Post submitted by Brian Moulton, Former HRC Legal Director

Today, two Senate committees voted to move openly gay and lesbian nominees forward for consideration by the full Senate.  In a 20-2 vote, the Senate Banking Committee supported the nomination of Fred Hochberg to serve a second term as President of the Export-Import Bank, which helps American companies export their goods overseas.  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.   
Also today, by a voice vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Elaine Kaplan to be a judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, which hears monetary claims against the U.S. government.  Since April, Kaplan has served as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management, taking over for openly-gay former director John Berry.  She had previously served as OPM’s General Counsel since 2009 and worked with Berry to advance policies to protect LGBT federal workers and their families.  During the Clinton Administration, Kaplan served as head of the Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency charged with protecting whistleblowers and the merit system in federal employment.
We congratulate these two openly-LGBT nominees and hope the full Senate will confirm them shortly.  We thank Mr. Hochberg and Ms. Kaplan for their longstanding commitment to public service, and we thank President Obama for his continued commitment to nominating qualified LGBT people to positions throughout his administration.

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