Two of the US top LGBTQ+ advocacy groups celebrated after President-elect Joe Biden announced that he was nominating Pete Buttigieg as the US Secretary of Transportation.
According to The Hill, if Buttigieg is confirmed to the post, he would become the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the US Senate. Rick Grenell, who served as the acting director of national intelligence from February to May, was the first openly LGBTQ Cabinet secretary.
“Let’s celebrate this step toward greater LGBTQ visibility and continue to strive for more representation of our diverse community at all levels of the administration,” tweeted the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s leading LGBTQ advocacy group, as quoted by The Hill.
Annise Parker, president of LGBTQ Victory Institute said that the nomination is a new milestone that members of the queer community are represented throughout the US government adding that the impact will reverberate well-beyond the department he will lead.
“It distances our nation from a troubled legacy of barring out LGBTQ people from government positions and moves us closer to the President-elect’s vision of a government that reflects America. As an out LGBTQ person, Pete will bring a unique perspective that will inform and influence policy throughout the federal government. Most important, however, is that Pete will bring his intellect and energy to the Department of Transportation and our nation will be better off because of it,” Parker said.
Buttigieg came out as gay in a 2015 essay for the South Bend Tribune while serving as mayor and later that year, Buttigieg won reelection, CNN said.
He had endorsed Biden for the presidency during the Presidential election campaign, telling a crowd in Dallas that the former Vice President is the right candidate to “bring back dignity to the White House.”
Buttigieg had dropped out of the Democratic presidential bid following Biden’s victory in the South Carolina primary. Buttigieg officially launched his campaign in April with an event in his hometown South Bend, Indiana.
He was the first openly gay candidate to earn presidential primary delegates for a major party’s nomination.
Biden called the nominee a patriot and a problem-solver “who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation.”
“I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us,” the President-elect said in a statement.
On Monday, Biden bagged 306 Electoral College votes and Trump received 232. The electoral votes will be sent to the US Congress for verification at a joint session, the final stage of the election, which is scheduled for January 6.Biden will be sworn in as the 46th US president on January 20.