In the wake of a Newsweek cover proclaiming Barack Obama as the “First Gay President,” the Lesbian & Gay Victory Institute has published the names of more than 250 openly LGBT (Lesbian -”Gay”-Bisexual -Transgender) professionals appointed by the Obama administration to federal government policy jobs.
The institute said the long list means the Obama administration has set a record for appointing more openly LGBT individuals to the federal government than all previous administrations combined.
In an “outing” move that would have likely drawn criticism if published by someone else, the names were released under the headline “The Presidential Appointments Project,” an effort started in 2008 by the Lesbian & Gay Victory Institute in conjunction with some 20 other LGBT advocacy groups. The groups aim to increase the number of openly homosexual persons receiving presidential appointments to government posts.
Asked why the Lesbian & Gay Victory Institute published the names, group spokesman Denis Dison, vice president of communications, said LGBT applicants applying under the Presidential Appointments Project have given permission.
“These are all people who have applied through our program,” Dison said, claiming that more than 3,000 LGBT applications have been received so far by the organization for the approximately 7,000 positions throughout the federal government open to presidential appointment.
As seen from an examination of the list, the appointments range throughout the federal government, from inside the office of the president to multiple government agencies and the federal judiciary.
On Oct. 26, 2010, Sam Hananel of the Associated Press reported that, less than half-way though his first term, Obama already had appointed more openly “gay” officials than any other president in history. “Gay” activists estimated more than 150 appointments at the time, surpassing the previous high of 140 reached during Bill Clinton’s two full presidential terms.
Obama smashes record for LBGT appointments
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute website said the Obama administration has appointed more than 250 openly LGBT professionals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch, “more than all known LGBT appointments of other presidential administrations combined.”
Central to the effort to expand the number of LGBT presidential appointments, the Lesbian & Gay Victory Institute offers itself to serve “as a talent bank for openly LGBT professionals seeking opportunities to improve our federal government policies and processes.”
Inviting LGBT candidates for federal government jobs to file a resumé with the Presidential Appointments Project, the institute provides a link for applicants to upload resumés electronically.
Only openly LGBT individuals seeking an appointment to federal government positions are encouraged to submit resumés to the “Presidential Appointments Project:”
Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, if you have ever considered public service, now is the time to share your experience and give our community a voice at the table.
In addition to full-time appointed positions, there are opportunities to serve on boards, advisory committees and grant renewing groups across the country. These bodies make recommendations on how government can work better, smarter and more efficiently.
In a “Frequently Asked Questions” segment of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute website, candidates are encouraged to follow the following guidelines in posting their resumés:
- List your professional experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.
- Provide bullet lists for each experience that highlight specific skills, inputs and outcomes with quantifiable metrics.
- If applicable, include the size of your budget and the number of staff for which you were directly responsible for managing.
- Be sure to include any public service at the local, state, or federal levels of government or volunteer service with non-profits.
- Do not include references or salary information. Generally, purpose or objective statements should not be included.
Dison explained to WND that the first duty of LGBT applicants seeking presidential appointments for available federal positions would be to apply for the positions directly.
“Those submitting resumés through us are letting us know what types of jobs they are interested in, so we can also advocate for them,” Dison explained. “Sometimes the applicants contact us and say they are interested in us promoting them for a particular position. Other times, it works the opposite way, and we notify applicants positions appropriate for them may become available.”
Dison also explained to WND that the White House will reach out to the project in search of candidates with a particular skill set.
He denied that the Presidential Appointments Project seeks to obtain federal appointments to government positions for LGBT candidates on the basis of sexual preference.
“Our applicants do not get a federal appointment unless they are qualified for the positions they get,” he insisted.
Dison also acknowledged that the Obama administration has politically appointed positions.
“At the highest reaches of the Obama administration the president has put a premium on having a diverse administration that, as he puts it, ‘looks like America,’ and that includes LGBT people,” he said.
An LGBT political agenda to oppose Romney-Ryan?
Dison denied the institute has a political agenda to support the Obama administration.
“We only work with openly LGBT leaders,” he insisted. “We are a 501(c)3 organization and [don't] do any political work. We intend to work with Democratic or Republican presidential administrations, whoever wins the next election.”
Still, on Aug. 11, the day Romney announced his pick of Rep. Paul Ryan for his running mate, Dison posted several anti-Romney, anti-Ryan comments on his Twitter account.
As seen in Exhibit 1, Dison posted two comments, one demeaning the Romney-Ryan ticket as “good hair, bad ideas,” and the second suggesting that Ryan’s record would restrict freedom for LGBT individuals.
Exhibit 1: Denis Dison anti-Romney/Ryan Twitter posts, Aug. 11, 2012
In a third Twitter post, as seen in Exhibit 2, Dison attacked Ryan for lacking private-sector experience in a partisan suggestion that Obama’s years as a community organizer in a Saul Alinsky-oriented organization represented superior qualifications.
Exhibit 2: Denis Dison anti-Ryan Twitter post, Aug. 11, 2012
Obama LGBT appointments to U.S. military
In line with the ending of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the U.S. military, Obama also has appointed openly LGBT individuals to key military positions.
On Aug. 3, the Obama administration announced the intention to appoint openly “gay” nominee Eric Fanning as the next undersecretary of the Air Force.
Fanning, who currently serves as deputy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer of the Department of the Navy, will be responsible as undersecretary of the Air Force for the organizing, training and welfare for more than 333,000 active duty men and women, 178,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members, and 182,000 civilians and their families.
On Aug. 11, Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith became the first openly LGBT officer to be promoted to the rank of general.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, during a promotion ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony, Tracey Harper, the co-founder of the Military Partners and Families Coalition, placed the first star on Smith’s uniformed shoulder, acknowledging her partner’s official appointment to the rank of an Army brigadier general.
“With that simple gesture, Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith became the country’s first openly gay general,” reporter Laura J. Nelson wrote.
In June, the Pentagon for the first time in the history of the U.S. military celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a ceremony broadcast on an internal TV network to U.S. military bases around the world, featuring pre-taped videos from Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.
In a presidential proclamation published on the White House website June 1, Obama declared June 2012 as “LGBT Pride Month” and wrote: “Since I took office, my administration has worked to broaden opportunity advance equality, and level the playing field for LGBT people and communities.”
The presidential proclamation cited as achievements the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as well as Obama’s declaration that he now believes “in marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
LGBT Victory Institute names names
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute published a list of names identifying the 250 openly LGBT individuals appointed to federal government positions by the Obama administration since Jan. 20, 2009.
The source of the list can be found on the “Presidential Appointments Project” Web page of the Gay & Lesbian Victory site.
LGBT appointments in the Obama-Biden administration: