US

More than 100 LGBT+ congresspeople urge Joe Biden to make good on his diverse cabinet pledge

Matilda Davies December 11, 2020
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US President-elect Joe Biden praised Nancy Pelosi

US president-elect Joe Biden. (Alex Wong/Getty)

The congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus released a letter on Tuesday asking the Joe Biden transition team to add LGBT+ professionals to the cabinet.

The letter said: “While your administration is on track to be the most diverse in American history, we ask that you continue your commitment to diversity by ensuring LGBTQ+ professionals are included in your cabinet and throughout your administration.”

The caucus includes 165 members of the House. It was signed by several openly LGBT+ representatives, including Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres of New York.

Jamal Brown, a spokesperson for the Biden transition team, said: “Our team will continue to build upon president-elect Biden’s legacy of advancing LGBTQ+ equality by shaping a government that looks like and reflects the breadth and diversity of our nation.”

Brown also sought to emphasise the current diversity of the cabinet, “with the first woman of South Asian descent and first Black woman to be vice president-elect, as well as a slate of historic nominees and appointees.”

Joe Biden has committed to have “the most diverse cabinet representative of all folks: Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ.”

No openly LGBT+ candidates have been confirmed by the Senate in US history

Donald Trump appointed Ric Grenell as acting director of national intelligence in his cabinet. However he was never officially confirmed by the US Senate.

Annise Parker, president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and former mayor of Houston said she is “impressed with the folks he’s chosen”. However, she continued: “Our community will be extremely disappointed if the commitment to inclusion does not extend to us.”

There has been wide speculation around which LGBT+ politicians might be added to the president-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey was the first out lesbian elected as attorney general. Many hope she will make the senate. Biden is expected to name his choice for the US attorney general today.

Many hoped Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania secretary of health, would get the role of surgeon general. However, Biden has appointed Vivek Murthy for this role, which he also took during the Obama administration. Levine is the highest level openly transgender public official in the United States.

Some also hoped previous democratic candidate, Pete Buttigieg, would be given a role leading the Department of Veterans Affairs. Joe Biden has now nominated Denis McDonough for this position.

According to data from the AP VoteCast poll, Joe Biden wouldn’t have won the US election without the backing of LGBT+ voters.

Related topics: joe biden, kamala harris, Maura Healey, Pete Buttigieg, Rachel Levine, US Senate

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