LGBT Members of the Obama Administration

Monday, March 2, 2009

President Barack Obama is delivering on his campaign promise to appoint qualified, openly LGBT professionals to his administration.

The following LGBT leaders have secured spots in the Obama administration:

  • Anthony Bernal – Scheduler, Office of Dr. Jill Biden
  • Jeremy Bernard – White House Liaison, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • John Berry – Director-Designate, Office of Personnel Management
  • Brian Bond – Deputy Director, White House Office of Public Liaison
  • Ebs Burnough – Deputy Social Secretary, Office of the First Lady
  • Michael Camunez – Domestic Policy Cluster Head, Presidential Personnel
  • Brook Colangelo – Chief Information Officer, White House Office of Administration
  • Jeffrey S. Crowley, MPH, Director of Office of National AIDS Policy
  • Fred Davie – Policy Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Fred Hochberg – Chairman-Designate, U.S. Export-Import Bank
  • Shin Inouye – Director, Specialty Media
  • Brad Kiley – Director, White House Office of Management and Administration
  • Kei Koizumi – Assistant Director for Federal Research and Development, Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Karine Jean-Pierre – White House Liaison, U.S. Department of Labor
  • David Medina – Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the First Lady
  • Alison Nathan –  Assoc. Counsel, Office of White House Counsel
  • Dave Noble – White House Liaison, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Mark Perriello – Director of Priority Placement, Presidential Personnel
  • Nancy Sutley – Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Moe Vela – Director of Operations, Office of the Vice President
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36 Responses to LGBT Members of the Obama Administration

  1. bradfrmphnx says:

    I applaud President Obama for his support of the LGBT community. As a strait person, I don’t know what your life is like, or the tribulations you have had. I hope that someday all Americans can stand together united, and share equally in the glory and freedom that is America.

  2. Mauigirl says:

    More good news from the new administration!

  3. Walk on Socks says:

    Obama said his administration would reflect the country and he is delivering.

    I applaud President Obama for including gay Americans in his administration. What a departure from the Bush years.

  4. DMason says:

    Don’t forget the closeted LGBT members of the Obama administration like former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano who is a lesbian. Why she remains in the closet is a mystery to me. Everyone knows she’s gay and it’s no big deal.

  5. JollyRoger says:

    Next up: closet LGBT Republicans.

    This post will, of course, be a mile long. Reserve a LOT of time to read it.

  6. Dave says:

    I blogged about this a while back. Very disappointed that there are no cabinet-level positions give to LGBT folks, rumours ignored. I thin it’s sad that someone who wants diversity sticks the LGBT folk in postions most of us have never heard of and generally aren’t remembered. When he can get us a postion someone actually cares about, I’ll be happy.

  7. Jolly Roger,

    Let me know when you write it because I have the names of several of them. A few, will make their southern constituents cringe.

    After all, we know there are no gay people in the Bible belt! 😉

  8. feminazi says:

    Definitely, a positive step for the gay community. I will be very pleased if Obama moves swiftly to rescind ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I thought the so-called Clintin compromise was a sell-out and very wrong.

  9. Peace Nick says:

    Jolly Roger – You know Christopher means it too.

    He knows where all the bodies are buried, so when he extends an offer like this, take him up on it.

  10. libhomo says:

    None of these are cabinet level. The Pink Ceiling lives on under Obama.

  11. DR says:

    @ feminazi… just scooped a new development in DADT: Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) is introducing DADT repeal legislation to a DOD funding bill to be voted on in April. Looks like I’m not the only one who wants this recalled sooner than later!

  12. MacDaddy says:

    Pretty cool. So is President Obama’s decision to nominate Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to HHS. She’ll be great.

  13. bradfrmphnx says:

    Janet Napalitano’s sexuality is unknown. Being from AZ we have read about all the accusations at one time or another.

    To qoute the AZ Republic…”she has vehemenently denied that she is gay.”

    If she is gay, she does not advocate gay marriage, which would seem funny. In her words…”its unecessary.”

    Personally I think she is a very private person, and its nobodies business but hers what she is.

  14. Buck says:

    I call that list a good start. 🙂

    “After all, we know there are no gay people in the Bible belt!” -Christopher

    *waves hands wildly* Me! I am! Over here…!

    DR, good news! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Billup says:

    My brother and sister-in-law live in Sedona and they said former Gov. Janet Napolitano was always seen in Sedona with the same woman and they looked like a couple.

    It was no big deal in Sedona and it was just assumed they’re gay.

  16. Harry says:

    A very positive first step. Much better than Bush II or Clinton. I hope cabinet-level appointments will happen at some point in the future.

  17. retahyajyajav says:

    I think I remarked on another post how bizarre I find it that no matter what Obama does, it just isn’t good enough to satisfy huge swaths of lefties.

    The man hasn’t been president for 90 days and yet all I see is whining, unhappy Democrats.

    Seriously, I almost wish McCain had won and then these idiot progressives could see how much worse things would be.

  18. DR says:

    I’m really tired of this attitude; we are allowed to be critical if we want. Not all of us wanted Obama for President and not all of us are willing to accept crumbs. I’m tried of the self-loathing going on in the Democratic party, and I’m REALLY fed up with this idea that we should just take whatever comes our way and be happy in the name of politics.

  19. retahyajyajav says:


    Criticize all you want. It’s you’re First Amendment right of free speech.

    All I’m saying is, Obama was sworn-in on Jan. 20th and today is Mar. 2nd. He hasn’t been president 45 days yet and already the edges of the party are throwing stones at him.

    Do you not agree you and others are being a bit unreasonable? Can’t the chest-beating and screams of being betrayed wait until he’s been in office for at least a year?

  20. Big Hank says:

    The public opinion polls sure don’t reflect any general dissatisfaction with President Obama.

    Every poll I see suggests the American people approve of him by large margins. But I think no matter what he accomplishes there will always be a percentage of people who aren’t satisfied with his performance. To them, I say vote for Romney/Jindal in 2012.

  21. DR says:

    No, I do not believe I am being unreasonable based on his past conduct.
    FACT: Before he ran for President, he supported full marriage equality, now he supports making us second-class citizens with this civil union garbage.
    FACT: When he ran for President, he was interviewed on LOGO TV and said, and I quote, “marriage is a union between a man and a woman”. Those words were used against us in the Prop 8 campaign and he has yet to stand up and take accountability for them being used to help strip 18000 couples of their civil rights.
    FACT: He is so busy kowtowing to the religious right, he’s not showing up when a gay bishop opens the inauguration. He didn’t even bother to appear! But he was right there for that freak Warren!

    What exactly has he done to justify any faith in him when so far it’s all been bad?!?

    And to Big Hank, I don’t trust those polls and look forward to voting third party in 2012.

  22. Aunt Peg says:

    Being the President is the most thankless job on earth. Why anyone runs for this office today is beyond me.

    Regarding Obama’s critics, it’s reached the point less than two months since taking office where people are now resorting to criticizing him for saying “Michelle and I” instead of “Michelle and me.”

    This is sheer viciousness, in my opinion.

  23. These are excellent comments all. Let me offer my view on the subject. I remember the LOGO-TV sit down too. Here are the exact quotes from the three candidates in attendance.

    BARACK OBAMA: “I will continue to focus on the rights provided by the Federal and state governments are provided to everybody.”

    HILLARY CLINTON: “It’s a personal position. I’ve also been a strong supporter of states maintaining their jurisdiction over marriage.”

    JOHN EDWARDS: “I do not support same-sex marriage.”

    Of the Democratic front runners, Obama offered what was arguably, the closest position statement to full gay marriage equality beginning at the Federal level.

    Clinton’s enthusiastic embrace of allowing states to determine how they treat gay couples was the scariest. Imagine Texas and Utah holding sway over your relationship?

    Edwards flat-out rejected gay marriage equity — period. Including civil unions.

    Regarding the religious right.

    I blogged ad nauseum about Rick Warren and I wrote contacts I have on the Obama transition team expressing my anger and my outrage. But let’s be perfectly clear.

    When Hillary Clinton was first lady and then NY senator, and when she wasn’t roaming around praising NAFTA or trying to smear Obama with vicious rumors he was a Muslim, she spent 15 years as part of a secretive religious group that sought to bring Jesus back to Capitol Hill. Her God talk involved active participation in conservative Bible study group called the Fellowship and included such racist and homophobic bigots as right-winger Sens. Sam Brownback (R-KS) Rick Santorum (R-PA.)

  24. DR says:

    here’s the link:

    He never supported gay marriage in that interview, and said he only supports civil unions. His comments speak quite loudly. He’ll give us rights, but not equal rights. I’m tired of being made a second-class citizen, how about you?

  25. TOM339 says:

    For me it comes down to three points to judge Obama’s first term a success:

    1. get the troops out of Iraq
    2. national healthcare
    3. fix the economy

    If Obama can do this, then everything else like, ending DADT and prosecuting Bush administration members for war crimes, is gravy.

  26. In the LOGO-TV interview, neither Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards said they support gay marriage either.

    As I pointed out, Hillary’s support of states rights was chilling. Edwards seemed woefully ill-at-ease around the entire issue.

    The question for Obama’s critics becomes, who did you support for president in 2008 and if it wasn’t Obama but Hillary or Edwards, why then the anger at Obama, when both Hillary and Edwards held the very same position as Obama?

    One might call this a double standard.

  27. libhomo says:

    retahyajyajav: Mea culpa. Queers myself are completely unreasonable in expecting Obama not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We should be grateful to be discriminated against, as long as the one doing the discriminating is a Democrat.

    Yes, Obama should be able to treat us as less than full citizens in our own country.

    *End of snark*

    Comments like retahyajyajav’s make me wonder why I bother voting for any Democrats.

  28. DR says:

    “One might call this a double standard.”

    One might call it desperation. We were so desperate to get rid of the shrub, we voted for whatever the Democrats handed us. Trust me, some of us will NOT be making the same mistake again. And speaking for myself, I’d have the same anger at Edwards, who got a nasty email from me when he touted himself as the most LGBT-friendly candidate running, and so would Hillary. I’ve already blogged about whether or not she’ll actually address the issues involving discrimination in the Foreign Service.

    I’m so over the Democratic party it’s not even funny. I’m done, next election is 3rd party.

  29. Randy Arroyo says:

    Here’s what I have to say. This is a list of 20 gay and lesbian appointees to the Obama administration and I’m delighted they were selected. For people to screech they aren’t cabinet level so they don’t matter is just nutty and it minimizes their talents and abilities. I don’t know what it is about Democrats and more precisely, gays that makes them want to tear their own down but I’m not having any of it.

  30. Buck says:

    Some here are upset that Obama hasn’t done enough. Others are upset with those people, saying he’s done plenty.

    Why can’t you both be right? Why does someone / some group have to be wrong?

    Both sides make a valid point. I guess it just depends on where you happen to be standing. And there’s nothing wrong in that.

    But people, we’ve got to stick together. Only through solidarity can we overcome that evil presence from the right.

  31. Panasit (the real one) says:

    There are about a dozen things about me that makes me a minority, but this keeping track of what minority group is supported by Obama is ridiculous.

    It’s kind of odd, now, that when Obama is picking the people that will help him, the feeling is, there better be someone who is Black, someone who is gay, someone who is a woman, someone who is Asian, someone who is Hispanic?

    Bush picked Powell and Rice. Did that change anything?

    I am fine with it though, I just hope that a capable white guy didn’t fall through the crack. I guess I’ll have to wait until next generation before all the race are blended in and people are really judged by their performances.

  32. Fran says:

    This is progress & I’ll give a positive nod when one is due. Obama has his plate full, I will both praise good choices & call him on negative stuff.

    A real functioning Democracy calls for participation from the people.

    But, I have to ask — what the hell is this position-

    Domestic Policy Cluster Head ?????

    I too want to see Jolly Roger’s list of GOP LBGT folks. Don’t forget Larry Craig!!!

  33. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Every day I wake up and thank the Gods of Politics that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the primary.

    You see, I’m against Dynasties, be they Democratic or Republican. I don’t ever want to see another Bush or another Clinton in the White House. They can visit and enter through the frontdoor but families keep treating the presidency as if it is the family business and it ain’t.

  34. VicoDANIEL says:

    Interesting threat and even more interesting comments.

    I don’t know why (but I have a few theories) but no matter what Barack Obama does, for some folks, it will never be good enough. He’s like the younger brother the parents always compare to the older the brother who can never, quite measure up.

    It’s fascinating to watch and more than a little sad.

  35. daveybones says:

    Check out the New York Times. A legal advocacy group is taking up ANOTHER Obama campaign promise and suing over DOMA. It’s admittedly a limited lawsuit, but to me, it’s another example that people are tired of waiting.

  36. Mets Fan says:

    What a wonderful and accomplished group of men and women. The Obama administration and the American people will be well served by them.

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