic violence and/or rape? (a.-f) As a sitting Judge, I am sworn to uphold and follow the law and may be precluded from providing specific responses hereto. As an individual, I have supported equal rights of all people. My past personal and professional life demonstrates that. 12. Do you consider transgender rights a civil rights issue? Please explain. Please see response to # 11 above. 13. Transgender people have sometimes experienced a higher risk than others of discrimination and violence in connection with their interactions with the court system, and specifically, the criminal justice system. What should judges do to mitigate such discrimination? Please see the response to #s 11 & 12 above. 14. LGBT youth may act out because of harassment at school or in the home due to their gender/sex identity. How would you show sensitivity to such issues? Additionally, LGBT youth who spend time in juvenile detention facilities may face dangers other youth do not, such as physical, psychological, or sexual abuse and discrimination. What alternatives, if any, might be appropriate for such youth? I served as First Assistant of the Child Abuse Unit while I was an Assistant District Attorney. I had to interview children regarding sexual molestation. I also have spent substantial time during the past 18 years at St. Christopher s Children s Hospital and at the Children s Hospital of Philadelphia surrounded by children burdened and suffering with physical and mental impairments. I have also been actively involved in anti-bullying and non-harassment in schools. I am very sensitive to the stated issues, and have continuously been recognized by others for my strengths in this area, although I am not seeking recognition. As an attorney, I advocated for alternative placement and home detention for those at risk of abuse and discrimination and for secured housing for those incarcerated. By way of example - Although not a juvenile, while representing a young man from Kiribati (a very small island nation located the central Pacific Ocean

5 where the equator and the international date line intersect), in a federal criminal matter (he wound up in the United States onboard a cargo ship), I sought special housing for him and sought and arranged visits for him from the Seaman s Church. There was truly no one like him in the Federal Detention Center, or anywhere close for that matter. I was very concerned about his special and unique needs. The closest interpreter that could speak his dialect was located in Hawaii. I knew that I had a duty to assist him above and beyond strict legal representation. Among other things, I arranged for communication with his family at home on a very small island. This was rather difficult as there were no phones and mail was literally delivered by canoe. In summary, I have been very in tune with and concerned with individuals at risk and have always done my best seeking protection and comfort for them. 15. Do you support a woman s right to choose? Personally, Yes. SUMMARY QUESTIONS 16. Why should Liberty City endorse you? I am qualified. I am fair. I see all as equal, while appreciating all of our individual differences. 17. List all other endorsements you have received in connection with present 2015 Primary Election. To date, I have received endorsements from Philadelphia F.O.P., Lodge 5, Transport Workers Union, Local 234, and the Philadelphia Building Trades Council. Many groups, unions, and organizations are still in endorsement review process and I am hopeful that I will obtain further endorsements and respectfully seek and ask for the endorsement of Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club. CANDIDATE SIGNATURE: Michael Fanning, Judge

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