Post submitted by Brian Moulton, Former HRC Legal Director

Yesterday and today, the Senate has moved forward three important openly-LGBT and ally nominees for key positions within the federal government.  Yesterday, by a vote of 82-17, the Senate confirmed Fred Hochberg for a second term as President of the Export-Import Bank.  Hochberg was one of the first openly-gay officials named to a position in the Obama Administration, and remains one of the highest-ranking LGBT officials in the federal government.  He previously served as acting administrator of the Small Business Administration during the Clinton Administration.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee, by a voice vote, approved the nomination of Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  If confirmed by the full Senate, Hughes will become the first openly-LGBT person to serve as a judge on a federal appeals court.  Currently, Hughes serves as a Deputy Director in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice and is a recognized expert in government pay and personnel law, whistleblower claims, international trade litigation and veterans’ benefits claims.
Also today, the full Senate confirmed Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor, by a vote of 54 to 46.  Perez currently serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, where he oversees enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  He is strong ally of the LGBT community and has vigorously pursued action against anti-LGBT hate crimes, which is why Judy and Dennis Shepard, Matthew’s parents, penned an op-ed earlier this week in support of his confirmation.        
HRC has strongly supported each of these nominations and applauds the Senate for taking steps to advance them. They will each serve our country admirably and ensure that our government continues to reflect the diversity of our nation.

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