NEW ORLEANS — The nation's oldest and largest association for African-American lawyers and judges has created an LGBTQ division for its members. The National Bar Association's president calls it a long-overdue milestone.

President Juan Thomas says that if the group is to continue as a leading civil rights organization, it's important to be inclusive for all members.

A news release Thursday said 55 of the board's 56 members voted to approve the new division this week in New Orleans.

The new division's committee chair is Jonathan Patterson. He says his goal is to continue creating awareness within the association and change throughout the community.