The Agriculture Department has announced plans to hire a "gay and lesbian program specialist" to help improve working conditions for the agency's gay staffers, The New York Times reports.
It is the first time that an administration has tried to hire someone to handle gay issues in the federal workplace.
"It's a big deal," said E. Julian Potter, who was President Bill Clinton's liaison to the gay and lesbian community. "It takes an enormous amount of time to affect this kind of change within an administration."
The Human Rights Campaign's Executive Director Elizabeth Birch has applauded the decision, saying it "will ensure a more equitable workplace, as well as help the government recruit and retain the most highly qualified and talented Americans."
The USDA is also advertising for "program specialists" to represent women, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and African-Americans.
The jobs are posted at www.usajobs.opm.gov . The salary for the civil service job is $74,697 to $97,108, depending on the candidate's qualifications and experience.