Thursday, October 8, 2009

Obama to Appoint Gay Ambassador

According to the Associated Press, President Obama said that he planned to nominate an openly gay lawyer as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. If confirmed, lawyer David Huebner would become the third openly gay ambassador in U.S. history and the first pick by this administration.

From the piece in the Huffington Post:

Huebner is based in Shanghai, where he handles international arbitration and mediation cases for a U.S. firm. A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, he is also the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's general counsel and previously served on the group's board.

He also has chaired the California Law Revision Commission, served as president of the Los Angeles Quality and Productivity Commission and taught at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law.

This comes on the eve of Obama speaking at a Human Rights Campaign dinner on Saturday as I posted before. Obama has been criticized for not repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy as he promised. However, Obama has expanded some federal benefits to same-sex partners, but not health benefits or pension guarantees. Concerns have been raised that this is purely a symbolic move from the Obama administration but I wonder would we ask that question if Huebner were straight. He is a qualified candidate and that's all that matters. Is this a diversion by the administration to appease the gay community? Any political appointment has agendas and underlying politics involved. I do wonder when it will stop being news that the first gay has become ____.

Read the Huffington Post piece HERE

Read the NY Times Caucus Blog piece HERE

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