Tag Archives: Amanda Simpson

Obama has appointed a record number of gay officials

Fox News reports on Obama’s decision to appoint a record number of gay officials.

Excerpt:

Less than halfway through his first term, President Barack Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in history.

Gay activists say the estimate of more than 150 appointments so far — from agency heads and commission members to policy officials and senior staffers — surpasses the previous high of about 140 reached during two full terms under President Bill Clinton.

[…]Gay activists, among Obama’s strongest supporters, had hoped he would be the first to appoint an openly gay Cabinet secretary. While that hasn’t happened — yet — Obama did appoint the highest-ranking gay official ever when he named John Berry as director of the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the nation’s 1.9 million federal workers.

Other prominent names include Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Fred Hochberg, chairman of the Export-Import Bank. Obama also named Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender appointee, as a senior technical adviser in the Commerce Department.

[…]One Obama nominee who met some opposition was Chai Feldblum, a Georgetown University law professor nominated to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Concerned Women for America accused Feldblum of playing “a major role in pushing the homosexual and transsexual agenda on Americans.” Other conservative groups blasted her role in drafting the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, a bill that would ban employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Obama is a strong supporter of that legislation.

Obama made Feldblum a recess appointment in March after an anonymous hold in the Senate held up her confirmation for months.

Another target for conservatives was Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, who was named to oversee the Education Department’s Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools. More than 50 House Republicans asked Obama to remove Jennings from the post after reports surfaced about advice he gave more than 20 years earlier after learning a gay student had sex with an older man.

Jennings conceded that he should have consulted medical or legal authorities instead of telling the 15-year-old boy that he hoped he had used a condom. The Obama administration defended Jennings and declined to remove him.

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