Washington, DC – Today the United States Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, making him the first out LGBTQ person ever confirmed for a cabinet position. Buttigieg is one of dozens of high-profile LGBTQ leaders put forward by Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative for positions in the new administration.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation released the following statement about the confirmation:
“Pete shattered a centuries-old political barrier with overwhelming bipartisan support and that paves the way for more LGBTQ Americans to pursue high-profile appointments. Pete testifying at his confirmation hearing, with his husband looking on, will be among the powerful images that define this unprecedented political moment and will be remembered as a milestone in America’s move toward social justice.”
“While his confirmation is historic, Pete is focused on the difficult task ahead. America is in desperate need of a revitalized transportation effort and his two terms as mayor provide the experience and perspective needed to propose bold solutions. Americans are fortunate to have Pete as their Secretary of Transportation.”
Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute, which houses the Presidential Appointments Initiative, also spoke about the significance of the confirmation:
“This groundbreaking confirmation is a testament both to President Biden’s determination to build the most inclusive administration in history and the American public’s willingness to judge a leader by their qualifications, not their sexual orientation. Each new political barrier broken inspires more LGBTQ people to consider careers in public service, a virtuous cycle we will accelerate until equitable representation is achieved. The Biden-Harris administration presents opportunities to place diverse LGBTQ people in every agency and at every level of government. We are thrilled to be a partner in making that happen.”
The Presidential Appointments Initiative set four goals for the Biden-Harris administration, including appointing the first out Senate-confirmed Cabinet member. The other three goals include:
- 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 at every level and that they reflect the full diversity of the LGBTQ community.
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 four years and advocate for their consideration. It aims to help the president’s team create the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in U.S. history.