From the Victory Institute:
Washington, DC President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be his Secretary of Transportation, making him the first out LGBTQ person to be nominated to a permanent position in a presidential Cabinet. He will be the first out LGBTQ Cabinet secretary ever approved by the U.S. Senate if his nomination is confirmed next year. The appointment also fulfills one of four goals LGBTQ Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative set for the new administration.
Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the Buttigieg nomination:
"Pete's nomination is a new milestone in a decades-long effort to ensure LGBTQ people are represented throughout our government and its impact will reverberate well-beyond the department he will lead. It distances our nation from a troubled legacy of barring out LGBTQ people from government positions and moves us closer to the President-elect's vision of a government that reflects America. As an out LGBTQ person, Pete will bring a unique perspective that will inform and influence policy throughout the federal government. Most important, however, is that Pete will bring his intellect and energy to the Department of Transportation and our nation will be better off because of it."
In addition to an LGBTQ Cabinet appointment, LGBTQ Victory Institute previously called on the next administration to:
Nominate an openly LGBTQ U.S. Supreme Court justice for the first time;
Appoint openly LGBTQ woman ambassadors, LGBTQ ambassadors of color, and transgender ambassadors for the first time; and
Ensure openly LGBTQ people receive equitable representation among presidential appointees and that they reflect the full diversity of the LGBTQ community.
Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative a coalition of 32 LGBTQ and allied organizations will put forward hundreds of exemplary LGBTQ candidates for positions throughout the next administration and advocate for their consideration. It aims to help the Biden transition team in creating the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in U.S. history.
The Initiative first launched by Victory Institute during President Bill Clinton's administration achieved unprecedented success under President Barack Obama, who appointed approximately 330 LGBTQ people, the most in history. Of those, 158 were assisted by the Presidential Appointments Initiative.
During the Trump administration, Richard Grenell became the first out LGBTQ person to hold a Cabinet position when he served as Acting Director National Intelligence for three months. However, his appointment was temporary and was never confirmed by the Senate.
With more than 4,100 appointees, at least 185 LGBTQ people must be serving at any given time to maintain a representation level equal to that of LGBTQ people in the U.S. population (4.5 percent). The coalition also aims to make the LGBTQ appointees the most diverse ever ensuring that LGBTQ people of color, LGBTQ women and transgender and non-binary people are well represented.
The National LGBTQ Task Force, From Equality California
LOS ANGELES President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Democratic candidate for president, to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation, Axios reported Tuesday. The selection makes Buttigieg the first openly LGBTQ+ person to be nominated to a permanent Cabinet-level position. If confirmed next year, Buttigieg will be the first openly LGBTQ Cabinet secretary ever approved by the U.S. Senate.
Equality California, the nation's largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization and one of the first LGBTQ+ organizations to support Buttigieg's presidential campaigns, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:
"With President-Elect Joe Biden's historic announcement today, I am filled with hope and pride. When confirmed, Pete Buttigieg will not only be the first openly LGBTQ+ Cabinet secretary, but the highest ranking openly LGBTQ+ federal official in American history. I want LGBTQ+ young people across the country to see Secretary Buttigieg and know that the sky is the limit.
"In 1957, Frank Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer in the U.S. Army Map Service because he was gay. He was one of thousands of LGBTQ+ people who have been barred from serving in government positions throughout our nation's history not because they weren't up for the job, but because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, as they build the most diverse Cabinet ever, President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris are shutting the door forever on that painful legacy and sending a clear message to LGBTQ+ people everywhere that we deserve a seat at every table and belong in every hall of power.
"Today, more than ever, we are proud to be on Team Pete."
Equality California and the organization's Nevada-based affiliate Silver State Equality endorsed Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary. When Buttigieg withdrew from the race and endorsed President-Elect Biden, Equality California and Silver State Equality became the first two LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations to endorse the president-elect.
The National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey, Executive Director:
"Today, President-elect Biden made history by nominating former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation. If confirmed, he will be the first out LGBTQ Cabinet Secretary in history. Our hope is that this historic first is just that - the first - of more LGBTQ nominees at this and other levels of government service. Our community has a deep, diverse and talented bench to serve in all agencies. We know the day will come when we will have accomplished the "firsts" and can celebrate the full range of contributions made by LGBTQ people in government.
We are pleased to see the prior appointments of Karine Jean-Pierre as deputy press secretary, and Pili Tobar, an immigration rights advocate named deputy White House communications director. Also, Carlos Elizondo, who is openly gay and was Biden's social secretary when Biden was vice president, was named White House social secretary. We look forward to supporting other qualified LGBTQ appointees in successful confirmations.
We urge the incoming administration to continue to appoint LGBTQ+ individuals and we hope to see history made with the appointment of more transgender people and people of color from our community to fully represent our diversity and multiple identities."