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Obama moves to fill last Cabinet posts as gays appointed to lower ranks

Tony Grew February 3, 2009

The appointments of more openly gay people to posts in the Obama administration have been announced.

LGBT rights activists were disappointed that no out people were appointed to the new President’s Cabinet.

When the nominee for Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, withdrew earlier this month, an LGBT grassroots political organisation urged Barack Obama to nominate a gay man, Fred Hochberg.

“In more than 200 years, the United States Cabinet has never included an openly gay member,” Equal Rep said in a statement.

Earlier today the President named a Republican US Senator, Judd Gregg, as his nominee for Commerce Secretary.

The President’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, withdrew this afternoon after it emerged he had failed to pay almost £90,000 in taxes.

The nominee for Chief Performance Officer, Nancy Killefer, also withdrew today over unpaid taxes.

Barack Obama took office as the 44th President of the United States on January 20th.

Last week it was announced that Ebs Burnough has been appointed deputy scheduler to America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama.

David Medina is the new Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the First Lady.

The Lesbian and Gay Victory Fund, a group that funds out gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans candidates regardless of party affiliation, said that so far, sixteen lesbian and gay individuals have received appointments from President Barack Obama.

The fund said many of them applied for their positions through the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute’s Presidential Appointments Project.

The appointees are:

* Anthony Bernal – Scheduler, Office of Dr. Jill Biden
* John Berry – Director-Designate, Office of Personnel Management
* Brian Bond – Deputy Director, White House Office of Public Liaison
* Ebs Burnough – Deputy Scheduler, Office of the First Lady
* Michael Camunez – Domestic Policy Cluster Head, Presidential Personnel
* Brook Colangelo – Chief Information Officer, White House Office of Administration
* Brad Kiley – Director, White House Office of Management and Administration
* Fred Hochberg – Director-Designate, U.S. Export-Import Bank
* Karine Jean-Pierre – White House Liaison, U.S. Department of Labour
* David Medina – Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the First Lady
* Dave Noble – White House Liaison, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
* Mark Perriello – Director of Priority Placement, Presidential Personnel
* Nancy Sutley – White House Council on Environmental Quality
* Moe Vela – Director of Operations, Office of the Vice President
* Kei Koizumi – Assistant Director for Federal Research and Development, Office of Science and Technology Policy
* Alison Nathan – White House Counsels Office

In December Chuck Wolfe, president of the Lesbian and Gay Victory Fund, told the Washington Blade:

“As we talk about either keeping or renewing America’s promise, which the President-elect has been talking about, apparently it does not yet extend to gay and lesbian people in the Cabinet.”

More: Americas

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