Y’all know that I have been somewhat disillusioned by our “Fierce Advocate” and his broken promises. I still remember the I will end DADT as soon as I get into office and yet here we are, nearly two years later and still waiting.
I do take solace in the fact that had a nightmare occurred and the Grampa/Mama Grizzly Bore ticket been elected, we wouldn’t even be discussing DADT or LGBT rights at all. So there is that.
And there’s also this:
Less than halfway through his first term, President Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in history.
It seems that Obama’s 150 appointments so far–from agency heads and commission members to policy officials and senior staffers–surpasses the previous high of 140 appointments under President Clinton.
And advocates feel that Obama’s appointment of LGBT men and women into government positions helps ease the disappointment we feel from Obama’s lack of action on DADT, and DOMA.
And, in more good news, Obama’s appointments of LGBT men and women hardly raises an eyebrow, and causes nowhere near the ruckus that we saw back in the Clinton presidency with his nomination of then-San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg as assistant secretary for Housing and Urban Development.
Achtenberg was the first openly gay official to serve at such a senior level, and she won confirmation despite contentious hearings and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who denounced her as a “militant extremist.”
While many gay activists hoped Obama would be the first to appoint an openly gay Cabinet secretary, that hasn’t happened……yet. However, he did appoint the highest-ranking LGBT 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. And David Huebner, ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, is the third openly gay ambassador in U.S. history.
So, I do see some positive movement for the LGBT community in this White House, but, well, I want more. I’d like a definitive statement against DADT which we haven’t gotten yet; it’s all been rhetoric and press releases. I’d also like the president to respond more quickly to issues involving the LGBT community, like the recent spate of LGBTQ youth suicides, or the proclamations of Pride month and so on.
Obama is doing more than presidents past, but he must keep pushing.