Obama’s environmental protection team brings first LGBT appointment

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The first prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person to be appointed to President-elect Barack Obama’s new administration is the current Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles.

Nancy Sutley is reported to be the new chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Steve Chu is expected to be nominated as Energy Secretary.

A former member of Hillary Clinton’s LGBT steering committee, Ms Sutley will co-ordinate and devise environmental policy for the new President.

As LA’s Deputy Mayor for energy and development she has started to tackle the huge amounts of air pollution in the city.

Gay rights groups have expressed concern at the lack of LGBT people appointed by Barack Obama so far.

“I think there’s a growing sense in this community that they expect to be part of this administration in a very substantial way,” Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund spokesman Denis Dison told The Advocate.

“A lot of people really do expect that in the very near future we should have an openly LGBT cabinet secretary. But obviously, there are throughout the administration, opportunities for people to both serve and affect policy.”

A coalition of 12 leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans organisations in the United States have written to the President-elect urging him to nominate Mary Beth Maxwell as Secretary of Labour in his new Cabinet.

Ms Maxwell is the founding executive director of American Rights at Work and the leading contender to become the first openly gay person to become a US Cabinet Secretary.

President-elect Obama will take office on Janaury 20th during inauguration celebrations in Washington DC.

He has already nominated Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State. If confirmed by the Senate she will be the first former First Lady to hold a Cabinet post.