While there has been talk that the President had at least one closeted gay Cabinet member, I suspect George Washington had closeted gays serving with him too – that’s not really the point. The point is to have openly-gay members of the Cabinet, otherwise they don’t exist.
And while it’s great that the President recently appointed an African-American as Secretary of Transportation – black groups were getting increasingly upset about the lack of diversity in the Cabinet – there is still nary a gay to be found.
The largest gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, weighed in, criticizing the President for the lack of gay diversity in his Cabinet. And when HRC weighs in against a friendly Democratic president – something that doesn’t happen all that often – you know there’s a problem. Here’s HRC:
“While the Cabinet is full of staunch allies, there is no reason why qualified LGBT Americans willing to serve their country should be overlooked, especially in a day and age when LGBT people are an integral part of the fabric of our nation as everyone from doctors to teachers to professional basketball stars,” Cole-Schwartz said. “The president has said it’s our job to remind him when he’s fallen short and while there’s much for which to applaud him, on this issue this president has fallen far short.”
I’d written about the President’s Cabinet problem before. In December of 2008, to be exact, as then President-elect Obama was finalizing his first cabinet. Here I am quoting the Advocate:
Not that anyone’s counting, but the cabinet as announced/projected at present includes three Latinos, two Asian Americans, one African-American, three women, and, yes, two Republicans.
Guess who’s missing.
And when Latinos lost their third Cabinet appointee – when Bill Richardson dropped out – they demanded another, because two wasn’t enough. And hey, more power to them. But if Latinos have the chutzpah to demand 3 Cabinet appointees, I think the gays can muster the cojones to demand at least one… five years later.