Many may find it difficult to understand how a woman could call herself both a lesbian and a Christian. In “From Robe to Robe, ” author Martha E. Bellinger
provides the unique perspective of a lesbian woman who served in the ordained ministry and then transitioned into the legal profession, eventually proceeding all the way to the bench. In this memoir, she traces her life journey toward acceptance and openness about her own lesbianism.
During her seminary years, Bellinger recognized her sexual orientation was lesbian, meeting her first partner at Princeton. Remaining in the closet, yet facing discrimination as the first female pastor in her district, she changed directions in life; she traveled to California with her partner and attended Whittier College School of Law.
“From Robe to Robe” narrates the journey of Bellinger's early years in the legal profession, as she went through the process of coming out as a lesbian. Describing her fights with blatant discrimination in the church and more subtle discrimination in the legal profession, Bellinger communicates how these obstacles strengthened her spirituality. Believing God always loved her and created her as a lesbian, Bellinger attempts the role of Solomon in a busy courtroom each day.
Martha E. Belllinger was ordained in the United Methodist Church and served as a pastor in Upstate New York. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Whittier College School of Law and became a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Bellinger and her spouse, Pam, live in Claremont, California.