US: Gay groups welcome Obama’s new Attorney General nominee

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

President Barack Obama will today nominate Loretta Lynch as his new Attorney General, it has been announced.

If confirmed by congress, the former attorney would succeed Eric Holder – one of the most pro-gay members of the current administration – as the country’s top law official.

The role is incredibly significant for LGBT people given the wave of successful legal action surrounding equal marriage and gay rights.

Mr Holder was instrumental in the decision to stop defending the Defence of Marriage Act in 2011 – paving the way for it to be struck down by the Supreme Court last year – and has weighed in on several marriage ban cases.

He has more recently sought to rapidly extend federal recognition of marriage to couples after victories in state courts.

As same-sex marriage looks set to head back to the Supreme Court in the near future, the new Attorney General would likely be in charge of arguing  in court on behalf of the administration on the issue.

Mr Holder had indicated previously that he would argue in favour of nationwide equal marriage in any case, and that stance is unlikely to change under Ms Lynch.

Chad Griffin of Human Rights Campaign said: “Loretta Lynch will have big shoes to fill thanks to the incredible leadership of outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and his unprecedented commitment to LGBT equality.

“Based on her strong record on civil and human rights as a US Attorney, we have no doubt she will continue that leadership as Attorney General. We look forward to working with her to ensure equal justice under the law for all LGBT Americans.”