Mary Yu talks about making history on state Supreme Court

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 4:28 PM

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu will be the first Asian American, Latina and openly gay justice to serve on the state's high court. But, Yu said making history wasn’t always her dream.

“Frankly, growing up as a kid in the inner-city of Chicago, dreams aren't always as big as we would like,” said Yu. “I really thought my dream would be just to have a job perhaps being a secretary or even a clerk in a store. And as life unfolded opportunities came up.

It wasn’t until Yu, 57, was sitting in the Governor’s office that she realized “this is really going to happen.”

MORE: Mary Yu appointed to state Supreme Court

Yu has served 14 years as a trial judge in King County and was a part of a defining moment in Washington’s history: She was the first judge to officiate a gay marriage in King County just after midnight when it became legal. 

“It was a glorious moment. It was just filled with joy," said Yu. "In terms of my staff, we thought once the law was enacted, why should people have to wait one more minute to be married?"

Looking ahead, she said she expects the tension between privacy rights and technology advancements to be the biggest challenge for our state and the nation as a whole. But, she said she is mostly looking forward to getting to know the justices better, exploring the law and mentoring young people.

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