No out LGBTQ person has been confirmed by the Senate for a Cabinet position
Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Institute called on President-elect Joe Biden to appoint at least one out LGBTQ person to a Senate-confirmed Cabinet position and said it will provide the transition team with a list of qualified LGBTQ leaders ready to serve. Never in American history has an out LGBTQ person been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve in a Cabinet-level position.
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.
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.
“Members of Joe Biden’s Cabinet will have tremendous influence over the policies and direction of the next administration, so it is essential an LGBTQ voice is at the table,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “Allies are invaluable, but the impact of policies on LGBTQ lives is not always fully understood by someone outside our community. An LGBTQ Cabinet appointment will ensure our community is part of decision-making at the highest levels and will also be a lasting piece of Joe Biden’s legacy on LGBTQ equality. At no time in American history has an LGBTQ person been confirmed by the Senate for a Cabinet-level position. It would be a powerful moment and a testament to our community’s place in the nation.”
“Joe Biden is committed to building an administration that reflects the diversity of America and we stand ready to help him,” said Dr. Claire Lucas, Chair of the LGBTQ Victory Institute Board of Directors. “The challenges facing the new administration are enormous – from tackling the pandemic to reviving the economy to ensuring our relationships around the globe are restored. Fortunately, there are LGBTQ people qualified and ready to lead in confronting all those challenges both at home and abroad. Biden can build the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in history while assembling a team that can move America forward.”
Richard Grenell, who served as Acting Director National Intelligence for three months during the Trump administration, was the first out LGBTQ person to hold a Cabinet position. However, his appointment was temporary and was never confirmed by the Senate.
The Presidential Appointments 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.
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.
View a complete list of coalition partners led by LGBTQ Victory Institute. LGBTQ people interested in a presidential appointment in the next administration can learn more about the Presidential Appointments Initiative and share their resumes at victoryinstitute.org/PAI.
About LGBTQ Victory Institute
LGBTQ Victory Institute works to achieve and sustain global equality through leadership development, training, and convening to increase the number, expand the diversity, and ensure the success of openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.