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December 24, 2008


In an obvious attempt at placating the GLBT community, Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin has been named as one of fifteen co-chairs for the inauguration.

Baldwin is an openly lesbian congresswoman from Wisconsin who I would, under any other circumstances, applaud for being appointed to anything within the Obama political sphere. She has distinguished herself in her service as a United States Congresswoman and is greatly admired for the example she has set.

Unfortunately, her appointment as an inaugural co-chair is virtually meaningless. It is a ceremonial position with no actual power or influence over any aspect of the inauguration. I think it's a shame that she's being used as a mere figurehead to try and offset the building frustrations within the GLBT community over having had NONE of the GLBT candidates for cabinet positions actually appointed. And, in addition to that, having the double whammy of the slap-in-the-face announcement of virulently anti-gay pastor Rick Warren to offer the inaugural invocation and anti-gay marriage reverend Joseph Lowery to give the closing benediction.

In our current frustration, let's not forget about the appointment of lesbian Nancy Sutley as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Although she is, so far, the only prominent member of the LGBT community to earn a senior role in the new administration, her appointment and the still possible appointment of openly gay William White as Secretary of the Navy, does give me hope that the GLBT rights initiatives that have been floundering around Washington for years under Bush will finally see the light of day and be passed by the new congress and signed into laws by the new President.

That being said however, I join with Box Turtle Bulletin in calling on Rep. Baldwin to resign this meaningless appointment as a show of unity with Rep. Barney Frank and a show of solidarity with the GLBT community's growing frustrations.