Main | Thursday, December 18, 2008

Victory Fund Unhappy With Obama Cabinet

The Victory Fund has expressed their disappointment that Barack Obama has tapped Rep. Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor, rather than openly lesbian labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell. Solis' appointment closes out the last major position in the Obama Cabinet, leaving nothing open for the selection of an LGBT candidate.
With the rumored nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis to the post of Labor Secretary, it’s apparent Barack Obama’s cabinet will not include a member of the LGBT community. Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute, expressed the community’s disappointment.

“It’s now clear that President Obama’s top appointees will gather in a Cabinet Room that does not reflect the living rooms, board rooms or rooms of worship across this country. Openly LGBT people are accepted and involved in nearly all aspects of American life, but they still will not have a place at the table at the highest reaches of their government,” Wolfe said.

The LGBT community’s Presidential Appointments Project does not have an express goal of attaining a cabinet-level appointment, but the floating of several names of openly gay and lesbian contenders to head the Labor and Interior Departments stirred hope that Obama would make an historic nomination. Still, Obama will make thousands more appointments in the coming months, and the Project has so far collected some 1,400 applications from openly LGBT at all levels of experience.

“Floating names is not enough. We expect President-elect Obama to live up to his word to appoint a diverse administration,” Wolfe said. “Our community is ready to help lead this country.”
As reported here two weeks ago, Maxwell had the backing of the HRC, as well as major labor union leaders.

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