We all know that Election Day, including the reelection of President Obama, was historic for LGBT Americans. Now we need to translate those results into tangible, concrete change.
Last week a Washington Post headline proclaimed, “Gay donors now pressing for top spots for LGBTs in Obama administration.” Then, on Sunday, Maureen Dowd reported that gay advocates specifically want “to see an openly gay cabinet secretary and an openly gay ambassador to a G-20 nation.” If traditional media and elected officials are getting the message that this is at the top of our equality agenda, to the exclusion of more meaningful gains, that’s a problem. Sure, an openly LGBT cabinet secretary or high-level ambassador would be a symbolic milestone, but how does that translate into real equality for LGBT Americans outside D.C.?
An LGBT cabinet official was supposedly a line in the sand four years ago. Following the November 2008 Obama transition team meetings, which all the major LGBT organizations attended, Chuck Wolfe from Victory Fund was quoted as saying, “Anything less than a cabinet-level appointment would demonstrate that they did not hear us.” When we didn’t get one, the groups simply stopped talking about it.
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