Washington, D.C. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday he would lift his hold on a federal judicial nominee if she agrees to step aside from any case dealing with same-sex unions.
Brownback, a Republican raising money for a possible White House bid, has stalled the confirmation of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff to the federal bench because she once attended a lesbian commitment ceremony.
Neff has said she attended the ceremony as a friend of one of the two women, a longtime neighbor. She insisted in an Oct. 12 letter to Brownback that the ceremony had no legal effect and would not affect her ability to act fairly as a federal judge.
Brownback, a prominent gay marriage opponent, says he is concerned the incident colors her legal view on the constitutionality of allowing same-sex marriages.
Neff has declined any public comment about her nomination.
Under Senate rules, a single senator can block a vote on a nomination by placing a hold on it.