Maybe it just slipped by conservatives distracted by the frenzy over how to raise the debt ceiling. Still, it was notable Monday night when the Senate voted 80-13 to confirm an openly gay man, Paul Oetken, to the federal bench. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank observed: "It would be premature to believe that Oetken's easy confirmation heralds some new post-sexual era in American politics; the fight over gay marriage continues undiminished. But it was a signal moment nonetheless. The nominee's sexual orientation was deemed unimportant — or at least less important than his moderate politics and his pro-business record (he's a corporate lawyer, with Cablevision)." Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran were among the 13 "no" votes. Just 12 years ago, President Clinton had to bypass Senate confirmation in order to name the first openly gay U.S. ambassador, James Hormel.